THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. Introduction: We have been talking about the importance of knowing who Jesus is according to the New
Testament, so that we can accurately represent Him to the world around us, and so that we can be protected
from the increasing religious deception that is all around us. Matt 24:4-5
1. The New Testament was written by eyewitnesses of Jesus (or close associates of eyewitnesses), men
who saw Jesus, heard Him teach, saw Him die, and then saw Him alive again.
a. The eyewitnesses report that Jesus is God become man without ceasing to be God—one Person, two
natures, human and divine. This is the mystery of the Incarnation. John 1:1; John1:14; I Tim 3:16
b. Jesus took on a human nature so that He could die as a sacrifice for sin and open the way for all who
believe in Him as Savior and Lord to be restored to their created purpose. Eph 1:4-5
1. Human beings were created for relationship with Almighty God, created to become His holy,
righteous sons and daughters through faith in Him—sons and daughters who are fully
glorifying to Him in every part of our being. However, sin has disqualified us for the family.
2. Jesus, through His death on the Cross, paid the penalty for our sin. When we acknowledge
Him as Savior and Lord, God can justify us (declare us not guilty) and do what He always
intended to do—indwell us by His life and Spirit. Rom 5:1
A. When a man or woman believes on Jesus, God imparts life (the uncreated life in God
Himself, zoe) to their innermost being, and they become literal sons and daughters of God
by birth—a second or new birth. John 1:12-13
B. This inward new birth is the beginning of a process of transformation that will ultimately
affect every part of our being, until we are fully restored to everything that God intended us
to be before sin infected and corrupted the human race. Rom 8:29-30
1. God’s plan is that we be conformed to the image of Christ—become sons and
daughters of God who are like Jesus in holiness, love, character, and power. 2.
Although Jesus was and is fully God and fully man, while on earth He lived as a man
in dependence on God as His Father and showed us what sons of God look like. Jesus
is the pattern and standard for God’s family. I John 2:6
2. Last week we began to talk about this process of transformation. Before we discuss more information
about the process, we need to talk about the Holy Spirit, because He is the one who brings about the new
birth and produces this transformation as we cooperate with Him.
B. Before we discuss the Holy Spirit and His work in us, we need to revisit some points we made earlier in the
year about the nature of God. (Review lesson TCC—1211 if necessary.)
1. The Bible reveals that there is only one God. However, God in His ultimate Being, exists as three
distinct Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is triune by nature, or three in one.
a. This revelation is known as the doctrine of the Trinity. The word Trinity is not in the Bible, but the
teaching (or doctrine) is. Trinity comes from two Latin words—tri (three) and unis (one).
b. God is one God who simultaneously manifests as three Persons. Person is the best word we can use
to describe the indescribable. Words fall short because, to us, person means an individual who is
separate from other individuals.
1. These three Persons are not separate. They co-inhere or share one Divine nature. The Father
is all God, the Son is all God, and the Holy Spirit is all God—not three Gods, but one God.
2. They are distinct Persons in the sense that each is aware of the others, speaks to the others, loves
and honors the others. However, all the fullness of Deity (the Divine nature) is shared fully by
each Person. They are co-equal and co-eternal.
2. This is a difficult topic to discuss because we are talking about an infinite (limitless) Being, and we have
only finite (limited) words to describe Him. God’s nature is beyond our comprehension. We simply
accept it with awe, wonder, and worship.
a. When we try to explain the nature of God, we degrade the doctrine into something that it’s not.
God is not like an egg, or the sun and its rays, or a man who is a father, a brother, and an uncle.
b. God is not three Gods, nor is He one God who sometimes appears as the Father, sometimes as the
Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit. He is one God who simultaneously manifests as three
1. The Bible clearly states that there is only One God, but it also calls three distinct Persons God—
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Deut 6:4; Isa 44:6; Isa 45:5; I Cor 8:4; I Thess 1:9;
I Tim 1:17; II Pet 1:2; John 20:26-28; Acts 5:3-4; etc.
2. All three Persons possess the attributes of God—Omnipresence or present everywhere at once
(Jer 23:23-24: Matt 18:20; Matt 28:20; Ps 139:7); Omniscience or all knowingness (Rom
11:33; Matt 9:4; I Cor 2:10); Omnipotence or all power (I Pet 1:5; Matt 28:18; Rom 15:19).
3. The doctrine of the Trinity is not explicitly stated in the Scripture in the sense that there is one verse that
spells it out. But it is implied in both the Old and the New Testament.
a. The full revelation of God’s triune nature was not possible until the second Person of the Trinity, the
Son, took on a human nature (incarnated) and was born into this world. And then, following Jesus’
death and resurrection, the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit (more on this in a moment).
b. Even though these three Persons are co-equal and united in purpose, there is a division of labor
among them. Each Person took a specific role in our redemption, our salvation from sin.
1. The Father planned redemption and sent the Son to die for our sin (Eph 1:4-5; John 3:16; I John
4:9-10). The Son willingly left Heaven, took our place on the Cross, and was punished for our
sin. When Jesus returned to Heaven, He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to apply or carry
out this salvation it out in our lives. Phil 2:6-9; Heb 2:9; 14-15; John 3:6; Titus 3:5
2. Even though these Persons are co-equal and united in purpose, there is a division of labor.
Difference in function does not mean difference in nature. All are God.
4. The eyewitnesses (the men who walked and talked with Jesus and wrote the New Testament documents)
accepted the triune nature of God, but made no effort to explain the unexplainable.
a. The apostles saw and experienced the Trinity. They walked with the Son, heard the Father speak
from Heaven on several occasions, and then were indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Matt 3:16-17; Matt
17:1-5; Acts 2:1-4
b. The eyewitnesses mention these three Persons together in numerous New Testament passages. Rom
14:17-18; Rom 15:16; Col 1:6-8; I Cor 2:2-5; I Thess 1:3-5; II Thess 2:13-14; etc.
c. All but one of the New Testament writers were Jewish—strict monotheists who believed in only one
God, Jehovah. They knew that to acknowledge any other God was blasphemy and idolatry.
1. Matt 28:18-20—Jesus sent them out to preach and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit. Note that the name is singular.
2. The apostles would have understood this to be the name by which Jehovah was to now be
known—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—the Triune God who saves us, and whom we
worship and serve.
d. People sometimes ask: Who (which one) should we pray to? There’s no right or wrong way to
pray. We pray to the Triune God—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
1. When Jesus said that we are to pray to the Father in His name, He wasn’t giving us the rules for
prayer. Jesus made this statement at the Last Supper. John 16:23
2. He was preparing His first apostles for the fact that through what He would do at the Cross over
the next few days, they would be able to approach God as their Father. His sacrifice will make
it possible for them to become sons of God through new birth.
5. Some who misunderstand the Holy Spirit say that He is an “it”, an impersonal force or influence. But
the Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person—the third Person of the Triune God.
a. We know that the Holy Spirit is God because He has divine attributes. He is Eternal (Heb 9:14),
Omnipresent (Ps 139:7), Omnipotent (Luke 1:35), Omniscient (I Cor 2:10-11).
1. He does what only God can do: He participated in creation (Gen 1:2), inspired the Scriptures
(II Pet 1:20-21; II Tim 3:16), and raised Christ from the dead (Rom 8:11).
2. The New Testament writers refer to the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4; I Cor 12:4-6), and they
applied passages to the Holy Spirit that were originally written about Jehovah in the Old
Testament (Heb 10:15-17; Jer 31:31-34).
b. Based on what the eyewitnesses wrote about Him in the New Testament, we know that the Holy
Spirit is a Person.
1. They report that He has a mind (Rom 8:26-27; I Cor 2:10-11) and a will (I Cor 12:11). He
intercedes for people (Rom 8:26-27). He teaches (John 14:26) and gives gifts to believers
(I Cor 12:7-11).
2. The Holy Spirit refers to Himself as a Person (Acts 13:2; Acts 10:19-20). He can be lied to
(Acts 5:3-4), grieved (Eph 4:30), resisted (Acts 7:51), and insulted (Heb 10:29).
3. Matt 28:19—Name is singular in the Greek, indicating one God, yet three distinct Persons.
The Father is a Person. The Son is a Person. How can two Divine Persons share a single
name with a non-person, a force?
c. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned as often as the Father and the Son. His purpose is not to draw
attention to Himself, but to Jesus, and through Jesus, to the Father. Consequently, He is not in the
forefront. Difference in function does not mean inferiority of nature.
1. Jesus called Himself the Truth—the full revelation of God to mankind (John 14:6). And He
called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth (John 14:17) who guides us into truth.
2. John 16:13-14—He will not be presenting His own ideas. He will be telling you what he has
heard…He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me (NLT).
C. The night before Jesus went to the Cross (at what we call the Last Supper) He made a number of statements
about the Holy Spirit, as He prepared His apostles for the fact that He was going to leave them and return to
Heaven. John 13-16
1. Among other things, Jesus said that He and the Father were going to send the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)
to them. Jesus stated that He (the Holy Spirit) has been with you and will soon be in you. John 14:16-17
a. Ghost and Spirit are the same word in the original Greek language (pneuma), a word that means
breath or wind. It is a non-personal, neuter word. That means it is neither male nor female.
1. The Bible does use non-personal symbols to describe the Holy Spirit (dove, oil, water, fire),
just as they are used for Jesus (door, rock, bread). But no one suggests that Jesus is not a
Person. Words can only go so far in describing an infinite God to finite human beings.
2. Note, however, that Jesus used the masculine pronoun with this word Spirit. Jesus called the
Holy Spirit “He”. According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is a Person.
b. Jesus authenticated everything He said and did by rising from the dead. (Remember, when we
examine the resurrection by the same standards used to assess other historical events, we find that
there is more evidence for Jesus’ resurrection than other well accepted historical events.
2. Note also that Jesus called the Holy Spirit another Comforter. The Greek word translated another
means another of the same sort. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is like Me.
a. The word Comforter in the Greek language literally means someone called alongside to give aid
(help). The Amplified Bible amplifies the word Comforter this way: Counselor, Helper,
Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby.
b. Jesus told His apostles: It is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the
(Comforter) won’t come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you (John
3. Note also that Jesus said the Holy Spirit is with you now, but He will be in you. How can the Holy Spirit
be with them and then be sent to them? He had been with them all along because He is the Omnipresent
God. But His ministry to them will change once Jesus pays for sin at the Cross. He will indwell them.
a. John 14:23—Jesus went on to say that the Father and the Son would come to live in those who love
and obey Him. The Father and the Son will indwell believers by the Holy Spirit whom they (the
Father and the Son) will send in Jesus’ place.
b. The relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is so close that the Holy Spirit is
referred to as the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) and the Spirit of the Father (Matt 10:20). Remember
God’s nature (three in one, triune) is beyond our comprehension.
1. This is a major theme in Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, the change in the relationship between
God and man because of what Jesus will do through His death, burial, and resurrection.
2. John 14:20—At that time (following the resurrection) you will recognize that I am in union
with the Father, and you will me, and I with you (20th Cent).
c. Remember that last week we talked about the mystery that Jesus revealed to Paul and commissioned
him to preach: Union with Christ through faith in Him. Col 1:26-27
4. I Cor 6:19-20—A divine Person, the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has come to live in us.
He has come to do in us and through us all that Jesus did for us on the Cross. 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
D. Conclusion: We have more to say about the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) and His work next week, but
consider these thoughts as we close.
1. John 7:37-39—A few months before the crucifixion, Jesus began to make statements about leaving to
return to Heaven. He told crowds gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles that anyone who is
thirsty can come to Him and drink, for out of that person’s belly will flow rivers of living water.
a. John the apostle (an eyewitness of Jesus) wrote his gospel many years after Jesus returned to
Heaven. After John quoted Jesus’ statement, he added a note of clarification that became obvious
after the resurrection. John reported that Jesus He was actually speaking about the Holy Spirit.
b. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will be a well of life flowing out of the belly (inward part) of a man or
a woman. Because of what Jesus accomplished at the Cross, a Divine Person, the Holy Spirit can
indwell us and begin the process of restoring us to what God always intended.
2. Tabernacles was a weeklong celebration of the fall harvest. At that time the people built booths (or
temporary shelters from branches) in remembrance of how the Israelites lived in the wilderness. The
celebration was a reminder of God’s faithfulness and protection.
a. On the last day of the feast (festival), a priest drew water out of the Pool of Siloam, located near the
Temple in Jerusalem. The water was carried in a golden vessel to the Temple and poured out over
the morning sacrifice as it lay on the altar.
1. All the people would sing Isaiah 12, especially v6—Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his
praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you (NLT).
2. This was an actual event celebrated by Israel, but as with many events in Israel’s history, it
pictures the ultimate end of salvation and redemption—God coming to live with His redeemed
and restored people.
b. The Pool of Siloam was fed by the only fresh water spring in the area, so the pool had a continuous
supply of living (as opposed to stagnant) water flowing into it to be drawn out. We have in us a
continuous supply of life in us, the Holy Spirit, who restores us to what we were always meant to be.