The Holy Spirit - The Part of God Who Touches Us - Part 1
Pastor Arn Buck
Heart Song Worship Center
Who is the Holy Spirit and Why is He important to us? Let us begin answering these questions by looking at the description of God and the Holy Spirit that is found in the doctrinal statements of Heart Song Worship Center.
There is one true God who is perfect in all His ways, existing throughout eternity as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity who fills and dwells within each believer to comfort, guide, and instruct them. Through Him believers are gifted and empowered to serve others and live lives that bring glory to God. He also reveals God's righteousness and judgment to the world and convicts us of our sin.
Generally the Holy Spirit is the least understood member of the Godhead. Yet, He is the one who dwells inside of us and the one who ministers directly to us. He is the voice of God that we hear. He teaches of the Father and the Son. He in-fills us and empowers us to do the Father's bidding. He is the part of God who touches us. Why do we, in general, know so little about Him? The Holy Spirit has a more abstract feeling to us than the Father and the Son. Many of us are able to comprehend things better if we can picture them in our minds. Many of us have a similar visual image of the Father in our head. He's an older man with a stern expression, long straight white hair and beard and wearing a flowing robe. Jesus is a younger man with a peaceful expression, European features, blue eyes, with long straight brown hair and beard always looking up at a light shining down on his face. Both of these images are likely to be incorrect, but we have something that we can attach what we learn about them to. Now how about the Holy Spirit? What visual image do we have of Him or it? He looks like a dove flapping its wings as it is about to land. He is a stylized dove-like wood carving in a nose dive. If you are Pentecostal, you might envision Him as tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit is also associated with the wind which is invisible accept for that which moves in response to it.
The Divinity of the Holy Spirit
In the original Greek that the New Testament was written in, it uses a strong pronoun to describe the Holy Spirit. That pronoun is autos. It means "himself" and implies self-sufficiency. The "auto" in automobile is derived from this word. It was another way of saying horse-less carriage. An automobile is a means of mobility that is not reliant on something other than itself to move. Automation is a process that runs by itself. Does this mean that the Holy Spirit is independent of the Father and Son? No! It shows that the Holy Spirit exhibits a characteristic that is unique from all created beings yet common to the Godhead. Only God, the creator of all things, is completely self-sufficient from anything. It is evidence that the Holy Spirit is divine.
Who but God can create or restore life after it is lost? The Holy Spirit can as shown in the following verse. Therefore He must be God.
Romans 8:11 (NLT) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
In the book of Acts Peter equates lying to the Holy Spirit as equivalent to lying to God.
Acts 5:3-4 (NLT) Then Peter said, "Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God!
Jesus was submissive and obedient to the Holy Spirit. When God came to earth in the form of man to redeem us, He voluntarily surrendered His Godly powers. For example He was no longer omniscient on His own. He, like us, became dependant on being guided by the Holy Spirit. He became an example of one who was totally submissive to doing the will of the Father. The Father's will was made known to Him through the Holy Spirit and He was empowered to do the Father's will by the Holy Spirit. In His human state Jesus' example shows us what is possible for a man.
Matthew 4:1-2 (NLT) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. The Bible records divine attributes of the Holy Spirit that are equivalent to attributes associated with other members of the Holy Trinity. These include, eternal (Heb 9:14), omnipresent (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (1 Cor 2:10-11), and author of divine prophecy (2 Pt 1:21). Generally I believe that it is safe to consider any attribute ascribed to the Godhead as being possessed by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The exception would be during the time that Jesus had forsaken His godly powers when He assumed human form.
The Person of the Holy Spirit
The Bible shows the Holy Spirit as an entity who has personal characteristics. For example the following verses show that He possesses an intellect.
1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (NLT) But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
Although this passage shows that the Holy Spirit has His own intellect, it clearly shows the close unity of thought in the Godhead. The personality of the Holy Spirit is shown in the emotions He possesses. These are displayed in the following passages. The first shows love, the second sorrow or grief, and the third shows joy.
Romans 15:30-31 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30 (NLT) And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Luke 10:21 (NLT) At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way."
The Ministries of the Holy Spirit
He Provides Access to the Father
Through the Holy Spirit we have access to the Father. During Old Testament times only the High Priest could pass through the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. Because God is holy and man is a fallen creature, this could only be done after careful ceremonial preparation and cleansing. At the moment of Jesus' death the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. This symbolized the access that Jews and Gentiles now were granted through the cleansing and atoning power of the blood of Christ. God's throne room is now accessible to us through the Holy Spirit. Let us never take this great privilege for granted.
Ephesians 2:18 (NLT) Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
He Dwells Within Us
Habakkuk 1:13 says, "But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil." This verse explains why the Holy Spirit could not indwell God's people in the Old Testament. There you find instances where the Spirit entered someone for a specific purpose and for a set time. We see an example of this in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 2:2 (NIV) As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
Now because Christ's blood is viewed by the Father as sufficient atonement for our sins, the Holy Spirit can actually dwell within us as Jesus promised. This is what truly separates us from the world and makes true Christians different. Before Christ, God's temple was building of stone. Now we are His living temples with the Holy place contained within our hearts. We are now a step closer to the close personal relationship that Adam and Eve had with God in the Garden of Eden before the fall. We have much reason to rejoice and celebrate!
John 14:17 (NLT) He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
Romans 8:9 (NLT) But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
He Teaches Us and Reveals God's Truth to Us
The Spirit can make the inert black ink on paper become the Living Word that it truly is. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, we saw how the Holy Spirit searches out even the deep secrets of God. This qualifies Him to instruct us and reveal God's truth to us as we need it, as we seek it, and as we mature enough to comprehend it. He brings it to us perfectly without coloration or modification. This is why it is critical that we seek the Holy Spirit's help as we study the Holy Scriptures.
John 14:26 (NLT) But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative-that is, the Holy Spirit-he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
John 16:13 (NLT) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard.
Ephesians 1:16-17 (NLT) I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.
Testimony of the Life-Changing Affect of the Holy Spirit
When I surrendered control of my life to God, the Holy Spirit entered me in a powerful way. It felt like a light was turned on. It felt like a stormy winter's night had just become a beautiful sunny spring day. I was clearly a different person. People who knew me frequently stopped me and asked what happened. At night the Holy Spirit taught me. They were mainly instructions on how to treat others. I later found most of these in the Pauline Epistles.
God used the Holy Spirit to spoon feed me. The long term use of drugs had made it difficult to read and comprehend the Bible. I also did not have the discipline to do it on my own. As my mind cleared, the special night time teachings became more and more infrequent. However, that light that God turned on has not gone out.