Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost?

I am currently writing a bible study/commentary on the Gospel According to Mark. As I was studying I found that in the King James Version of the Bible, the phrase “Holy Spirit” is not used. Instead, the term “Holy Ghost” is used. The use of Holy Ghost in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is predominant. The term “Holy Spirit” is only found in Luke 11:13.

When looking at the English Standard Version, the predominance of Holy Spirit has been inserted. The Spirit of God, at least in the King James Version is identified as Holy Ghost. However, the same Greek words “hagios pneuma” are translated as “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost.”

This is very confusing when trying to do a word-by-word study.

I did some digging and found the following.

The King James Bible was developed by an appointed committee of fifty-four scholars. In order to complete the task, the scholars divided up the bible to areas of expertise of the translators. Then in 1609, twelve scholars met to revise and prepare the Bible for mass printing. It was during this time that some of the scholars defined “hagios pneuma” as Holy Spirit, while other scholars defined “hagios pneuma” as Holy Ghost. When the twelve completed their review, they kept both English translations of “hagios pneuma.”

Therefore, the King James Translators kept both the English translation of Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost, even though they are the same exact Greek words.

Pastor Bob Crowder

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“consistency” is defined as “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.”

Every year I look back at the previous year. As I do, I begin to formulate goals for the coming year. Those goals normally affect every area of my life.

One of my goals for 2021 was to systematically lose twenty pounds. I lost eighteen…close enough. I will once again set a weight-loss goal for 2022 that I am sure will give me a few “brownie points” with my doctors.

As I get older, my goal setting becomes more inward focused. I desire to be a better, “Husband. Father. Grand Father. Great Grand Father.” I am including these annual goals, however, I am adding a new, single goal for 2022. “I Want to Be More Consistent.” Let me explain.

I don’t just want to set the “broad strokes” of my goals on being a better “husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.” I want to be consistent in EVERY area of my life.

I want to be consistent in:

My Bible Studies. As a pastor I spend many hours every day, 365 days of the year in some sort of Bible study. However, I want to be more consistent in my approach, planning, and attaining a deeper, solid, and retention in my Bible study.

My Prayer Life. Once again, I find myself “catching up” in my prayer life to events and notifications from others needing prayer. I tend to make everyone else’s prayer needs above my own. I want to be more consistent in having conversations with the Creator and my Savior that leads to a deeper and more familiar relationship with God.

My Meditation. Meditation on the Lord and His Word seems, time and again, to be pushed to the back of my priority list…and yet meditation, “chewing the cud” if you will, have been some of the most fulfilling and precious moments in my life. Meditating on the Psalmist words, “What is man that you are mindful of him” is one of my favorite places to camp. But I am missing out on the many prayers in the Bible that bring joy and satisfaction to my life.

My Preaching. I want to be more consistent in my delivery and presentation. I have studied for hours and too many times my delivery and presentation are not what I envisioned. I long to be a “vessel for God’s use” in the pulpit.

My Teaching. I believe my one gift is teaching; however, I want to have the same passion and fire throughout a Bible Study series. I am excited to begin a new study, but in the last few lessons, I find I am already beginning to put my passion and fire into the next study to pen and ink. I want to finish strong in each Bible study I write, every time.

My Servanthood. My desire in 2022 is to expand and develop my life on “servanthood.” Jesus’ whole mission on the earth was to “please His Father.” I want that same single sightedness to be in the very fabric of everything I do. I want to serve the Lord in joy and gladness that Christ had in serving His Father.

I would ask you to join me by reminding me of my 2022 goals. I covet your help. I found myself saying, “I want to be consistently consistent.”

The Days Were Accomplished

Luke 2:6 (KJV) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. When Immanuel took in His first breath, the angels were ready to announce the greatest birth of all time. I find it very interesting of where the announcement of the angel of the Lord was NOT made.

  • The angel of the Lord did not go to the “city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)” (Luke 2:4).
  • The announcement didn’t go to his family in Bethlehem that had come for the taxing.
  • The announcement wasn’t made to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
  • The declaration was not made to the Chief Priests, Scribes, Pharisees, or Sadducees.
  • The proclamation was withheld from the Rabbi’s teaching on the Temple mount

Instead, the angel proclaimed the birth to shepherds in their fields by night. They were doing what their families had done for generations…tending sheep. Perhaps these shepherds oversaw the sheep destined for sacrifice on the altar in Jerusalem.
With a flash of blinding light a chorus of angels sing. His announcement was followed immediately by an army of angels who had been waiting for nine months, but really, for all of eternity, to sing their anthem song: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men.”
The shepherds decided to investigate the birth for themselves. When they saw the Messiah in a manger, they were overjoyed. Their intuitive response was to tell everyone they could find that the Savior of the world was born.
These shepherds were the first to worship Jesus, and they were the first evangelists of the Christian era.

What did the Apostle Paul believe concerning the Gospel of Grace as the one and only means of Salvation?

It is very important to understand the history of Paul. In his own words, he describes himself as: “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.” (Acts 22:3-4).

Paul was not just a follower of Judaism; he was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted anyone that was not a devout adherent. This gives Paul great insight into the religion as well as describing his education. He was an enforcer of the Law. And yet now, he fully embraces salvation by grace as the only means of salvation.

Paul was God’s chosen vessel to proclaim grace to humanity and especially to the Gentiles. By his own words, it was by God’s grace that he was chosen for salvation and to be God’s messenger (Galatians 2:9).

Paul’s salvation (Acts 9) is well established by his first missionary journey in which he proclaimed the Gospel and started churches. His message of salvation is only by faith, by the Grace of God becomes the main point in all his writings.

The Apostle Paul, from the outset of the epistle to Galatia, is dealing with the heresy of adding requirements to the Gospel of Grace by faith. There is a great difference in believing that the grace of God is all that is required for salvation and those that would add works to salvation (circumcision in this case).

The Greek word for grace is charis. It is only found 13 times in the Gospels, but over 144 times in Paul’s writing. Paul’s epistles always use grace doctrinally, in connection with the dispensation of Grace.

The Apostle Paul goes so far as to proclaim; “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)

Paul never said it was wrong for Jews to be circumcised. He never said that it was wrong to keep the Law or to observe the Jewish festivals. He said that these have nothing to do with salvation. While customs and practices may differ, salvation never differs. There is only one way to be saved and that is by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Noting Can Separate Us From the Love of God

Romans 8:31-39

Key Verse: Romans 8:39


Recently I have had a rather disturbing discussion with a pastor and several of his followers concerning eternal security. In recent years this point of view, in my mind, is becoming more mainstream.  The question is often “there are too many verses that talk about losing your salvation in Scripture to be avoided.” I basically ask two questions. “Who is doing the saving and keeping?” and follow that question up with, “Is it you are or is it God?” To me, the answer is quite clear. I could never be good enough to keep myself in salvation. Only Jesus is the perfect offering. Only Jesus’ blood and righteousness can keep me saved.

Therefore, if Jesus is the One doing the Saving and the Keeping, then I cannot lose my salvation (see John 17). However, if I am the one who is doing the saving and the keeping, there is no salvation. It is only through the offering, once and for all, through the work of Jesus Christ, that I can be saved.

Note: Having eternal security does not give us a free pass to sin. For example, in Romans 6:1-2, Paul asks the question, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Is God for Us? 

  1. As you grow, one thing you will find is that mankind will let us down. Your “BFF” (best friend forever – I have grand kids) will let you down. You may be BFF’s one day and not speaking to each other the next. Human friendships are fickle at best.
  2. God’s love, on the other hand, is forever. Our relationship with Him and knowledge of His faithfulness will help us in our times of great need.
    • If our vertical relationship, the one we have with God, is correct and strong, our desire will be to be close to Him.
    • However, if our relationship with Him is estranged, then we will take exception to any interference in our lives by Him.
    • As I have matured in Christ, I have found that if God seems to be far away, it is because I have moved away from Him and not vice versa. In order to realize God’s faithfulness, we must remain in fellowship with Him.
  3. In my opinion, in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, chapter eight and verse 31, the phrase “If God be for us” has been poorly translated by some. Many have taken the “if” as a supposition. However, Paul is not giving a supposition, instead he is giving a certainty. “If” is not a question nor is it conditional.” Paul is giving a conclusion. “If” can also be translated as “when” or “as.” It should really read, “Since/as God is for us.” Because it is certain that God is for us, the conclusion follows, “who can be against us?” 

I Don’t Like Reading the Bible

As a pastor of a Baptist church, you might be thinking that I should not be writing this blog for the world to see. My job could be at risk.

However, I would like to explain. My wife Linda reads through the Bible every year. Every Year! She has a reading plan that she enjoys and puts it to use every year.

Only once in my life, was I successful in reading through the Bible. From Genesis through Revelation.

I just don’t like reading through the Bible. I cannot get comfortable with simply “reading” the text.

However, and this is a big however, I love studying the Bible. I love to dig into the passages and find the gems right below the surface. I enjoy “working” through a passage so that I can “rightly divide the Word of God.”

I have a habit of studying the Bible about three to four hours each day. For a thirty minute sermon, it takes me about four solid hours of study, writing, editing, putting together a PowerPoint, and refreshing my memory thirty minutes before I preach a sermon. I live for studying the Bible.

There you have it. I do not like “reading” the Bible. But I thouroughly enjoy studying the Word of God. The apostle Paul’s words to his protege Timothy keep me grounded and on target.

2 Timothy 2:14 (KJV) Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to
shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

How about you? Do you enjoy reading the Bible? Do you enjoy studying the Bible? Let me know.

For those of you that have reading plans that you have really enjoyed, put them in the comments.

“If…Then” Statements found in First John

One of the tools in Bible study is to look for “if…then” statements. These statements are key to understanding some passages. This article looks at the epistle of First John to better understand how “If…then” statements can be used as a tool during your Bible Study.

Note: Where you see the word [then] in brackets, I have added it to the scripture to complete the “if…then” statement. Where you see a word in blue, without brackets, the scripture already includes an “if, them or but” statement.

1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, [then] we lie and do not practice the truth;

1Jn 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, [then] we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, [then] we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, [then] He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, [then] we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, [then] we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, [then] the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

1Jn 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, [then] ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

1Jn 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, [then] ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1Jn 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, [then] how dwelleth the love of God in him?

1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, [then] we ought also to love one another.

1Jn 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, [then] God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, [then] he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, [then] the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, [then] he heareth us:

1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, [then] whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, [then] he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

Showing Calm in a Pandemic

A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population: a pandemic outbreak of a disease (Merriam-Webster)

The coronavirus pandemic is a disruptive force in the world today. I think we can all agree on that point. From the first news of this virus, the world’s media has been drawn to it. Readers and viewers have also been caught in the web of this news. As of today, we still don’t understand very much of the caronavirus.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to head off the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Many public and private companies and institutions have canceled major events, including large gatherings, closing schools and arranging for employees to work from home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

There are more than 2,000 confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll stands at 41. These numbers pale in comparison with the common flu, however, almost everyone, at sometime in their lives have been affected by the flu in their families and friends. The coronavirus is new and quite deadly in comparison to the common flu.

This is what is stressing people about the coronavirus: the unknown. If you are not aware of what I am talking about, just visit your local grocer where shelves are empty of bread, peanut butter and toilet paper.

There are many things that we do not know about the virus. However, this is not the time to throw caution to the wind when it comes to the safety of the people.

President Trump and the CDC are asking for voluntary closing of gatherings of people in order to “Flatten the Curve” of the disease, which will slow down the spread of the virus.

Perhaps the greatest fear has been that the virus would spread to the Temple/Belton area. Today’s news informs us that there is an active case of the Caronavirus in Bell County.

I want to say that I understand the impact that this virus is having on our everyday life. Just looking at Facebook feeds i feel the stress of the families that will have to find ways to take care of their children that are out of school for the next few weeks. Local businesses will feel the immediate impact of the school closings.

What can we as a congregation do during this trying time?

  • Pray for our nation, researchers, doctors, nurses and those that have been infected.
  • Reach out to your friends, families, and neighbors and minister to them with peace in this hour.
  • Continue to support your local church with your tithes and offerings.

Whenever the church has faced a new crisis, it does not catch the Lord unawares. He knows and has a way through the crisis, often with surprising outcomes. Just look how persecution of the early church, spread the Gospel out of Jerusalem and Judea to the whole world.

The Lord is not in a panic and neither should we. Perhaps, Christians can use this pandemic to show the world what true Christianity looks like. While we may not be having services this week, look outward to your friends, neighbors and family who may be feeling the stress.

This is a chance to minister encouragement in the spring of 2020.

The Things God Hides

Recently I began teaching the Book of Daniel to our Wednesday evening service. The book of Daniel is a wonderful mix of history and eschatology (eschatology is theological study of the final events of history of man and the universe). It is commonly referred to as the study of the “end times.”

The first chapter deals with the capture and enslavement of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Chapter two contains the first vision and dream by the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. This dream troubled the king so much that he called all of the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and Chaldean’s to interpret his dream.

The thought struck me that Nebuchadnezzar was so moved that he did not want to retell his dream, almost like just talking about it would make it come to life. You talk about your nightmares! But this is no nightmare, this is the Hand of God moving in the heart of a pagan king whom the LORD rules.

The magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and Chaldean’s were of course clueless, they had no idea what the dream meant or even what the content of the dream was. They said, ““O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” Not so fast says the king. You tell me the dream and its meaning and I will lavish gifts and honor on you. However, if you lie to me the meaning of the dream you will find destruction in your future (Daniel 2:4-12). The ruse of these so called “wise men” was unraveling. The Chaldean’s have no clue what is going on. Could it have been the LORD God clouding their thoughts and perception in order to bring glory to Daniel who in turn would give God the glory?

They were finally confronted by Nebuchadnezzar and couldn’t give the king the dream and its interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar was furious, commanding that every “wise man” was to be killed.

Interestingly enough, this command also meant that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were on that list to be killed. You may be more familiar with the the Babylonian names of Daniel’s friends: Hananiah is Shadrach, Mishael is Meshach and Azariah is Abednego.

The book of Daniel has a main theme running through it, “salvation” and the “sovereignty of God.” God was using Babylon to judge the children of Israel. God was using Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan unbeliever, to acomplish His work. God was using a remnant (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah) to show the world the power of the LORD Almighty.

Study notes are available.