Summary: Jesus said "If I do not go away, the Helper will not come." Why not? This part examines that question as well as our dependence on the Holy Spirit, and his function as our guarantee, grieving the Holy Spirit, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
This nine-part series was originally developed for a class environment, and later adapted for use in a prison ministry conducted via correspondence. Because of that background, questions were developed for each lesson for participants to use in a setting conducive to discussion, or as handouts for private use if the lessons are presented as sermons. At the beginning of each part of the series, I will include the outline of the series.
OUTLINE OF THIS SERIES OF STUDIES
Introduction, Holy Spirit as deity
Names of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
Holy Spirit in the NT (apostles to receive power)
Gabriel’s message to Mary
Foreseen by NT characters—Jesus, John
What we learn from Jesus in John 14,16
The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost
Baptism in, or by, the Holy Spirit
Baptism of believers
If I do not go away the Holy Spirit will not come
Men received and were dependent on the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a Guarantee
Grieving the Holy Spirit
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
Being Filled With the Spirit
The Holy Spirit in the Functioning of the church (first installment)
(1 Cor 12; Rom 12; Eph 4)
Gifts of the Spirit
Grace as Gifts (did not delve into each of the gifts, or special aptitudes, given by the Holy Spirit)
Functions “God Has Appointed”
The empowering gifts of the Holy Spirit
Bestowing honor upon less “presentable” members
Order of functions (First apostles, second prophets, third teachers) Teachers discussed in Part 6
First apostles, second prophets, third teachers.
Ministries of the Holy Spirit
Are the Bible and the Holy Spirit the same?
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit
The Spirit vs the Flesh
Attributes of the Holy Spirit
Acting in opposition to the Holy Spirit
• Lying to the Holy Spirit
• Resisting the Holy Spirit
• Quenching the Holy Spirit
• Grieving the Holy Spirit
• Defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit
• Insulting the Spirit of Grace (doing despite)
Intercessor (though mentioned previously)
How Can I Know if I Have the Holy Spirit?
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THE HOLY SPIRIT
“If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.”
“...but if I go, I will send him to you.” What did Jesus mean by this statement on that last night he spoke to his eleven disciples before praying, then going across the Kidron Brook to the garden of Gethsemane? (John 16:7) Did he mean that Jesus and the Helper, who is the Holy Spirit, could not exist in the earthly realm at the same time? No, that certainly wasn’t the reason, because as we have seen, the Holy Spirit under various descriptions and names had been active in the creation and had a part in human doings from the very beginning, all through the Old and New Testaments, and was active during Jesus’ life. When Jesus was baptized, the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove, and pronounced him to be God’s Son (Matthew 3:16-17). He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). Jesus himself said that it was “by the Spirit of God” that he cast out devils (Matthew 12:28), and we can rightly assume that the Spirit was the power through which Jesus performed other miracles. It is plain from these and other evidences that the Holy Spirit was present and involved in earthly matters before and during Jesus’ lifetime.
Why then does Jesus say the Helper would not come unless he went away? It was because if Jesus did not die, and offer his blood in the Holy Place, of which the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle was only a symbol, there would be no redemption from sin (Hebrews 9:11-14), and therefore no mission for his disciples. With no good news to tell, the Holy Spirit had no help or comfort to offer. In fact, if Jesus had not died and offered his blood before God’s very throne, God might as well have destroyed Adam and Eve and the entire creation at the moment they sinned, before they drew another breath, for there would have been no saving of the human race.
But Jesus did go away, and the Helper did come. The presence of the Spirit does not replace or displace the presence of Christ, for both are said to live within us who believe in him. When Jesus died, the full meaning and impact of his life, mission, and death were not yet clearly understood, and would not be until the gospel and man’s response to it were preached about 50 days later, on the day of Pentecost. On that day, the Helper came and through the apostles, fully revealed the gospel, God’s plan of salvation, and the way by which it is accessed.