The Gift of The Holy Spirit

Part 2

August 22, 2021


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


As we continue our study of The Gift of The Holy Spirit, we see that The Holy Spirit is equated with The Father and The Son in several passages including the three-fold baptismal formula found in MATT 28:19-20 (New International Reader’s Version): “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


The Holy Spirit was present at Jesus’ baptism when God The Father pronounced His Blessing upon Him: After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling on Him, and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (MATT 3:16-17 New American Standard Bible) In this verse, we find The Triune God introduced: God The Father (represented by “a voice from the heavens”), Jesus, and the Spirit of God. It’s important to note here that the Trinity is not some “minor doctrine.” In Salvation, we are loved by The Father, saved by The Son, and filled with The Spirit. In our daily walk we come TO the Father, THROUGH the Son, IN the Spirit. The Trinity is a vital part of both our initial Salvation and our daily Christian Walk.


One of the best Old Testament passages showing The Triune nature of God is ISA 48:12-16 (New American Standard Bible): “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the beginning I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” The inter-relationship between the Three Persons of the Godhead is such that God The Father works through God The Son by The Power of The Holy Spirit.


An important fact to stress about The Holy Spirt is His Personhood. This is because a common claim of heretics is that He is only a force or power of God. That’s not true. The Personhood of The Holy Spirit is seen in His Characteristics, His Work, and the references to Him. Some people are confused by the fact that the Greek word for “spirit” – “pneuma” (which is the same word for “wind”) – is neuter in gender. The word “pneuma” is used by The Lord Jesus Christ in JOH 3:8 (New International Reader’s Version): “The wind blows where it wants to. You hear the sound it makes. But you can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with everyone who is born with the Spirit.” So some conclude from this that The Holy Spirit is an “it” rather than a “he.” This conclusion is proven wrong because when a pronoun is used to refer to The Holy Spirit, the masculine gender is always used. Look at this quote from Our Savior in JOH 15:26 (New International Reader’s Version): “I will send the Friend to you from the Father. He is the Spirit of truth, who comes out from the Father. When the Friend comes to help you, he will be a witness about me.”


What’s more important than grammatical gender, though, is the fact that The Holy Spirit has the characteristics of personhood including intelligence. We know this because we’re told He searches all things and even knows the thoughts of God in 1 COR 2:10-12 (New International Reader’s Version): God has shown these things to us through his Spirit. The Spirit understands all things. He understands even the deep things of God. Who can know the thoughts of another person? Only a person’s own spirit can know them. In the same way, only the Spirit of God knows God’s thoughts. What we have received is not the spirit of the world. We have received the Spirit who is from God. The Spirit helps us understand what God has freely given us.


The Holy Spirit also feels emotion because He can be grieved as we learn in EPH 4:30 (New American Standard Bible): Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Feeling emotion is certainly a characteristic of personhood.


The Holy Spirit also does things that only a person can do. One such thing is to teach: But the Father will send the Friend in my name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you. (JOH 14:26 New International Reader’s Version) Having the ability to teach is definitely a characteristic of personhood.


The fact that people are able to interact with The Holy Spirit also proves He is a person. He can be commanded and obeyed: The Holy Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot. Stay near it.” (ACTS 8:29 New International Reader’s Version) He can also be resisted: “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” (ACTS 7:51 New International Reader’s Version)


The Holy Spirit can also be insulted according to HEB 10:29 (New American Standard Bible): How much more severe punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? He can also be blasphemed as we read in MATT 12:31 (The Message Bible) “There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.”


Clearly, these things cannot be said about someone that is just a “force.” These examples prove that The Holy Spirit truly is The Third Person of The Triune Godhead.


Now we’re going to look at The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Old Testament. The first mention of Him in the Bible is His Work in Creation: Then God said, “Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (GEN 1:26 New International Reader’s Version) It should be noted that as part of The Triune Godhead, He would have been at work before that, in eternity past, formulating The Decrees of God.


The Holy Spirit also enabled people to carry out specific tasks. Look at EX 31:3 (The Message Bible): God spoke to Moses: “See what I’ve done; I’ve personally chosen Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I’ve filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft to create designs and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to cut and set gemstones; to carve wood—he’s an all-around craftsman. With these skills, Bezalel was able to make the Tabernacle and its furnishings.


The Book of Judges records that The Spirit of The Lord came upon the various judges at different times, empowering them to judge, organize an army, wage war, defeat the oppressors, or perform feats of superhuman strength – like in the case of Samson. We read about how his strength worked in JUD 16:8-9 (The Message Bible): The Philistine tyrants brought her seven bowstrings, not dried out, and she tied him up with them. The men were waiting in ambush in her room. Then she said, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He snapped the cords as though they were mere threads. The secret of his strength was still a secret. Samson’s strength came from The Holy Spirit who had a similar ministry to the Kings of Israel and Judah and the priests in enabling them to perform their God-given duties.


A major difference in The Ministry of The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, when compared to the present age, is that it was temporary. He might only come upon a person for a short period of time to enable them to carry out a specific task. The Spirit came upon King Saul when he was chosen to become King, but Saul’s disobedience eventually resulted in The Spirit departing from him.


God’s presence in a particular place was also temporary. The Glory of God filled both the Tabernacle and the Temple when each was dedicated, but that Glory departed when God judged the nation. In the present age, His indwelling of the believer is permanent, and in the future He will permanently fill the New Jerusalem.

{to be continued}

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