15. The Holy Spirit
HS
 

1. WHAT PART DO WE SEE THE HOLY SPIRIT PLAYING IN THE CREATION OF THE WORLD?

1HS Gen 1:2 The Holy Spirit was "hovering" over the waters, much like an eagle hovers over her nest (see Deut. 32:11). An eagle plays a vital role in the raising of her young, and just so, the Holy Spirit played a vital role in the bringing forth of the various parts of Creation.

2. WHOM DID JESUS NAME AS BEING ON THE SAME LEVEL AS HE AND THE FATHER?

2HS Matt. 28:19 When Jesus gave the great commission to His disciples, just before He ascended to Heaven, He told them to make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of God. But Jesus named three Persons instead of just one. He said we should baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thus, the baptismal "formula" places the Holy Spirit on the same divine level as both the Father and the Son.

3. WHAT OTHER NAME(S) DID JESUS GIVE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT?

3HS John 15:26 Jesus called Him the "Comforter" (KJV), or the "Counselor" (NIV). Jesus Himself operates as our Comforter/Counselor, but He told His disciples that He would send another One to them (cf. John 14:16).

Jesus said that it was necessary for him to go away because if he didn't go, the comforter/counselor wouldn't come.

4. WHY WAS IT SO NECESSARY FOR THE COMFORTER/COUNSELOR TO COME?

4HS John 16:7-11 The work of the Holy Spirit is the same work that Jesus was doing. But Jesus could only be in one place at a time because He was restricted to a human body. But the Holy Spirit has the supernatural ability to be everywhere all the time. So the Holy Spirit could do the work that Jesus was doing, everywhere!

5. WHAT WORK WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT GOING TO DO?

5HS John 16:7-11 The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of guilt with regard to:

    • Sin—because men do not believe in Jesus  
    • Righteousness—because I [Jesus] am going to the Father,
    • Judgment—because the prince of this world (Satan) now stands condemned.

6. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WOULD DO?

6HS John 16:13 Contrary to the opinions of some, Jesus didn't tell us everything we needed to know while He was here. And so He sent the Holy Spirit to:

     • Guide [us] into all truth." and
     • Tell us things to come.

The Holy Spirit acts in relationship to Jesus in the same way that Jesus acted in relationship to the Father, for Jesus said:

  • John 5:19 . . . "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
  • 7. WHAT PART DID THE HOLY SPIRIT HAVE IN THE BEGINNING OF JESUS WORK?

    7 HS Matt 3:15-4:1 When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit anointed Him by coming down upon Him in the bodily form of a dove. God spoke audibly saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Then the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness "to be tempted by the devil."

    The Spirit did not just lead Jesus into temptation, but knowing that Jesus would be tempted by the devil, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness so that He would have time to give His undivided attention to what the Father wanted Him to do. The overall affect of the experience was that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit led Him step by step from that moment on.

  • Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
  • 8. WHAT WAS TO BE THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT ON JESUS' DISCIPLES?

    8HS Acts 1:8; 4:31 The Holy Spirit would give the disciples the power they needed to carry the gospel to all the world with boldness.

    9. WHAT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH?

    9HS 1 Cor. 12:4-7 The Holy Spirit is present in the church just like He was present in the life of Jesus. He makes it possible for the church to do its work of telling the world about Jesus. In order for the church to do this, the Holy Spirit gives gifts to its members, so that they can, united with others in the church, carry forward the work Christ wants to be done by His church in the world.

    10. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GIFTS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES TO CHRIST'S CHURCH?

    10HS 1 Cor. 12:8-11 The Holy Spirit gives to some the ability to make wise decisions, to others the ability to remember important truths of the Bible. Others have faith that, as Jesus put it, can "move mountains," while through others the Spirit sees fit to work in healing diseases, performing miracles, speaking and/or understanding different kinds of languages.

    The gifts are not given for the purpose of building up the person's ego, but they are given so that the church can do the work of Christ—to carry out the great commission. (see Lesson 37 for a full discussion of the gifts of the Spirit.)

    11. WHAT IS GOD'S GIFT TO HIS PEOPLE?

    11HS Acts 5:32 You'll notice that humans weren't the only ones who witnessed the humiliation and death of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was also a witness! And the Holy Spirit is God's gift to those who obey Him.

    12. WHY DON'T SOME PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE WAYS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

    12HS 1 Cor. 2:10-14 The Spirit knows the mind of God. People who don't have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts of the Spirit, and therefore cannot understand the ways of God.

    Many things about the Holy Spirit are unclear to us because the work of the Spirit is to bring us the message of Christ. He is to reveal Christ to the world, not Himself.

    So, even though the Scriptures do reveal a lot about the work of the Holy Spirit. They don't reveal as much about Him and His work as they do about the Father and the Son—simply because it is not the Spirit's work to portray Himself.

    Notes on the Holy Spirit

    John 15:26 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.

    The three members of the Trinity appears in this verse:
          • I=Jesus
          • The Father
          • The Spirit of truth.

    The Counselor often appears in Scripture as a masculine being.
          • Greek: "auton" acc. sing. masc. of autos.
          • The Counselor (paraketos) in this verse, is
             given a masculine gender.
          • This would imply that the Spirit, being referred to as
             having a masculine gender, must be a Person. In fact,
             Scripture describes Him as having many traits of
             personalityHe guides, teaches, comforts, etc.
          • This is not to say that the Spirit is masculine in the
             physical sense, but people in the middle east put
             emphasis upon leaders being male. God is always
             referred to in the masculine gender for the same reason.

    "I will send:" Both the Father and the Son work in unity with the Holy Spirit.

         • "John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom
            the Father will send in my name, will teach you all
            things and will remind you of everything I have said to
            you."

    Jesus had taken upon Himself a physical body and was thus confined to one physical location. People would naturally suppose that they would have to be in His physical presence in order to obtain His blessing. So Jesus had to leave so that the Holy Spirit (who can be everywhere all at the same time) could come and do Jesus' work—everywhere in the world.

          • John 16:7: But I tell you the truth: It is for your good
             that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor
             will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to
             you.

    So if Jesus went away the world would no longer have the physical presence of Jesus among them. Then they would have to depend on the Holy Spirit who, in fact, is the One who draws all men to Jesus Christ and to the Father.

          • John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world of
            guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
       
    The ability to convict people of sin is an activity of the
    Holy Spirit that indicates His personality and deity.

    Compare these other texts that reveal indications of the Holy Spirit's personality and deity.

          • John 16:13; Matt. 10:20; Rom. 5:5; Ex. 31:3; Acts 9:31;
            2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Sam. 10:6, 10; Rom. 8:14.

    One of the works of the Holy Spirit is to "convict the world of guilt in regard to sin. . . . " "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4) (KJV = "sin is the breaking of the law.")

    But Jesus went on to say in John 16:9 that, the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin:
          • "in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;"
         
    Sin must have a broader meaning than merely breaking God's law, because all those who do not believe in Jesus are guilty of sin.

          • Rom. 14:23 ". . . everything that does not come from
            faith is sin."

    Righteousness yields "faithfulness" (Isa. 11:5), and sustains (Isa 59:15, 16) the Christian. One who is righteous is not guilty of sin (John 8:46).

    Jesus warned people of judgment, but when Jesus left the world and went back to the Father, the Holy Spirit took up Jesus' work of warning the world of judgment. The reason the Holy Spirit warned the world of judgment was to draw them to repentance.

          • John 16:13  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he
            will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his
            own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell
            you what is yet to come.
         
    In the context "the Spirit" is the same person as referred to as "Counselor" in vs. 7, et al.

    "When we speak about [the Holy Spirit] or to Him we must remember that He is a Person, not merely an influence. (See John 15:26: "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.")" Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly June 25:1995.

         • John 8:28 ". . . I do nothing on my own but speak just
           what the Father has taught me."

    Both Jesus and and the Spirit speak only what the Father tells them to say.

         • Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy
            Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in
            Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends
            of the earth."

    There are conditions for receiving the Holy Spirit. Consider these quotes:

    "Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people "to will and to do of His good pleasure." Phil. 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive." The Desire of Ages
    p. 672

    "There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God." Counsels on Stewardship p. 254

    "The Holy Spirit will come to all who are begging for the bread of life to give to their neighbors." ibid. 252

    "It is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer."  Selected Messages Vol. 1, p. 121

         • Acts 5:32 "We are witnesses of these things, and so is
           the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey
           him."

         • 1 Cor. 12:4-7 There are different kinds of gifts, but the
            same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the
            same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but
            the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each
            one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the
            common good.

    Verses 4-6 portray the Trinity at work for the church of God.
         • 4: The Spirit
         • 5: The Lord (a name the disciples often used to
           designate Jesus Christ)
         • 6: God (the Father)

    Thus the Trinity is at work in the church, bringing special gifts in order that the church might do the work Jesus sent them to do. But it is the Spirit who actually brings the gifts to God's people.

          • 1 Cor. 2:9, 10 However, as it is written: "No eye has
            seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what
            God has prepared for those who love him"but God
            has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all
            things, even the deep things of God.

    Even though we humans could never imagine what God has prepared for us, God's Spirit has revealed it to us.