Summary of Lewis Chafer’s Systematic Theology Volume VI Chapters XII-XVII

In continuing to deal with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit known as Pneumatology, Chafer addresses the following subjects: the believer’s responsibility, the power to do good, conditions prerequisite to filling, and the filling and grieving of the Spirit.
Concerning the believer’s responsibility, Chafer stressed the importance of understanding that the believer’s responsibility is to solely depend upon the Spirit and that there is nothing within the believer’s power to do good and to live in accordance with God’s will. The subject of having the power to overcome evil is dealt with extensively. The conclusion that is given is that the overcoming of evil is only done by the Spirit which indwells the believer. It is pointed out that the believer has three enemies, namely: the world, the flesh, and Satan. All three of these enemies are ever present with the believer on earth. It is impossible for an individual to overcome these enemies and to resist their attacks. However, the overcoming of evil is made possible as the Spirit overcomes evil. The responsibility on the part of the believer is to depend totally on the Spirit with no human effort involved. This responsibility of dependence upon the Spirit is also required in order for the believer to do anything of merit or good.
Chafer also deals with the filling of the Spirit in a believer’s life. It must be pointed out the there is a difference between the indwelling or baptism of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit. At the moment of Salvation the believer is baptized in the Spirit and thus indwelled by the Spirit. This is a one-time event that can never be taken away or redone. The filling of the Spirit takes place when the believer yields to the total control of the Spirit in His life. In order to be filled with the Spirit, as Chafer points out, there are various prerequisites. These prerequisites are thus: not grieving the Spirit, not quenching the Spirit, and to walk in the Spirit. The Spirit is grieved in the life of the believer when there is the presence of sin in the believer. In order to avoid this grieving of the Spirit one must not simply strive for perfection but should constantly confess any known sins. In order to prevent sin the believer needs to adhere to the Word of God, respond to the Spirit’s conviction of sin, and rely on the intercession of Christ. On this subject, Chafer deals with how a Christian can have a remedy for sin; this is a section that every Bible student should read. Another prerequisite to the filling of the Spirit is to quench not the Spirit. The Spirit is quenched when the believer resists the will of God for their lives. In order to know and understand the will of God, one must fill his heart and mind with the Word of God. The final prerequisite to the Spirit’s filling is to walk in the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit, as Chafer describes, is to depend upon the Spirit. It is a constant casting of one’s self upon the Spirit with total confidence that the Spirit will provide all things necessary to live within the will of God.
A clear understanding on this vital doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit is extremely important for all believers to understand. These chapters constitute some of the greatest works ever written concerning the Spirit. It would greatly benefit all believers to read these chapters with the upmost care and attention.

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