Lesson 04 第四课

THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

I.    The Nature of the Holy Spirit

A.    The Holy Spirit is Eternal

1.    The fact that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity means that the Holy Spirit is eternal.  Just as God the Father had no beginning, so the Holy Spirit had no beginning.

2.    As Genesis 1:1-2 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”  Therefore, the Holy Spirit was involved with the act of creation.

B.    The Holy Spirit is a Presence

1.    In Genesis 2:7 we read that God “breathed” into Adam “the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.”  The Hebrew word translated “breath” is neshamah.  The word “breath” describes life in man and God.

2.    Another Hebrew word used in reference to the Holy Spirit is ruach.  Psalm 139 is an example of ruach as used to express the presence of God.

3.    In the New Testament the Greek word pneuma (“breath, wind, motion”) is used to express God’s presence in the person of the Holy Spirit.

C.    The Holy Spirit Is a Person

1.    In the Old Testament God often revealed Himself as a Person, perhaps through His angels, or heavenly messengers.

2.    The personhood of the Holy Spirit is no different from the personhood of God the Father or God the Son.  He is not merely a power or an impersonal force.  The Spirit of God is God the Spirit.  In fact, it has been argued by some that technically it is incorrect to refer to him as the Holy Spirit; rather, he should be referred to merely as Holy Spirit, without the article.

D.    The Holy Spirit Is a Power

1.    Although the Holy Spirit is not merely an impersonal force, he is power.  In Old Testament times the power of God was often associated with the wind.  That goes back to the Hebrew word ruach, translated “wind” or “spirit.”

2.    In the New Testament the mighty, rushing “wind” of the Spirit came at Pentecost (Acts 2).

3.    Of course this is not to say that the Holy Spirit is wind.  This is just one representation of the fact that the Holy Spirit is a power that cannot be contained, nor can we necessarily see him, nor know from whence he comes.  We must not confuse this thought as being similar to the idea of a distinct supernatural “force” (as portrayed in the “Star Wars” movies).


II.    The Promise of the Holy Spirit

A.    Prophesied in the Old Testament

1.    Joel 2:28-29

2.    Zechariah 12:10

3.    Isaiah 32:15

B.    Jesus’ Promise of the Coming of the Holy Spirit

1.    Jesus told His disciples that although the Holy Spirit had been with them, He soon would be in them (John 14:16-17, 26).

2.    Jesus told His disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave them so that the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7).

3.    Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received power from God (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).

III.    The Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

A.    It was a definite event.

1.    There will never be another Pentecost as described in Acts 2.  That particular experience was for the specific purpose of revealing the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers.  There will never again be a need for this experience.

2.    There will never be a need for the same experiences of those present on that day in Jerusalem.  It was once for all time (John 14:16).

B.    It was accompanied by signs.

1.    “The sound of the rushing of a mighty wind” (Acts 2:2).

a.    As mentioned earlier, the wind was not the Holy Spirit; rather, his coming was accompanied by the sound of wind.

b.    Jesus described the Holy Spirit in the same way (John 3:8).

2.    “Tongues like fire”

a.    Again, the Holy Spirit was not the fire.

b.    Fire is symbolic both of destruction and cleansing.

C.    It produced transforming results.

1.    The coming of the Holy Spirit was done in power (Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49).

2.    It was a transforming power.  He changed those whom he touched.

3.    It was an enlightening power.  The disciples were able to be understood in other languages. (Acts 2:4-11).

4.    It was a convicting power.  The multitude was convicted of their sins       (Acts 2:37).

5.    It was a saving power (Acts 2:41).

IV.    The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit

A.    The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

1.    John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus would baptize believers in the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8; John 1:33).

2.    The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion (Rom. 8:9, 14; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19).  In other words, all born-again believers have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.  It is not some kind of “second blessing.”

3.    The moment one places his or her faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within them.

4.    The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a literal, inner presence of the Holy Spirit  (1 Cor. 3:16; Rom. 8:11; John 14:17, 20).

B.    The Filling of the Holy Spirit

1.    The New Testament speaks of several people who were “filled with the Holy Spirit:” John the Baptist (Luke 1:15); the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:4); Zacharias (Luke 1:67); Stephen (Acts 6:5); Barnabas (Acts 11:24).

2.    Some people consider the baptism and the filling to refer to the same thing.  If referring to the moment the Holy Spirit actually indwells the believer, then they both could refer to the same experience.  However, others consider the “filling” of the Holy Spirit to refer to those times when a Christian receives special powers or abilities from God, or, more accurately, when God works through an individual in a powerful way. These are times not when the believer receives more of the Holy Spirit; rather, the Holy Spirit receives more of the believer.  As it has been said, the filling of the Holy Spirit is when the Holy Spirit is not merely “resident” in a person’s life, but “president” of that person’s life.

3.    It is significant to note that we are never commanded to be “baptized” with the Holy Spirit.  However, we are commanded to be “filled” with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

C.    How does one receive the filling of the Holy Spirit?

1.    The filling of the Holy Spirit comes only with confession and cleansing.

a.    Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2).

b.    God cannot use an unclean vessel (2 Tim. 2:20-21).

c.    Real confession includes repentance (Luke 13:3; 1 John 1:7-9).

2.    The filling of the Holy Spirit requires faith.

a.    Faith that God is able to use us (Eph. 3:20)

b.    Faith that God wants to use us (Eph. 3:16-19)

3.    We must allow God’s power to flow through us.

a.    We are not just to be containers of His Spirit, but channels of His Spirit (John 7:38-39).

b.    We must not rely on our own strengths, but on the power of God     (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

c.    We must commit ourselves to His will over our own will (Deut. 10:12; Ps. 37:3-5; Ps. 143:10; Eph. 6:7).

V.    The Gifts and Fruit of the Holy Spirit

A.    Spiritual gifts are bestowed on all believers.

1.    Every Christian has some spiritual gift given by God (1 Cor. 12:7, 11).

2.    God gives us the gifts He wants us to have (1 Cor. 12:11).

3.    We are not all intended to have the same gifts (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10, 29-30).

4.    These gifts are for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:12;     Eph. 4:12).

5.    We must not confuse spiritual gifts with talents.  However, it is possible that we may exercise spiritual gifts through talents.

B.    The Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)

1.    The evidences of being “filled with the Spirit” are not all outward, although that is included.  The ultimate tests of being filled with the Spirit are inward.

2.    The “fruit of the Spirit” is seen in terms of such primary qualities as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22).

3.    It is not in sensational, flamboyant display, but in those basic qualities of personal character and in serving the needs of mankind that one is found to be “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

4.    In Galatians 5:22, Paul’s key word is “fruit,” a term made primary by Jesus himself.  Jesus had taught that each person is to be known by his fruit (Matt. 7:15-23).

5.    In John 15:1-17, Jesus insisted upon two basic realities: (1) those abiding in him will produce fruit, and (2) those not abiding in him cannot produce what he meant by fruit.  Outward performance or show is possible with or without this abiding in him, but not so of “fruit.”  The nature or identity of this fruit is not described here, but love for one another seems best to be its fulfillment (John 15:8-17).


DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

(Part 1)

1.    What are some aspects of the nature of the Holy Spirit, such as the Holy Spirit is eternal?

2.    In relation to the Holy Spirit as a presence, what is a word that describes life in man and God?

3.    In relation to the Holy Spirit as a power, what word is often associated with the power of God?

4.    When Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit, He said the Spirit had been with them, but soon would be _____ them.

5.   With the coming of the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 2, what were the accompanying signs?

6.     What were some of the transforming results of the coming of the Holy Spirit?