Monday, August 29, 2016

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer

Today there is much that is misunderstood about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. Who is He? Is He a force, an influence or is He a Person of the Godhead? We believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed a person of the Godhead. So before we delve into the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, let’s briefly look at this idea of the Godhead, known to most as the Trinity. The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but the word Godhead is in Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9. 

The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God (Deut. 6:4, Isaiah 44:6, 8, 45:5), yet it calls all three Persons God. But let’s take just one of these verses and look at it a little closer. Deuteronomy 6:4 is called the Shema, it is still quoted among Orthodox Jews today. The Shema is one of the first verses a young Jewish boy will memorize! It reads “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” The emphasis on this word “one” is “the only One,” but the Hebrew word “one” is “Ehad” has the thought of “compound unity” or numerical oneness.” The same word is used in Genesis 2:24 where we read that Adam and Eve became one. It is also used in Exodus 26:6, 11 to describe the unity of the curtains in the tabernacle.

So when we look at the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) each are describe as God is the Bible, One God yet three Persons in that Godhead. The Father is God (1 Cor. 8:6, Eph. 4:4-6). The Son is clearly seen as God (Jn. 1:1-5, 14, 10:30-33, 20:28, Heb. 1:6-8, Phil. 2:9-11). There are many passages to verify the Deity of the Lord Jesus (Is. 7:14, 9:6, Jn. 1:1, 18, 8:58-59, 10:30, Acts 20:28, Rom. 9:5, 10:9-13, Col. 1:15-16, 2:9, Titus 2:13, Heb. 1:3, 8, 2 Pet. 1:1, 1 Jn. 5:20). The Holy Spirit is also clearly seen as God (Acts 5:3-4, 2 Cor. 3:16-17.

The Holy Spirit is a Person
The question that we can ask at this juncture is what constitutes the essentials of personality? I would suggest three things; intelligence, emotions and will. The Scriptures describe the Holy Spirit as having all three of these things! The Spirit is said to know the things of God and that takes some intelligence (1 Cor. 2:4, 10-15). We also read about the mind of the Spirit (Rom. 8:27). The Bible teaches us that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30), you can’t grieve something unless it has emotion! The Holy Spirit determines the gives that we are given according to 1 Corinthians 12:11, which shows an act of the will. So we see that the Holy Spirit possess the characteristics of a person. 

The Holy Spirit also prays (Rom. 8:26) and performs miracles (Acts 8:39). These are things that an influence or a force cannot do. In John 16:13-14 and Ephesians 1:14 the Holy Spirit is referred to as “he” and “who,” not as an “it.” 

Another point to mention here is that the Holy Spirit is connected others in the Godhead. In Matthew 28:19 we are instructed to baptism in the name (singular) of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not “in the names of…”

The Holy Spirit can be lied to and blasphemed against and it is seen as the same as if done against God (Mt. 12:31-32, Acts 5:3-4).

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