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Rodman Williams: The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Effects, Part 2

21. The word for “cry,” krazomen, means “to cry out loudly.” Krazomen “denotes the loud irrepressible cry with which the consciousness of sonship breaks from the Christian heart” (Expositor’s Greek Testament, Commentary on Romans, in loco).

22. See chapter 3, supra.

23. See Chapter 3, supra.

24. New English Bible. “To prove that,” the NEB translation for hoti is, I believe, preferable to “because” (in RSV and many other translations). Paul is speaking demonstratively—”to demonstrate that,” as “proof of that”—rather than causally. (See also Cambridge Greek Testament [Cambridge University Press, 1914], Commentary on Galatians, in loco: “‘hoti‘ is demonstrative ‘But as proof that,’ rather than strictly causal.”)

25. The Greek word is krazon. See supra, fn. 21.

26. The Greek term is plerophoria polle, literally “much full assurance.”

27. RSV reads: “assured understanding” instead of “full assurance of understanding.” However the Greek expression is plērophorias tēs suneseēs. The word plērophoria is the same that Paul uses in writing to the Thessalonians (see fn. supra).

28. The Greek word for “full assurance” in both Hebrews 6 and 10 is likewise plērophoria.

29. According to the Westminster Confession of Faith there is the possibility of “an infallible assurance of faith” which is “founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God …[however] this infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it” (Chapter XVIII, “Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation,” Sections 2 and 3). See Philip Schaff. The Creeds of Christndom (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1877), Vol. III, “The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647,” p. 638.

30. Another obvious benefit of “full assurance” is the strength it gives to Christian witness. If “I know whom I have believed,” if there is the continuing inner witness of the Holy Spirit to my being God’s child, if this full assurance relates to understanding, hope and faith, then my witness to the gospel stems from a great inner fortitude and certainty. There is nothing quite so convincing as the witness that stems out of complete certainty—and yet not one’s own certainty but that which the Holy Spirit constantly renews! (By such “infallible assurance,” according to the Westminster Confession of Faith, a person’s heart is “enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience” Chapter XVIII, Section 3.)

31. This may be compared with the Gospel of John where the purpose is likewise stated near the end: “These [things] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). The Gospel intends faith and salvation; the Letter, written to those who have already experienced such, intends knowledge and assurance.

32. chrisma in 1 John; echrisen in Acts.

33.The “you all know” of 1 John 2:20 is oidate pantes which could be translated “you know all” (similarly KJV—”ye know all things”).

34. The Greek word for “guarantee” is arrabōno. The gift of the Spirit serves as an “earnest” (KJV)—a “first installment,” a “down payment,” a “pledge.” Thus a “guarantee.” Incidentally the “seal” referred to, as was mentioned earlier (Chapter 4, fn. 2 and 6, see Pneuma Review, Winter 2003 [6:1] p. 6), suggests dedication or consecration—sealing in the sense of “endowment of power.”

35. We discussed a part of this statement (down to “the promised Holy Spirit”) in Chapter 5 (see the Summer 2003 [6:3] issue of the Pneuma Review).

36. I recently came across the remarkable sermons of Thomas Goodwin, seventeenth-century Calvinist divine, on the first chapter of Ephesians: The Works of Thomas Goodwin, D.D., Vol. I, Containing an Exposition of the First Chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians (Edinburgh: James Nichol, M.DCCC.LXI). In his sermon on Ephesians 1:13-14, he writes: “Serve your God day and night faithfully, walk humbly; there is a promise of the Holy Ghost to come and fill your hearts with joy unspeakable and glorious, to seal you up to the day of redemption. Sue [seek] this promise out, wait for it, rest not in believing only, rest not in assurance by graces only; there is a further assurance to be had. It was the last legacy Christ left upon earth  …the promise of the Father” (p. 248). Though I would hesitate to identify directly “the promise of the Holy Ghost” with “sealing up to the day of salvation,” I believe Goodwin is correct in recognizing that the sealing of the Spirit is connected with the gift of the Spirit, and therefore belongs to those who receive the promised Holy Spirit. Goodwin, accordingly, in this sense is an extraordinary precursor of the contemporary spiritual renewal. For more on Thomas Goodwin’s view, see the book by J.A. Schep, Spirit Baptism and Tongue Speaking (London: The Fountain Trust, 1970), pp. 59-63.

37. Peter speaks about being “a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed” (1 Peter 5:1). Already we may share in that coming glory.

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2004

About the Author: J. Rodman Williams (1918-2008), Ph.D., is considered to be the father of renewal theology. He served as a chaplain in the Second World War, he was a church pastor, college professor, and key figure in the charismatic movement of the 1960s. Beginning in 1982, he taught theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and became Professor of Renewal Theology Emeritus there in 2002. Author of numerous books, he is perhaps best known for his three volume Renewal Theology (Zondervan, 1996).

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