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Faithlife
Faithlife

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One of the most controversial and misunderstood doctrines of the church. We’re pretty clear on our understanding of the Father & the Son but when it gets to the Holy Spirit, we kind of treat Him like the weird uncle.
One of the early church fathers, Athanasius of Alexandria, said this...
The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” He is not a weird vapor or some mysterious being. Malcom Yarnell wrote on the Holy Spirit in “A Theology for the Church.” He lists 7 biblical reasons we can affirm that the Holy Spirit is God.
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Acts 5:3–4 ESV
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”
Exodus 17:7 ESV
And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
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Hebrews 3:9 ESV
where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.
Isaiah 6:8 ESV
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Acts 28:25 ESV
And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
Jeremiah 31:31–34 ESV
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Jeremiah 31:31–32 ESV
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 31:33–34 ESV
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Hebrews 10:15–17 ESV
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
So, although the Holy Spirit is equated with God in Scripture, He is a “distinct Person, both from the Father and the Son.”
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (IN THE OLD TESTAMENT):::
The term, “Holy Spirit,” is rarely used in the OT. Rather, the commonly used term is “Spirit of God.” There are several major areas of the HS’s working in OT times.
Genesis 1:2–3 ESV
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Psalm 33:6 ESV
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
Breath = ruah = Spirit
“The Spirit’s creative activity concerns both creation in general and man in particular. Generally, without the divine breath, the beauty of the skies would not exist.”
Job 26:13–14 ESV
By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”
Particularly, the breath of mankind is entirely dependent on the breath of God.
Genesis 2:7 ESV
then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Genesis 6:3 ESV
Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”
Job 27:3 ESV
as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
Job 33:4 ESV
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Job 34:14 ESV
If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
Psalm 104:29 ESV
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
The human spirit - or soul - is dependent upon the Holy Spirit, also. The spirit of man is what enables us to relate to God…the divine Spirit must graciously restore the human spirit for relationship with a holy God. The Spirit thus both creates and re-creates.
Psalm 104:30 ESV
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
The HS not only creates but also sustains and governs his creation. “His government reflects his sovereignty and is displayed in providence.” The biblical evidence for the Spirit’s sovereignty is strong. First, there is the imagery of the HS as the “finger of God,” which signifies the unity of power in the Trinity. Second, there is the picture of the Spirit as “wind.” Jesus said the Spirit “blows where He wishes,” signifying not only that he is invisible but also that he is beyond human control.
The prophet’s writings were the result of the Spirit’s coming upon them.
Ezekiel 2:2 ESV
And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
Ezekiel 8:3 ESV
He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.
Exodus 31:3–5 ESV
and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.
Administration also seems to have been a gift of the Spirit…as seen in the life of Joseph.
Genesis 41:38 ESV
And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”
The Spirit also endowed the early kings of Israel with special capabilities.
1 Samuel 16:13 ESV
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
The Spirit is not only seen in these special instances. He was present in Israel’s spiritual life - leading and guiding them.
Nehemiah 9:20 ESV
You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst.
David also cried out to the HS to cleanse him from his sin!
Psalm 51:11 ESV
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
There is also a foreshadowing of a greater ministry of the HS...
Joel 2:28–29 ESV
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
Joel
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF JESUS.
Even the very beginning of Jesus’s incarnate existence was a work of the HS.
Luke 1:35 ESV
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
Matthew 3:16 ESV
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Matthew 3:16 ESV
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Mark 1:12 ESV
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
Mark 1:12 ESV
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
Luke 4:14 ESV
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
Even Jesus’s emotions were submitted to the Holy Spirit.
Luke 10:21 ESV
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN:
Conversion is the individual’s turning to God.
John 16:8 ESV
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Regeneration is the miraculous transformation of the individual and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
John 3:5–8 ESV
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Is that all there is to the work of the Spirit, though? NO!
Look, if Jesus was dependent upon the power of the HS, don’t you thin we should be, too?
John 14:12 ESV
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
The Spirit’s work in the life of the believer is internal. Jesus had been the teacher and leader of the disciples but his influence was external. The Spirit, however, is able to affect us more intensely because, dwelling within, he can get to the very center of our thinking and emotions.
John 16:13–14 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
John 14:26 ESV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Romans 8:26-2
Romans 8:26–27 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
What is sanctification? Becoming in practice what God has already declared to be true.
Romans 8:11 ESV
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Not just the negative work of ridding us of sin but the positive work of producing Christlikeness.
How does this work? It works because of
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Filled with the Spirit.
He empowers the church!
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