Thesis: Though our knowledge of the Holy Spirit is limited, we know enough from Scripture to clear up many misconceptions about Him.


1. There is a general uneasiness and hesitancy in many Churches of Christ in talking about the Holy Spirit.

a. Because of the Pentecostal/Charismatic emphasis.

b. Cannot abdicate teaching about Holy Spirit to Pentecostals-this is an important Bible doctrine.

2. Tonight: Who is the Holy Spirit?

a. Misconceptions about the Holy Spirit can be cleared up by asking this question and letting Scripture answer.

b. Next week: The Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.


1. The Holy Spirit is not an "it."

a. A person, not a thing.

b. God the Father and God the Son are not "its."

c. Rom. 8:16, 26 in KJV (Greek is neuter).

2. The Holy Spirit is not a "ghost."

a. What do you think of when you hear the word "ghost?"

b. Holy Ghost comes from KJV tradition influenced more by Shakespeare, not the Apostles.

3. The Holy Spirit is not merely the Word.

a. Eph. 6:17--HS uses Word as a sword; difference between the soldier and the sword.

b. The Word is the product of the Spirit, but Spirit is far more than Word!

4. The Holy Spirit is not merely an influence.

a. The Holy Spirit is a person (John 14:16).

1) allos parakletos: "another comforter."

2) allos (another of the same kind) rather than heteros (another of a different kind).

3) Illust. The word for "comforter" or "counselor" is the greek word paraclete. Literally means "to call along side of." Used of lawyers in ancient world. Came along side of defendants. In the late 1940's Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier in major league baseball. Routinely booed anywhere he played. On one occasion he was being jeered at home. The popular Pee Wee Reese walked up to Robinson in the field and put his arm around him. Silenced the crowd. Pee Wee Reese was a paraclete! God's Holy Spirit is like that.

b. The Holy Spirit does the kinds of things people can do:

1) Thinks (1 Cor. 2:10-12).

2) Decides (Acts 13:1-2; 15:28; 1 Cor. 12:11).

3) Be treated like a person: lied to (Acts 5:3); tempted (Acts 5:9); blasphemed (Matt. 12:31); insulted (Heb. 10:29).

5. The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring glory to Christ (John 16:12-14).

a. Could only come after Jesus' departure (John 16:7).

1) Note John 7:37-39 ... "had not been given" = "was not yet" (lit. Gk.)

2) Illust. Roald Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer who was famous for exploring the Arctic and Antarctica. On one of his Arctic expeditions Amundsen took a homing pigeon with him. When he had finally reached the top of the world, he opened the bird's cage and set it free. You can imagine what seeing that bird meant to Amundsen's wife. It meant he was alive and well and had accomplished his mission. That's what the coming of the Holy Spirit meant to the first disciples. Jesus was alive and well and had accomplished his mission and was now seated at the right hand of God in glory.

b.The Holy Spirit has a FLOODLIGHT ministry.

c. The Holy Spirit functions the way a BEST MAN does at the wedding of his best friend.

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