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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Key Doctrines of the Faith: Pneumatology

by David Chadwick


Each day over the next few weeks, I am handing you a key. Each key represents one of the key doctrines of the Christian faith. My prayer is that you will use each of these keys to unlock places of your heart to understand truths you may not have learned before. Additionally, I pray you will use each key to lock up any places that have left you susceptible and vulnerable to believing lies.


Now, more than ever, in these last days, we must be students of God's Word and God’s Spirit. We need to be grounded in truth and aware of his Spirit so as not to be deceived.


Today’s key: pneumatology. This is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.


“Pneuma” is the Greek word for “spirit.” We see the Holy Spirit in the earliest verses of the creation account. Genesis 1:1-2 says that the Spirit of God was hovering over the water. Imagine a hovercraft for a moment. That’s what the Spirit of God was doing over the formless void of the earth.


Remember the Latin phrase “ex nihilo” from a couple days ago? The doctrine of theology shows us that out of nothingness God began to order this world. Isn’t it magnificent to picture God the Father, in alignment with Jesus, working together with the Spirit hovering over the waters to create an earth out of nothing? What a wonder!


In Hebrew, the term for creating something out of nothing is “bara” (in direct contradiction to the term “asa,” also used in Genesis 1, which means creation from something). The divinity and majesty of our Father is woven throughout creation.


From the New Testament standpoint, we see the mysterious working of “bara” once again. The Spirit takes our hearts, dead in our sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:2), “formless and void,” and breathes life into us. From nothing, he makes us into a new creation! The old has passed away and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).


It’s all God’s work! And he deserves all the glory in the power of his Spirit!

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