WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT By Pastor Steve Carr
I. The Personality of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is more than a power or an influence or the “force”. He is the third person of the trinity. He is a divine person and worthy of our love and surrender. He is an ever-present friend and helper who will abide with us forever.
A. Personality is characterized by knowledge, feeling and will. The Holy Spirit acts in every way as a person.
1. The Spirit knows all things (1 Cor. 2:10,11).
2. Love is ascribed to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:30).
3. The Spirit speaks (Rev. 2:7)
4. The Spirit gives testimony (John 15:26).
5. The Spirit teaches you (John 14:26).
6. The Spirit guides you (John 16:13).
7. The Spirit directs you (Acts 16:6,7) (Acts 13:2).
B. Offenses can only be committed against a person, not an impersonal force or influence.
1. The Holy Spirit can be insulted (Heb. 10:29).
2. The Holy Spirit can be lied to (Acts 5:3).
3. The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Eph. 4:30,31).
4. The Holy Spirit can be sinned against (Matt. 12:31,32).
5. The Holy Spirit can be resisted (Acts 7:51).
II. The Deity of the Holy Spirit
The term Deity, when referring to the Holy Spirit, means that He is God. This fact is clearly revealed in the Scripture in many ways.
A. Divine names given to Him.
1. He is called God (Acts 5:3,4).
2. He is called the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18).
B. Divine attributes ascribed to Him.
1. He is eternal (Heb. 9:14).
2. He is omnipresent (Ps. 139:7-10).
3. He is omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10,11).
4. He is omnipotent (Luke 1:35).
C. Divine works are ascribed to Him.
1. He created the world (Gen. 1:2) (Ps. 104:30).
2. Regeneration done by Him (John 3:5-8).
3. Resurrection done by Him (Rom. 8:11).
D. Statements made by Jehovah in the Old Testament are attributed to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
1. Compare (Is. 6:8-10) with (Acts 28:25-27).
III. The Work of the Holy Spirit
A. In the world, the Holy Spirit is convicting unbelieving men and women of their sin, of God’s righteousness and truth, and of God’s judgment (John 16:8-11).
B. In relation to believers
1. He regenerates the believer (John 3:3-5).
2. He indwells the believer (1 Cor. 6:19) (Rom. 8:9).
3. He seals the believer (Eph. 1:13,14).
4. He empowers the believer to be his witness (Acts 1:8) (Acts 4:31)
5. He gives strength in the inward man of the believer (Eph. 3:16).
6. He sets the believer free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
7. He produces fruit in a believers life (Gal. 5:22)
8. He teaches the believer and guides to the truth (John 16:13) (John 14.26).
9. He gives his gifts to believers (1 Cor. 12:4-11) (Acts 2:4) (Acts 19:6).
C. In relation to the scriptures
1. He is the author of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20,21) (2 Tim. 3:16).
2. He gives wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ (Eph. 1:17).
3. He interprets the deep things of God to us (1 Cor. 2:9-14)(John 16:14,15).
D. In relation to Jesus
1. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). Jesus was led by the Spirit (Matt. 4:1)
2. Jesus spoke the exact words of God, because the Father gave Him the Spirit without measure (John 3:34).
3. Jesus sacrificed His life through the Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14).
4. Jesus was resurrected by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4) (Rom. 8:11).
IV. The Distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son
A. The Father speaks from heaven, Jesus is upon the earth and the Holy Spirit descends in the bodily form of a dove (Luke 3:21,22).
B. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is also revealed as a separate person from God who is a Spirit (Is. 48:16) (Is. 34:16).
C. A clear distinction is drawn between “The name of the Father” and “of the son”, and “of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
D. The Holy Spirit is described as “another comforter”, prayed for by the Son and given by the Father (John 14:16).
V. The Subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son
A. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son (John 14:26) (John 15:26)
B. The Holy Spirit speaks not from Himself but only what He hears
(John 16:13). Also in a similar way Jesus, said this of Himself, “my teaching is not mine, but His that sent me” (John 7:16) (John 8:26).
C. The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ (John 16:14).
VI. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
In Acts 1:5 Jesus said to his disciples that in a few days they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. This baptism was to be different from water baptism. The disciples had already been baptized with water by the hand of John the Baptist (Acts 1:5). Yet, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was to be where they were “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), and to receive “power to be His witnesses” (Acts 1:8). The fulfillment of Jesus’ words occurred on the day of Pentecost when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (Acts 2:1-4).
A. First, what is the difference between the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and His indwelling of every believer?
1. Jesus used three different Greek words to describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
a. In John 14:17 Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit at that moment was dwelling “with” (para) them. At this point they were not born again in the New Testament sense because Jesus’ death and resurrection had not occurred. Jesus then spoke in the future tense of the Spirit dwelling “in” (en) them. The Holy Spirit came into them after His death and resurrection when Jesus breathed on them and said, “receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). At this point they were born again. Every true believer possesses the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9) (1 Cor. 6:19). Last, Jesus told the disciples forty days later that the Holy Spirit would come upon (epi) them. This was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The word baptism means to engulf, to cover completely, or to overwhelm. This is what God wants to do in your life. He wants to engulf you and cover you and empower you completely (Acts 1:8).
b. Is this a separate experience that occurs after a person is saved?
1. This was a separate experience for the disciples (John 20:22) (Acts 1:5-8) (Acts 2:4).
2. This was a separate experience for the believers in Samaria (Acts 8:6,12,14-17).
3. This was a separate experience for the believers at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7).
4. Yet a person can be baptized in the spirit and receive gifts of the spirit at the moment of salvation (Acts 10:23-48).
5. Also, Paul said that we should all be continually (present tense in Greek) filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) (Acts 4:8) (Acts 13:52).
c. What is the purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
1. To empower you to be a witness (Acts 1:8) (Gal. 5:22).
2. To enable you to proclaim the Gospel (1 Pe. 1:12).
3. To enable you to serve Him (Col. 1:29).
4. To enable you to receive gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
d. How can you receive the Baptism of the Spirit?
1. Through prayer and laying on of hands (Acts 8:17) (Acts 19:6).
2. Through your prayer (Luke 11:13) (Acts 1:13,14).
3. Through God’s sovereign working (Acts 2:1-4) (Acts 10:44).
4. Through repentance and obedience to Him (Acts 2:37-39) (Acts 5:32).
VI. The gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are God’s supernatural help for ministry and service to Him. They enable you with ability, insight and power beyond the best of your abilities. If there were no need for these gifts then God would have never given them.
A. Are the gifts for today or did they pass away with the Apostles?
1. The promise of the Holy Spirit, His power and gifts are for “you and your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
2. Paul said, “the gifts and callings of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29).
3 Paul also said, that the only time that tongues and prophesy would pass away would be when, “that which is perfect had come”. In the context this describes when we would see God “face to face” & know even as we are known” (1 Cor. 13:8-12). This is an obvious reference to the kingdom coming to earth & when the King will be face to face with each of us. Then we will have no need of the gifts! Also, notice the difference between the words “now” and “then” in verse12
4. Historically there is proof the gifts continued throughout church history.
a. Irenaeus (140-203 A.D.) had seen tongues, prophesy and word of knowledge in his day.
b. Justin Martyr (155 A.D.) saw men and women possess gifts of the spirit.
c. Tertullian (220 A.D.) saw healings.
d. Augustine (354-430 A.D.) spoke of tongues and saw healings.
e. The early Quakers and Methodists experienced the gifts of the Spirit.
B. What is the purpose for the gifts of the Spirit?
1. To enable you to help, profit and contribute to others (1 Cor. 12:7). Profit (Greek) to contribute or give an advantage.
2. To confirm God’s word (Mark 16:20) (Heb. 2:4).
C. How do you receive the gifts of the Spirit?
1. You must earnestly desire them (1 Cor. 12:31) (1 Cor. 14:1).
2. You may pray for them (1 Cor. 14:13).
3. God gives them sovereignly according to His own will (Heb. 2:4) (1 Cor. 12:11).
D. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
1. Gifts of revelation
a. The word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discernment of spirits (1 Cor. 12:8-10).
b. These are used in preaching, teaching, healing, problem solving and counseling.
c. Examples: wisdom (1 Kings. 3:24-26) (Matt. 22:15-22) knowledge (Matt. 2:22) (Acts 9:11-17) (Acts 10:17-23). discernment (Acts 5:3)(Acts 8:13-24).
2. Gifts of power
a. The gift of faith, healing and miracles(1 Cor. 12:8-10).
b. All these gifts need the gift of faith to operate. This faith is given instantly not the faith that we grow in (Matt. 14:29) (Acts 3:1-8,16).
c. Healing deals with sickness. A miracle may also be involved in healing but also may deal with other things (John 2:1-11) (Matt. 15:32-39).
d. A healing may be gradual or instantaneous. A miracle is always instantaneous & outside of natural laws. (Mark 8:22-25) (Mark 16:18).
e. To experience these you must pray and seek God for His power and pray for the sick. Also, allow God to work according to His own will. (Heb. 2:4).
3. Gifts of utterance
a. The gift of prophesy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, teaching and exhortation (Rom. 12:7,8) (1 Cor. 12:8-10).
1. Prophesy– A spontaneously revealed message spoken to the church of an individual (1 Cor. 14:1-5) (1 Tim. 4:14). Prophesy was also exercised for future events in the New Testament (Acts 11:27,28) (Acts 21:10,11).
2. Tongues and interpretation– This is the ability to speak in another language of men or angels (1 Cor. 13:1) (Acts 2:11). This gift is used to build up personally the believer (1 Cor. 14:4) (Jude 20); to aid in prayer (1 Cor. 14:15) (Rom. 8:26); and for thanksgiving and worship (1 Cor. 14:16) (Acts 10:46). Interpretation of tongues will never be a message to men but words spoken to God again of praise or worship (1 Cor. 14:16).
3. Teaching is used in children’s ministry, home Bible studies, counseling and church services. This is a supernatural ability.
4. Exhortation is something we are all called to do (Heb. 3:13). Yet there are people who will have a special ability to encourage you. This gift is used in preaching, teaching, and a must for a counselor.
4. Gifts of ministry
a. These are the gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor teacher, helps, government or ruling, giving and mercy (Eph. 4:11) (1 Cor. 12:28) (Rom.12:6-8).
Paul was an apostle, one called and sent out by God to proclaim the Gospel and plant churches (Acts 13:2).
Agabus was a prophet, one called to speak predictively God’s word (Acts 11:28). Barnabas was thought to be a prophet also (Acts 13:1) because he would exhort and warn believers (Acts 11:19-25).
Philip and Steven were evangelists (Acts 7,8). They would primarily preach the Gospel to unbelievers.
4. Pastor teacher
Paul also possessed this gift (2 Tim. 1:11). The pastor teacher primarily stayed in one place for a length of time to teach systematically the Word of God to equip the saints. Each of these first four gifts were involved in proclaiming the Word to strengthen and equip the saints (Eph. 4:11-13).
We are all called to practical service to others (James 2:15,16). Yet this gift enables a person to practical service and ability that always takes care of problems in just the right way (1 Cor. 14:28). The deacon needs this gift (Acts 6:1-7).
6. Governments or ruling
God has ordained government for the universe, the world and the church. He desires to anoint specific men for this purpose. This is a necessary gift for an elder. These were called ruling elders (1 Tim. 5:17).
We are all called to be givers (Luke 6:38). Yet this person has a special gift of God for generosity to others (Rom. 12:8).
Again we are all called to show mercy (Luke 6:36). Yet this person has a special ability to reach out to people and especially help those who have fallen in sin. They lift and love them beck into the body. Jesus displayed this gift with the woman taken in the act of adultery (John 8:11).