Pentecost Sunday is this Sunday, June 8. Pentecost reminds us that it’s not Father, Son, and holy principles, it’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a call to remember and re-envision life with the Spirit in the local Church. God doesn’t give us a business model to implement; He gives us Himself. Pentecost celebrates this gift and reminds us of the necessity of the Holy Spirit in preaching the gospel and advancing God’s mission.
This past year, Sojourn spent 40 weeks in John. Of all the New Testament writers, John provides some of the best teachings on the Holy Spirit, especially in the Gospels. In John we see the seven ministries of the Spirit: baptizing, regenerating, indwelling, reminding, convicting, teaching, empowering.
To further inform your understanding of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost Week, here are some of my favorite works:
While I don’t agree with everything that Graham Cole writes, I believe that “He Who Gives Life” provides some of the most sober reflections on the Holy Spirit. “He Who Gives Life” is a little bit meatier, while “Engaging with the Holy Spirit” answers six commonly asked questions about the Holy Spirit: (1) what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?, (2) how may we resist the Holy Spirit?, (3) ought we to pray to the Holy Spirit?, (4) how do we quench the Holy Spirit?, (5) how do we grieve the Holy Spirit?, (6) how does the Holy Spirit fill us?
Over the years, Sam Storms has provided some of the finest reflections on the Holy Spirit in the local church. In “Convergence” he provides us with his story and life with the Spirit, and in “The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts” he gives a field guide of what it looks like to live in the power of the Spirit in the context of the church. Sam Storms is a friend who has preached at Sojourn and led training on the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend all of his work.
Keeping In Step with the Spirit by J.I. Packer
This is by far one of my most ear-marked and highlighted works on the Holy Spirit. This is a devotional gem! It is also a great work in helping us map out the life of the Spirit on the terrain of the human heart as well as the local church.
Gordon Fee is a beast. His opus “God’s Empowering Presence” is nearly 1,000 pages. While I may not agree with all of his interpretations, he models Spirit-filled scholarship better than anything else that I’ve seen. If 1,000 pages seems daunting, start with “Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God.”
Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human by Steven R. Guthrie
Steven Guthrie deals with intersection of the Holy Spirit, creativity, and spirituality. This work provides clarity regarding the particularity of the Spirit’s work in the arts, but also provides a vision of the Spirit’s beauty in the restoration of all things.
The Holy Spirit in Mission by Gary Tyra
“The Holy Spirit in Mission” is a must-read for understanding the life of the Sprit in living the mission. Many in the reformed camp understand that the Spirit brings enlightenment and sanctification but the conversation comes to a halt in regards to the Spirit’s empowering work for mission in the local church. It holds together the spirit enlightening and empowering.
Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere
I haven’t read this one in awhile, but “Surprised by the Power of the Spirit” was a bomb-shell in the evangelical world when it first came out. It’s a story about what caused a former Dallas Theological Seminary professor to believe that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are still active today.
As the title indicates, this is straight talk about the Holy Spirit from a man who was undoubtedly a great 20th century prophet. Before there were tweets, Tozer penned one of the most tweetable books on the Holy Spirit, packed full of wonderfully crafted one-liners all about Him and His presence.
The Spirit-Filled Church by Terry Virgo
Even if you don’t agree with him, “The Spirit-Filled Church” is essential reading – inviting us to experience biblically grounded, Church-based, mission-empowered articulations of the role of the Spirit in the Church.
Other works include: Miracle Work by Jordan Seng, Joy Unspeakable by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Light of Truth & Fire of Love by Gary D. Badcock, God’s Indwelling Presence by James M. Hamilton Jr., The Annointed Community by Gary M. Burge, Thinking in Tongues by James K.A. Smith, The Holy Spirit: In Biblical Teaching through the Centuries, and Today by Anthony C. Thiselton