Walking In The Spirit: A Pentecostal Reading Of Romans 8

ABSTRACT

The Church of Pentecost (CoP) is one of the fastest growing churches in Ghana. In the last decade, the church has encouraged ministers to undertake theological studies to reach an in-depth understanding of the tenets of faith. However, two aspects need more attention: the study of a ‘specific’ hermeneutical approach to the readings of Scripture; and an exegetical study of the ‘pneumatological’ New Testament texts, widely employed by CoP ministries in their teaching and preaching. Against this background, the thesis examines a text commonly known as ‘the gospel of the Spirit, Romans 8, to understand the perlocutory effect on the original readers, and the Church of Pentecost (CoP) understanding and appropriation for human and community transformation.

The study employed the Contextual Bible Study (CBS) approach proposed by Gerald West as its theoretical framework. The approach proposed an inter-cultural study of the biblical text based on two-steps: the study of the ‘original readers’ context and the appropriation by the contemporary readers.

To reach an informed understanding of the original readers’ context, the research employed Kennedy’s rhetorical method. The rhetorical situation, problem, structure and analysis of the text revealed that ‘Walking in the Spirit,’ according to Rom. 8, is a holistic process involving personal and community transformation, in which the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth are heard. To access the CoP ‘ordinary readers’ interpretation, three groups were selected: the ‘literate’ from Kasoa English Assembly, the ‘semi-literate’ from Amanfro Assembly and the ‘theological students’ from Pentecost University College (PUC).

The CBS engagement showed that the ‘ecclesiastic lens’ employed by all participants offered a uniform approach to hermeneutics; in fact, the level of literacy and/or

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theological preparation seemed to have little or no impact on the reading of the text. Respondents described the Holy Spirit as registrar, encourager, deliverer, liberator, etc., and above all as the guide to divine sonship. Accordingly, ‘Walking in the Spirit’ was conceived as a ‘spiritual and experiential journey,’ in which the Spirit is encountered, and his presence ‘attested’ to by miraculous signs.

The study discloses that CoP members’ approach to the reading reflects the main characteristics of Pentecostal Hermeneutics summarised by Green and Ellington, albeit with emphasis of some elements such influences of the spirits (good and evil); ‘literal’ approach to interpretation and ‘radical’ application of faith – informed by their African cultural background. Furthermore, the research indicated in the vivid experience of the Spirit; as a missionary tool a positive modality of contextualising the call to action of Romans 8 — ‘walking in the Spirit’ — by the CoP’s members.

Finally, the researcher proposed a revision of the teachings of the CoP to include elements such as social justice; fight against corruption; ecological awareness, etc. as manifestation of the presence of the Spirit of truth in the life of the believers.

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APA

AGYARE, S (2021). Walking In The Spirit: A Pentecostal Reading Of Romans 8. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/walking-in-the-spirit-a-pentecostal-reading-of-romans-8

MLA 8th

AGYARE, SAMUEL "Walking In The Spirit: A Pentecostal Reading Of Romans 8" Afribary. Afribary, 18 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/walking-in-the-spirit-a-pentecostal-reading-of-romans-8. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

MLA7

AGYARE, SAMUEL . "Walking In The Spirit: A Pentecostal Reading Of Romans 8". Afribary, Afribary, 18 Apr. 2021. Web. 24 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/walking-in-the-spirit-a-pentecostal-reading-of-romans-8 >.

Chicago

AGYARE, SAMUEL . "Walking In The Spirit: A Pentecostal Reading Of Romans 8" Afribary (2021). Accessed May 24, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/walking-in-the-spirit-a-pentecostal-reading-of-romans-8