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What Do Christians Think About the Holy Spirit?

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is the freedom of salvation, security, spiritual growth, and service.

From the editor

Tim Peck acknowledges that any discussion of the Holy Spirit has a certain mystery to it. After all, Jesus himself compared the Spirit to wind—you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. Nonetheless, there are some things we can all agree on regardless of our religious or denominational background. Using key texts from throughout the New Testament, Peck examines four truths about the Spirit and four areas of freedom we gain from the Spirit's presence in our lives.


Robert Duvall wanted to make a movie called The Apostle back in 1983, because he felt that the motion picture industry had mostly ignored the work of the Holy Spirit in American religion. According to Duvall, "Filmmakers hardly ever depict spirituality with such a strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit, and when they do, it tends to be patronizing—full of charlatans and snake handlers." Duvall wanted to do something different with The Apostle. He wanted to realistically portray a preacher who was fully human, but captivated by the Holy Spirit. Duvall says, "What I really wanted to do was to try to understand what these preachers go through and what they believe, and to portray it in an accurate way. So when I first approached various studios about this movie … they wouldn't go near it, [because it didn't attack] the religious right." Duvall put off making The Apostle for nearly 15 years, until he finally financed the movie with his own money. It was enormously popular and earned him an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of preacher Sonny Dewey.

Duvall says he was raised in a Christian home, taught to believe in Jesus Christ, but never knew much about the Holy Spirit until he made The Apostle. While he was doing ...

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Timothy J. Peck is director of the chapel and a lecturer in the school of theology at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California. He preaches regularly at Christ our King Church in Azusa.

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Sermon Outline:


In some ways The Apostle made the Holy Spirit mainstream to the American public.

I. The mystery of the Holy Spirit

II. The Holy Spirit as the Counselor

III. The Holy Spirit as a guarantee

IV. The Holy Spirit as a coach

V. The Holy Spirit as a giver


There are many things Christians believe about the Holy Spirit, but all Christians agree that the Holy Spirit brings freedom.