‘Theology Matters’ is a blog series on the Asian American Christian Fellowship at UCLA’s book study of “Dug Down Deep” by Joshua Harris. In this series I will be posting updates, reminders, thoughts, and study questions all about the book.
Chapter 9: This was such a good chapter! This is one of the more debated issues in our society today, mainly because the Holy Spirit is misunderstood on so many levels. The Holy Spirit is an essential part to the Christian life: the Holy Spirit is a person, the Holy Spirit is an active part of our Triune God, and the Holy Spirit worked in you in order for you to become a believer. Harris writes, “What the Father planned, and the Son purchased by his death, the Holy Spirit activates or applies in our lives. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us a new spiritual heart (John 3:5-8; Romans 8:9-11). It is through the Holy Spirit that we are washed, sanctified, and justified (1 Corinthians 6:11). It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to become like Jesus (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16-18).” Yes, and Amen!
Harris talks about his experience with the Holy Spirit: the dancing, the speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc. That’s all good and well and I understand that it happens in the world, but what I appreciated was his honest opinion about experiencing the Spirit. He writes, “often my experience outpaced my biblical understanding…I basically confined him (the Spirit) to a certain emotional experience in church meetings.” Later he says that “true prophecy always confirms and accords with God’s Word.” Without picking a side, he clears up misconceptions and always points to experience that confirms God’s Word, nothing more. I think this is the right way to look at these issues, to hold the Word as the final authority over all opinions.
Week 8 Study Questions (Chapter 9):
1. Who is the Holy Spirit and what does He do in our lives? (pg. 179-180) How has He been misrepresented in your life?
2. Why do we need the Holy Spirit? Why does Harris urge us to “desire more of the Spirit’s presence and influence in our hearts and lives”? (pg.187)
3. Are you aware of how the Holy Spirit is working in you? (p. 187, 193) Do you know God’s love and His truths experientially in your heart, beyond theory and head knowledge? (pg. 191)
Next Week: Chapter 10 – “The Invisible Made Visible”