God The Holy Spirit
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. Introduction: It is vitally important that we have accurate knowledge of God from the source where He has chosen to reveal Himself -- the Bible.
1. We were created for relationship with God based on accurate knowledge. John 4:24
a. Accurate knowledge of who God is will help us understand what God has done for us in redemption, in salvation. II Pet 1:2
b. Accurate knowledge of who God is will protect us from deception. Matt 24:4,5
2. The Bible shows us that there is only one God, but that within the Godhead (Deity) there are three divine persons -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
a. In the Bible, we see that all three are and do what only God is and can do.
b. “Within the One Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (James R. White)
3. The Trinity is a mystery, beyond our present comprehension. I Cor 13:12
a. Attempts to explain it do great injustice. It cannot be grasped with the mind.
b. All we can do, all we need to do, is see that the doctrine of the Trinity is definitely stated in the Bible, accept it, and admire and worship God as He is.
4. Those who say there is no Trinity generally misunderstand the Son and the Holy Spirit.
a. Some say that the Father and the Son are the same person. Others say that Jesus (the Son) is not God, but rather, a created being.
b. We dealt with those issues in the past few lessons. In this lesson, we want to look at what the Bible says about the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.
c. However, we want to first make some important points about the Trinity itself.
5. Some people struggle with the doctrine of the Trinity because there is no one verse that says: God is three in one. But, we must understand:
a. The Bible doesn't attempt to prove the Trinity exists, it presumes it.
b. We must look at the sum total of all the verses which describe God.
6. Beyond that, we must understand that God's clearest presentation or revelation of Himself as three persons in one God is found in what He did to save man from his sins when the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, left heaven and came to earth.
7. The first Christians would never have questioned the concept of the Trinity.
a. They walked with the Son on earth for three years. They heard the Father speak from heaven. Matt 3:16,17
b. Then they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4
B. Before there was anything, there was God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), perfect, perfectly complete, in loving fellowship with one another. John 1:1
1. But, God decided to create man, to create us, and invite us into that realm, that love, that fellowship with Himself.
a. God created man knowing we would sin and become captives to sin and its consequences, making us unfit for the realm, fellowship to which He called us.
b. However, God proceeded with creation because He had a plan in mind to buy us out of captivity to sin and make us fit to join Him in fellowship and sonship.
c. That plan is called redemption (redeem = to buy out of captivity) or salvation (save us from our sins).
2. Each member of the Trinity took a specific role in our redemption.
a. The Father planned it and sent the Son to die for our sins. Eph 1:4,5;
Rom 8:29,30; Acts 2:23; John 3:16; Isa 53:6,10
b. The Son willingly left heaven and came to earth (incarnated). He came to show us God and to take our place on the Cross and be punished for our sins.
John 1:18; Col 1:15; Heb 2:9,14,15; Matt 20:28
c. When Jesus went back to heaven, the Holy Spirit came and now works in us the benefits of redemption. He applies salvation. He executes it or carries it out in our lives. Titus 3:5
3. The night before Jesus went to the Cross, He said some things to prepare the disciples for the fact that He was leaving them to return to heaven. John 13:1-16:33
4. One of the things Jesus told them was that He and the Father were going to send the Holy Ghost to them. Note these facts about the Holy Ghost:
a. John 14:16,17;26--Another (ALLOS) = another of the same sort. The Holy Ghost is like Jesus.
b. Comforter (PARAKLETOS) = lit: called to one's side, to one's aid. Suggests a capability or adaptability for giving aid.
c. Comforter = Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby (Amp). John 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7-15
5. Jesus went to the Cross, rose from the dead, and spent forty more days on earth before returning to heaven.
a. His parting words to the disciples were that they should wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost. Acts 1:1-9
b. The disciples did what Jesus said, and ten days later, the Holy Spirit came upon them and filled them. Acts 2:1-4
c. Ghost and Spirit are the same word in the Greek (PNEUMA). Spirit comes from a Latin word. Ghost comes from an Anglo-Saxon word.
6. From that point on, the disciples went forth and began to preach the resurrection of Jesus, preach the gospel, with great signs and wonders.
7. As we read the Book of Acts, we see a divine person, the Third Person of the Trinity, working with these first Christians -- speaking to them, guiding them, empowering them, working miracles through them as they preached the gospel.
8. Those who misunderstand the Trinity and the Holy Spirit say He is a force -- holy spirit.
a. But, the Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, the Third Person of the Trinity.
b. He is coequal and coeternal with the Father and the Son. Coequal = of the same nature; He is God. Coeternal = has always existed, just like the Father and Son.
c. Two critical issues concerning the Holy Ghost -- He is a person and He is God.
C. How do we know the Holy Spirit is a person and not an impersonal force or influence?
1. He is identified with the Father and Son in ways that indicate He is a person. Matt 28:19
a. Name is singular in Greek, indicating one God (unity yet three distinct persons).
b. The Father is a person. The Son is a person. How can two persons share a single name with a non-person, a force?
2. He is linked with Christians in ways that indicate He is a person. II Cor 13:14;
Acts 15:28; Acts 5:32
3. The Son refers to the Holy Spirit as a person. John 14:16,17,26; 15:26; 15:7,8;13,14
4. The Holy Spirit refers to Himself as a person. Acts 13:2; 10:19,20
5. He demonstrates the qualities of a person: He has a mind (Rom 8:26,27); He has knowledge (I Cor 2:10,11); He has sovereign will (I Cor 12:11).
6. He does things that persons do: He teaches (John 14:26); He bears testimony
(John 15:26); He guides (John 16:13); He makes intercession (Rom 8:26); He loves (Rom 5:5; 15:30); He searches (I Cor 2:10); He speaks (Acts 8:29; 21:11; Rev 2:7).
7. He can be blasphemed (Matt 12:31,32), lied to (Acts 5:3), resisted (Acts 7:51), grieved (Eph 4:30), and insulted (Heb 10:29).
D. How do we know that the Holy Spirit is God?
1. He has divine attributes -- He is things that only God is: Eternal (Heb 9:14); Omnipresent (Ps 139:7); Omnipotent (Luke 1:35); Omniscient (I Cor 2:10,11;
John 14:26; 16:13).
2. He does things only God can do: creation (Gen 1:2; Job 33:4); the new creation
(John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5); inspiration of the scriptures (II Pet 1:20,21; II Tim 3:16); resurrection of Christ (Rom 8:11).
3. The NT writers apply passages to the Holy Spirit which were originally written about Jehovah in the OT. Heb 10:15-17; Jer 31:31-34
4. His name is linked with the name of God. Matt 28:19
5. The Bible calls Him God. Acts 5:3,4; I Cor 12:4-6
E. In light of all of this, how could anyone reasonably view the Holy Spirit as a non-person -- an influence, a power, or a force?
1. The word Spirit means breath or wind (non-personal), and, Spirit, in the Greek, is a neuter word (neutral = not masculine or feminine), (also non-personal).
a. Rom 8:16,26--Translated: the Spirit itself (KJV). This is a poor translation. RSV corrects it: itself = Himself.
b. But, Jesus Himself, used the pronoun He (masculine) with the neuter noun Spirit. John 16:7,8; 13-15
c. And, in most other places in scripture, the pronoun He is used with Spirit when it is referring to the Holy Spirit.
2. The symbols used to describe the Holy Spirit are non-personal -- dove, oil, water, fire.
a. Symbols are used to describe Jesus (door, rock, bread), but no one suggests that Jesus is not a person.
b. Words can only go so far in describing an infinite God to finite beings.
3. He gives gifts and powers, and produces fruit.
a. People sometimes confuse Him with those things. He is not tongues. He is a divine person who enables you to speak with new tongues. Acts 2:4
b. People speak of the anointing as though it were a force. But it is the result of the Holy Spirit, a divine person, demonstrating Himself in a tangible way.
4. In several places in the Bible, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Son, and the Spirit of the Father. Matt 10:20; Luke 4:18; Acts 5:9; Rom 8:9,11;
I Cor 6:11; Gal 4:6; Phil 1:19
a. Yet, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are clearly shown as distinct persons in numerous scriptures. Matt 3:16,17; Acts 10:38
b. I Thess 1:3-5; II Thess 2:13; I Cor 2:2-5; I Cor 6:11; I Cor 12:3; II Cor 1:21,22;
II Cor 13:14; Rom 14:17,18; Rom 15:16; Col 1:6-8; Eph 2:18; Eph 3:16,17;
5. Some say that the Holy Spirit has to be a force or a substance because we are baptized in the Holy Ghost. Matt 3:11
a. But, we are baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27) -- immersed into or joined to Christ at the new birth -- and no one suggests this means Jesus is not a person.
b. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit does not mean He's not a person. It means He is Omnipresent and He is Spirit.
F. Remember that when the Son chose His role in redemption, He voluntarily chose a role of submission and humility. Phil 2:6-9
1. The Holy Spirit also chose a role of submission and subordination in our redemption.
a. He allowed Himself to be sent by the Father and the Son. John 15:26 (prodeedeth = to be depart, to be discharged)
b. John 16:13,14--He does not speak from Himself. He draws attention to Christ.
2. The Holy Spirit does not receive the same attention as the Father and the Son.
a. In the greetings of the epistles, often, only the Father and Son are mentioned. Rom 1:7; I Cor 1:3; II Cor 1:2; etc.
b. Verses referring to fellowship with God mention only the Father and the Son. John 17:3; I John 1:3
3. The Holy Spirit`s purpose is not to draw attention to Himself, but to Jesus, and through Jesus, to the Father. The result is that He is not in the forefront. But, remember, difference in function does not mean inferiority of nature. I Cor 11:3
4. John 14:23--Jesus said the Father and Son would dwell in believers. How? By the Spirit whom they would send in Jesus's place. That is a main point of John 14 and 16.
a. In other words, the union or relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is such that to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to have the Father and Son dwelling in us. Mark 13:11; Matt 10:19,20; Luke 21:14,15
b. The relationship between them is so close that the Holy Spirit can rightfully be called the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) and the Spirit of the Father (Matt 10:20).
G. A divine person, the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has come to live in us. I Cor 6:19
1. He is an indwelling Comforter -- Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby.
a. He has come to make the truths of Christianity alive to us and to conform us to the image of Christ. I Cor 2:12; Rom 8:29
b. He has come to do in us and through us all that Christ did for us on the Cross.
2. This divine person, the Holy Spirit, wants to commune with you. II Cor 13:14
a. Communion is not a vague, nebulous word: KOINONIA = partnership, fellowship;
sharer, associate, companion.
b. Mark 16:20--When the disciples went forth to preach, the Lord (the Holy Spirit) worked with them in miraculous ways. Work = to work together; to be a fellow worker, a companion in labor; cooperate.
c. That's what God wants to do, is doing, in and through us. Phil 2:13; Heb 13:21
3. We have not said everything there is to say, but consider these points:
a. Realize how effective the new birth has been in you -- a divine person can now live in you, a former child of the devil.
b. Realize the surety of your success in and through the Lord. Phil 1:6