The Personality of the Holy Spirit – John 14:23-31

 Assuming that we meet four times a week, how many times is that during the course of a year? Over a fifteen year period, about how many messages would we share together? After a length of time and a number of lessons and messages, there has to be a certain amount of repetition and review. For the next few weeks, we’re going to review what we know about the Holy Spirit. A year ago we spent several months studying the attributes of God, or God the Father. We constantly review what we know about the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact we’ll do some of that in our morning message in a few minutes. But the Holy Spirit unjustly gets put on the back-burner. By the very nature of His personality and ministry, we don’t focus our attentions on Him. Because He is our primary teacher, His focus is on the Father and Son, not on Himself. In fact, we basically have to force our selves to look at Him in order to see Him at all. For the next few weeks that is exactly what we’re going to try to do. This morning, we begin with that fact that the Holy Spirit is. Just as the Bible assumes that we all know that God exists, it assumes we know that the Holy Spirit exists. Not only does He exist, He exists as a person. What is it to be a person? How is it that the Lord Jesus is a person? Does the Holy Spirit have personality? What is personality? It is the quality or condition of being a...

The Deity of the Holy Spirit – II Peter 1:21

 What was the theme for our last Sunday School class? (The Personality of the Holy Spirit.) I mentioned a man named Arius, who, back in the third century said that the One Whom we call the “Holy Spirit” was nothing but the creative power of God. So Arius denied the reality and the personality of the Holy Spirit. If someone denies the personality of the Spirit, what other extremely important thing about the Spirit must be denied as well? (Deity.) But, as we said, Arius was branded as a heretic at the Council of Nicea, and main-stream Christendom has taught the deity of the Spirit ever since. Do we have to dig very deeply into the Scriptures in order to find proof of the deity of the Holy Spirit? The titles of the Spirit prove His deity. What is God’s name? (Jehovah?) What is the name of God the Son? What is the Holy Spirit’s given name? (He doesn’t have one.) I don’t know that this is important, but don’t you find that somewhat interesting? The Third Person of the Trinity is pure spirit; He has no material presence. I don’t know, but perhaps this is a part of the reason that He has no specific name. But the fact that He is called the HOLY Spirit tells us what? And what is the conclusion when He is designated as THE Holy Spirit? “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” “Grieve not the holy Spirit of...

The Typology of the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 1:13-14

 When the executive tells his secretary to type something, what does he mean? When the botanist refers to a particular type of spruce tree, what does he mean? What does it mean to typecast something? To what does the theologian refer when he speaks of a type? The theological noun “type” comes from the Biblical Greek word “tupos” (too’-pos), and it is directly related to what a typewriter does. It is found 16 times in the New Testament, and it is translated 9 different ways. The most common is “ensample” and others are “pattern,” “fashion,” and “form.” The root from which tupos is derived is tupto (toop’-to ) and it means “to smite, strike or wound.” In other words, a type is the mark left by a wound. That is exactly what happens when a typewriter or a printing press is used – an ink scar is created. And that scar tells a story. A Biblical type is a figure, a picture, an image, and sometimes it is a reverse image of something else. Here are some of the verses where “tupos” and it’s opposite “antitupos” are used. John 20:25 – “The other disciples therefore said unto him (Thomas), We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the PRINT of the nails, and put my finger into the PRINT of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Acts 7:44 – “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to...

The Holy Spirit in Creation – Genesis 1:1-2

 When I say that the “Oldfields” will be going to a family reunion in August, who would you expect to be going? Does that include the Kjeldgaards? The term “Oldfields” refers to a specific unit made up of several individuals. When the whole unit does something, then we might assume that each of the individuals participated. The same sort of thing applies to God. Who first comes to your mind when I speak of “Jehovah”? (The Father? The God-head? The Son?) Who first comes to mind when I speak of “Elohim”? Who does the Bible tell us is the Creator of this universe? (Elohim – God.) Genesis 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth,” does that mean that just God the father created the universe or was it the whole family? Who is the Saviour? Does this mean that the Father didn’t play a role in our salvation? What does the Holy Spirit do in saving the lost? In all the major works of God, all three Persons of the Trinity play a part even though quite often only one is given the preeminence. In most Old Testament references to creation, God is described as the Creator. Is this speaking only of the Father? Who is most clearly described as the Creator in the New Testament? (God, the Son.) John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that...

The Holy Spirit in Inspiration – II Timothy 3:16-17

 From what you know about the Holy Spirit, what would you say is His most important work? (Regeneration?) After His work in salvation what would you say is His most important work? (Inspiration???) How much can we know about God through human observation? If the Lord didn’t reveal our spiritual need would we have ever understood it? If the Lord hadn’t revealed His salvation would we have ever been able to guess it? How important is the Bible to us spiritually? The inspiration of the Scriptures is one of the major doctrines of our church and of Christianity in general.What is the difference between the idea of Biblical inspiration and the inspiration that a novelist might have for his next book? Have you ever been inspired by a beautiful sunset? What does that mean? (Moved?) Have you ever been inspired by a sermon or by an example – to make some improvement in your life? Even if you were led of the Holy Spirit through that sermon is that the same thing as Biblical inspiration? Elihu in Job 32:8 said, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” The inspiration of the Holy Spirit very often does give us the ability to understand some difficult doctrine or scripture, but that is different from the inspiration what was given to the word of God which was written by Paul or Isaiah. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished...

The Holy Spirit and Christ – John 3:26-36

 Let’s create a fictitious and silly situation: Let’s say that I spoke English and you spoke English, and that under ordinary circumstances we have no difficulty communicating. How silly would it be, if I had someone interpret and rephrase every sentence of my sermons and lessons? If we weren’t trying to cross a language barrier, how silly would it be to have an interpreter? I don’t know if that is an appropriate illustration, but it is similar to the fact that God the Son needed the ministry of the God the Spirit. Does it make sense that omnipotence needed, or used, more omnipotence? Whether it makes sense or not, that is what we see when we read through the gospels. This lesson will not be as deep or as broad as it could be, but let’s think about some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit and the Saviour worked together. Holy Spirit and the birth of Christ? Overall, was the birth of the Lord Jesus miraculous? What in the character of this miracle sets it apart from all the other miracles of God? In all the other miracles didn’t God make significant changes in His creation? How? In the virgin birth, the Lord, in a sense made a significant change in Himself. How? To believe any miracle requires faith – which is a challenge to the unbeliever. To believe in the virgin birth requires a faith which is a challenge specifically to the theologian. Who was the agent of Jesus’ conception? Did Jesus have a human father? Well then how did Mary conceive? Matthew 1:18-21 – “Now...

Grace and the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:28-30

 Is there a difference between mercy and grace? Is that difference great or small? (Relatively slight.) Describe God’s grace. (God’s doing for us what we do not deserve.) Describe God’s mercy. (God’s not doing to us what we do deserve.) In salvation which of those two do we see? (Both.) In our day-to-day lives which of those two do we see? (Both.) Psalm 103:8 – “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” Is God sovereign; that is, does He have absolute rule over all things? Is that sovereignty practical or just theoretical and academic? Is God sovereign over salvation from sin? By definition, if God is sovereign over salvation, does man determine his own salvation? Does God have sovereign control over the events in the lives of His people? Does God have sovereign control over events in the lives of those who are not His people? In what way is God merciful toward the ungodly? In what way is God gracious toward the ungodly? Can God be merciful and gracious toward the ungodly without it resulting in their salvation? Is it possible that in God’s gracious kindness with the ungodly, it is the Holy Spirit Who could be ministering towards those people? Common grace. Is there anything wrong with the following statement: “There is a sense in which everything that God does toward His enemies, other than judging them, are acts of divine grace and mercy.” If the unbelieving world deserves to be destroyed, that it isn’t destroyed, is what on God’s part? If the crops of the wicked grow and ripen, feeding...

The Holy Spirit and Regeneration – Titus 3:5-7

 What is the dictionary meaning of the word “regeneration”? (To make alive again.) How often is the word “regeneration” found in our Bibles? (Twice.) Only one of those two directly refers to that aspect of Soteriology which we call “Regeneration.” Turn to Matthew 19:23-30 – When the Lord Jesus used the word “regeneration” in v. 28 did it have a different definition? “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”? This “regeneration” means either the re-establishment of Israel, or the re-creation of the universe after all the destruction of the Lord’s judgments. I prefer the first interpretation. So it still is related to the doctrine of salvation. The only other use of the word “regeneration” in our King James Bibles is there in Titus 3:5. For those of you who like this kind of trivia, the Greek word is “paliggenesia” (pal-ing-ghen-es-ee’-ah), and if you listen closely you’ll hear the word “genesis.” The word is relatively rare in our Bibles, but outside the Bible, in the common or Koine Greek speech it was far more common. Strong’s Concordance, with the agreement of Thayer and other experts, defines the word this way: “New birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration. “Hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or...

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:1-11

 Can God take sinners to Heaven, glorifying them and giving them eternal life without first converting them? Why, or why not? So God cannot be untrue to His holy nature in order to avoid dealing with our sins? Could God be true to Himself in simply exterminating sinners without actually judging them? What is the word which summarizes the process which makes sinners fit to stand before God? (Salvation.) As we know, there are various aspects of salvation; what are some of them? Can a sinner be saved, who has not been regenerated? Can a person be saved, who has not been justified? Converted? Adopted? Now think about this question; don’t think about the theology which you have been taught; just the question. Could God take His elect to Heaven without first giving them the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Does the Lord do that? Can you prove that the saints of God in the Old Testament were indwelt by the Holy Spirit? I have read in dozens of theology books that the Old Testament saints were not permanently indwelt, but proving that statement one way or the other is open to challenge. How important TO US is the question about the Spirit’s relationship to David and Abraham? If being indwelt, or not indwelt, by the Spirit does not directly relate to salvation, the question about the Spirit’s relationgship to Old Testament saints is not vitally important to us. What is important is not what Isaiah or Moses say about the subject, expect in prophecy. What is important TO US is what the New Testament says TO US. Scriptures...

The Gifts of the Spirit – I Corinthians 12:1-11

 Did I leave the impression, last week, that the Lord could save people without the Holy Spirit indwelling them? Did I leave the impression that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not important? Is the indwelling of the Spirit important? What relationship does the Spirit have to the Christian’s practical sanctification? What relationship does He have to the Christian’s understanding of spiritual things? Does He have much of a role in the Christian’s assurance of his salvation? What role does the Holy Spirit have in our prayer lives? (With groanings and utterings…..) If the Holy Spirit only came and went upon us, what sort of saints could we ever be? When we start talking about the Gifts of the Spirit, we are moving beyond these things. The indwelling of the Spirit is common and universal to all New Testament Christians. But there are other blessings, abilities and gifts, which are not common to everyone. They are dispensed through the sovereign and all-wise dispensation of God. They are called the gifts of the Spirit. Christendom has fluctuated between two extremes when it comes to spiritual gifts. Generally speaking, to what extreme do the “charismatics” go? (Abuse and misunderstanding.) What is the other more common extreme? (Neglect and misunderstanding.) Does God want us to be confused and ignorant about spiritual gifts? I Corinthians 12:1 – “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” What must be the source for our information about the gifts of the Spirit? The Gifts of the Spirit are obviously bestowed by the Holy Spirit. In I Corinthians 12:1 there is the Greek...

Temporary Gifts of the Holy Spirit – I Corinthians 13

 Who was the first saint of God? How many miracles does the Bible tell us that he performed? Was Abraham a child of God? How many miracles did God perform through him? Was Job a saint? Did the Lord work miracles through him? Did the Lord work miracles through David? Joseph? Daniel? John the Baptist? Going back to Adam, why, do you think, he didn’t perform miracles? There are three notable periods of miracles in human history; what were they? (Moses, Elijah and Elisha, and the days of Christ and the Apostles.) Does the Bible gave any indication why Moses was permitted to work miracles? What? How much of the written word did Israel possess in the days of Moses? In the days of Elijah and Elisha was Israel godly and faithful to the Lord in their worship and obedience? How faithful were the priests of Israel in those days? Were there copies of the Law and the writings of Moses in Elijah’s day? How many of the families of Israel would you guess owned, studied and read God’s word? Did Elijah and Elisha work miracles for their own benefit? Could we surmise that they worked miracles in order to point people toward Jehovah, because there was no other means of authenticating their message? Why did Christ work miracles? For one thing, it was prophesied that the coming Messiah would work miracles (Isaiah 42:1-9). When John’s disciples came asking if Jesus was the Christ, He pointed to His miracles (Matt. 11:2-6). Why did the Apostles work miracles? Why didn’t God ordain the use of miracles throughout human history? Why...

The Filling of the Spirit – Ephesians 5:18

 When the Lord was nearing the crucifixion what did He tell the disciples that He would do in order to bless them in His absence? How much can we know of the Lord without the guidance of the Holy Spirit? How practical is the Bible without the blessing of the Holy Spirit? Does every Christian know the Bible as well as every other Christian? Does every Christian possess the same peace and comfort as every other Christian? Do all Christians display the same abundance of the gifts of the Spirit? How do you explain that in the light of the fact that every Christian is equally indwelt by the Holy Spirit? What is the most important ingredient to a successful, sin-free, godly walk before the Lord? Galatians 5:16 – “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Was the Book of Galatians written primarily to Christians or non-Christians? If every Christian is indwelt by the Spirit why does Paul tell the Christians of Galatia to walk in the Spirit? Although every Christian is equally indwelt by the Spirit, not every Christian is submissive to the Spirit. What do we call this varying degree of submissiveness and direction of the Holy Spirit? (Filling.) There are fourteen references to being filled with the Spirit in the New Testament. As I read these scriptures, I’d like you to notice several things: First, whatever this filling is, it is different from what many or most other Christians possess. Second, this filling is almost always related to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, or...

The Holy Spirit in Eschatology – II Thessalonians 2:1-12

 Have you heard much or read much on the Eschatology of the Holy Spirit? There are several reasons for that: First, the Bible doesn’t say a great deal about the subject. That is one reason that this lesson might be a little short. And then Amillennialists and Postmillennialists don’t have anything to say about the subject. Why wouldn’t those two theories of Eschatology have anything to say about the Holy Spirt? Postmillennialists believe that the prophesies of the millennium are being fulfilled in this age. They essentially believe that we are in the Millennium. They allegorize a great deal of prophesy in order to make the scriptures fit their theology, rather than making their theology fit the scriptures. What the Holy Spirit is doing today is Millennial as far as they are concerned. Amillennialists believe there won’t be a Millennium and that this present age will just run into eternity. Again, for them there is no need for any teaching on the future work of the Spirit. For them there isn’t any future work of the Spirit. As Premillennialists, what do we believe about the time and beginning of the Millennium? For example: Will the Millennium be much different from the time in which we live today? What will be the relationship of the Lord Jesus to the Millennium and to the world at that time? Should we expect that the ministry of the Spirit be different with the presence of Christ on earth? As Premillennialists, what do we believe will precede the Millennium? As Pretribulationists, what do we believe will be the relationship of “the church” to the...