Who is the Holy Spirit?
If there is one doctrine that is completely misunderstood today it is the truth of the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? Some people have characterized the Holy Spirit as some force or power that needs to be harnessed. They feel that if you could just tap into this power you could feel God and always be on an emotional high. Many Pentecostal churches focus all of their teachings on the Holy Spirit and often ignore the Father and even Jesus himself.
On the other hand, there are many evangelicals who are on the other end of the spectrum who virtually ignore the Holy Spirit or figure Him to be something less than God himself. Some evangelicals will hardly mention the Words "Holy Spirit" for fear that they will be categorized as a charismatic fanatic. Who exactly is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a person
Defn: A person is someone who has intelligence, emotions and a will.
1. The Holy Spirit possesses intelligence.
The Spirit is said to know the things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-12)
The Bible talks about the "mind of the Spirit." (Romans 8:27)
2. The Holy Spirit is emotional.
It is possible to grieve the Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30)
3. The Holy Spirit has a will.
It is the Spirit who distributes spiritual gifts "as he wills" or "as he purposes." (1 Corinthians 12:11)
He prays for us. (Romans 8:26)
He also performs miracles. (Acts 8:39)
Is the Holy Spirit God?
In the lesson Who is God?, we learned that the Holy Spirit is God. Here are the few of the facts:
He knows the things of God - omniscient. (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)
No one can escape His presence - omnipresent. (Psalm 139:7)
He gave creation life and order - omnipotence. (Psalm 104:30; Job 33:4; Isaiah 40:12-13; Job 26:13)
He is also associated with the Father and Jesus on the same level. (Matthew 28:19)
The Work of the Holy Spirit
4. The Holy Spirit has always been working since the beginning of creation. The following is a snapshot of some of his functions:
The Spirit moved and guided the authors of the Bible so that they communicated exactly what God wanted man to know. (2 Peter 1:21)
The Spirit selectively indwelt men. (Genesis 41:38; Numbers 27:18; Daniel 4:8; 1 Peter 1:11)
He enables people for special service. (Exodus 31:3; Judges 14:6; 1 Samuel 16:13)
General restraint of sin. (Genesis 6:3; Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 51:11)
The work of the spirit in salvation
Since Jesus is the "author and finisher" of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the Holy Spirit also has a crucial role in the salvation plan.
5. He is convicting people of their sin. (John 16:8-11)
Conviction is making the message clear - not saving the soul.
The Holy Spirit can soften the hardest hearts and pierce the pride of the most stubborn people.
6. He regenerates non-believers. (Titus 3:5; John 3:3-8)
He causes non-believers to be born again.
Technically it is God's act of begetting eternal life in the one who believes in Christ. While faith and regeneration are closely associated, the two ideas are distinct, faith being the human responsibility and the channel through which God's grace is received, and regeneration being God's supernatural act of imparting eternal life (Ryrie, Charles C. A Survey of Bible Doctrine. Chicago: Moody Press, 1972, p. 76).
Regeneration brings with it a new nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Fruit from the new nature is proof of regeneration. (1 John 2:29)
7. He permanently indwells the believer. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Regardless of the believer's spiritual condition, the Spirit indwells him.
Even the Corinthians who indulged in gross sin were still indwelled. (2 Corinthians 1:22)
How do I know that I'm indwelled with the Spirit?
The Bible says so.
There is the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)
8. We are also baptized in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
This is for all believers without exception.
It occurred for the first time at Pentecost.
Every believer is baptized only once.
9. The Holy Spirit seals us until the day of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30)
The great truth about this doctrine is that we have eternal security - we cannot lose our salvation no matter what happens.
Being sealed with the Holy Spirit never gives anyone a license to sin. (Romans 6)
10. Every believer needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:17-21)
This is referring to a life that is under the influence or control of the Spirit. He leads and guides the believer, as the believer is sensitive to the Spirit.
In the Greek the verb tense is present tense, which means "continue being filled with the Spirit"
Conditions for being filled with the spirit
Dedicated life (Luke 9:23-24).
Who will run my life? Continued dedication and commitment to keep doing the will of God.
Not grieving the Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30)
A Spirit filled life is a life of dependence. (Galatians 5:16)
11. The Holy Spirit teaches us. (John 16:12-15; 1 John 2:27)
12. The Holy Spirit guides us. (Romans 8:14)
13. The Holy Spirit assures us that we are God's children. (Romans 8:26)
14. The Holy Spirit prays.
He guides us and directs us as we pray. (Ephesians 6:18)
He intercedes on behalf of all believers. (Romans 8:26-27)
As we learn these truths, may God grant that each of us submit to Him and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
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