THE HOLY SPIRIT - Bible Overview


The Holy Spirit is God, and is equal to God the Father and God the Son, Jesus. Don’t ever speak of Him as “It” or refer to Him as an “influence”. He is not the power of God but brings the power. He is not the presence of God any more than the Father or the Son are “the presence.” He is God the Holy Spirit, and is set forth in the Bible as being distinct from the Father and the Son.

In the Genesis account of creation, He is seen actively engaged in the work of creation, along with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, He came upon men to empower them for service; but, when they were disobedient He departed from them.

When David sinned against the Lord, he prayed, “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11). In the New Testament after Jesus was raised from the dead we see the Holy Spirit residing within the disciples (John 20:21-22). After Pentecost (Acts 2) the disciples saw the Holy Spirit come upon them as the Father had promised (Joel 2:28-32) and as Jesus had reminded them (Luke 24:49) and promised (Acts 1:8). He came and empowered them so that they could walk in supernatural power.

A Scriptural understanding of God the Holy Spirit will help each of us to do as Jesus commanded we were to do (John 14:12; Matthew 28:18-20).

THE DIETY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

In Acts 5 we find the story of two early believers and disciples - Ananias and Sapphire (Act 5:1-16). They lied about the amount of money they had received from the sale of a piece of land.

Acts 5:3-4 “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.”

In this passage of Scripture it is very clear that the Holy Spirit is God, and He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with God the Father and God the Son.

Jesus Himself spoke of God as a Spirit

John 4:24 “ God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

His deity is also set forth in that He possesses divine attributes:

1> He is everywhere present in the universe (Omnipresent)

Psalm 139:7-10 “Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.”

2> He has all power (Omnipotent)

Luke 1:35 “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.”

3> He has all knowledge (Omniscience)

1 Corinthians 2:10-11 “… these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

4> He is eternal

Hebrews 9:14 “… how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

His deity is revealed in that His Name is coupled in equality with the name of the Father and the Son

1> In the baptism of the believer

Matthew 28:19 “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.”

2> In the apostolic benediction (blessing) of Paul the apostle

2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

His deity is seen in relation to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ

1> Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit

Luke 1:35 “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.”

2> He was anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit for ministry

Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

3> He was led by the Holy Spirit

Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

4> He was crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit

Hebrews 9:14 “…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

5> He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:11 “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.”

6> Jesus gave commandments to the apostles and the Church through the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:2 “… until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.”

If Jesus needed to depend upon the Holy Spirit during His life and ministry here on the earth, so must we. And, this means we must come to know, repect, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

THE EMBLEMS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

It is often difficult to impart truth by the use of words. Frequently they reveal only a half-truth, leaving the other half hidden. The writers of the Bible used certain emblems when unfolding the mysteries of the Holy Spirit, because they illustrate more about Him than volumes can contain. They are:

1> First as an emblem. Fire speaks of His consuming, purifying power in the life of the believer

Luke 3:16 “John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Acts 2:3-4 “And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

2> Wind as an emblem. Wind speaks of His hidden depth in His mighty regenerating power.

John 3:8 “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.”

3> Water as an emblem. Water speaks of His power to fill the believer to overflowing with spiritual life and power.

John 4:14 “… but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37-39 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. ’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

4> Seal as an emblem. The seal speaks of His ownership of the believer and His ability to keep the disciple unto the day Jesus returns.

Ephesians 1:13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

5> Oil as an emblem. Oil speaks of His power to anoint for ministry to the unsaved.

Acts 10:38 “… how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

6> Dove as an emblem. The dove speaks of His gentle, tender, peaceful nature.

Mark 1:10 “And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”

We may, of course, know this “peace of God” which is greater than we can understand only when we fully surrender to God.

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

SINS AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT

Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.”

The Holy Spirit is God and can be sinned against by both the believer and the unbeliever.

1> The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit

Matthew 12:31-32 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

This sin is committed by unbelievers

It is often called the “unpardonable sin”

It has no forgiveness

It was committed by the enemies of Jesus when they accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24) when Jesus claimed to cast them out by the “Spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28)

This sin can also be committed by someone who was once born again and has allowed their heart to be hardened to the point of non-repentance. They are no longer willing or able to respond to the conviction of sin brought by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:4-6)

2> The sin of resisting the Holy Spirit

Acts 7:51“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.”

This sin is committed by unbelievers when rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord

3> The sin of grieving the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

This sin is committed by believers. He is grieved by us unless He controls our lives to the glory of God

4> The sin of quenching the Holy Spirit

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

This sin is committed by Christians when known sin is allowed to go unconfessed (1 John 1:9 and Isaiah 59:1-2). And, when they do not take seriously a Word of the Lord (prophetic word) responding to it and acting upon what was spoken.

5> The sin of lying to the Holy Spirit

Acts 5:1-11 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. 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.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you1 sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was deception born in jealousy. They tried to mock God (Galatians 6:7) and thus sinned against the Holy Spirit who is God.

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

In instructing His disciples regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “…for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will:

1> Convict people of the sin of unbelief

John 16:9 “…concerning sin, because they do not believe in me…”

2> Convict people that Jesus is the righteousness of God

John 16:10 “…concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer…”

Romans 10:3-4 “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

3> Convict people that the power of Satan (the devil) has been broken

John 16:11 “…concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

4> Regenerate the believer

John 3:5 ““Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Titus 3:5 “…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

5> Indwell the believer

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

6> Seal the believer

Ephesians 1:13-14 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

7> Baptize the believer giving them power to be a witness for Jesus

Acts 1:5 “…for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

8> Baptize them into the Body of Christ, the Church (water baptism)

1 Corinthians 12:13 “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”

9> Control the life of the believer

Ephesians 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…”

10> Lead the believer

Galatians 5:16-18 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

11> Administer spiritual gifts (supernatural gifts) to the believer

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of ministries, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the gift of the discerning of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”

The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, to remain with the Church that Jesus is building until it is complete, and presented to the Lord Jesus at His coming. Just as Jesus Christ finished the work He came to do during His three years of ministry, so the Holy Spirit will finish the work He came to do in and through the Church.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

The Bible states that the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is love…

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law.”

Only as we live in love can we fulfill the will of God in our lives. The believer must become love-inspired, love-mastered, and love-driven…

2 Corinthians 5:14 “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.”

Without the fruit of the Spirit - love - we are just a religious noise

1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

“The fruit of the Spirit is love” and it is manifested in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness ad self-control (control of self by the Holy Spirit).

1> Joy is love’s strength

2> Peace is love’s security

3> Patience is love’s endurance

4> Kindness is love’s conduct

5> Goodness is love’s character

6> Faithfulness is love’s confidence

7> Gentleness is love’s humility

8> Self-control is love’s victory

“Against such things there is no law.”

A Holy Spirit-controlled person needs no law to cause them to live a righteous life. The secret of a Spirit-controlled life is found in dedication and commitment to God…

Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Put your “all” on the altar, and the Holy Spirit will fill your heart with the love of God.

Romans 5:5 “…and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

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