Summary of Lewis Chafer’s Systematic Theology Volume VI Chapters IX-XI

There are three areas of discussion in these chapters namely: regeneration and the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. All three of these subjects are of vital importance in Christian doctrine. There have been many false teachings surrounding these Biblical truths. The serious Bible student will search out the scriptures and find the truth so that he or she would not be led astray by manmade doctrines.
The first subject that Chafer deals with in these chapters is how the Holy Spirit relates to the regeneration of one who trusts in Christ. Chafer explains how that this new birth is a necessity for salvation. This is shown to us in scripture in the discussion that Jesus had with Nicodemus in John chapter three where Jesus states that, “ye must be born again.” This new birth must be a spiritual birth, thus involving the work of the Holy Spirit. Through this new birth, life is given. This impartation of life is brought on by the receiving of the divine nature which includes the Holy Spirit. Once this life is given, the new creature is transformed by the revealed knowledge of God, a new reality of prayer, a new reality in the reading of God’s Word, a recognition of God’s family, and a divine compassion for the lost. All of these transformations come as a direct result of the new life in Christ which is made by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God in the one who is thus regenerated. This regeneration brought on by the Holy Spirit can only be experienced through faith. It is a faith that generates a total dependence on God.
The second subject that Chafer examines in these chapters is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is pointed out that this indwelling takes place the very moment one receives God’s gift of grace through faith. At that very moment of regeneration the Spirit indwells the believer and as a result become the seal and earnest of the believer’s salvation. This indwelling of the Spirit provides the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and is a sustaining resource of the power of God in every area of life. Chafer identifies the fact of the immediate indwelling of the Spirit at the moment of salvation by examining several scriptures. The Bible student would do well to study Chafer’s work on this subject.
The final study that Chafer provides is that of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Chafer points out how that there are many misunderstandings concerning this doctrine. It is clearly explained how there is a physical baptism of immersion into water as a symbol of the new life found in Christ. However, there is a secondary meaning to the subject of baptism which involves the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a baptism that takes place at the moment of salvation. It is not something that takes place later on after one receives Christ. The baptism of the Spirit is essentially synonymous to the indwelling of the Spirit. At the moment of salvation the believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit and is thus indwelled by the Spirit. One cannot be saved apart from the baptizing of the Spirit. Chafer explains this in detail in the chapter at hand.
The Holy Spirit is truly a remarkable asset to the believer. Apart from the Spirit one cannot experience regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, the believer is baptized in the Spirit and thus indwelled by the Spirit thereby causing the very power of the Godhead available to the believer.

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