Summary: The Holy Spitit is the encounter or touch we have from God the Father and God the Son.
The Christian Faith (The Holy Spirit) Week 1
1. The Spirit’s Divine Personality
Copyright 2005 by Bob Marcaurelle
GOD TOUCHING YOU AND ME
“The wind blows where it want to; and you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is just like this with everyone born (converted) by the Spirit.” (Jesus to Nicodemas)- John 3
A. The Divine Person- The Touch of God
1. The touch like Spirit, Breath and Wind
Jesus said when a person converts to Christianity, it is the Holy Spirit touching them like the wind touches a tree. On a calm, spring day you can see the leaves of a huge tree lying still and motionless. Suddenly, that all changes. You see nothing that causes it; but in an instant, every leaf on that tree is moving. It has been touched by the wind. The Hebrew and Greek words for wind, breath and spirit are identical-ruah in the Hebrew and pneuma in the Greek. As the breath of God moves a tree, so does His breath, His wind, His Spirit- move you and me. The Spirit is like the breath of God that comes to us from the unknown. The Holy Spirit, like a gentle wind, or sometimes like a strong hurricane, is God touching our lives.
2. The touch of the Trinity
Third Person of the Trinity The Three-fold nature of God is not a proposition we can understand and explain. It is the way we fallible human beings encounter and get to know God. The Father is the uncreated Creator, above and beyond any concept we have of Him; and whose nature we cannot even imagine. He told Moses no human being could see him and live. This God communicates who He is to human beings, through His “Word”; his “eternal Son”; who became a human being in Jesus (Jn. 1:14). In Him we see God living with us and sacrificing His life for us. That is why the NT says God, “purchased the church with His own blood.” (Acts 20) When He encounters or touches human beings, it is through His eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). This was true when Jesus walked the earth because when Peter proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus told him this knowledge came from the Father. And it came through the Holy Spirit.
3. The touch of Jesus and God the Father
The Holy Spirit is God touching us and Jesus Christ touching us. That is why He is called both “the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 6:11, etc.) and “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19).
4. A Holy Touch
David, in his great prayer for forgiveness, after he committed adultery and murder, is the first person to call Him the “Holy” Spirit (Ps. 51). Jesus adopted this and it is now the favorite designation. The term means “separate”, and certainly it means the Spirit is pure and sinless, like Jesus, separated from all that is evil or unloving. But it also points to the utter separateness of the great God beyond the universe.
5. A Personal Touch
It goes without saying that the Holy Spirit is not a power or influence, like love or electricity. In Scripture He is given all the characteristics of a person. He has intelligence. He understands the thoughts of God (1 Cor. 2:10-11). He has a will. He gives spiritual gifts “to each one just as he determines” (1 Cor. 12:11). He has love. Paul appealed to people “by the love of the Spirit” (Rom. 15:30). He knows grief when we sin (Eph. 4:30). He speaks to the seven churches in Revelation (Rev. 2:9). Jesus calls Him our Teacher (Jn. 14:26). It was the Spirit who said to the church at Antioch, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2). The Holy Spirit can be lied to (Acts 5:3) and He takes action. Scripture says “. . .the Spirit of Jesus would not allow” Paul to go to Bithynia (Acts 16:8).
Perhaps the clearest Scripture is in Acts 15 where “the Apostles, the elders and the whole church” (15:22) discussed how to treat the new converts from Gentile society. When they made up their minds and wrote their decision, they said, “It seemed good to us and to the Holy Spirit…” (15:28). There is no indication that they saw or heard the Spirit or had any kind of dream or vision. But when they prayed and thought and discussed, they knew the unseen, unheard Spirit of God the Father and the Son, was right there discussing and praying and thinking and guiding in them and alongside them.
B. The Forgotten God
Years after Pentecost some disciples of John the Baptist said they had “ not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). Throughout Church History the Holy Spirit has been neglected and even forgotten by the people of God. It has been said that “at the mention of the Holy Spirit, a typical Baptist wants to either fight or run.”. A. W. Tozer said, “The idea of the Spirit held by the average church member is so vague as to be nearly non-existent. Carl Bates, a great leader among Baptists, said “Baptist churches are so well organized that the Holy Spirit could leave and it would be six months before most of us would know He was gone.”.