Archive for the ‘Holy Spirit’ category

Spiritual Gifts Inform Us of Our Neediness

February 28, 2012

We do not have an exhaustive list of gifts of the the Spirit in the Bible, but we do have a lot of them.  These gifts are sovereignly distributed by the Spirit for the common good and edification of the church.  When each member is working properly, the body grows and is built up in love.

In the wisdom of God, He has designed that we are all ministers to one another in various ways through a variety of gifts.  Have you considered what God is saying about us with the equipment of so many gifts?  We are a needy people! You are a needy person. We do not realize how profound our spiritual needs are, but God does, and He has made provision for our needs through the gifts of His Spirit exercised through the lives of His people. For example:

When the Holy Spirit intends a person with the gift of giving to be useful in the church, what does it say about us? We are in deep need of the generous benevolence of others, and God is intentional about providing that financial or practical through others.

When the Holy Spirit intends a person with the gift of exhortation to be useful in the church, what does it say about us? We are in deep need of encouragement and proper motivation, and God is intentional about providing people in our lives to stir our hearts and direct our steps in paths that honor God.

We could extend this exercise through the various lists of spiritual gifts, the point God is making to us is this:

1.  We have profound needs in multiple areas of our lives
2.  God has made provision for those needs to be met by the gifts of His Spirit
3.  Members of the body of Christ supply the needs to one another through exercising the Spirit’s gifts

This is another significant reason for being a covenant member of a local church and meaningful participant in gospel community.  As a needy person, you will feel tempted to address those needs through unspiritual means. But when you understand how God ordered the church, you know that God intends that each member would “have the same care for one another” (1 Cor. 12:25).

Lone-ranger Christians are at best disobedient and dysfunctional. They are disobedient because numerous commands of Scripture require us to be in regular contact with other believers (“one another” commands). They are dysfunctional because the needs they have are not being met by the God-ordained means of gifts of the Holy Spirit through each member of His body. Perhaps what exists behind of this is a denial of neediness–a determination of making it by self-determination and independence. Sadly, this state of existence is far too common in the church today.

God knows what we need before we ask Him. God has made provision through the distribution of the Spirit’s gifts through the work of ministry when each member is equipped and working properly. As we have our needs met through the ministry of others, we are also meeting the needs of others by the gifts given to us for their good.

Spiritual Gifts and the Promise of Christ

February 15, 2012

Repetition and redundancy can be a good thing, especially when we recognize the importance of remembering.

With all the controversies and debates about spiritual gifts, we need the discipline of remembering, and remembering in particular what Paul repeated over and over again their overarching purpose, namely to edify and build the church.  Look at these excerpts from 1 Corinthians 14, a chapter dedicated to the proper use of spiritual gifts:

“the one who prophesies speak to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” (v. 3)

“the one who prophesies builds up the church” (v. 4)

“the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up” (v. 5)

“so with yourselves since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church” (v. 12)

“you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up” (v. 17)

“I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (v. 19)

“let all things be done for building up” (v. 26)

“you can call prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged” (v. 31)

What’s the obvious common concern of Paul?  It is that believers might excel in the exercise of their spiritual gifts for building up the church.  He could not be more redundant in this chapter (eight times referring to building up or encouraging others).

And this is not the only place Paul talks about believers building the church.  Consider Ephesians 4.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ. . . . from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every join with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:11-12, 16

Who builds up the church? All of the saints when they are working full-time in ministry. How do they build up the church? When each member of the body is equipped to grow and work properly. How do they work properly? When they are exercising their spiritual gifts for the common good, the unity of the church, and the mutual care for one another (see 1 Cor. 12).

Now, can you think of any other prominent place in the Bible where “build” is used?  Ah yes, the great promise of Jesus Christ, upon the confession of Peter that He is the Messiah.  Jesus said:

“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” – Matthew 16:18

The great encouragement we have as believers is that Jesus is the one who is going to do all this.  Jesus is going to build His church.  His promise is as sure as the grave is empty.  But as we believe this promise, how is Jesus going to do this?

I argue that the materials Jesus uses to build His church are the spirit-gifted, spirit-empowered, spirit-filled members of His body.  Don’t disconnect the promise of Matt. 16:18 from the purpose of spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 14.  When all the spiritual gifts are present and working properly, Christ is present, and He is presently building His church through His people in the power of His Spirit!

We might be tempted to plant and build churches in the power of the flesh, with human ingenuity and fanciful machinations, but the Scriptural blueprint is simple.  Jesus builds by His Spirit through His people for His glory.

Therefore, I conclude:

1.  A church committed to planting and building churches must make equipping saints who are working properly in their spiritual gifting.  We cannot accept substitutes building materials.  The house will crumble if it is not built on Christ and by Christ.

2. Christ is the head of the church, and His promise to build the church should flow through all the members of the body.  A member working effectually to build the church is evidence that they are rightly connected to the head, to Christ.  On the contrary, members not building the church through their gifts leave to question whether the promise of Christ has any tangible difference in their lives now.

3. Pastors, if we believe the promise of Christ and the purpose of the gifts, we must view ourselves as equippers, not merely ministers.  Paul says it is the saints who do the work of ministry.  It is we who do the equipping.  You are in real danger in thinking that the building of the church depends upon you if the practical outworking of the church lies squarely in your hands.  The building of the church lies squarely in Jesus‘ hands, in His feet, in all of His members supernaturally gifted by His Spirit.  Your leadership is important to the body, but that importance will be seen in how well others’ gifts flourish and are found fruitful, not merely the members appreciating the fruitfulness of your gifts.

So let the repetition and redundancy of Paul sink in.  Everything we do should be for building up the church, and with that universal aim, we rejoice in an indefatigable promise.  Jesus will build His church.  Jesus is building His church.  May the gifts He’s supplied reveal His greatness and redound to His glory.

Spiritual Gifts and the Glory of God

February 13, 2012

Last night, I taught on the nature and purposes of spiritual gifts.  One particular point I tried to elaborate was this: a church passionate about the glory of God will be passionate about the spiritual gifts being exercised in the body.  And here is the reason why.

1.  Christ is glorified in the church (Eph. 3:20)
2.  The Holy Spirit purposes to glorify Jesus (John 16:14)
3.  The Holy Spirit accomplishes this purpose through the gifts He supplies to the church
4.  The sovereign administration (1 Cor. 12:11, 18) and measure (Rom. 12:3) of the spiritual gifts are so that “in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 4:11)

We are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to do in us what we naturally do not have the ability to do.  And God so wires our gifts that we cannot boast in them or in ourselves.  Rather, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:26-31).  We should consider our gifting the same way we do our calling, for this is God’s design.  We only can boast in the giver of the gift, and the glory is not making us look great but through us the Holy Spirit putting Jesus on display.

A church where the spiritual gifts are missing, ignored, or downplayed cannot be serious about the glory of God. The glory of Christ is seen in the grittiness of believers exercising their God-given abilities for the edification of the church. In God’s kindness, He has equipped every believer with supernatural ability to glorify Jesus, not by our strength, but “by the strength that God supplies” (1 Pet. 4:10), or according to Paul, “with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col. 1:29).

Every Christian should have a consuming passion to live for the glory of God.  But practically, what does that look like?  How do we live that out in the church?  We should so live and serve in way that “in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” And I believe the we go about doing that is by being good stewards of His grace in the free and regular exercise of His gifts.

Simply put, the glory of Christ is seen through the exercising of the gifts of His Spirit in the ministry of the church.

Tozer on Tragedy in the Church

February 9, 2012

A.W. Tozer:

The Christian Church cannot rise to its true stature in accomplishing God’s purposes when its members neglect the true gifts and graces of God’s Spirit. Much of the religious activity we see in our churches is not the eternal working of the Eternal Spirit but the mortal working of man’s mortal mind.

That is raw tragedy!

From what I see and sense in evangelical circles, I would have to say that about 90 percent of the religious work carried on in the churches is being done by ungifted members. I am speaking of men and women who know how to do many things but who fail to display the spiritual gifts promised through the Holy Spirit.

This one of the ways in which we have slowed down the true working of God in His church and in the hearts of unbelieving people all around us. We have allowed members of the body who possess no genuine gifts of the Spirit to do religious work.*

 – Taken from “Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts” by A.W. Tozer (emphasis mine)

* – I would take exception that the members have no genuine gifts. Every member of the body of Christ is gifted. The issue is that the gifts are not accessed and exercised. As he said earlier, they “fail to display the spiritual gifts” rather than not having them at all.

Structuring the Church for Maximum Edification

February 6, 2012

Along with the resurgence of Reformed theology and gospel centrality, I believe there is a resurgence of biblical ecclesiology taking place as well. I’m grateful for the influences of organizations like IX Marks, and even more churchmen and practitioners who are bringing reformation to local churches according to the Word of God.

One of the practical benefits of examining our ecclesiology is being more deliberate and intentional in what we do as a body of believers. What is the nature of the church? How should a preacher handle a text? What should covenantal membership entail? These are questions reflecting a pursuit of a healthy, robust ecclesiology.

Being intentional not only means that we consider the practices or marks of a healthy church, but we also need to examine structures and systems to best accomplish the purposes as well as honor the marks of a healthy church.  In this post, I want to consider the need for structure for maximum edification.  Let me explain.

When Paul addressed the church in Corinth, there apparently was confusion and selfishness when it came to the exercise of spiritual gifts.  Some were given special recognition while others were devalued. The improper exercise led to further division instead of unity. Some were used for self-promotion instead of building up the church.  So what Paul does is lay out five overarching principles for the church to understand and implement:

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Sappy Assurance from the Spirit

February 2, 2012

I don’t know of any contemporary author who lays open the heart of God to us like the Puritans. I know they get a bad wrap from some circles today, but perhaps no other literature has affected me more outside Scripture than the writings of the Puritans. To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, let me provide you a brief excerpt from the man who succeeded Richard Sibbes at Holy Trinity Church, Thomas Goodwin.

In his book, The Heart of Christ in Heaven Toward Sinners on Earth (first published 1651), Goodwin writes about the heart of Christ being communicated to us through the comforting work of the Spirit indwelling us.  Of the Spirit, Goodwin writes, “he is the greatest token and pledge of Christ’s love that ever was” (18).  Consider the following words from the pen of Goodwin on the heart of Christ opened to us through His Spirit.

“Him I (Jesus) shall send on purpose to be in my room, and to execute my place to you, my bride, spouse, and he shall tell you, if you will listen to him, and not grieve him, nothing but stories of my love.

[ . . .] All his speech in your hearts will be to advance me, and to greaten my worth an love unto you, and it will be his delight to do it.  And he can come from heaven in an instant where he will, and bring you fresh tidings of my mind, and tell you the thoughts I last had of you, even at the very minute when I am thinking of them, what they are at the very time wherein he tells you them.

[. . .] He dwelleth in Christ’s heart, and also ours, and lifts up from one hand to the other what Christ’s thoughts are to us, and what our prayers and faith are to Christ. So that you shall have my heart as surely and as speedily as if I were with you; and he will continually be breaking your hearts, either way with my love to you, or yours to me, or both; and if either, you may be sure of my love thereby.

[ . . .] He will tell you, where I am in heaven, that there is as true conjunction between me and you, and as true a dearness of affection in me towards you, as is between my Father and me, and that it is as impossible to break this knot, and to take off my heart from you, as my Father’s from me, or mine from the Father” (18-20).

I know this sounds a little sappy, but that’s the point. I believe Goodwin knows something of the succor of Christ’s love that I have not tasted, and instead of getting embarrassed by his writings, I should be overwhelmed by Christ’s love and embarrassed of how little I have truly known and experienced it.

Goodwin is right to elaborate on the communicative nature of the Spirit’s comforting work, so as to daily assure us of Christ’s love and our status as no longer orphans but adopted sons and daughters of the greatest lover the world has ever known.  I want to be known as the greatest recipient of the greatest love the world has ever known.  And Goodwin is, especially for that aspiration, a worthy guide.

What No Ear Has Heard

October 3, 2011

The video below has gone viral, with over four million hits on YouTube.  You can read all about it here.  Sarah Churman, deaf for her entire life, hears her own voice for the fist time in 29 years after being given a hearing implant. I could not help after watching this video but think about the following verse:

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those whom love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

These things, Paul goes on to say, have been revealed to us through the Spirit.   As amazing as it is to hear your own voice with your own ears (and it is truly amazing), just think of how much more amazing it is to have your ears opened to hear not your voice, but the voice of God!  And should such amazement not bring us to tears of joy and thrill our hearts all the more?

As we have been informed in Proverbs, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both” (Prov. 20:12), and that applies both physically and spiritually.  Praise the Spirit of Him who has revealed to us what no ear as heard!

“In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear.” – Psalm 40:6

The Spirit of Christ Is a Missionary Spirit

December 7, 2010

Octavius Winslow, perhaps the best devotional writer you’ll ever read, communicates truth that provoke and stir up affections for Jesus in such encouraging ways.  This is a recent example from his Morning Thoughts:

The Spirit of Christ is an active, benevolent Spirit. It bore the Savior, when He was in the flesh, from country to country, from city to city, from house to house, preaching His own gospel to lost man. “He went about doing good.” If we have the Spirit of Christ, we shall be prompted to a like Christian love and activity on behalf of those who possess not the gospel, or who, possessing it, slight and reject the mercy. The Spirit of Christ is essentially a missionary Spirit. It commenced its labor of love at Jerusalem, and from that its center, worked its way with augmenting sympathy and widening sphere until it embraced the world as the field of its labor. Ah! that we manifest so little of this Spirit, ought to lead us to deep searchings of heart, and stir us up to earnest prayer: “Lord, make me more earnest for the salvation of souls, for the advancement of Your kingdom. Grant me this evidence of being Your—the possession of Your Spirit, constraining me to a more simple and unreserved consecration of my talents, my substance, my rank, my influence, my time, myself, to the establishment of Your truth, the advancement of Your cause, and thus to the wider diffusion of Your glory in the earth.”

Read the whole thing.

Word and Spirit in the Early Church

October 17, 2008

A couple of months ago, I shared a brief critique on church planting movements while advocating a “word-driven movemental Christianity“.  Because of our church’s new church planting initiative, I have been living in the book of Acts quite a bit, which has been rather rewarding.  The “word-driven” post speaks to the nature of the Word of God in church planting, but I want to go a different angle and consider the relationship of the Word of God and Spirit of God in the early church.

The emphasis on the relationship of Word and Spirit was really brought out during the Reformation, especially in the writings of John Calvin and later in the Puritans.  The agency of the Spirit and the instrumentality of the Word are, in my mind, key to understanding how God worked among His people then and now.  The paradigm of Word and Spirit together helps to prevent theological error and recognize the source (or foundation) of our work.  I hope to elaborate this paradigm more in the future, but for the time being, allow me to list seven places in the book of Acts where the Word and Spirit paradigm can be seen.

Word and Spirit in the Early Church

Acts 1:1-2

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit gave the commands to his apostles.  The commands (word) were communicated in the power of the Holy Spirit (spirit).  The Word and Spirit paradigm was first seen in Jesus and then emulated by the apostles.

Acts 4:8-12

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,  if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Peter declared the gospel (word) to the rulers and elders having been “filled with the Holy Spirit” (spirit).  Proclamation of the gospel, as seen in the post-Pentecost Peter, is done in the controlling influence of the Spirit of God.

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New Books in April

April 12, 2008

I’ve been really slacking with my “book alerts” this year, so I thought I’d point you to some posts by JT on recent releases in April that I am really jazzed about.  Here are his posts on the books:

* Christ and Culture Revisited (by D.A. Carson)

* The Courage to Be Protestant (by David Wells)

* In My Placed Condemned He Stood (by J.I. Packer and Mark Dever)

* Worship Matters (by Bob Kauflin)

* Twelve Challenges Churches Face (by Mark Dever)

* Engaging with the Holy Spirit (by Graham Cole)

Paul Helm on Word and Spirit in Conversion

November 1, 2007

Paul Helm has posted on his blog an important article entitled “Word and Spirit in Conversion” (incidentally something I have been studying in regards to pneumatological inclusivism). He explains, “In this paper I should like to explore the moral side to conversion and to set out two models of this aspect of conversion which have been widely influential in the history of the Christian church but which, as I shall argue, are at fundamental odds with each other.” What is particularly crucial is how Helm lays out a clear disparity between these two models of justification, viz. justification as inherent righteousness and forensic justification. Here is Helm’s conclusion (emphasis mine):

A widespread current view is that the Reformation conflicts over the nature of justification are now chiefly of historical interest. So Alister McGrath:

On the basis of the above analysis, it will be clear that, there exist real differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics over the matter of justification. The question remains however, as to the significance of these differences. How important, for example, is the distinction between an alien and an intrinsic justifying righteousness? In recent years, there appears to be an increasing sympathy for the view that these differences, although important at the Reformation period, no longer possess the significance they once had.

I happen to think that this view is profoundly wrong. And that, as someone has said, justification is ‘the main hinge on which religion turns’. Important differences about important matters should not be labelled [sic] ‘insignificant’ and then moved off stage. There are still mountains between Geneva and Rome, or rather between the view of justification by an intrinsic righteousness, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, and justification by an alien righteousness. These mountains continue to impede the achieving of a common mind on the fundamentals of the Christian gospel. But even if you do not share this conviction of mine, but rather agree with Alister McGrath, you may nonetheless be persuaded, by what we have discussed, that although such differences may no longer be of much theological significance, they are nevertheless of considerable ethical importance, and that one feature of this importance is that they profoundly influence views of the place and the character of word and spirit in conversion.

“It Is to Your Advantage That I Go Away”

September 4, 2007

Have you thought about that phrase uttered from the mouth of the greatest miracle worker ever lived? Imagine that you lived three years with the man who raised dead people, touched lepers, healed the lame, blind, deaf, and mute, and cast out demons, and he told you that it is to your advantage that he leaves the scene!  To the disciples, this must have been a shocking statement!  I thought I’d provide an excerpt from Sinclair Ferguson as he addresses this passage.

Ferguson writes:

“Christ has become ‘life-giving Spirit.’  Having the Spirit is the equivalent, indeed the very mode, of having the incarnate, obedient, crucified, resurrected and exalted Christ indwelling us so that we are united to him as he is united to the Father.  It is in this sense that John sees the difference that Pentecost signals in the ministry of the Spirit.  Now, as the bond of union to God, the Spirit indwells all who believe as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is a development of epochal proportions.  The Spirit who was present and active at Christ’s conception as the head of the new creation, by whom he was anointed at baptism (John 1:32-34), who directed him throughout his temptations (Matt. 4:1), empowered him in his miracles (Luke 11:20), energized him in his sacrifice (Heb. 9:14), and vindicated him in his resurrection (1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:4), now indwells disciples in this specific identity.  This is the meaning of our Lord’s words, otherwise impossible to comprehend: ‘It is for your good that I am going away’ (John 16:7).”

– Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996, 71-72.

Ferguson then goes on to quote from Abraham Kuyper, as he argued that “what a redeemed soul needs is human holiness.”  While researching this passage, I noticed that Kuyper’s book, The Work of the Holy Spirit, is available online both at CCEL and at Google Books.  The cool thing about it being on Google Books is that the chapters and index are all hyperlinked, so it is easy to peruse.  Both versions can be downloaded as a PDF document as well.

Book Alert: He Who Gives Life

August 23, 2007

Title: He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Author: Graham A. Cole
Publisher: Crossway
Release Date: August 16, 2007
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
ISBN 10-digit: n/a
ISBN 13-digit: 9781581347920
Retail Price: $30.00
Table of Contents: YES (here)
Intro: YES (here)
Sample Chapter: YES (here)

From Crossway:

Often the most misunderstood, and therefore ignored, member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit deserves our attention and understanding. God the Father and God the Son rightfully garner much explanation and exploration, and God the Holy Spirit ought to be given the same studiousness, curiosity, and scholarship. In this addition to Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology series, Dr. Graham Cole has written a work that offers a comprehensive theology of the Holy Spirit.

This book shows the ultimate selflessness of the Holy Spirit as the member of the Trinity who always works for the glory of God the Father and God the Son and the good of the saints.

Ideal for pastors, teachers, and students of theology, this book is a superb theology of the Holy Spirit.

Buy @:

Crossway for $30.00 (with free PDF of book)
Amazon for $19.80
CBD for $21.99
BAMM for $21.00
Wal-Mart for $19.01

Other books by Graham A. Cole:

Engaging with the Holy Spirit (2007)

Initial Thoughts:

Over the past couple of years, I have come to love and appreciate this fantastic series (Foundations of Evangelical Theology) published by Crossway and edited by John Feinberg.  This welcomed edition on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit takes the perspective of biblical theology as Cole carefully examines the ministry of the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments.  There is probably not another doctrine that is so misunderstood and under-appreciated in Evangelicalism than the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  But more than that, this is not about a doctrine.  This book is about a Person–the third person in the Godhead.  Perhaps this book could navigate the contemporary Christian from the excesses that occur in the study of the Holy Spirit through a biblical-theological approach that also fuels a passion to know Him who gives us life, indwells us, and enables us to glorify Christ.  If you are looking for one book on the Holy Spirit, be sure to check out He Who Gives Life.

Endorsements:

“This latest addition to the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series maintains the high standard already set. Graham Cole has written the widest-ranging textbook on pneumatology that currently exists. Meticulous and sharp in handling texts, and scrupulous on matters of method, he offers us cool, clear, sober answers to more questions about the Holy Spirit than probably any of us have hitherto thought to ask. New ground is not broken, but solid ground of a mainstream Reformed sort is set forth throughout. Well done, Dr. Cole!”
– J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College

“Dr. Graham Cole’s superbly written book is a thorough biblical and theological study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit that may well become a standard work on the subject. The volume is marked by careful exegesis of the scriptural references to the Spirit, each of which is interpreted within the salvation-historical flow of God’s redemptive purposes. A convinced Trinitarian theologian, Dr. Cole listens carefully to the contributions made by earlier generations of Christian writers from a range of disciplines, including biblical studies, systematic theology, and historical theology. Authors from both the Eastern and Western traditions are drawn in as pertinent, and challenging questions for our generation are raised. Issues of doctrine, understanding, and experience are drawn together in this fine book as the author guides his readers in appropriate worship of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit.”
– Peter T. O’Brien, Senior Research Fellow in New Testament, Moore Theological College, Australia
____________

Graham A. Cole is professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. An ordained Anglican minister, he has served in two parishes and was formerly the principal of Ridley College, University of Melbourne. He has written articles for numerous theological journals and has contributed to several books as well as authoring Engaging with the Holy Spirit.