Summary: The Holy Spirit is undeniably the least understood part of deity, yet he is said to live within us, a gift we receive when we are baptized. He has several names - Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Helper, and even Holy Ghost in early English translations.
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 Spiritl
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 study of the Holy Spirit is often avoided or passed over lightly, leaving many questions unanswered. It is difficult to grasp in concrete terms what the Bible says about him. The Holy Spirit has no physical appearance, except as a symbol, like “descending like a dove upon Jesus at the time of his baptism” (Mark 1:10), or a sound, “like a mighty rushing wind” (Acts 2:2) when the disciples were assembled on the day of Pentecost. Jesus, on the other hand, was visible to humans when he “became flesh” (John 1:1, 14) and took upon himself the form of a man (Philippians 2:7, Galatians 4:4) and was born, as humans are, of a woman (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12). No one has actually seen God’s face (Exodus 33:20), for as he said, anyone who did so would die; but men have seen representations of God in visions (Isaiah 6:1-5), as well as representatives of God (Genesis 32:24-30).
While the Father himself does not present himself physically but in various representations--most significantly in the person of Jesus Christ--he did interact with men, sometimes speaking with them directly, as with Adam and Eve, the patriarchs and prophets, and “as friend with friend” with Moses (Exodus 33:11), and upon one occasion, allowed Moses to see his glory from behind (Exodus 33:21-23). So the Father and the Son are easier for our minds to grasp than a being who presents himself so differently, without features familiar to the tangible world we live in. However, though harder to grasp, what the Bible records about the Holy Spirit is very important.
The Holy Spirit is deity, or God (2 Corinthians 3:17, John 4:24). This is one of the things that make the Holy Spirit difficult to understand. God is said to be one (Deut 6:4), and yet the scriptures tell us that the Son also is God (in the beginning the word (Christ) was with God and the word was God – John 1:1), and that the fullness of “the godhead” dwelt in him bodily (Colossians 2:9). Jesus told his disciples that anyone who had seen him and also seen the Father (John 14:7-9), and in fact, God himself, calls the Son “God” (Hebrews 1:5-8). The Spirit was present in the beginning at the creation (Genesis 1:2), and was involved in it (Psalm 104:24-30). Sometimes Christ accomplished things “through the Spirit.” (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 3:18) The seven letters to the churches in Asia were plainly from Christ (Revelation 1:18), yet within those very letters, he says “he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelation 2:11, etc.) God spoke to Isaiah in Isaiah 6:9-10, but Paul said “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers,” and then quoted from those words God had spoken to Isaiah (Acts 28:25).