We Believe in the Holy Spirit
- Define the term “pneumatology” in both a broad sense and in Christian theology. Why did the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as a distinct, uncreated person of the Trinity take so long to develop?
- List and explain several names the Old Testament uses to refer to God’s Spirit.
- The lesson discusses four characteristics of God’s Spirit in the Old Testament that point to his divinity. Select one of these characteristics, and describe in detail how this characteristic indicates the Spirit’s divinity. Cite specific Scripture references to support your answer.
- How does the Old Testament point to the personhood of the Holy Spirit? Include references from Scripture to support your answer.
- Describe what Jesus directly taught about the Holy Spirit during his earthly ministry. Explain why the Jews of his day were so offended by these teachings.
- Using specific examples from Scripture, demonstrate several ways that the apostles affirmed the Spirit’s full divinity and personhood.
- How does the Apostles’ Creed reflect the early church’s belief that the Holy Spirit is a third distinct person within the uncreated Godhead?
- How did the traditional definition of “Trinity” develop? Describe two of the opposing views that led up to this definition.
- The original Nicene Creed, written in A.D. 325, said very little about the Holy Spirit. What changes did the First Council of Constantinople make to the Creed in A.D. 381, and how did this affect the church’s liturgy and worship?
- Describe both the “ontological Trinity” and the “economic Trinity.” How do these two perspectives help us understand the nature of the Spirit’s relationship to the Father and the Son?