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Rodman Williams: The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Background

In the contemporary renewal there is strong emphasis on the work of redemption in connection with the gift of the Holy Spirit. People everywhere who claim to have received the gift testify that because of what God has done in Christ in their lives they have come to experience the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was only as they came to know Jesus as the mediator of redemption that they experienced Him as the mediator of the Spirit.12  As those who have become participants in the wonder of salvation through Jesus Christ they have likewise become recipients of the blessed Holy Spirit. Jesus has become both Savior and Lord.13



The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Dimensions (Chapter 2)


1. As a vivid illustration, see “The Promise of the Father” in Set My Spirit Free (Plainfield, NJ: Logos, 1973) by Robert C. Frost. Frost testifies: “He knew my need and desire and had faithfully promised He would endue my life with the power of His Spirit. And it happened—just like He promised. For me it was a mighty Baptism of love that flooded my life inside and out …My Heavenly Father had kept His word and performed His promise—and He will do the same for you” (p. 12). Frost is a biologist and popular lecturer in the contemporary spiritual renewal.

2. The Greek word is exapostello—to “send out” or “send forth.” It is a parallel to the term in Acts 2:33, execheen, meaning “poured out” or “poured forth.”

3. The preponderance of Greek manuscripts omit the word “given,” so that the text could be read simply, “the Spirit was not yet.” However, English translations usually provide the word “given.” This appears to be the intended meaning.

4. See also John 12:23, 26, 28; John 17:5. Cf. Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob …glorified his servant Jesus.”

5. Paracletos—the Paraclete: word used in the Fourth Gospel for the coming of the Holy Spirit. It conveys the idea of one who appears in another’s behalf: advocate, helper, intercessor, advisor, counselor.

6. Even as he gives or sends the Son. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. For God sent the Son into the world …(John 3:16-17).

7. Since the Holy Spirit did not come into existence (He always has been), the procession is an eternal one. He eternally proceeds from the Father within the mystery of the triune godhead. It would seem improper, therefore, to speak of the Holy Spirit as “proceeding from the Father and Son” (as, for example, in the Western filioque [and the Son] addition to the Constantinopolitan Creed).

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Category: Spirit, Spring 2002

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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