Summary: Today, the Holy Spirit indwells believers and wants to change us.
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THE MYSTERY OF THE SPIRIT
“The Holy Spirit leaves no footprints in the sand” (Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit).
“The wind [pneuma] blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit [pneuma]” (John 3:8).
Pneuma – “breath, wind, spirit.”
THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT
“And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
· The Holy Spirit was ALWAYS in the world.
(1) The CREATION of the world
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:1-2).
(2) The INSPIRATION of Scripture
For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
(3) The MINISTRY of Jesus
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
· But on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit “came” in a NEW way.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
THE IDENTITY OF THE SPIRIT
· Jehovah’s Witnesses: “The holy spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God that moves his servants to do his will” (Let God Be True, p. 108).
· Mormons: “The Holy Ghost is one of God’s spirit children who has yet to gain a body, but performs a vital role in the Godhead as a testator (confirmer) of truth” (MormonWiki.com).
· United Pentecostal Church: “The Holy Ghost is not a third person in the Godhead, but rather the Spirit of God (Creator), the Spirit of the resurrected Christ” (upci.org).
Who is the Holy Spirit?
· The Holy Spirit is a PERSON.
“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13).
“In the original Greek text, the neuter word Spirit should be followed by the neuter pronoun. However, contrary to grammatical rules, the pronoun is masculine (e.g., John 16:7, 8, 13, 14, etc.) to emphasize the fact that the Holy Spirit is a person and not a thing.” (Rene Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, p. 13).
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another [allos] Counselor [parakletos] to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16)
Allos – “another of the same kind”
Parakletos – “one who is called alongside, one who is called to help” (see also John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7).
· The Holy Spirit is GOD.
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit…. You have not lied to men but to God?” (Acts 5:3-4).
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity:
(1) There is only ONE God, and this one God is in THREE Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(2) The Persons are DISTINCT: the Holy Spirit is God, but the Holy Spirit is not the Father.
Some people believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three different ways that God revealed Himself. This error is known as Sabellianism or modalism.
THE INDWELLING OF THE SPIRIT
“The world cannot accept [the Spirit], because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17).
“The Spirit’s ministry to people in Old Testament times was not the same as it has been since the Day of Pentecost. Notice how repeatedly the Lord spoke of the ‘coming’ of the Spirit (who was already present) in His conversations with the disciples in the Upper Room (John 15:26; 16:7-8, 13). This indicates both that the Spirit was at work then and that His work would take on a different character after Pentecost. When the Lord summarized that contrast He said the Spirit ‘abides (present tense) with (para) you and will be (future tense) in (en) you’ (14:17)” (Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, p. 347).