Summary: Walk in any library; sit down at any internet browser, search the word “GHOST” and you will be inundated with information. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost at all, but a real and active personal presence in our lives. He is referred to as the third person o
What Jesus said about the Father
“The Holy Spirit”
February 22, 2009
Walk in any library; sit down at any internet browser, search the word “GHOST” and you will be inundated with information.
Ghost stories date back to ancient times and are found in virtually every culture.
Of course today, they are popularized in many movies and TV shows, like, Ghost, Ghost Busters, Field of Dreams, Freddy Krueger and even reality TV series like “Paranormal State” and “Ghost Hunters.”
The first definition in the dictionary says a ghost is, “The soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ghost)”
Of course PC ghost products that are software programs. Ghost companies are something scam investors send money to. And a Ghost writer is a writer that is not a ghost at all but a person who writes something and is paid to allow the credit to go to someone else.
But, a wispy airy, apparition is what we usually think of when we here the word ghost.
That’s why I’m happy the new Bible translations have translated Holy Spirit, instead of Holy Ghost. I know they seem to be the same, but because we think of “spiritual” and spirituality when we here spirit, it leads us away from our ghostly thoughts.
The Holy Spirit is not a ghost at all, but a real and active personal presence in our lives. He is referred to as the third person of the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Now some folks have a hard time seeing the Holy Spirit as a person, because they think of a person as a human being. Jesus was a person, God was given personal attributes in the OT, but the Holy Spirit?
IL. When I was a young man I sat in on a Wednesday night Bible study, and heard the preacher speak of the Holy Spirit as a person. One man questioned him on it, and then got so flabbergasted he left the study. See, he grew up with the “Holy Ghost.” And couldn’t bring himself to see the Holy Spirit as a person. A person is a human right?
BUT when we say the Holy Spirit is a person we have to look at the philosophical definition of the word Person. That is, “A self-conscious rational being.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/person)
As we continue our series today we want to see what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit
To do that we are going to look at three different passages and see three things that Jesus said about Him.
Turn first to John 3:5-8
The Holy Spirit Brings New Birth (John 3:1-8)
Preview the story with Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee of the Jewish ruling council so that tells me he was a member of the Sanhedrin
V. 5 – NIV – “I tell you the truth” KJV, Verily, Verily, -- Greek – Amen, Amen, meaning this is really true – you can take it to the bank. Today, instead of repeating true, we promise or swear…
So the NIV translates that as close as they can to our understanding.
Break it down now – Jesus uses the term, “water and spirit.” There is a little bit of debate over this term water. What is He talking about?
Is water the amniotic fluid of the mother’s womb? He does seem to be contrasting flesh and spirit.
Is the water baptism? Acts 2:38 puts baptism and the spirit together when it says,
…"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
Is the water John’s baptism? Remember John’s baptism was not a spiritual baptism. It was a baptism of repentance, so there we could see flesh (John’s baptism) and spirit (born of the Spirit).
Personally I’m out on this one and believe all three explanations make sense. So I try and put it aside and remember that the meaning of “water and spirit” are not the key issues in this passage.
The key issue is that Jesus is telling a member of the Sanhedrin, the most legalistic class of Jesus’ day that entrance into God’s kingdom would not be achieved by legalism --- following a bunch of rules.
In order to enter God’s kingdom, You must be born again by the Holy Spirit!
How? Remember this is John 3. The most well known verse in the world is here at the tail in of Jesus’ discussion with Nic. “You must believe in Him to have eternal life!
The second thing Jesus says about the Holy Spirit is:
The Holy Spirit Convicts and Guides (John 16:7-16)