What are the differences and similarities between Old Testament and New Testament believers? Did God dwell in Old Testament believers as he does in New Testament believers? Were Old Testament believers “born again” (that is, did they experience regeneration)? What do the words “indwelling” and “regeneration” mean? How is the Holy Spirit’s ministry similar or different during Old Testament and New Testament times?
These issues are those that have caused much thought, discussion, debate, and, indeed, division within the church. Covenant Theologians (CT) and Dispensationalists have often been at odds when it comes to their positions concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. It is an issue of continuity and discontinuity. CTs have traditionally tended towards a belief that the Holy Spirit worked in the same way in the OT as in the NT. Dispensationalists have traditionally tended in the other direction, believing that the Holy Spirit’s ministry was much different in the OT than in the NT. The implications go beyond simply being interesting, but are important to our understanding of salvation and sanctification. Were OT saints regenerated? Did they have the same security as NT saints?
In 1 Samuel 16:14 we are told that the Holy Spirit departed from Saul, being replaced by an evil spirit. “Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.” Can that still happen? David cries out to the Lord, pleading with Him not to take His Spirit from him. “Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). Would God have taken His Spirit away from David?
These are important theological and exegetical questions. That is why we have invited Jim Hamilton to explore these issues on the next Converse with Scholars. I invite you all to join us. If you have yet to attend a Converse with Scholars session, you are really missing out. Its easy. You simply put the kids to bed, grab a bag of popcorn and a coke, pause Smallville (or just record it to DVR), kick your feet up on your desk and log on. Here you have the opportunity to engage live with the best Christian scholars from all over the world. Don’t miss it.
We are going to be meeting on Paltalk again. For those of you who don’t like the ads (which is everyone!), it will comfort you to know that we have purchased a room for these events that will only display our ads until we feel comfortable switching to ConnectionGate.
To join, it is simple. Just download Paltalk, register, and then search for Converse with Scholars in the Christianity section. We also should have a direct link into the room from our site. We will be meeting at 9pm EST. Hope to see you.