1. Paul prayed that as Christians increase in their knowledge of God, they would have greater revelation
and understanding in three areas: the hope of His calling, the riches of His inheritance in the saints,
and the greatness of His power toward us who believe. Eph 1:16-23
a. We have already discussed his first two points in some detail. God has called us to become His
sons and daughters through faith in Christ. Understanding God’s overall plan and purpose (the big
picture) is a tremendous source of hope.
b. When we bow our knee to Jesus as Savior and Lord we become God’s inheritance or His own
possession. And, we become sons of God with an inheritance. Our inheritance includes all that
we need for this life and the life to come.
2. We’re ready to talk about the greatness of His power in and toward us who believe. It is the same
power that raised Christ from the dead.
a. Eph 1:19,20–And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited
and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working
of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. (Amp)
b. Acts 2:24; Rom 8:11–God the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, raised Christ from the dead.
In this portion of our series we’re going to discuss the Holy Spirit and His role in God’s plan.
1. The Bible reveals that God (the Godhead) is one God (Being) who simultaneously manifests Himself
as three distinct PersonsFather, Son, and Holy Spirit. This truth is known as the doctrine of the
Trinity. Although the word is not found in Scripture the concept is found from Genesis to Revelation.
a. These three Persons are distinct but not separate. They co-inhere (inhere means belong by nature).
They share one divine nature or substance. They can be distinguished, but they aren’t separate.
1. God is not one God who manifests three ways, sometimes as Father, occasionally as the Son,
and sometimes as the Holy Spirit. You can’t have one without the other. Where the Father is,
so is the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. This is beyond our comprehension because we (finite beings with definable limitations) are
talking about the Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omnipresent (present everywhere at once), God
Who is invisible God. We can only accept and rejoice in the wonder of Almighty God.
3. All efforts to explain Him fall short. People sometimes try to describe the Godhead as an egg
(or three parts in one). This is incorrect because the yolk isn’t the shell or egg whites, the
shell isn’t the yolk or the whites, and the whites aren’t the shell or the yolk.
b. We could do an entire series on what the Bible reveals about the nature of God. We aren’t going
to at this time, but consider a few points about the Godhead and the plan of redemption.
1. The Father planned or willed redemption. The Son purchased or accomplished it through the
Cross. The Holy Spirit performs it or makes it a reality in our experience. Everything comes
from God the Father through the Son by the Holy Ghost
2. The Bible reveals the Father’s plan and tells us what Jesus accomplished. The Holy Spirit
carries it out when we believe.
A. The Holy Spirit is the performer of the Godhead. He does the work in the earth. Jer 1:12
B. God the Father sent the angel Gabriel to announce to Mary that by the power of God the
Holy Spirit she would become pregnant with God the Son. Luke 1:26-35; 45
2. John 13-17 is a record of what Jesus told His disciples the night before He went to the Cross. Much of
what He said was intended to prepare these men for the fact that He was soon leaving this world.
a. John 14:16–He told them that the Father would give them another Comforter. (Jesus identified
the Comforter as the Holy Spirit in v26.) The Greek word translated another means another of the
same kind, another like Himself.
1. John 16:7–Jesus told His disciples that it was expedient “good, expedient, advantageous”
(Amp) that He leave them so that the Holy Spirit could come to them.
2. This is an example of where attempts to explain the nature of the Godhead fall short. God is
by definition omnipresent or present everywhere at once. How can God come and go away if
He is everywhere? That’s part of the mystery of the Godhead. We simply accept and believe.
b. John 14:17–Note that Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit is with you and shall be in you.
1. God’s plan from the beginning was and is to indwell His sons and daughters. When Adam
and man in Adam sinned, mankind was cut off from God. After Adam sinned God unveiled
His plan to recover what was lost to sin through redemption. Gen 3:15
2. God inspired men to write a record of His unfolding plan of redemption in what we call the
Old Testament (lessons for another day). The Old Testament is a record of real events and
people, but they also picture or foreshadow what God would accomplish through Jesus.
A. When Israel was delivered from Egyptian captivity, it was a real event that really
happened, but it also pictures redemption through Jesus. Ex 6:6; Ex 15:13
B. God brought Israel out of bondage (redeemed them) so He could dwell in the midst of
them, picturing Him dwelling with and in His family. Ex 29:44,45; Lev 26:11,12
1. After Israel left Egypt, God instructed them to build the Tabernacle, a structure
where His presence could visibly manifest in the midst of them.
2. Ex 40:34-38–Once the Tabernacle was finished, the glory of the Lord filled it.
God’s glory is God manifesting Himself however He chooses.
b. When John the Baptist first saw Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry, he gave Jesus two
titles: the Lamb who takes away sin and the One who baptizes in the Holy Ghost. John 1:29,33
1. Takes away, in the Greek, has the idea of up and away. Jesus bore our sin on the Cross so sin
can be taken away: Who is to remove (Goodspeed); takes and bears away (Montgomery).
2. This was a means to an end. Once justice was satisfied and sins paid for through the Cross,
sinners who believe on Jesus can be transformed into sons through the new birth and be
indwelled by God.
3. On resurrection day, as word spread that the tomb was empty, Jesus began to show Himself to His
followers. Note several things that occurred when He appeared to His eleven disciples.
a. Luke 24:44-48–Jesus went through the Old Testament Scriptures (prophecies and pictures of Him)
and used them to explain what He accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection.
1. He assured them that they could now proclaim remission (or wiping out) of sins to those who
repent (turn to Him and believe).
2. John 20:19-23–John’s account gives more information: After explaining the Scriptures
concerning Himself, Jesus breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit (v22).
b. Acts 1:1-9–Jesus remained with His disciples for forty days before returning to Heaven.
1. On the day of His ascension (return) to Heaven Jesus and the disciples walked out to Bethany,
a village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, two miles from Jerusalem.
2. Before He left them, Jesus told His followers they were not to begin their ministry until they
received the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost, in a few days. This occurred ten days later
on the Feast of Pentecost. They were baptized in the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:1-4
c. What happened here? Why forty days after Jesus breathed on the disciples to receive the Holy
Ghost did He tell them they still had to wait for the Holy Spirit?
1. In John 20:22–Jesus used the Scriptures to preach the gospel (good news) to them that He had
taken away their sin through His sacrifice and they could now receive remission of sins. They
believed His Word and were born of the spirit (born again).
2. You will recall that God created men and women to become His sons and daughters. But sin
took the plan off track. Through Adam’s sin men were made sinners by nature (Rom 5:19).
Jesus died to restore God’s plan and make it possible for sinners to be transformed into sons.
A. Gen 2:7–When God made Adam, he formed his body first and breathed into him the
breath of life. On resurrection day we see the recreation (restoration and transformation)
of men from sinners into sons through faith in Christ.
B. Just as God breathed on men in the first creation, Jesus initiated the new creation, a race
of sons who are and will be conformed to the image of Christ. The disciples were
cleansed of sin and their nature changed from sinner to son by the power of the Holy
Spirit. II Cor 5:17; Rom 8:29
4. Luke 24:49-51; Acts 1:5–Subsequent to this event Jesus told them they would be baptized in the Holy
Ghost and endued with power from on high.
a. Baptism is from the Greek word bapto, which refers to immersion, submersion, and emergence
(Vine’s Dictionary). It carries the idea: to make whelmed or fully wet (Strong’s Concordance).
Jesus compared the experience to John’s baptism where they immersed in water. (Matt 3:16–Jesus
came up out of the water).
1. Luke 24:49–Endued means to be clothed with. It was used metaphorically of power. Clothed
(Amp); invested with power from above (20th Cent).
2. Acts 2:4–On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost. Filled means
to put into as much as can be held or contained conveniently; diffused throughout their souls
b. The New Testament teaches two distinct experiences with the Holy Spirit, being born of the Spirit
and being baptized in the Spirit. We’ll examine this in more detail in upcoming lessons, but
consider one thought now. This is difficult to talk about for two reasons.
1. We’re talking about an Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Invisible God who interacts with and
indwells finite human beings. We simply accept and believe what the Bible teaches.
2. We have almost 2,000 years of religious traditions that have developed since Jesus came to
earth, with widely varying doctrine regarding the Holy Spirit and what it means to be born of
and filled with the Holy Spirit. We have to closely study what the Bible says and be willing to
accept its testimony above our experience or our denominational background.
5. Acts 2–When Jesus’ first 120 followers (Acts 1:15) were baptized in the Holy Ghost they began to
speak with other tongues (more on this in upcoming lessons). Jerusalem was jammed with Jews from
many nations who had come to participate in the Feast of Pentecost.
a. Many heard the noise coming from the upper room. And Peter preached to the crowd. This is the
public debut of the Church (believers in the resurrected Lord).
b. The crowd to whom Peter preached was made up of men and women familiar with Old Testament
prophets. Peter quoted the prophet Joel to explain what was happening. Acts 2:16-21
1. Many of the Old testament prophets wrote of the coming day of the Lord (what we know as
the Second Coming of Christ) to cleanse the earth of wickedness, corruption, and death and
establish His kingdom on earth so God can live with His family of redeemed sons and
daughters forever. Peter said: You are witnessing the beginning of it.
2. The last days are the days leading up to the coming of the Lord to complete His plan of
redemption by establishing His eternal kingdom on this earth so He can live with His family.
They began with Jesus’ first coming and will culminate with His return.
3. According to the prophet Joel, in the last days God will pour out of His Spirit on men and
women. There’s much in his prophecy we aren’t going to discuss now, but note: There’s that
idea of God coming to dwell with and in men and supernatural things happen.
1. The apostle Paul is the one who wrote that believers are filled with the same power that raised Christ
from the dead. Eph 1:19-23
a. He also frequently referred to believers as the Temple of God who have the Spirit of God dwelling
in them. It wasn’t a religious statement to him. It was a statement of reality.
1. Our nature has been so cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb that we can be indwelled by God.
2. Paul used this fact to appeal to and exhort Christians to live holy lives that glorify God. I Cor
3:16; I Cor 6:19,20
b. Paul lived with the consciousness that God by His Spirit was in him to work in and through him
(Eph 3:7; Col 1:29; etc.). He wrote these words: Eph 3:20–Now to Him Who, by (in
consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His
purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think infinitely
beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams. (Amp)
1. In context, this is clearly the same power that raised Christ from the dead, the one Paul prayed
believers would know was in them. Eph 1:19,20
2. Rom 8:11–The Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead. This same Spirit dwells in us to
quicken or give life to us. Yes, this is a reference to future resurrection of our bodies.
A. But the context makes it clear the Holy Spirit is in us to give us present tense help as well.
B. Paul went on to say that by the power of the Holy Ghost in us we can bring to an end the
sinful activities of the parts of us that have not yet been conformed to the image of Christ.
c. In a passage contrasting believers with unbelievers Paul wrote: II Cor 6:16–We are the temple of
the living God, even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and
with and among them. (Amp)
1. Note that this a quote from Old testament prophets we looked at earlier in the lesson. This
was God’s plan all along, to indwell His sons and daughters by His Spirit.
2. Notice that God wants to dwell and walk in us. Dwell has the idea of live with and in. Walk
has the idea of activity. God wants relationship with us and He wants to work in us and
through us (lessons for another day).
2. Note this translation of I Cor 6:19–Are you not conscious that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
that is in you (Williams).
a. As we begin this portion of our series, I encourage you to begin to think about and become
conscious of the fact that Almighty God is in you by His Spirit. He wants to live and walk in you.
b. If you haven’t already done so, begin to pray the prayer in Ephesians for yourself, that you would
see more clearly the greatness of the power in you because you are a son of God. More next week.