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Pentecost: The Parakletos

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  • Pentecost: The Parakletos

    Hello Pentecost,

    Just providing a bit of "friendly" fire. Please feel free to return fire :-}

    Originally posted by Pentecost
    Originally posted by apostoli
    Do you believe that God through his Son has sent to us the Paraclete as Jesus promised?
    Yes. As per John 20:21
    Hmmm! I had in mind what Jesus promised at John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15. these texts directly refer to the Parakletos whom Jesus would ask his Father to send, and whom Jesus would onforward. Jesus declared the Parakletos the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send in his name to teach the disciples all things, and bring all things to their remembrance (John 14:26).

    On the basis of John 14:26, I find your appeal to John 20:21 as a response to my question a bit of a worry. Especially given vs22-23 "So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained".

    Hmmm! I think I can understand why you pointed to John 20:21, especially given the preaching and nurturing roles of the disciples, but I am unaware of the Parakletos having the role of arbitrary judgement as Jesus granted the disciples (vs23 - a topic for another thread). A major defect is that while the disciples were in similitude to Jesus in as much as they were sent into the world, the disciples were not sent by the Father as Jesus said would happen with the Parakletos, but directly by Jesus without the Father's direct participation (cp. John 17:18). Another major defect is that unlike the disciples, the Parakletos was not sent into the world, but was sent to the disciples and those who would come to believe in Jesus through the disciples preaching activity (cp. John 14:16-17; 17:20).

    You might think I am being pedantic, but I consider attention to detail essential in revealing the truth (cp. John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free").

    Originally posted by Pentecost
    Originally posted by apostoli
    Do you accept that the Paraklete has a real and constant existence, is a real hypostasis as opposed to a transient prosopon?
    Of course I do.
    Hmmm! Your answer to my first question via John 20:21 makes me wonder.

    The disciples were definitely a group of hypostases (people), but the Parakletos is a unique hypostasis (person). So instead of giving an affirmative answer in the singular as is required, by referring to the disciples, your answer was plural, so you actually avoided the question. Same problem with your implied response to the second part of the question.

    Pedantry aside: Whether or not the disciples were transient prosopa is questionable given "[God] is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him." (cp. Luke 20:38). I'll have to work on the second part of the question, as it stands it can be affirmed by reference to anyone who has secured salvation.

  • #2
    Originally posted by apostoli View Post
    Hello Pentecost,

    Just providing a bit of "friendly" fire. Please feel free to return fire :-}

    Hmmm! I had in mind what Jesus promised at John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15. these texts directly refer to the Parakletos whom Jesus would ask his Father to send, and whom Jesus would onforward. Jesus declared the Parakletos the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send in his name to teach the disciples all things, and bring all things to their remembrance (John 14:26).

    On the basis of John 14:26, I find your appeal to John 20:21 as a response to my question a bit of a worry. Especially given vs22-23 "So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained".

    Hmmm! I think I can understand why you pointed to John 20:21, especially given the preaching and nurturing roles of the disciples, but I am unaware of the Parakletos having the role of arbitrary judgement as Jesus granted the disciples (vs23 - a topic for another thread). A major defect is that while the disciples were in similitude to Jesus in as much as they were sent into the world, the disciples were not sent by the Father as Jesus said would happen with the Parakletos, but directly by Jesus without the Father's direct participation (cp. John 17:18). Another major defect is that unlike the disciples, the Parakletos was not sent into the world, but was sent to the disciples and those who would come to believe in Jesus through the disciples preaching activity (cp. John 14:16-17; 17:20).

    You might think I am being pedantic, but I consider attention to detail essential in revealing the truth (cp. John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free").

    Hmmm! Your answer to my first question via John 20:21 makes me wonder.

    The disciples were definitely a group of hypostases (people), but the Parakletos is a unique hypostasis (person). So instead of giving an affirmative answer in the singular as is required, by referring to the disciples, your answer was plural, so you actually avoided the question. Same problem with your implied response to the second part of the question.

    Pedantry aside: Whether or not the disciples were transient prosopa is questionable given "[God] is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him." (cp. Luke 20:38). I'll have to work on the second part of the question, as it stands it can be affirmed by reference to anyone who has secured salvation.
    Oh Brother! I think perhaps there was a misunderstanding here that was my fault! I was searching for just the sort of texts you mentioned from chapters 14-16 and falsely remembered one of them to be in chapter 20, and in haste I used it without having double checked its contents. I am laughing at my foolishness, I see from your response that my mistake at least had plausibility.

    But to be clear, I did not mean that the apostles nor their successors are/were the Paraclete. I was hasty and unthoughtful as I snatched for a proof text to demonstrate my orthodoxy (which if I meant what I said, would have only proven my heterodoxy!)

    The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Father, and was sent by the Son. He is coequal, and coeternal with the Father and Son. There is one God, and three Persons.

    It is good that you pushed on me here, because I said an untruth, but I made much work for you unintentionally. I hope you gained pleasure from the thought exercise.

    You said the matter of Romans 9 was under the bridge, I am still willing to discuss that if you are. I was under the impression that the spirits mentioned were all the same Spirit, and you seemed to disagree.
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
      Oh Brother! I think perhaps there was a misunderstanding here that was my fault! I was searching for just the sort of texts you mentioned from chapters 14-16 and falsely remembered one of them to be in chapter 20, and in haste I used it without having double checked its contents. I am laughing at my foolishness, I see from your response that my mistake at least had plausibility.
      No worries these things happen, even to me

      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
      But to be clear, I did not mean that the apostles nor their successors are/were the Paraclete. I was hasty and unthoughtful as I snatched for a proof text to demonstrate my orthodoxy (which if I meant what I said, would have only proven my heterodoxy!)
      I only highlighted your use of John 20:21 because I have encountered people who claim a Trinitarian belief but explain the Paraclete as being the Church itself, albeit endowed with the Holy Spirit just as Jesus had been endowed with the Holy Spirit (cp. John 3:34). A view I can accept if I ignore Trinitarian teaching on the treis hypostases (three persons) and the homoosiios (consubstantiality). To my mind, these guys , whether they intend to or not, reduce the Paraclete to an impersonal "active force" of God, an emanation of God.

      JWs at least openly admit such, no pretense about their teaching. To the JWs the Holy Spirit is simply the impersonal "active force of God" full stop. My ex-wife was a JW for about 16 or so years, so in that period I became well versed in JW thought. While Linda played the "suffering servant" and made it her business to persecute me mercilessly (convert my thinking) for that entire period, I made friends with various elders and overseers (though we did prosecute each others cases we agreed to disagree on doctrinal things, and ended up as friends enjoying discussion of the rest of scripture = stuff we agreed on). .One of hLinda's elders who became a very good friend of mine felt great sympathy for me, even saying to me (paraphrased) "It is people like Linda that give JWs a bad reputation. They should be locked up!" At the time I thought that could a solution, but who would take care of the kids ;-{

      That aside: if you present John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15 or 1 John 2:1 to a JW or the like, they usually change the subject. Some more informed JWs will acknowledge the hypostasis of the Spirit (1 John 2:1 more or less makes them), but will claim he was a creation of the Son.

      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
      The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Father, and was sent by the Son. He is coequal, and coeternal with the Father and Son. There is one God, and three Persons.
      Years ago I came across a paper by Ratzinger (emeritus Pope Benedict) from when he was prrefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The paper explained the RCC view of the Filioque and was presented at reconciliation talks between the RCC & the EOC/ROC. In it he explained that the RCC has always taught that the Father is the sole source and cause of the Son and the Spirit (the EOC/ROC position) but the Latin expression "Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit" has been misunderstood by the eastern churches to mean the Spirit has origins with both the Father and the Son. As I remember the paper (these days I haven't been able to locate it online), Ratzinger argued that John 15:16 makes it obvious that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. However, John 15:26 also tells us that the Son sends the Spirit from the Father, this is what the Filoque is meant to express - dual procession, not origin.

      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
      It is good that you pushed on me here, because I said an untruth, but I made much work for you unintentionally. I hope you gained pleasure from the thought exercise.
      I did!

      I must admit I didn't look up John 20:21 before I replied to your post, I just accepted what you said (Heh! I haven't memorised all of scripture. Most of the time I just remember enough fragments to find a verse).

      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
      You said the matter of Romans 9 was under the bridge, I am still willing to discuss that if you are...
      I meant whatever it was I had said to 37818, not Romans 9. As I said "as a remedial exercise I've embarked on a study of Romans 8 and its use of the word "πνεῦμα" (spirit), the beginnings of which I've posted on a new thread called "37818: Romans 8:1-16".

      I've discovered the study of Romans 8 is a very time expensive exercise, after several full days of dedicated study I've only just gotten to Romans 9....be patient, I hope to complete my study during the week (well verses 1-16 anyway). I would really appreciate discussing what I've posted so far.

      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
      I was under the impression that the spirits mentioned were all the same Spirit, and you seemed to disagree.
      Yes and no. It is my impression that the word "spirit" is used many ways in the NT and even more so in the OT. Us moderns have a habit of reading things into scripture, giving interpretation to an underlying principle. So I can agree as a retrospect that in Romans 8 the thought "unity of the Holy Spirit" could be implied . However, in A.Paul's vernacular I don't think that is what he is talking about. For instance:: Why does A.Paul use distinguishing terms such as "Spirit of God", "Spirit of Christ" etc if he means the indwelling of the physis (nature) of the "Holy Spirit"?
      Last edited by apostoli; 07-26-2015, 07:05 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I will get to the rest of my reply soon, I only want to mention I made a typo when I said Romans 9, I meant 8.

        To be continued soon apostoli!
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
          I will get to the rest of my reply soon, I only want to mention I made a typo when I said Romans 9, I meant 8.
          I did something similar in my response. You wrote Romans 9, I read Romans 8:9. Then with that stuck in my head I wrote Romans 9 when I meant 8:9. So where ever I wrote Romans 9, read Romans 8:9....

          ps:

          My rambling about Ratzinger and the Filioque, were just that, ramblings. I had in the back of my mind how easy it is for misunderstandings to arise, because of a lack of clear communication. Something I often think about - which is probably why in my dotage I'm becoming so pedantic...
          Last edited by apostoli; 07-26-2015, 02:03 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by apostoli View Post
            No worries these things happen, even to me

            I only highlighted your use of John 20:21 because I have encountered people who claim a Trinitarian belief but explain the Paraclete as being the Church itself, albeit endowed with the Holy Spirit just as Jesus had been endowed with the Holy Spirit (cp. John 3:34). A view I can accept if I ignore Trinitarian teaching on the treis hypostases (three persons) and the homoosiios (consubstantiality). To my mind, these guys , whether they intend to or not, reduce the Paraclete to an impersonal "active force" of God, an emanation of God.

            JWs at least openly admit such, no pretense about their teaching. To the JWs the Holy Spirit is simply the impersonal "active force of God" full stop. My ex-wife was a JW for about 16 or so years, so in that period I became well versed in JW thought. While Linda played the "suffering servant" and made it her business to persecute me mercilessly (convert my thinking) for that entire period, I made friends with various elders and overseers (though we did prosecute each others cases we agreed to disagree on doctrinal things, and ended up as friends enjoying discussion of the rest of scripture = stuff we agreed on). .One of hLinda's elders who became a very good friend of mine felt great sympathy for me, even saying to me (paraphrased) "It is people like Linda that give JWs a bad reputation. They should be locked up!" At the time I thought that could a solution, but who would take care of the kids ;-{

            That aside: if you present John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15 or 1 John 2:1 to a JW or the like, they usually change the subject. Some more informed JWs will acknowledge the hypostasis of the Spirit (1 John 2:1 more or less makes them), but will claim he was a creation of the Son.
            Before this conversation I wasn't aware of the first position, but since then, having done a little research it seems to line up with what was taught by the late Herbert W. Armstrong. JWs on the other hand, I am familiar with.

            Years ago I came across a paper by Ratzinger (emeritus Pope Benedict) from when he was prrefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The paper explained the RCC view of the Filioque and was presented at reconciliation talks between the RCC & the EOC/ROC. In it he explained that the RCC has always taught that the Father is the sole source and cause of the Son and the Spirit (the EOC/ROC position) but the Latin expression "Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit" has been misunderstood by the eastern churches to mean the Spirit has origins with both the Father and the Son. As I remember the paper (these days I haven't been able to locate it online), Ratzinger argued that John 15:16 makes it obvious that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. However, John 15:26 also tells us that the Son sends the Spirit from the Father, this is what the Filoque is meant to express - dual procession, not origin.
            I do not come from a tradition of reciting the Creeds, but I have tested my orthodoxy against them, and found that I could not say honestly that the Spirit proceded from the Father and Son, but rather proceded from the Father, and was sent by the Son; which seems to be what was taught by Ratzinger, which I find interesting.

            I did!

            I must admit I didn't look up John 20:21 before I replied to your post, I just accepted what you said (Heh! I haven't memorised all of scripture. Most of the time I just remember enough fragments to find a verse).

            I meant whatever it was I had said to 37818, not Romans 9. As I said "as a remedial exercise I've embarked on a study of Romans 8 and its use of the word "πνεῦμα" (spirit), the beginnings of which I've posted on a new thread called "37818: Romans 8:1-16".

            I've discovered the study of Romans 8 is a very time expensive exercise, after several full days of dedicated study I've only just gotten to Romans 9....be patient, I hope to complete my study during the week (well verses 1-16 anyway). I would really appreciate discussing what I've posted so far.

            Yes and no. It is my impression that the word "spirit" is used many ways in the NT and even more so in the OT. Us moderns have a habit of reading things into scripture, giving interpretation to an underlying principle. So I can agree as a retrospect that in Romans 8 the thought "unity of the Holy Spirit" could be implied . However, in A.Paul's vernacular I don't think that is what he is talking about. For instance:: Why does A.Paul use distinguishing terms such as "Spirit of God", "Spirit of Christ" etc if he means the indwelling of the physis (nature) of the "Holy Spirit"?
            I can see an argument that the Spirit of Christ is not the Spirit of God because verse 10 speaks of Christ being in you, and we both agree Christ is not the Spirit, nor is the Spirit Christ.

            However, chapter 8 is contrasting flesh and death, with Spirit and life see verses 5,6 in verse 9 it is explained that the Spirit is in fact the Spirit of God the dwells in believers, the second half of verse 9 and verse 10 seem to teach that the Spirit of Christ is in those who have life. So the Spirit of life is the Spirit of God, and "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

            Meaning the Spirit of Christ when it is in the believer, is the Spirit of life. If there is only one Spirit of life, and the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of God are both it, then the Spirit of Christ IS the Spirit of God.

            The only negation of this conclusion I can see is if there is more than one spirit of life, which I don't see claimed within the text.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
              I do not come from a tradition of reciting the Creeds, but I have tested my orthodoxy against them, and found that I could not say honestly that the Spirit proceded from the Father and Son, but rather proceded from the Father, and was sent by the Son; which seems to be what was taught by Ratzinger, which I find interesting.
              I came across an Orthodox review of the talks on the filioque. The discussion is more complicated than I had thought, Augustine seems to present a road block...Have a read if you are curious...
              http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute...gle_source.htm

              Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
              I can see an argument that the Spirit of Christ is not the Spirit of God because verse 10 speaks of Christ being in you, and we both agree Christ is not the Spirit, nor is the Spirit Christ.

              However, chapter 8 is contrasting flesh and death, with Spirit and life see verses 5,6 in verse 9 it is explained that the Spirit is in fact the Spirit of God the dwells in believers, the second half of verse 9 and verse 10 seem to teach that the Spirit of Christ is in those who have life. So the Spirit of life is the Spirit of God, and "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

              Meaning the Spirit of Christ when it is in the believer, is the Spirit of life. If there is only one Spirit of life, and the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of God are both it, then the Spirit of Christ IS the Spirit of God.

              The only negation of this conclusion I can see is if there is more than one spirit of life, which I don't see claimed within the text.
              I've been unwell this week and spent most of the time asleep, wrapped in a thick blanket. I'm on autopilot at the moment, and have limited myself to activities that require no in depth thought, consequently I have deferred my study of Roman 8:1-16 until I'm up to wading through commentaries, determining A.Paul's usage of "spirit/spirit" in scripture and can think coherently etc etc

              I've taken on board your previous comments and will think on your latest contribution. Be patient I'll respond intelligently soon - GW.

              At the moment I'm just running things through my head. For instance: I asked myself why A.Paul refers specifically to "the Spirit of God" and "the Spirit of Christ" in Rom 8:9 but then uses an ambiguous phrase"the Spirit of Him" in vs11. Of course as we read on it is obvious that A.Paul is referring to God the Father for we read "He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you".

              Comment


              • #8
                That was a fascinating link, and I thank you for sharing it. I pray for your health, and look forward to a more in depth response once you are ill, but certainly take no pains for me.
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well*
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                    Well*
                    I've been procrastinating...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Romans 8:10

                      "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

                      Originally posted by Pentecost
                      I can see an argument that the Spirit of Christ is not the Spirit of God because verse 10 speaks of Christ being in you, and we both agree Christ is not the Spirit, nor is the Spirit Christ.

                      However, chapter 8 is contrasting flesh and death, with Spirit and life see verses 5,6 in verse 9 it is explained that the Spirit is in fact the Spirit of God the dwells in believers, the second half of verse 9 and verse 10 seem to teach that the Spirit of Christ is in those who have life. So the Spirit of life is the Spirit of God, and "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

                      Meaning the Spirit of Christ when it is in the believer, is the Spirit of life. If there is only one Spirit of life, and the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of God are both it, then the Spirit of Christ IS the Spirit of God.

                      The only negation of this conclusion I can see is if there is more than one spirit of life, which I don't see claimed within the text.
                      Pentecost, I think you are over thinking what A.Paul is saying (or maybe I am).

                      the Spirit is life because of righteousness In my opinion vs10 just reiterates vs1. The Spirit in this verse I take to mean our mentality, or more particularly our heart (cp. vs27 "He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is"). I take the "righteousness" is our righteousness in Christ.

                      Consider us having the Spirit of God in the light of 1 John 4:8-11 "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another".

                      Notice what A.Paul teaches concerning love and the Spirit at Romans 8:27-39. Especially notice vs27 & 28.
                      Last edited by apostoli; 08-07-2015, 10:50 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I now understand your position, when I didn't before. In an eschatological sense I consider the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to be the fulfillment of God's promise to replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, and give us a new spirit, and it is part of the process of redeeming our humanity, so that Christians no longer have their old spirit, but instead have the Holy Spirit, that dwells inside us. So in that sense, your position and mine may coexist peacefully, but I do think that Paul is a clever enough author, that both the layer you perceived, and that I perceived may have been intended. He was skillful with rhetoric as seen elsewhere in Romans.
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pentecost
                          I now understand your position, when I didn't before. In an eschatological sense I consider the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to be the fulfillment of God's promise to replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, and give us a new spirit, and it is part of the process of redeeming our humanity, so that Christians no longer have their old spirit, but instead have the Holy Spirit, that dwells inside us. So in that sense, your position and mine may coexist peacefully, but I do think that Paul is a clever enough author, that both the layer you perceived, and that I perceived may have been intended. He was skillful with rhetoric as seen elsewhere in Romans.
                          True. I've held my position for a lot of years regarding Romans 8:1-15. We fall into agreement from vs16 = The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit.

                          I've spent the afternoon collating and editing my notes on Rom 8:1-16. I've posted the result here. It'll probably need revision, right now my intention is to wait for people to rip my study apart before I invest anymore time on it.
                          Last edited by apostoli; 08-08-2015, 01:09 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had only just noticed the other thread, and am perusing it currently. :)
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                              I had only just noticed the other thread, and am perusing it currently. :)
                              It is rare I encounter someone at Theologyweb being online at the same time as me. It is 16:21 here in Sydney, so I'm guessing it is about midnight in your neck of the woods (?)

                              I was just having a quick think on your post #12. As I said (#13) "We fall into agreement from vs16 = The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit." Something else occured to me: Imu, tradition has it that A.Paul wanted to extend his activities to Spain, and in that endevour he was hoping to get financial support from the Roman church. The Holy Spirit would have prevented him from staying in Rome (cp. Acts 16:6). So apart from a stay over in Rome he'd be on his way. Imu, the Roman church at the time was a Jamesian church, so A.Paul might have expected less than a warm welcome given his attitude to the Law, so he had to explain himself...

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