THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Christian religion is the only religion that has the Holy Spirit. As you think of this doctrine of the Holy Spirit, remember that Jesus Christ is the central theme of this Bible. We do not know the Holy Spirit’s name. We are only told what He is, who He is and what He does. The silence of the Scriptures concerning His personal name is significant. He withholds His own name that the name and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ may be exalted. John 15:26.
A. His Person:
Do not call the Holy Spirit “it.” He is a real person that indwells every believer. Sometimes we think that the only real person is a visible person. In reality we are a person and personality which is not part of the body. This human body is only the vehicle God gave us to live in while on planet earth. You are not an “it.” When you die, there remains a body that we put in the grave, but you have departed. That real person has never been seen visibly just like the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s responses to mankind reveal that he is a person.
(1) He may be grieved. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30.
(2) He may be tested. “Then Peter said unto her, How is that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” Acts 5:9.
(3) He may be resisted. “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do ye.” Acts 7:51.
(4) He may be blasphemed. “He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” Mark 3:29-30.
(5) He may be lied to. “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?” Acts 5:3.
The Holy Spirit is also called “God” several places in the Bible. He has divine attributes as revealed in the following passages of Scripture.
(1) Omnipotence - Luke 1:35. In the birth of Christ, He was the protector of Mary and Jesus. He is our protector as well.
(2) Omniscience - I Corinthians 2:10. In our life, He knows everything about everything.
(3) Omnipresent - Psalms 139:7-17. In our life, “He will never leave you or forsake you.” He is ever present.
(4) Eternal Spirit - Hebrews 9:14. In our life from the new birth to Heaven, He is at work helping us “serve the living God.”
The Holy Spirit is also identified in the Bible by several symbols and examples, which are pictures of His Divine work.
(1) Dove - John 1:32. The dove is a symbol of love and sorrow as He ministers to Jesus.
(2) Water - Isaiah 44:3; John 7:38-39. Once you are saved only the Holy Spirit can quench your spiritual thirst.
(3) Oil - I Samuel 16:13. The ear of a priest was anointed first so that he might hear God. Secondly, a priest’s thumb was anointed so that he might act for God. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
(4) Wind - John 3:6-8. Quietly and unidentifiably the Holy Spirit moves both in salvation and in our daily lives.
(5) Fire - Acts 2:3-4. Fire is symbolic of purification, testing or judgement. This is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
(6) Clothing - Judges 6:34 Amplified Version. The Spirit of Jehovah clothed himself with Gideon. Clothing speaks of protection. He is also our protector.
B. His Purpose:
He is active in many areas throughout Scripture. Here is a list of some of the things He is involved in.
(1) He speaks. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Acts 13:2.
(2) He intercedes. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26.
(3) He testified. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” John 15:26.
(4) He oversees. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28.
(5) He guides. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will Guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.
(6) He teaches. “The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26.
(7) He created. “In the beginning…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2.
(8) He regenerates in salvation. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto you, Ye must be born again…so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:3, 5-8.
(9) He raised Jesus from the dead. “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11.
(10) He completes salvation. “Ye are washed…ye are sanctified…ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:11.
(11) He seals us in salvation. “In whom having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Ephesians 1:13.
(12) He leads believers. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18.
As we walk through this Christian life, we must be conscience of the fact that it is the person of the Holy Spirit who ministers to us each day. The Bible tells us that we are filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. He cannot work in our lives if we live in sin. You may sin in thought or deed, but when you quench the Holy Spirit, you must practice I John 1:9 immediately so that you do not loose your fellowship with God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is how we stay in fellowship with Him. The greatest danger a Christian faces in this world is to allow sin in his life. It is not bankruptcy, sickness, loneliness, verbal offenses, persecution or numerous other things that are our greatest enemy. Sin is what will break our fellowship with God, quench the Holy Spirit, and allow the devil to divert our path to a path of destruction. Galatians 5:19-21 gives us a list of things that we should be sensitive to. We must clearly realize that Satan is the enemy of our souls. This is the daily warfare we fight. Ephesians 6:11-18. The victory comes “When we walk in the light as He (God) is in the light we have fellowship one with another (God and you) and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I John 1:7. Keeping short accounts with God each hour of the day keeps us in fellowship with the Father. Instant confession of our sins is our only defense against the enemy of our soul. Read over several times and memorize chapter one of First John. It is the secret of walking a victorious Christian life.
C. His Practice:
Every Christian can produce two kinds of fruit in their life, but only one kind of fruit will be evident at any given time. Remember, as a Christian, you can produce either of these fruits depending on your desires. This can be the fruit of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit will depend on who is in control of your life. “Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.” Galatians 5:16-17. Daily you are bearing fruit as you live in this world, but which fruit is it? The pressure of the world entices you to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Temptation is presented in advertising, media, magazines and a thousand other places. Satan is the god of this world. I John 5:19. Again these works of the flesh are listed in Galatians 5:19-21. The person who is not a Christian has no choice but to produce the fruit of the flesh. From a human perspective, he may do good works and even religious and social works that the world applauds, however, in God’s sight they have no eternal merit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to produce the fruit of the Spirit in your
life. Only a person who is a born again Christian can have this fruit. Note that it is singular in the Scriptures. You cannot pick your fruit. It is His fruit, so He produces all or none in your life depending on your spiritual relationship with God. When sin enters the fruit changes from the fruit of the Spirit to the fruit of the flesh. The desire of every Christian must be to see the right fruit in their life. The Holy Spirit works in our life and produces His fruit as we yield to His control. If He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. Galatians 5:22-24.
We do not work to obtain a position of victory in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit. We work from a position we already possess in Christ. There will be a battle every day of your life to produce this fruit, but here is our victory. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24. We must realize our victory is not of ourselves but of Christ. The crucifixion of the flesh is not by what we do but because of who lives in us and in whom we live. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. As I yield to the control of the Holy Spirit, I can have daily victory. You may grieve the Holy Spirit, but He will never leave you because “you are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30. His indwelling with you is permanent until we arrive on Heaven’s shore.
D. His Provisions:
As a Christian, did you ever say to yourself , “What can I do?” If I gave you a gift of a new automobile what would I expect you to do with it? Would I expect you to just look at it, put it in a show room so people could come by and see it, talk about it, tell friends about it, take pictures of it, or would I expect you to get into it and drive it? Obviously, the purpose of the automobile is to drive it. It may be for the purpose of driving to work or giving friends a ride. It may be just for you to enjoy driving in the countryside. God has given you the gift of eternal life, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts for you to use for Him. “Now concerning spiritual gifts brethren, I do not want you to be unaware…Now there are a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” I Corinthians 12:1,4-7 NASB translation.
The next verses in this chapter and other chapters of Scripture give a list of gifts that the Holy Spirit gives believers. We know every believer has at least one gift to be used for the Lord. Romans 12:4-8. Now, what do you think the Lord expects us to do with these gifts that He has given us? As you move through the world and through the Scriptures you are not to look at other people’s gifts and become jealous. Realize that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are unique for you as one of His special children. “God has placed the members each one of them in the body, just as He desired.” I Corinthians 12:18 NASB translation. You may ask, “What is my gift?” We do not know. Ask Him. Find your gift and put it to work.
There are some gifts that are no longer for believers today. Let’s remember that the book of Acts was a transitional period for the beginning of the Church. Acts is a transitional book; therefore, we do not build doctrine on this book unless the rest of the New Testament confirms it. Because believers did not have the New Testament, God demonstrated His power and approval by miracles, revelations and speaking in tongues (languages) at Pentecost. This was to rapidly spread the news of a new dispensation of the Savior who had come to redeem mankind. This was a miracle at Pentecost not to be repeated. There is only one Pentecost like there is only one Calvary, one bodily resurrection and one ascension. On the day of Pentecost people from all over the known world heard the Gospel in their language so that they could return and tell their people that the Savior of the world was alive from the dead. Acts 2:4, 22-24. Today, the gift of tongues is no longer active. We have the Bible in most languages of the world. We just need to fulfil this commission by using the tongue that we have. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15.
The gift of Knowledge is also no longer active for today because we have the full revelation of God in the written form of the New Testament. The gift of Prophecy has also ceased for the same reason. They were for that special time when the New Testament was not available in writing as we have it today. God communicated to His people through the Old Testament and in direct ways until the completion of the New Testament. As I Corinthians 13:10 says in reference to the coming New Testament, “When that which is (Greek “the”) perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” This is confirmed in James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into (Greek “the”) perfect law of liberty,” which is the New Testament. God’s word, now in written form, eliminates the need for the above gifts. In fact to have any further revelations or prophecies or additions to God’s word will bring judgement as recorded in Revelation 22:18-19. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.”
E. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is Himself the seal.
(1) This is a seal of ownership. II Timothy 2:19.
(2) This is a seal of identification. Ephesians 1:13-14.
(3) This is a seal of security. Ephesians 1:13-14.
(4) This is a seal of a finished transaction. A seal confirms a legal transaction. Jeremiah 32:10.
(5) This is a seal of righteousness. Romans 4:11.
(6) This is a seal of impression. The signet seal always left the impression in wax. When we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, His impression is on us. II Corinthians 1:22. This is a seal of “earnest.” Earnest money is a down payment to be paid in full at a later date. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s “earnest” payment. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30. His indwelling you is permanent until we arrive on Heaven’s shore.
F. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The word baptism means to “dip, to place into or identify with.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the operation whereby the Holy Spirit places us into the body of Christ when we are saved. The “body of Christ” is synonymous with the “Church” which is inclusive of all born again believers. “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, and have all been made to drink of one spirit.” I Corinthians 12:13. This was the promise of Pentecost and the beginning of the Church.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an endowment of power or an experience but rather an act of the Holy Spirit, Himself, as the agent to place you into the body of Christ. Acts 1:5. “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” This speaks of Pentecost, the beginning of the Church, which was soon to come. Before Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon people, He was “with you,” but after Pentecost, He is always “in you.” He takes up permanent residence in all who are saved. Whenever the words “baptism of the Spirit” are used, it is always applied collectively to a group and never to an individual. When you see in Scripture the “Baptism of the Spirit and of fire,” this is a contrasting picture of salvation and judgement. You have one or the other, depending on your relationship to Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:16-17.
Some may claim to have an experience of the “Baptism of the Spirit” and speak in tongues. Some may claim to have received power to heal, do miracles, and cast out demons, but they are false prophets and false teachers. Read II Peter chapter 2. They are interpreting the Bible by their own experience rather than interpreting their experience by the Bible. The devil can counterfeit supposed miraculous experiences that are not of God. There is a spirit of Truth, and there is a spirit or error. I John 4:1-6.
The key to the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for believers today must be motivated by a more excellent way. I Corinthians 13:2. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not charity (Love) I am nothing.” Love is the driving force that must motivate us to exercise our gifts as Christians. We must surrender everything to the Lord Jesus Christ to be available at any time, for any place, for any work, for any witness as the Master calls us. Much more could be shared about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, and as we mature in Christ, we will understand more of His presence and work in our lives.