Summary: The Bible uses various symbols to represent the Holy Spirit. Studying these symbols helps us to better understand the Holy Spirit.

Larry Brincefield,

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Title: "Reading the Note" 1 (Symbols of the Holy Spirit)

Text: Acts 2:2, Matthew 3:16


1. We focus a lot of attention on God and Jesus.

A. and rightfully so...

B. but sometimes I wonder if we shortchange the 3rd Person of the Trinity...the Holy Spirit.

C. This month, we’ve been focusing holiness and sanctification...

i. which happens through the activity of the Holy Spirit....

D. But sometimes, we focus so much attention on the ACTIVITY of the Holy Spirit,

i. I wonder if we overlook the "Person" of the Holy Spirit.

2. I compare it to receiving a birthday card...

A. do we quickly open the card

B. to see if there is a check or some cash enclosed...

C. then once you grab the money...

D. you throw away the card without reading the note?

E. The money’s nice...

F. but you are really missing out on a blessing if you don’t read the personal note written in the card!!

G. Tonight...I’d like us to read the note!

3. Throughout Scripture, we see different pictures or symbols of the Holy Spirit

A. These pictures or symbols are important.

B. They help us to have a better understanding of Who the Holy Spirit is.

C. And as we look at these symbols...

D. we will be reading the note

4. Read Text: Acts 2:2, Matthew 3:11, 16



A. The wind symbolizes the Spirit in a number of places. In Acts 2:2, Scripture tells us that the "blowing of a violent wind" accompanied the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

i. In John 3:8, Jesus told Nicodemus that "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit"

ii. We can’t see the wind,

a. but it is real

b. and it has great power.

c. The wind comes from the heavens, not earth,

a. but it affects people on the earth,

B. just like the Holy Spirit does.

i. we don’t see the Holy Spirit,

ii. but He has great power to move

iii. and change us.

iv. He comes from the heavens...

a. but He greatly affects people here on earth.

C. Wind also has a "cleansing" element.

i. I remember when Dad used to ask me to rake the lawn...

ii. one of the methods I used was to keep the grass closely mowed...

iii. and then on the next windy day...

iv. the wind would blow the leaves onto the neighbor’s property...

v. thus saving me several hours of hard work.

D. The Wind of the Holy Spirit has a cleansing element too.

i. When the Holy Spirit "blows" in and through us...

ii. it blows out the garbage of sin that has collected in our lives.

2. Another variation of the "wind" picture is, the Holy Spirit as "BREATH"

A. John 20:22 says, "And with that Jesus breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit"

B. In Ezekiel 37, Ezekiel prophesies to the dry bones in the valley

i. and the bones begin to form into bodies,

ii. but they had no life.

iii. Ezekiel 37:9-10 says, "Prophesy to the breath; ... and say to it, ’This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these ... that they may live.’" So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army"

iv. And then God says, in Ezekiel 37:14, "I will put my Spirit in you and you will live"

v. So we see the Holy Spirit as breath.

C. It is our breath that shows life.

i. When I took a CPR class, they taught us about how to recussitate someone who had become unconsious.

a. The first thing we were to do was to put our cheek next to the person’s mouth to see if we could feel breath going in and out...

b. while we were doing that...we would look at the chest...

c. to see if it was moving to signify breathing.

ii. If we could feel breath and see the chest moving...

a. we weren’t as concerned...

b. because there was life.

D. Genesis 2:7 says, "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being".

i. The KJV says, "and man became a living soul"

E. In the same way, the Holy Spirit gives us life in the Spirit...spiritual life

F. Psalm 150:6 says, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD"

i. Let’s praise the Lord, not only for our physical breath,

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