The Holy Spirit (1)
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity
. He has come to establish the Church.
1. THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BIBLE
The Holy Spirit has a personality (not an "it"). He has:
- a mind - Romans 8:27
- a will - 1 Corinthians 12:11
- feeling - Ephesians 4:30; Romans 15:30 (love)
- knowledge (including self-knowledge) - 1 Corinthians 2:11
He is able to do things that only a "person" can do:
- reveal - 2 Peter 1:21
- teach - John 14:26; 16:14; Luke 12:12; 1 Corinthians 2:13
- witness - Galatians 4:6; Hebrews 10:15
- intercede - Romans 8:26
- search - 1 Corinthians 2:10
- speak - Acts 8:29; 10:19; 13:3; Revelation 2:7,11 (not about Himself - John 16:13)
- choose - Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 11
- inspire - 2 Timothy 3:16
- lead - Acts 8:29; Romans 8:14
- command - Acts 13:2, 4
- give permission - Acts11:12
- forbid - Acts16:6-7
- testify - John 15:26
- be jealous - James 4:5
- be grieved - Ephesians 4:30; Isaiah 63:10 (or "vexed")
- be insulted - Hebrews 10:29
- be lied to - Acts 5:3, 4
- be blasphemed - Matthew 12:31, 32
- give invitations - Revelation 22:17
- strive with people- Genesis 6:3
- be resisted - Acts 7:51
- be tested, tempted - Acts 5:9
- be described as "He/Him" - John 14:16, 17; 16:7-8, 13-14 (12 times in John 16 alone).
Distinct from God the Father & Jesus Christ the Son - Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2;
Acts 10:38; 15:28.
2. HIS NAMES AND TITLES
The names and titles of the Holy Spirit (or "Holy Ghost", which was adopted for the Authorised
Version of 1611, but is less helpful today given common usage of the term "ghost") describe His
character and attributes.
Spirit of God - Exodus 31:3 - Has the attributes and performs the works of God:
- called "My Spirit" - Genesis 6:3
- called God - Acts 5:3, 4; Ephesians 4:30
- eternal - Hebrews 9:14
- omniscient -1 Corinthians 2:10, 11
- omnipotent - Luke 1:35; Romans 15:19
- called Spirit of Glory and of God - 1 Peter 4:14
- omnipresent - Psalm 139:7-13
- creator - Genesis 1:26; Job 33:4
- gives new birth - John 3:1-8
- involved in Jesus' resurrection - Romans 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18
- ranked as equal with Father and Son - 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew
28:19 (in the baptismal command given by Jesus)
- inspired the Word of God - 2 Timothy 3:16 with 2 Peter 1:21
- source of Divine power - Matthew 12:28 with Luke 11:20; Acts 19:11 with Romans 15:19
- appoints, commissions and sends God's ministers - Acts 13:2, 4 with Matthew 9:38; Acts
- directs where the Gospel should be preached - Acts 16:6, 7, 10
- called "Spirit of your Father" (God) - Matthew 10:20
The same Holy Spirit supernaturally brings us to Jesus Christ (John 6:44); reveals the truth of
Christ to us (John 16:13); lives in us, energizing, directing, empowering us as the children of
God. We need to submit to His presence, authority, will and be led by Him; kept by Him (cf
Jude 20, 21).
Spirit of Christ
- Romans 8:9
Spirit of Glory
- Christ was led by Him, eg Luke 4
- sent in the name of Christ - John 14:26
- sent through Christ's intercession - John 14:16
- "another" comforter, like Christ (The Greek has two words for another: heteros = another of
a different kind; allos = another of the same kind. The latter is used in the NT)
- to replace Christ when ascended - John 16:7
- Christ is the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit - Matthew 3:11
- came to glorify Christ - John 16:14
- indwells believes as Christ dwelling in our hearts - Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:9, 10
- imparts the life of Christ to us - Romans 8:2.
- Helps us glorify God. Reflects the glory of God in us and in the Church - 1 Peter
- John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7.
Parakletos = one who is called to come along side of us
(Latin uses "Advocatus, or advocate, a term used in 1 John 2:1 in reference to the role of Jesus
- came to continue the work of Christ
- "alongside" Christians and give power, assurance, authority to do the work of Christ
- He would give them invisibly what Jesus gave them visibly
- not restricted to one place at a time.
- comforts the church - Acts 9:31
- gives God's joy to Christians -Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6.
- He is our teacher: John 16:12, 13. (This does not infer that we do not need human
teacher; but in the ultimate sense what we receive from God needs to be spiritually imparted.)
Holy Spirit, or Spirit of Holiness
- Luke 11:13; Romans 1:4
Spirit of Wisdom
- Spirit of the Holy One. Spirit of God.
- He is the one who "sets us apart" to God, transforms us, makes us holy.
- Sanctifies the church - Romans 15:16; makes us "saints".
- Exodus 28:3; Ephesians 1:17.
He imparts God's eternal wisdom to us (as distinct from human wisdom, which is compromised,
cf 1 Corinthians 2 and 3).
Holy Spirit of Promise
Spirit of Truth
- promised throughout the OT (Ezekiel 36:27; Joel 2:28)
- promised by Jesus Christ (Luke 24:49; Galatians 3:14). See also Ephesians 1:13
- confirms and validates God's promises in our lives
John 14:17, 27; 16:13 He is the personification of Truth. He:
- speaks the truth;
- reveals and verifies the truth of God, His Word, Jesus Christ;
- opens our eyes, gives us illumination, understanding and power to experience the Truth;
- does not speak of Himself, but the words and life of Christ;
- jealously guards God's truth, eg Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:1-11
Distinguished from the "spirit of error" (1 John 4:6) in the world, inspired by Satan.
Spirit of Grace
Referred to in Hebrews 10:29; Zechariah 12:10. Imparts God's grace to us:
Spirit of Life
- to repent for salvation
- to live for Him, in a way that pleases God.
Makes us free from the "law of sin and death". Gives us abundant life. Romans 8:2; Revelation
11:11. He also gives us life as the Creator, the "breath of God", Psalm 104:30; Isaiah 42:5.
The letter of the law "kills", but the Spirit gives life - 2 Corinthians 3:6.
Spirit of Adoption
The "agent" of our adoption, or incorporation in the family of God as His legal heirs- Romans
8:15, Galatians 4:5, 6. Confirms our sonship in our hearts.
Spirit of Burning
- Isaiah 4:4 - Searching out, refining, burning dross, illuminating the believer.
3. SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Isaiah 4:4; Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16
- purges (burning out dross and impurity) and purifies
Holy Spirit gives us burning zeal, boldness. Speaking of the power of our witness, someone once
said, "If you are on fire for Christ, people will come to watch you burn".
- Job 33:4
Spirit means: "breath" or "wind:" Hebrew "Ruach"; Greek "Pneuma". Ezekiel 37:7-10; Acts 2:2
Jesus used the illustration of wind to signify the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion - John 3:8.
He subsequently "breathed" on the disciples and imparted the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).
- Isaiah 44:3, 4; Ezekiel 36:25-27 (type); John 4:14; 7:38, 39
Water in the Bible symbolizes life, renewal. The Holy Spirit is the source of life. Human religion
is like "clouds without water" (Jude), promising but not delivering. Water:
- quenches thirst, refreshes
- makes fruitful
The water of the Spirit continues to flow through willing believers.
- Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22
- seal implies ownership and responsibility - we belong to Him (have the seal, or branding, of
God in us - 2 Timothy 2:19)
- security- Ephesians 1:13, cf Revelation 7:3. In Roman times, a person found tampering with
official seals was judged severely. We must not break the seal either - Ephesians 4:30
- authority - someone using the seal of another (eg a person in power, such as a Governor)
acted with their authority. We have Christ's authority for His work (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Hebrews 1:9; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38
Oil was used for anointing (priests, kings, one prophet). Jesus was anointed (Acts 10:38). Also
used for food, light, healing. The Holy Spirit in us produces these things (2 Corinthians 1:21).
Speaks of grace, gentleness, purity, peace, patience. The Holy Spirit "brooded" over the waters
in Genesis 1:2. In form of a dove at Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:16 and the 3 other Gospels).
- Ephesians 1:14 - Down-payment, deposit, guarantee of balance of payment to come.
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Holy Spirit was active in Old Testament times. Mentioned 86 times, in 27 of the 39 books.
Ruach= the Spirit (of man or God).
Created man partook of Spirit of Life (Genesis 7:22; Isaiah 17:5). 14 references in Pentateuch.
Exodus = focus on Spirit of Wisdom. In Judges seen in-breathing courage, strength. Isaiah and
Ezekiel have 13/15 = 28 references. The Holy Spirit transported Ezekiel to places where he was
- personally involved in creation - Genesis 1:2 ("incubat", Latin Vulgate); Job 26:13; Psalm
33:6; 104:30; brought order out of chaos; continues to renew life in living creatures
(including man) and the "face of the earth".
- created and sustains man - Genesis 2:7; Job 33:4. We are sustained by the Spirit (however
this does not mean we are "part" of the Spirit, as some New Age teaching suggests);
- we all live by the creative power of the Spirit within us - Daniel 5:23; Acts 17:27, 28.
- the same Spirit is involved in re-creation - John 3:5
(ii) RELATING TO MAN
Progressively throughout the Old Testament:
- before the flood, strove with fallen man regarding sin - Genesis 6:3 (cf John 16:8);
- led the Children of Israel during their wanderings after the exodus from Egypt - Nehemiah
9:20; however, they rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit, so He became their enemy - Isaiah
- after the exile in Babylon, strove with the apostate Israelites, seeking to draw them back to
Himself - Nehemiah 9:30;
- assured the people through Haggai that He was still among them - Haggai 2:5.
(iii) PRODUCING WORKERS FOR GOD
|Joseph||Genesis 41:38-40 - gave wisdom and
equipped and anointed for leadership and
the salvation of Israel
|Bezaleel||Exodus 31:2-5; 35:30, 31 - "filled", for the
crafting of the tabernacle
|Eldad and Medad||Numbers 11:26 - Elders who prophesied
|Moses and the Elders of Israel Numbers 11:16, 17, 25 - "rested on them";
cf Isaiah 63:11
|Joshua||Numbers 27:18-23- indwelt him as a servant
of Moses and a leader of Israel. See also
|Balaam||Numbers 24:2 - prophesied about Israel
|Othniel||Judges 3:9, 10 - delivered Israel
|Gideon||Judges 6:34 - came on Gideon to enable him
to do exploits; lit. "clothed him"
|Jephthah||Judges 11:29 - delivered Israel
|Samson||Judges 13:24, 25 - gave great strength
- 1 Samuel 10:6; 11:6, 7 - as king;
- 1 Samuel 19:23, 24 - went among the
- intermittent; forfeited when he became
proud and rebelled against God
|David||1 Samuel 16:13 - anointed by the Spirit as
king of Israel|
prayed that God would uphold him with his
recognised Holy Spirit's omnipresence -
|Azariah||2 Chronicles 15:1, 2 - confronting the King
|Zechariah||2 Chronicles 24:20 -"came upon him"
Anointed prophets and kings. The anointing of oil they received was a symbol of the Spirit's
anointing on them for service.
In the OT God used prophets to speak on his behalf - Hebrews 1:1, 2. He anointed them with the
Holy Spirit to undertake this task. David (2 Samuel 23:2); pictured in the mantle that passed
from Elijah to Elisha (1 Kings 19:19).
Recognised supremacy of the Holy Spirit in their own weakness:
- "I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord" - Micah 3:8
- "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit..." - Zechariah 4:6 (cf 12:10b)
Gave them revelation, illumination (though not always), words, action, commands, authority
(though this did not always protect them from persecution).
Prophets did not prophecy according to their own will, even though the actual words they spoke
were their own (they were not merely God's "secretaries", but expressed His message with their
own vocabulary - 2 Peter 1:21.
(iv) INSPIRED THE SCRIPTURES
"Men spoke from God, being moved (lit. carried along
) by the Holy Spirit - 2 Peter 1:21.
The Holy Spirit was the Author of the Bible.
- 1 Peter 1:10, 11 ("the Spirit of Christ who was in them...")
- Hebrews 3:7 ("even as the Holy Spirit says...")
- Hebrews 4:3,4 ("even as ... the Holy Spirit... has said...")
- Hebrews 10:15 ("as the Holy Spirit also bears witness..." quoting Jeremiah)
- Matthew 22:43 ("how then does David in the Spirit call Him Lord?) - Jesus several times
confirmed the Holy Spirit's role in inspiring the Scriptures
- Acts 28:25 ("well spoke the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the prophet...")
- see also Acts 1:6; 4:25; Ephesians 6:17.
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JESUS' LIFE
The Holy Spirit (the "Spirit of Christ") was active throughout Jesus' life on earth. Jesus needed
the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission for which the Father sent
him, we also need the Holy Spirit to fulfil God's plan for our lives.
1. He was Identified by the Prophets
Prophesied in the Old Testament - Isaiah 11:1-2; 42:1; 61:1.
Simeon knew from the Spirit that he would see the Messiah - Luke 2:26, 27. Guided to the
temple courts, with Prophetess Anna, when Joseph & Mary came to present Jesus.
John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from before his birth - Luke 1:15.
The Gospels record John's prophecy that the coming One would baptize people with the Holy
Spirit - Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33 (Matthew and Luke add "fire").
2. He was Conceived by the Holy Spirit
Matthew 1:20 tells us Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. The virgin birth was an act
of creation as God bypassed a key link in the normal chain of birth. No explanation is given - it
is a miracle.
In effect, Jesus ability to be both God and man simultaneously was the work of the Holy Spirit,
not possible through the natural laws of procreation, cf Hebrews 10:5.
3. The Holy Spirit Descended on Him Like A Dove at His Baptism
Jesus' baptism in water was the means by which:
- he identified with mankind
- God publicly identified Him as His Son;
- His ministry as prophet, priest and king was inaugurated (in the Old Testament this
anointing was with oil, cf Hebrews 1:9; Acts 10:38).
All four Gospels record the fact of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove -
Matthew 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10, 11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:32-34. This occurred when he prayed
after leaving the water. Jesus' baptism in water was distinct from the Holy Spirit coming on
4. After His Baptism He was Led by the Spirit into the Wilderness
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness - Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1. Mark:" "drove" (lit. cast
Him out, drove him out). As a man, for Jesus to disobey the Holy Spirit would have been sin.
Jesus was so full of the Spirit he did not feel hungry till after 40 days - Matthew 4:2. The Holy
Spirit filled Jesus to prepare Him to do all God's work.
Being full of the Holy Spirit does not prevent temptations. But the strongest temptation cannot
rob us of God's anointing either. Some people fear the temptations and trials they go through
are signs of their being removed from God's will and anointing. Obviously this was not true of
Jesus, and it will not be true of us if we, "live in the Spirit, and ... not gratify the desires of the
sinful nature" - Galatians 5:16.
Jesus defeated the Devil (facing temptation was part of His ministry - Hebrews 2:17-18) by using
the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God- available to us today (cf 1 John 5:4).
5. His Ministry was Launched in the Power of the Holy Spirit
After this Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. His life and ministry were
thereafter characterised by the power of God in action.
Jesus' repeatedly affirmed His works (healing, delivering, binding/loosing, preaching) were not
something He did by himself, but as a man empowered by God, anointed by the Holy Spirit -
John 5:19, 30. He is our example in ministry.
6. He was Anointed by the Spirit for Ministry
Jesus' entire ministry shows a close cooperation with the Holy Spirit, who anointed Him for
ministry (Acts 10:38).
7. The Holy Spirit's Power in His Ministry was Challenged
The Pharisees claimed Jesus cast out demons by the power of Beelzebub. This was blasphemy
against the Holy Spirit, an unpardonable sin.
Jesus made it clear He was casting out demons by the Spirit of God - Matthew 12:24-32; Mark
3:22-30; Luke 11:15-20; 12:10. Indicated this manifestation of the Spirit showed the Kingdom
of God was in operation among them and for their benefit - Matthew 12:28.
8. The Holy Spirit was Present Through the Crucifixion
The Holy Spirit was with Jesus as He died on the cross, making possible the commitment that
enabled Him to submit Himself as our sacrifice. He was also with Him when He presented His
blood "without spot to God" - Hebrews 9:14. That sacrifice on our behalf was accepted by God
as being fully efficacious for our sin and redemption.
9. He was involved in the Resurrection of Jesus
The Bible makes it clear the Holy Spirit was involved in the resurrection of Jesus - Romans 1:4;
8:11; 1 Peter 3:18. He makes us alive spiritually (and will resurrect us at the coming of Jesus).
10. He was also involved in the Post-Resurrection Ministry of Jesus
Between His resurrection and ascension Jesus gave instructions to His Disciples.
He did so through the Holy Spirit - Acts 1:2 (consistent with His ministry prior to the crucifixion,
eg John 14:10, 14).
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JESUS' TEACHING
Jesus taught His disciples about the Holy Spirit (little was to the crowds).
The life and ministry of Jesus Christ show what the Holy Spirit can do in a yielded life. As we
learn to live in the Spirit, He will reveal Himself to us in all His fullness, and His power will work
through us in our lives
1. The Inspirer of the Word of God
Jesus taught the Old Testament was inspired by the Spirit, eg Matthew 22:43, 44; Mark 12:36.
2. The Father's Good Gift
The climax of Jesus teaching on prayer was a promise that the Father would give the Holy Spirit -
Luke 11:9-13 (implied in Matthew 7:7-11).
3. Present to Help in Time of Persecution
Jesus sent the disciples out with the promise the Holy Spirit would be with them to provide help
in persecution - Matthew 10:16-20; Mark 13:9-11; Luke 12:11, 12; 21:12-15. The promise
applies (and works) in the persecuted church today (cf John 15:16; 16:2; Matthew 28:20).
4. Active in The New Birth
Jesus described the new birth (conversion, becoming a Christian) as the work of the Holy Spirit.
"Born of the Spirit" - John 3:5, 6, 8.
5. Like Springs of Living Water
Jesus described the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as "springs of living water" - John 7:37-
39. Fulfilled when the Holy Spirit came on the church at Pentecost.
(During the earthly ministry of Jesus the Holy Spirit was with the disciples, but not yet in them,
cf John 14:17.)
6. Enabling Worshippers in the Spirit
Jesus taught that true worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth - John 4:23-24.
Implies the Holy Spirit. Solomon realised God could not be limited to the temple in Jerusalem -
2 Chronicles 6:18.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (Jesus even indicated this about Himself - John 2:19).
"Para" = "to the side of"; "kletos" = "to call or summon", ie one called to help, aid, advise,
The Spirit of Truth, to teach us, guide us into all truth - John 14:16; 16:12, 13. He would bring
everything to the memory of the Disciples, so that their witness to the Gospel would be true.
He gives us illumination, not just intellectual understanding.
John calls the Holy Spirit's teaching work an anointing - 1 John 2:20, 27. What is the proof of
this anointing? Jesus is glorified! As the comforter the Holy Spirit teaches us and convinces
sinners of the truth.
8. Convicting and Convincing the World
The purpose of convicting men is to bring them to repentance.
9. Breathed on the Disciples
Read John 20:19-23. Three interpretations:
- they received power;
- it was symbolic only;
- they received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus treated the impartation as real when it occurred. He had already returned to the Father
and been glorified (cf John 16:7, 16-22; 20:22).
The disciples were already in right relationship to God when this happened.
10. Baptism in the Name of the Holy Spirit
Jesus commanded the disciples to include the Holy Spirit in the formula for baptism - Matthew
11. Power to be Witnesses
Disciples commanded to wait for the Holy Spirit's power, to make them witnesses - Luke 24:49;
Acts 1:8. When we go out we do so in Jesus' authority.
6. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS COMPARED
|Old Testament||New Testament
|Limited to certain tasks||Available for everyone
|Given to sharpen skills||Given to sharpen skills
|Limited to certain people||Normal for the believer
|Usually temporary||Given for permanent help and teaching
|Usually externally manifest||Outward evidence, inward reality
|Given to provide supernatural wisdom and guidance||Given to provide supernatural wisdom and guidance
|-||Acts to sanctify the people of God
|Mainly chose judges, prophets, kings||Not restricted by|
- Age - "old men/young women"
- Gender - "sons and daughters"
- Class - "servants and handmaidens"
- Includes - "all flesh"