WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Two major mistakes have been made by Christian believers with regard to the Holy Spirit. Either the Holy Spirit is the most neglected Person of the Godhead or there has been an improper emphasis upon the Spirit and His work, leading to much error and confusion. Lack of knowledge or incorrect knowledge ushers in many errors of doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit and his work. Therefore, a careful study of the Holy Spirit is important to the child of God.
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN? A true Christian is one who has believed the teachings of the disciples and believe Jesus Christ as his Savior and is “born again” by the Holy Spirit. In the 21st century, there exist groups and individuals who call themselves “Christian” yet deny many of the teachings of Jesus and His disciples. In the life of a true Christian the Holy Spirit is the Source of a believer’s power for service.
Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Christ-like character is developed and displayed through the life of the believer. Spirituality, then, is Christ-likeness, and Christ-likeness is the fruit of the Spirit. What better portrait of Jesus Christ is there than: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, meekness & self control?
This is the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual power is not necessarily miraculous or spectacular but is rather the consistent exhibition of the characteristics of the Lord Jesus in the believer’s life. All of this is the work of the Holy Spirit. An understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is basic to Christian living.
In the life of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was the power by which He performed the miracles during His ministry. The Holy Spirit was also the ‘generating power’ by which the God-man was formed in the virgin’s womb (Mt. 1:20). The Spirit is also seen descending, in the form of a dove, upon Christ at the time of His baptism and it was only through the eternal Spirit that Christ offered Himself to God (Heb. 9:14).
JESUS INTRODUCED THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS MINISTRY, TO BELIEVERS
1. In John 16:7, why would Jesus say that his leaving the earth, be good for his disciples?
2. What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would do for his disciples in John 16:13?
3. Whom did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would glorify (John 16:14 15).
4. How was the Holy Spirit to do this?
5. What did Jesus say about the Holy Spirit in John 14:17?
6. What name did Jesus use for the Holy Spirit in John 14:26?
7. What did He promise that God the Father would do?
8. Read John 3:5 8. Why is the Holy Spirit important to us?
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
9. What did the Holy Spirit do in Acts 13:2?
10. What does the Holy Spirit provide for the believer in the following verses?
a. 1 Corinthians 2:9 13
b. 1 Corinthians 12:4 11
c. Ephesians 4:30
d. Romans 8:16
e. Romans 8:26
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON
A “person” is a thinking, intellectual, knowing, emotional, and willful being who has capacity to love, to teach, to guide, and to command. All of these are attributes of the person of the Holy Spirit.
11. In the following verses, what does the Holy Spirit do, that only a person can do?
A. Acts 13:2 (In discussing this passage, we must be careful about conclusions drawn that imply Holy Spirit-leading but are in fact choices of our own will or are contrary to the revealed word of God. There needs to be teaching on how we tell the difference between His voice and the voice of the enemy.)
B. John 14:6
C. John 16:8
D. John 16:13
E. Romans 8:26
F. Acts 13:2
G. Eph. 4:30
H. 1 Cor. 2:13
Scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit in a personal way; that is, using terms that can only be used of a person. In other words, the Holy Spirit is a “he” and not an “it”. Since the Holy Spirit is a person, we can’t think of Him only as an influence, only a power or only a cosmic principle. The point is, we relate to the Spirit as a person; our counselor, our instructor in truth. He (not “it”) helps us in our prayers and in victory over the flesh. He (not “it”) also makes our bodies the temple of the living God.
THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (equality of the Holy Spirit & God the Father)
12. What indications are there in the following verses that the Holy Spirit is God?
(A) In Hebrews 9:14, what word describes the Holy Spirit?
(B) In Psalm 139:7,8; where is the Holy Spirit said to be?
(C) In Matthew 28:19 what indication is there of equality?
(D) What is He called in Acts 5:3,4?
(E) According to Romans 8:11, what did the Holy Spirit do (cf. 1 Cor. 6:14)?
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BELIEVERS
13. What ministry of the Holy Spirit to us is taught in Romans 8:26?
14. What has happened to every born again believer according to 1 Cor. 12:13?
15. In spite of their imperfect lives, what does Paul remind the believers in 1 Cor. 3:16 and why are we commanded to avoid sexual immorality according to 1 Cor. 6:18,19?
16. How is the Holy Spirit’s purpose described in Eph. 1:13 14?
17. What commands regarding the Holy Spirit are we given in these verses:
(B) I Thess. 5:19
18. What has the Holy Spirit done in our lives according to Romans 8 verses 14 & 15?
19. Read Ephesians 5:18. What is God’s commandment concerning the Holy Spirit?
20. What do you think this means?
21. Do you think all believers are supposed to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit?
22. Read 2 Corinthians 3:18. What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
23. In Gal 5:22, what qualities are listed as the fruit of the Spirit?
24. What one person comes to mind who exhibited these qualities?
25. Here might be a good place to distinguish between what are “works” and what are “fruit.”
Many Christians use the terms interchangeably. However, there is a distinction. “Works” are what Christians have been purposed and called to walk in and do (Ephesians 2:9). People can do “works”; only the Holy Spirit produces “fruit”. And “good fruit” is the product and outcome- and the evidence- of humans doing the good works that God has called them to do. Conversely, the works “of the flesh” are, as Galatians 5:19 points out, are “plain”…in other words apart from God the works of the flesh are very evidentially evil.
What might be true of people who, outwardly, are very busy doing “good works” but careless and who are unloving either overtly or covertly (to their spouses, children, or others), and / or exhibit little if any joy, are characterized by their attitude or actions as impatient, express unkindness and exhibit disdain rather than goodness towards others who may or may not be of the faith, and / or are undependable and inconsistent in their faith?
Now we understand the statement: Spirituality is Christ-likeness, and Christ-likeness is the fruit of the Spirit. It’s never done all at once, even though we’d like the quick transition. God promises that His Spirit changes us day by day as we allow Him to.
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
What is a “spiritual gift”? Talents like musical ability, artistic skill, athletic coordination, etc. may be considered as gifts from God, but are given to benefit mankind in his natural life. Spiritual gifts are infused with the power of the Holy Spirit to benefit man’s spiritual nature. It is possible for a Christian to have a talent without a corresponding “spiritual” gift. One may have, for example, a talent for imparting considerable information and knowledge of facts (even about the Bible) but this one’s expression of knowledge lacks any power to advance anyone spiritually.
Answer the following questions from 1 Corinthians 12:
26. How many believers have received a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit? (v.7,11)
27. Who decides which gifts are given to a believer? (v.11,18)
28. Why are these gifts given (compare v.7
29. Why is there a variety of gifts in the body? (v.14 19)
30. Is one particular spiritual gift singled out as being special or that points to a person as being more spiritual than other believers according to 1 Cor. 12:28 31?
(A) Why or why not?
31. List the gifts that are mentioned in the following verses:
(A) Romans 12:3 8
(B) 1 Cor. 12:8 10
(C) 1 Corinthians 12:28 30
(D) Ephesians 4:11
32. How would you “define” a spiritual gift?
33. How do you think the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit differs from the “gifts” of the Spirit?
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND NON BELIEVERS
34. What do the following verses reveal about the Holy Spirit and a non Christian?
(A) 1 Corinthians 2:14
(B) Romans 8:9
(C) Jude 17 19
35. In John 16:8 11, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would convict the world of guilt in regard to three things. What are they?
36. How does this help us understand the need for prayer for our friends who are not Christians?
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN RELATION TO THE SCRIPTURES
37. How does 2 Peter 2:21, show that the Holy Spirit is the Author of Scripture?
38. What does David write in 2 Samuel 23:1,2 that gives indication that God was the author of the Psalms he wrote?
39. What does 2 Timothy 3:16 say about the authorship of Scripture?
40. Why have we received the Holy Spirit according to I Corinthians 2:12?
41. Read 1 Corinthians 2:13. Did Paul depend upon his own abilities when he taught the Word of God (explain your answer)?