Summary: A study of the Holy Spirit, noting His relationship within the Holy Trinity.

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“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” [1]

“God gave us a spirit…” It is a truly divine mystery—the Spirit of God hallows the body of each believer. This tabernacle, this body of frail flesh that is even now decaying and passing away, is declared to be the Temple of God. The Apostle has written, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” [1 CORINTHIANS 6:19, 20].

We understand that God presents Himself as a tripartite Being. When we speak about God or even address Him as God, we often become fuzzy in our thinking. For many Christians, it is not difficult to think of God the Father as God seated on His Throne. Though we speak of God the Son, believing that He is God, we do not always act as though He is God even if we give tacit acknowledgement that He is really and truly God. However, it is almost de rigueur to treat God the Spirit—the Third Person of the Trinity—as an influence rather than the Person He is. In short, the concept of the Triune God is difficult for us to grasp and whatever our conception of God, it tends to break apart when we begin to speak about the Holy Spirit.

I’ll be the first to confess that we preachers have done a poor job of teaching about the Triunity. We often gloss over the concept, giving the teaching short shrift. In fairness to those of us who preach, the subject often seems overwhelming as we attempt to communicate what is essentially the character of the Holy One in the short time available. I often feel restricted if I take the time I have allowed in these longer messages. Many pastors are trained to restrict themselves to twenty minutes or less. Candidly, I’m barely past my introduction after twenty minutes! Nevertheless, it is essential that we enable the saints to know God, equipping them to communicate the deep things of God to those they encounter. Our charge is to reveal God through His Word to those to whom we are sent.

The Apostle makes a fascinating statement that is easy to pass by if we aren’t careful. “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” [2 TIMOTHY 1:7]. That singular statement will be the focus of our study today. Please open your Bible to the passage and weigh the truths that God has provided in His Word.

GOD GAVE US A SPIRIT — Our focus in this message will be the Holy Spirit, commonly referred to as the Third Person of the Trinity. In order to discuss this concept intelligently, we need to define “Person.” What do we mean when we sing the words voiced in the Doxology, “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity?” Intoning these ancient words, we are giving voice to a divinely revealed truth concerning God. Understand that when we speak about God, human language will always prove inadequate. Our language is based on time; and God is not bounded by time. Also, language carries physical and spatial connotations that cannot apply to God. And yet we must use language to communicate what we know of God. One word that stands out as inadequate for describing the Triune God is the word “Person.”

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