This month: Holy Spirit and the Church of Christ
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Matt Dabbs

Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

Homepage: http://mattdabbs.com

In times past the transcendent God above made moves to show his immanence or closeness in the world and to the world. We see this in the creation of the universe (Gen 1:2) and especially in the breathing of the breath of life into Adam’s lifeless body in Gen 2:7 (both expressed as ruach – spirit). We see this at Sinai (Exo 19). We see this in the incarnation…

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Pepperdine Bible lectures, now known as Harbor, concluded this past weekend and the audio is now up in itunes. The theme was on “The Spirit Filled People of God” and the classes were excellent. I would like to highlight the keynotes in particular: Rick Atchley, Don McLaughlin and Josh Ross. Their lectures were life-changing and have already impacted my daily routine. There were other keynotes that I am sure…

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In the last post I mentioned the ire of the Jewish leaders that Jesus would heal a man on the Sabbath. There is a similar story in John 5 where Jesus heals the man by the pool called Bethesda. Once the man was healed, Jesus didn’t just tell him to stand. He told him to get up, take up his mat and walk (5:8). The Jewish tradition specifically said…

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There is a series of stories in Mark 3 that was part of my change of heart and mind on the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath. The reaction of the Pharisees was not to recognize the prophesied work of the Spirit and the Messiah and praise God for it! No. Instead, the plotted to kill Jesus (Mark 3:6). A few verses later…

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The more you study the Bible the more your views will change. It is inevitable and it is good. Somehow change has become a byword in our fellowship especially in two areas: worship practices and our view on the Holy Spirit.

I grew up like many people in my fellowship, believing the Holy Spirit had little to nothing to do with my life. The work of the Spirit was complete…

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Whether in person or online in social media God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are involved in our conversations with other Christians. In Acts 8, when Jesus confronts Saul on the road to Damascus, he tells Saul that Saul’s persecution of the church was actually a persecution of Jesus himself, “Why do you persecute me?” Three chapters earlier in Acts 5 we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira….

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We have had an interesting relationship with the Spirit in Churches of Christ. In part this is one thing I love about our movement – there is no denominational hierarchy barking orders on what the official teaching of the church is supposed to be. On the other hand we somehow still have an unofficial official teaching on the Spirit over the years. In some corners of our movement one…

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The words of Father Zossima in “The Brothers Karamzov,”

“The world has proclaimed the reign of freedom, especially of late, but what do we see in this freedom of theirs? Nothing but slavery and self-destruction! For the world says:

‘You have desires and so satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the most rich and powerful. Don’t be afraid of satisfying them and even multiply your desires.’ That…

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Karl Barth once said that theology is done, “with the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other.” His point was that when communicate about scripture we bring the ancient truths in touch with modern times. It is important that our message is heard in a way that people understand the relevance of scripture for today. I believe there is much more that goes into…

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In a world set on convenience, being a Christian is as counter-cultural as ever. How do we live a “take up your cross” life in a world that caters to convenience? When you decide to follow Jesus you become part of the group who are aliens and strangers in the world (1 Peter 1:1, 2:11). When you become a Christian, you come to expect suffering (Philippians 1:29-30). You are…

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