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When we seek to understand the person and work of God’s Spirit, we are often so concerned with personal theories or current controversies that we fail to listen carefully to what God himself teaches in the Scriptures.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit begins with the very centre of what the Bible teaches about the Spirit: Jesus will fulfil the Old Testament prophecies and pour out the Holy Spirit on his people. The book explores the five promises of Jesus about the Spirit in John 14-17 and then traces the fulfilment of those promises through the rest of the New Testament—in the Pentecostal outpouring of Acts 2, the progress of the Holy Spirit’s world mission throughout Acts, and the ongoing work of the Spirit in initiating, continuing and completing the Christian life in all its dimensions (personal and corporate).
In this important and unique work, Phillip Jensen draws on a lifetime of biblical exegesis and preaching to unfold not only the depth and richness of the Bible’s teaching about the Spirit, but its centre and emphasis. Having done this important work, he then goes on to deal with many of the secondary issues that have often dominated our discussion of the Spirit.
This is a groundbreaking book of immense importance because it follows the Bible’s own emphasis in teaching about the Spirit, and in doing so teaches us to know the true and living God, who is the Spirit.
This audiobook is narrated by its author, Phillip Jensen.
About the author
Phillip Jensen studied at Moore Theological College and has worked in student ministry at the University of New South Wales, as the senior minister of St Matthias Anglican Church in Sydney and as the Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral. He has preached the gospel all over the world, published several books (including Guidance and the Voice of God and Prayer and the Voice of God) and currently leads the work of Two Ways Ministries, proclaiming the gospel, training evangelistic leaders and training gospel workers.
"Phillip Jensen has provided us with a careful and systematic account of the Bible’s teaching on the Holy Spirit. It is clear, considered, compassionate—at points appropriately direct, but always and at each point an account of the Bible’s teaching. Phillip looks at biblical passages in their immediate context and with due consideration of their place in the broader sweep of biblical theology, something that is often missing in other treatments of this topic. He wants the Bible to set the agenda. So, he addresses the promise of the Spirit, the arrival of the Spirit, the Spirit in world mission, and the Spirit in the Christian life. Then, in a series of short but important appendices, Phillip turns to some of our questions about the Spirit, which are better answered from the Bible because we have first allowed the Bible to speak on its own terms. This book is sorely needed where there is so much confusion not only about the Spirit but also about what it means to be truly spiritual. I warmly commend this book."
—Mark D. Thompson, Principal, Moore Theological College, Sydney
"Phillip Jensen has spent a lifetime expounding Scripture with reverent prayerfulness, diligent study, fearless clarity and deep pastoral wisdom. Under God, his ministry has proved singularly effective in impacting generations of young adults, as well as strengthening missions and local church ministry and ministers across the globe. This book is the fruit of 50 years of engagement with the teaching of Scripture concerning the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Characteristically, Jensen allows Scripture to set the agenda rather than seeking to address points of dispute. Nevertheless, there are no fewer than 34 short appendices addressed to specific questions. The volume takes its shape from the teaching of Jesus, who promises the Spirit, sends the Spirit, and is present and active among his people by his Spirit. The Coming of the Holy Spirit is bracing in its biblical rigour, full of fresh insight, and deeply encouraging. It will inform, equip and enlarge your heart of devotion and service to the Lord who promises, 'I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth'."
—Kanishka Raffel, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney
"Phillip Jensen has done the worldwide Christian community a huge service in this massive and comprehensive teaching on the person of the Holy Spirit. I have crisscrossed the world more than 70 times and have seen firsthand the confusion regarding the third member of the Trinity, from those who are afraid to talk about him to those who call him ‘it’. All Bible-believing and Bible-trusting Christians, regardless of their theological shade or hue, will be blessed by this book. Read it and rejoice that our Lord Jesus gave us his Spirit to empower us to glorify him."
—Michael Youssef, Founding Rector, The Church of The Apostles, Atlanta, GA
"Within weeks of being converted as a 16-year-old in 1982, I realized that the two teachers who led the tiny Christian meeting at my school appeared to believe very different things about the Holy Spirit. As a 19-year-old at university, my college CU was split over the same issue. As a 25-year-old at theological college, I learned that what you believed about the Spirit defined to some degree what camp you were in. And then Christianity Explored was created, in part as a response to the ‘Toronto Blessing’. Here at last, after 40 years, is a book that says, “Let’s look at the key Bible passages; let’s talk; let’s be like the Bereans”. For those of us in England this is particularly timely, because charismatics and conservatives have never needed each other more as we seek to stand together for orthodoxy in the face of the battles over human sexuality. I’m deeply thankful for this book."
—Rico Tice, Christianity Explored Ministries, London
"A theology of the Spirit, but not as we know it. It is fresh and inspiring. Phillip uses words and phrases like ‘climactic’, ‘history-disrupting’ and ‘world-order changing’ to describe the work of the Spirit in God’s purposes. This book will take you deep and lift you into the heights, because it pays attention to the sweep of the whole of salvation history in order to understand the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Be ready to think bigger!"
—Andrew Heard, Lead Pastor, EV Church Central Coast, Chairman, FIEC (Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches) Australia and Reach Australia
"Christians often have questions about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Phillip Jensen has done the church a great service by giving us a comprehensive but clear and accessible book that looks at what God’s word says on the topic. His many years of pastoral ministry and answering questions on this issue come out in the main body of the book, as well as in the 34 (!) appendices. This is an excellent resource that you will come back to again and again."
—Jane Tooher, Lecturer, Ministry and Church History, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Director, The Priscilla & Aquila Centre
"In our day of confusion on the Holy Spirit’s person and work and gifts, it’s refreshing to read such a straightforward biblical theology of the Holy Spirit that resonates with the exegetical wisdom of the Christian tradition in its classic evangelical Protestant expression. I’m so glad Phillip Jensen has enriched the theological conversation in the evangelical community with this theologically rich, engaging and eminently practical volume. If you want to grapple with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit from the pen of a wise and biblically faithful pastor-teacher, I strongly encourage you to read this book."
—Matthew Pinson, President, Welch College, Gallatin, TN
"The topic of the Holy Spirit is one of great controversy in the modern church. Phillip Jensen’s book directs us to the Spirit-inspired word of God to show us why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. It is no easy feat to write a book on the third person of the Godhead that is concise yet comprehensive, simple yet profound, but Phillip has succeeded in doing just that. This book has opened my eyes to more deeply appreciate how the Spirit leads me to Jesus as Lord, to God as Father, and to holiness of life, and how he assures me of the salvation that Jesus has won for me on the cross. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how the Spirit of God is actively and intimately involved in our individual lives, in the church and in the world."
—Carmelina Read, Dean of Women, Christ College, Sydney
"The Bible tells us all we need to know about the Holy Spirit who authored it. Phillip Jensen is an excellent Bible teacher, and in this helpful book he clearly and carefully distils for us the Scripture’s teaching on the Spirit."
—Andrew Cheah, Dean, St Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur
"After more than 50 years of reflecting upon and preaching about the Holy Spirit, Phillip Jensen has produced a wonderfully helpful study of the Spirit’s person and work. He carefully takes us through an examination of the teaching of the New Testament. With an astonishing 34 appendices, few stones are left unturned as Phillip engages with many of the more contentious issues regarding the Holy Spirit. Throughout, he has consistently written with clarity, understanding and grace."
—Mike Raiter, Director, Centre for Biblical Preaching, Melbourne
"In The Coming of the Holy Spirit, Phillip Jensen has provided us with a gospel-shaped and Christ-centred look at a glorious and hugely important biblical truth: the truth about the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The book is vintage Jensen—full of profound exegetical and theological insight and penetrating contemporary application. Reading it has been hard work but deeply rewarding, not least because I frequently found myself turning from Phillip’s book to the Book, to re-read and rediscover the wonderful truth about God’s Holy Spirit and his world-changing, Jesus-centred, God-glorifying work. Books about the Holy Spirit frequently focus on the ‘controversial issues’ that often divide Christians. I am so glad that Phillip has put these issues in their place—not ignoring them, but seeing them in the light of the great foundational truths about the Holy Spirit that are so often neglected. As a Christian and as a pastor, I have found this book instructive, challenging and encouraging. I wish that I had read it years ago when, as a young Christian and theological student, conversations about the Holy Spirit were more characterized by heat than light. I am thankful to have read it now and strongly urge others to do the same."
—Mervyn Eloff, Rector, St James’ Church, Kenilworth, Cape Town
"This book is the fruit of a lifelong, gospel-saturated ministry. Instead of focusing on the controversies generated in history, Phillip Jensen bathes in the Scriptures to adorn the person and work of the Holy Spirit as the third person of our Triune God. A classic for the years ahead."
—Richard Chin, National Director, AFES (Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Author, Captivated by Christ and How to Read the Bible Better
"What do you get when a pastor distils a lifetime of wrestling with Scripture and expounding the person and work of the Spirit? You get a celebration of the grace and faithfulness of God—Father, Son and Spirit—springing from a concerted effort to understand the Spirit’s work on the Bible’s own terms. You get a sustained, searching, forthright, pastoral, always accessible and often controversial exploration of the person and work of the Spirit of Christ, tracing the contours of the Bible’s storyline. That’s not all; you get the preacher’s informative and pointed asides (footnotes) and the fruit of a thousand question times (appendices). Not every reader will agree with every interpretation of contested texts about the Spirit, but they will be challenged, as the author says, to “resist the temptations to limit him by our theological system, marginalize him by our intellectual arguments, or take control of him by our institutional traditions”. This is an urgent plea to believers to be led by the Spirit to be more like Christ and to preach his saving work to the nations."
—Rev Dr Richard J. Gibson, Principal, Brisbane School of Theology, QLD
"This book is a topical study at its most outstanding. Phillip Jensen takes a near exhaustive approach, studying multiple New Testament verses on the Holy Spirit and placing each verse in its proper context, both within passage and Bible book. The result is as thorough a treatment of the person and work of the Holy Spirit as you will find, together with comprehensive and biblically faithful answers to all the most difficult questions. This book will be a lasting resource of enormous value to the church. It is a great gift."
—William Taylor, Rector, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London
"Evangelicals have debated the work of the Holy Spirit for decades, with attention often going to more peripheral issues. Phillip Jensen has served the church wonderfully by considering the coming of the Spirit on the Bible’s own terms. Starting with the foundational teaching of the Lord Jesus and then seeing how other New Testament texts develop this, Jensen helps readers understand the critical work the Spirit has come to do. One does not need to agree with all the points Jensen makes to benefit enormously from this excellent study. Warmly recommended."
—Dr Kyle Johnston, Pastor, Jubilee Community Church, Cape Town, Chairman, Biblical Counselling Africa
"This book is unique in its content and its approach to what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. It is written as a biblical theology of the Holy Spirit. Phillip Jensen is thoughtful and careful in attending to what Scripture says about the Spirit. He is aware of the many issues and questions we have about the Holy Spirit, but restricts himself in the main part of the book to interacting with those issues only where the Scriptures speak to them. Nevertheless, he does not shy away from addressing those questions, supplying an extensive set of appendices at the end of the book. Phillip writes as a preacher, employing a style and language accessible to lay people, preachers, ministers and students of the Bible. I highly recommend this book as a model for the contemporary application of the Bible and as a standard textbook for understanding what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. Soli Deo Gloria!"
—Ma’afu Palu, Director, Graphe Bible College, Sydney
"Phillip Jensen’s many years of faithful study and fruitful ministry have been brought together to provide this fine and comprehensive exploration of the Bible’s teaching about the Holy Spirit, structured along the timeline of revelation from Genesis to the new creation. Twin principles govern his approach: the Bible must set the agenda for our thinking, rather than insisting that our questions should do that; and, therefore, the Bible must define and explain our experiences, rather than vice versa. In this area of widespread confusion, Phillip’s careful, humble and detailed analysis of what the biblical texts actually say provides the necessary foundation for its practical application to many of today’s misunderstandings and misrepresentations. Leaving no stone unturned with its numerous footnotes, appendices and helpful summaries, this is an enormously valuable resource for every Christian committed to knowing the person—and experiencing the ministry—of the Holy Spirit more fully in our lives. It will illuminate, correct, encourage and refresh your understanding in your personal walk with God. I wholeheartedly recommend it."
—David Jackman, Former President, The Proclamation Trust, London
"Phillip Jensen’s long ministry has coincided with the emergence, rise, overwhelming triumph, mistakes and maturing self-reflection of the charismatic movement. At times there have been sharp divisions, disagreements and misunderstandings between conservative and charismatic evangelicals. Phillip has written this excellent new book not to stir controversy, but from the irenic desire to bring understanding and unity. He provides a compelling biblical exposition of the work of the Holy Spirit that insists our expectations be determined by Jesus’ teaching. No evangelical Christian could fail to be helped by the main body of the work, which reminds us of the inestimable privilege of living under the new covenant after the Holy Spirit was poured out, and of the vital task of mission that can only be undertaken in his power. The appendices tackle issues where there may be disagreement between brothers and sisters, but do so with clarity and charity. There are very few points at which charismatic or Pentecostal believers will beg to differ, but Phillip’s careful, detailed exposition of the biblical texts will help them to appreciate why conservatives take a different view. True unity despite differences can only be achieved by such honest engagement with each other. The thoroughly biblical methodology adopted, and the years of ministry experience Phillip brings to bear, make this book an equivalent of Jim Packer’s Keep in Step with the Spirit or Don Carson’s Showing the Spirit for a new generation."
—John Stevens, National Director, FIEC UK
"This excellent book gives clear and comprehensive biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit in a fresh, readable way that is accessible to anyone with an open Bible and an open mind. While being unafraid to touch on points of controversy, it lets the Bible itself set the agenda and therefore keeps the focus on God’s priorities, not our hobbyhorses—particularly important for this subject. The careful layout of the main text—with each main section followed by a helpful summary—makes it an ideal resource for group study, and the excellent appendices (covering a host of common questions) is a great reference resource. I expect it will become a staple text in many student and young workers study programmes, including our own."
—William J. U. Philip, Senior Minister, The Tron Church, Glasgow
"This book has come at the right time. Phillip Jensen deals with a common subject, but takes a unique approach to it: he explores “what the Bible says about the Spirit, being guided by the Bible itself as to what is important and where we should be focused”. In other words, he invites us to let the Bible speak to us on the subject rather than imposing our own questions and confusion onto it. Rarely does one read a book these days on the subject of the Holy Spirit that seriously pursues the role of the Spirit in mission biblically—but Jensen has achieved this. I commend this book to academics, church leaders and preachers. Those who are engaged in local and world mission in the West and Africa will find this book a must read."
—Dr Mwita Akiri, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Tarime, Chair, GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) Tanzania, Research Professor of Mission and African History, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
"Phillip Jensen’s study of the Holy Spirit is representative of his long ministry. It is biblical, pastoral and challenging. His exposition of the Spirit’s work in John 14-16, the Spirit’s fruit in Galatians 5, and the Spirit’s creation of unity in the church in Ephesians will enrich any serious reader. Jensen teaches a truly biblical spirituality that will see believers through life’s good and bad times because it is anchored in God, not shifting experiences."
—Paul House, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, AL