THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Lesson 05 on Bible Doctrines)
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A DIVINE PERSON
- "A frequent source of error and fanaticism about the work of the Holy Spirit is the attempt to study and understand His work without, first of all, coming to know Him as a person" -- R.A. Torrey.
- The Holy Spirit is a Person, as distinguished from an influence, emanation, or manifestation. The same words, implying personality, are used of Him in Scripture which are used of other persons (cf. John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:7, 8, 13-15).
- Men are said to act toward Him in ways which would be impossible or absurd if He were not truly a Person (cf. Isa. 63:10; Matt. 12:31, 32; Eph. 4:30).
- The Holy Spirit is said to perform actions which would be possible only to a person (cf. Isaiah 63:10; John 3:6; 15:26; Acts 8:29; 10:19; 13:2; 16:6; Rom. 8:16, 26, 27; I Corinthians 2:10,11).
- The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son; and He is called God (Acts 5:3, 4).
- By comparing Scripture with Scripture, we discover that He is Lord (Isa. 6:8, 9; cf. Acts 28:25, 26; Jer. 31:31-34; cf. Heb. 10:15, 16).
- The Holy Spirit is joined on terms of perfect equality with the Father and Son in the baptismal formula (Matt. 28:19; cf. II Cor. 13:14).
- The Scriptures constantly ascribe to the Holy Spirit the attributes of God, such as omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and also His highest perfection, holiness.
- "Holiness, indeed, is the emphatic mark of the Spirit. And this not as having been made or become holy, but as being holy, and Himself the producer of holiness" (C.I. Scofield, Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit).
- Omnipresence – Psalm 139:7-10; Omniscience – I Corinthians 2:9-14.
- The Holy Spirit is represented as performing works possible only to God (cf. Job 26:13; 33:4; Ps. 104:30; Rom. 8:11).
- He is the author of the Bible (Acts 1:16; II Peter 1:21).
- He sanctifies, teaches, leads, directs, indwells, seals, and endues with power (cf. Nehemiah 9:20; Luke 12:11, 12; Acts 1:8; 16:6, 7; 20:28; I Cor. 12:8-11; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, etc.).
REGENERATION AND FILLING OF THE SPIRIT, etc.
- In this dispensation every believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit the moment they are born again (John 3:3-8; Rom. 8:9-11,14-16; I John 3:24) but not all believers are filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
- By the baptism of the Spirit we are, at the moment of our conversion, incorporated into the Body of Christ (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; I Cor. 12:13).
- It is clear from Acts 1:5 and Acts 11:15-17 that the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred for the first time on the day of Pentecost and subsequently was realized when individuals received Christ as Saviour (cf. I Corinthians 12:13).
- Some have tried to restrict this verse to the church at Corinth, but that interpretation would contradict other Scriptures (cf. I Cor. 1:2).
- It is taught in some churches that Christians need to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but this is no where taught in Scripture.
- W. H. Griffith Thomas said, "But while believing that a Spirit-filled life is the privilege and duty of every believer, and that as a matter of personal experience it is often realized by means of a distinct crisis after conversion, yet much modern phraseology about 'the Baptism of the Spirit' does not seem to be justified by the New Testament, which teaches that all who are born again have been baptized by the Spirit into the one body of Christ. Instead of seeking some exceptional and transcendental experience, it is rather the true duty of the believer to accept and yield quietly each day to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of Christian living" (The Holy Spirit of God).
- It is taught by some people that speaking in tongues is evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit but this is not taught in Scripture.
- In Luke 11:13, our Lord was referring to the fullness of the Holy Spirit, not the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- Merrill Unger said, "The filling with the Spirit produces normal Christian experience; and continual filling is necessary to maintain the norm" (The Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit).
- Second Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 refer to the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
- A Christian is sealed the moment he receives Christ as his Saviour. There is only one sealing, and there is only one baptism, and only one indwelling, and these terms should not be confused.
- There is only one sealing, and there is only one baptism, and only one indwelling, but there may be several "fillings" (cf. Ephesians 5:18).
Pastor James Barker