PneumatologyThe word Pneumatology comes from the words pneuma (wind/spirit) and ology (study of) and refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. In Christian systematic theology, Pneumatology is the branch of study that investigates what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit. It includes:
Who/What Is the Holy Spirit?: The Person of the Holy Spirit has been subject to much discussion and debate throughout the history of the church. The Bible mentions the Holy Spirit synonymously with God, and Jesus commands His followers to baptize in the name [singular] of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Scholars point out that these and other teachings help us understand that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Triune Godhead.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Pneumatology also considers exactly what constitutes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 12:12-13 clearly notes that all believers are baptized by "one Spirit"; it is not a second blessing given after conversion, but something that happens when we receive Christ.
Receiving the Holy Spirit: In the Old Testament only certain people received the Holy Spirit, seemingly for a limited period of time. However, the New Testament reveals that all believers in Jesus have received the Holy Spirit; He indwells them permanently. Pneumatology discusses the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Filling of the Holy Spirit: A key passage in this discussion is Ephesians 5:17-18 which reads, "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit."
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit: The Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit gives each believer spiritual abilities and/or gifts. Key passages that refer to these gifts include 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4. Of particular emphasis is whether the sign gifts or charismatic gifts are still operating today, along with defining what each of the listed biblical gifts includes.
The study of pneumatology is of tremendous importance to Christians as it is a study of God Himself. The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in the life of each believer. He is our Comforter (John 16:7) and helps in our prayers (Romans 8:26). Further, studying the role and work of the Holy Spirit protects us from the many inaccurate teachings that have circulated within churches. By engaging in pneumatology, we can grow personally and help others to live according to what Scripture truly teaches in this area.