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What part does the Spirit play in belief?

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  • What part does the Spirit play in belief?

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for advice on something that has plagued my mind for a while.

    Firstly, you should probably know that I see myself as a soft agnostic: due to the world's brightest disagreeing on crucial aspects of religion and philosophy, I see no way to make a decision on what is true (corresponding to the facts). Because of this conclusion, and my intense fear of hell in the afterlife, I decided that there had to be a way to decide on a worldview without trusting man's opinions. Since I was raised in a Christian home, I've chosen to first investigate the Holy Spirit's role in bringing about belief to individuals. That is why I am posting on this forum. I want to know how exactly the Holy Spirit is instrumental to intellectual belief, and I would like to know if the Spirit gives us something other than faith to convince us of Christianity's truth. What does the Bible say on the matter? Natural theology is never going to convince me of anything. God is essentially hidden, so how, other than pragmatical reasons and ignorance, do people come to be Christians?

    Shane

  • #2
    Originally posted by Shaney777 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for advice on something that has plagued my mind for a while.

    Firstly, you should probably know that I see myself as a soft agnostic: due to the world's brightest disagreeing on crucial aspects of religion and philosophy, I see no way to make a decision on what is true (corresponding to the facts). Because of this conclusion, and my intense fear of hell in the afterlife, I decided that there had to be a way to decide on a worldview without trusting man's opinions. Since I was raised in a Christian home, I've chosen to first investigate the Holy Spirit's role in bringing about belief to individuals. That is why I am posting on this forum. I want to know how exactly the Holy Spirit is instrumental to intellectual belief, and I would like to know if the Spirit gives us something other than faith to convince us of Christianity's truth. What does the Bible say on the matter? Natural theology is never going to convince me of anything. God is essentially hidden, so how, other than pragmatical reasons and ignorance, do people come to be Christians?

    Shane
    First of all, you sound sincere. You have to understand, of course, that a lot of people start off like you did in this post, but it's a pretense to argue. I'll take you at your word that you are a sincere seeker.

    Paul said it best - if Christ be not risen from the dead, our hope is in vain. It's all about Christ crucified, buried and risen again. That said, I believe the role of the Holy Spirit is very powerful.

    First of all, do you believe Jesus actually existed?
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      Hey Cow Poke,

      You are correct in saying that I am sincere. I'm not looking for an argument.

      To answer your question, I think I do lean towards believing Jesus did exist.

      Comment


      • #4
        That's a good start.

        The Holy Spirit doesn't make you believe or give you the faith to believe as if it were a blind faith. I think the Holy Spirit works in your heart to get you to investigate the evidence and to help you see the truth in the evidence if you are sincere. But the decision is up to you ultimately. Some people will never believe even if they witnessed Jesus rise from the dead themselves. Their hearts are hardened and they don't want to believe, no matter what.

        Also the Holy Spirit helps you to recognize God working in your life and circumstances. He might even lead you to someplace that helps you to find the truth (like church, or even theologyweb) and get you in touch with the right people.

        But ultimately, it is like that saying "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

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        • #5
          God is essentially hidden, so how, other than pragmatical reasons and ignorance, do people come to be Christians?
          They hear the gospel.

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          • #6
            It is exactly as the others said. The only thing I can add is that some evangelists will perform miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit to get your attention so that they can explain about Jesus.
            Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

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            • #7
              Here are three key sets of holy scriptures, from my view on the role of the Holy Spirit:

              ". . . Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. . . ." -- John 16:7-11.

              ". . . Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. . . ." -- 1 Peter 1:2.

              ". . . because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . " -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14.

              I hope you find this useful.

              Three key thoughts though: 1) The concept that God sent His Son to die as our substitute (Isaiah 53:6, 10, 12).
              2) On the historicity of the bodily resurrection. It is to be the evidence of Jesus to be the Christ and God's Son (Romans 1:4). And the claim of Christianity stands and falls with this claim being true (1 Corinthians 15:).
              3) On the bases of believing God (1 John 5:1, 9-13; Titus 1:2) one can know for sure (Jeremiah 31:34, 31-34).
              . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

              . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

              Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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              • #8
                Acts 17:*22So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.'


                ’They look at the physical world and see its futility and look elsewhere for answers.

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. :)

                  Shane

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                  • #10
                    http://www.christianforums.com/t7855427-17/

                    Quote
                    Summary
                    Christ is the Promised Land, the Temple where the Holy Spirit finally rests.
                    In Christ we have rest.

                    The crossing of the Jordan is the call, if you hear His voice, do not disobey, for to do so relegates one to wandering in the wilderness, for God swore that those who do not respond to killing the giants, saying "No" to self, would never enter His rest. Parallels to the rejecting of the call, the not hearing of God's voice, not crossing the Jordan, is the hesitant wedding guest, the unprepared virgins, the unfaithful steward, the unmerciful servant, Ananias and Sapphira: drink from the Rock, buy without money, put the oil of faith in your lamps, for you will not want to be unprepared, when you hear His voice.

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