01 August 2013

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

1 Cor. 12:13 We are all given to drink of one Spirit; that is, we all drink the same Sacrament in order that we may also receive the same Spirit."—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis, p. 101


Unknown said...

If St. Paul had wanted to write, “we all drink the same Sacrament” he would have done so. But he writes, “we were all made to drink of one Spirit”, meaning the Holy Spirit, of Whom St. Paul writes extensively earlier in this passage, and Who has come to dwell in us. There is no place in Scripture that says we receive the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament that is drunk, only in the one in which we are dunked.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Mike Baker said...


Scripture does explicitly teach that we receive forgiveness of sin in communion. That is the Holy Spirit's work. One also receives the Spirit in the preaching of the Word.

While you emphasize the Spirit coming and tabernacling in the believer it is also true that the Spirit moves where He wills and comes continually to us to convict the world of sin and lead the church to Christ and all truth. You might be forcing an either/or where a both/and applies.

Where the Word is there is the Spirit also. Where the Word comes to us so does the Spirit come... sent by the Father and the Son... bringing life and forgiveness.

Your insistance that the teaching be explicit to be Scriptural is not valid in itself. I have yet to find the word Trinity in my Bible.... and yet it is there.

Mike Baker said...

An additional note:

The Holy Spirit is God. God is omnipresent. When we say we are receiving the Holy Spirit that does not mean we imply that He has necessarily departed and returned. The Christian has received Him and continues to receive Him.

For if the Spirit has departed (as in the case of unrepentance and unbelief) we do not receive these gifts. We cannot discern the body apart from the Spirit for such things are spiritually discerened... In that case, we receive God's judgement.

So we have the Spirit and joyfully receive Him.

Mike Baker said...

Here is the scriptural support for my previous statements about the "both/and" nature of this topic... it took a while to find the addresses.

“If you love me [Christ], you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."

John 14:15-17

Here we have the past/present/future receiving of the Spirit explicitly described.

The Father will send (future tense) the Spirit (v 16) that the disciples aready know (past and present tense) (v 17)... the Spirit to come that has already come because He dwells with them (present tense) and will be in them (future tense).

This is the Spirit that the world cannot know (v 17). This Spirit that the Father will send in the Son's name (v 26) which is the same Spirit that they have in chapter 14 and receive six chapters later when Christ breathes on them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit..." (John 20:22) which is tied in that same verse to the promise of the forgivness of sins found in the office of the keys.

This is the same Spirit that comes again and fills ALL the belivers at Pentecost in Acts 2:4 of which Peter and the other eleven (who had already received the Spirit in John 20) were counted among their number at that time also.

Unknown said...

Mike, thank you for your comments.

You write, “Scripture does explicitly teach that we receive forgiveness of sin in communion.” Please provide the place where Scripture teaches that.

You write, “That is the Holy Spirit's work.” Every work of the Holy Spirit cannot be equated to His coming to dwell in us. On the night He was betrayed, our Lord was very explicit about the Holy Spirit who would dwell IN His disciples, as opposed to being WITH them, as He had been. John 14: 16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” St. Paul teaches the same thing, Romans 8: 9, “But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Nowhere does Scripture mention anything about the Holy Spirit coming to anyone more than ones, or coming continually. He comes once, when a person enters the Kingdom of God, and stays with us until we enter Paradise, unless we drive Him out in what is known as the Sin Against the Holy Spirit.

You write, “One also receives the Spirit in the preaching of the Word.” Please provide the place where Scripture teaches that.

Why should the Holy Spirit “come to us to convict the world of sin.” We are not of the world; He does not come to convict us but to console us with the life-giving Gospel. It is true that the Holy Spirit leads the Church into all truth and that He testifies of Christ, but part of that is done through His dwelling in every member of the Kingdom of God.

You write, “Your insistance that the teaching be explicit to be Scriptural is not valid in itself. I have yet to find the word Trinity in my Bible.... and yet it is there.” But the teaching that contradicts Scripture must clearly be rejected.

You write, “The Christian has received Him and continues to receive Him.” The Holy Spirit is not some kind of an elixir with which we fill up from time to time. Once He dwells in us, as Scripture testifies as I have shown above, as well as in many other places, we neither need nor can we get “more Spirit.” He dwells in us in the fullness of the majesty and power of the Third Person of the Holy Blessed Trinity. Eph. 1: 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart
This covers my comments on all but your last posting.

Unknown said...

Mike, I think you are slightly confused here, because I cite the same verse in defense of the position that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us one time.

When our Lord addressed His disciples, they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. This happened on Easter Sunday; the first thing our Lord did after His resurrection. John 20: 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” Never again did they receive Him, because He stayed with them to the end.

On Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell ON the Apostles and gave them the special powers our Lord had promised them in Acts 1. Only those who, following the words of St. Peter, repented and were baptized, received the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Every use of the word “filled” in Acts is in the Aorist form, which shows a state, not an action. In other words when the text says “they were filled”, it does not mean that they were filled at that time, but they are simply being described as being full of the Holy Spirit.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Mike Baker said...

Again, we are talking past each other. ...and you've given me alot to unpack and address. I'll tackle some of them.

First: No one here is comparing the Holy Spirit to an elixir, magic spell, or contradicting His divine attributes. That is a strawman against the Lutherans... Now charismatic enthusiasts or "Word of Faith" heretics? Then it could be a valid accusation, but not here and not against Weedon and Gerhard (or me who has already asserted the Divine attributes of the Spirit to include omnipresence and omnipotence.)

Second: You are confused about my use of John 20:22 to support my view because you have missed the imperative tense of the verb translated as "receive or take". It is not indicative here where the action of the verb would be taking place or being done. Instead it is imperative where a command is taking place to do this thing that the verb describes. There is no where in that text after the command is given where Scripture states that the indicative as stated was performed at that time or in that place. The breathing on the apostles leads many to infer a supernatural work here that the grammar and the context do not express. In the absence of such a thing, the plain reading of the text indicates that Christ is instructing them to take the Holy Spirit and then goes on to express what that taking will be for (i.e. the office of the keys).

For the sake of arguement, let's put into Scripture what isn't there and say that this "one time receiving" occured at the time of John 20:22. If it is as you say and that the reception of the Spirit occured at that point, then it would violate the following Scripture texts where Christ clearly states that the Holy Spirit is not received (indicative) by the apostles until after He leaves them: John 7:39, John 16:7, Luke 24:49-51, and Acts 1:4-5,9. Such a view disrupts the timeline and makes no sense. Another problem with your interpretation would be that one Apostle would have been left out of this "one time receiving" in the upper room because Thomas was not there at that time (the poor man walks in after verse 24... Ooops! No Holy Spirit for you!) The greater context and timing of the Gospel narrative is the key here. Your interpretation has to make sense in the narrative.

Mike Baker said...

My ongoing points...

Third: I am sorry, but your comments on Pentacost and the Aorist form of "filled" is a weak arguement. Because the Aorist form of a word does not indicate a time of this state occuring then it falls to the context in which it appears to reveal that information. You can't just shut the lexicon and say, "there's no timing there." Only if the context does not inform the Aorist verb do we have the situation you described. If that was the case, I would agree with your point here, but it is not the case. The context of the chapter clearly indicates the arrival of the Holy Spirit which resulted in the "non time specific state of filling" that you have indicated.

Here is the context that informs the Aorist verb: Acts 1:4-5,9: "On one occasion, while [Christ] was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." This is before the ascension because in verse 9 we see "After [Christ] said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight." The first chapter concludes with boring district procedures, nominations, and appointments that do not pertinate to the discussion at hand.

Then we go right into Chapter 2 of Acts we have that arrival of the Spirit that Christ spoke of days earlier in Chapter 1: Pentecost. This is helped by actually walking out the dates from Easter to Pentecost. Here we see the following time line: Easter, then John 20:22, then John 20:24, then Acts 1:4-5,9 (Ascension), then Pentacost a few days later. So... Jesus is promising the Spirit in a few days in the future looking to Pentecost and not a few days in the past to the night in the upper room.

Finally: You should expect this Lutheran answer at this point... The scriptural evidence that we receive the forgiveness of sins in Holy Communion is right there in the words of institution. Start at the words "this is" go on through "my body" and read on through the complete thought until you get to "for the forgiveness of sins." :)

Unknown said...

Mike, let me start with your final paragraph. Somehow you are not letting the words mean precisely what they mean. Before I wrote you on this topic I looked at every passage in the New Testament that refers to the Last Supper. Obviously I saw the words “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” But where does it say that we receive forgiveness when we drink this blood? Indeed it was “shed” for the forgiveness of sins, but this forgiveness is received in Baptism and in the daily forgiveness we receive when we pray, “and forgive us our trespasses”, and when we confess our sins in church and receive absolution. But no verse in Scripture says that we receive forgiveness when we eat the Sacrament of the Altar. Just because the verse mentions “forgiveness of sins” does not allow you to add anything you wish to it and claim that it is true.

I have no clue about what the point you are trying to make in the paragraph beginning with “second”.

With regard to the paragraph starting with “for the sake of argument”, as indicated in my earlier post, our Lord was very careful with the use of words. “With” is not “in”, “upon” is not “in”, “power” is not “Holy Spirit”, each one of them have their own specific meaning. It is also clear that the Apostles were a special case; they had to receive the Holy Spirit before anyone else, because they had to be the ones to minister to the new converts.

With regard to Thomas not being there, no problem. There is a precedent. See Numbers 11:26-30. Therefore we can assume that Thomas received the Holy Spirit when the rest of the Apostles received Him.

As to the rest of it, there is a careful distinction between receiving the Holy Spirit, and receiving the special powers that made the Apostles unique. The two are not the same thing. We have to be very careful, because this has led many people to believe that every Christian should be able to do everything that the Apostles did. But if you look at what the Apostles did from the time that they received the Holy Spirit until Pentecost, they are the image of the ordinary Christian, making mistakes, doubting, and not being very intent on the spreading of the Kingdom. Those 50 days, I am sure, were given so that we would not despair, but know that even the Apostles were subject to human frailty.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart