Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit may surprise you. It is fascinating, and clarifies much of the mystery of history and the human race. I might also say that much mystery remains, but you will see what I mean as we dive into this study.
He is a Person
The first thing to recognize is that He is a real individual. To clarify some misconceptions, He is not just an invisible force or power of God, neither is He one of several gods, nor is He a god that was once a man. The Bible portrays the Holy Spirit as a genuine Person with intellect, emotion and will (1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 15:30).
In one jaw dropping occasion, the Bible reports, “And while Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are looking for you But arise, go downstairs, and accompany them without misgivings; for I have sent them Myself’” (Acts 10:19, 20).
In this exchange you can see His intellect, consciousness, active directing of history, communication, and the use of personal pronoun, “Myself.” Peter listened to His words and obeyed Him.
Christ nailed the issue down best regarding the Person and work of the Holy Spirit when He used the personal pronoun some 14 times (John 16:7-15).
Clearly, the He is a Person, not an “it” of some kind. Finally, just as the Father and Son are spoken of in masculine terms, so is the third member of the Trinity.
He is God
Here I tread on that controversial and mystifying subject of the Trinity. But, the Bible definitely portrays third person in the Trinity as God: the third Person of the Trinity. He fully, equally, eternally, simultaneously shares in one common nature with the Father and Son. Yet, He is represented in Scripture as being a distinct Person.
I know you are puzzled. Who wouldn’t be? Think of it this way. I am not saying there are three Gods and one God at the same time. That would be a contradiction. The Bible does not teach that there is one God who hops in and out of different roles (e.g. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). However, I do say there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Remember this: the Trinity is a complexity, not a contradiction, and we humans cannot fully understand how it fits together. However, there are certain teachings in the Bible that you and I have to come to grips with, explain the best we can, and leave the rest to God.
His Person and work is clear. Peter called Him God. He displays the characteristics of God: all wise, powerful, knowing, eternal, and holy (Acts 5:3, 4; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; Luke 1:35; Psalm 139:7; Hebrews 9:14).
He does the works of God. He was involved in creation, and superintended the writing of the Bible. He was involved in the conception of Christ, regenerates believers, and convicts the unsaved (Genesis 1:2; 2 Peter 1:21; Matthew 1:18; John 3:5; 16:9-11).
To recap the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, He is God, and is intimately interacting in history and your life whether you are a Christian or not. Now, let me show you what His major role in the world is today.
He Restrains Sin
This first of four general activities is His restraining sin and evil in the world (Genesis 6:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:5, 7).
I think you would agree with me that looking at world history there is a great deal of evil inflicted upon humanity. Hitler, for example, murdered six million Jews plus untold others in WWII. That is twice as many people as now live in New Zealand! The Japanese inflicted much cruelty upon the Pacific islands.
The sinister forces of communism dealt death to untold millions, some sources estimate over 20 million – more that the entire population of Australia! Those forces savagely sought world dominion, yet somehow they were thwarted. Something put a stop to Hitler, Japan, and we saw communism crumble.
What stopped the march of evil? The Bible says He operates through various agencies and institutions in this world. To His own glory and purpose, God permits evil, but He limits, will punish, and finally banish it to the lake of fire.
He Convicts the World of Sin
The Bible teaching about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit indicates that He convicts the world of sin (John 16:8-11). He is presently convincing people the truth of the gospel and Jesus Christ. Obviously, all people are not persuaded – unfortunately to their disadvantage!
Specifically, He is pressing the argument that humanity has sinned, righteousness is available only in Christ, and that judgment is certain. It works this way: He uses His power while you and I are His witnessing mouthpieces. As such, we use the Bible to proclaim the truth of the gospel. Our role becomes more efficient if we align our evangelistic message with His strategy.
Paul speaks of this dynamic partnership, “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
He Glorifies Christ
The Bible teaching about the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit teaches you and me that His objective is to glorify Christ, “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mind, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:14). Famous and powerful people have large staffs and spend millions of dollars to draw attention to themselves.
The advertising industry spends billions to attract people and sell them goods and services. In the far flung places scattered across the globe, stores advertise in local newspapers and other vehicles. The Third member of the Trinity is in the advertising business also: promoting Jesus Christ. He seeks adoration, worship, and loyalty to Christ.
He is Building the Church
Finally, the Bible teaching about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit spotlights the church. He is drawing out of the world a people of His own, a group that includes people of every race and nation (Acts 1:5; 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; cf. Acts 15:14-18; Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Colossians 1:18, 24).
This group is called the church, and includes all Christians from the day of Pentecost to when Christ returns.
With this I complete the Bible teaching about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. To get a bigger picture of His role, click on the other two studies regarding His work in believers, and His filling of believers. (Links).
Esmie and I wish you the very best in your work and study. God bless.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. Regarding the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, what role did He have in creation (Genesis 1:2)?
2. Regarding the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, what quality of God is seen in Psalm 139:7-10?
3. What role does the Spirit have in history (Psalm 104:27-30)?
4. What role does the Spirit have in life (Job 33:4)?
5. What role does the third person of the Trinity have in the recording of Scripture (2 Peter 1:20, 21)?
6. Using John 16:8-11, craft an evangelistic message. Explain the three major points; use an illustration for each point.
7. Explain the salvation process and the various roles in Ephesians 1:13.
8. List and explain five ways that the Person and work of the Holy Spirit relates to Christ (John 16:7-15)?
9. Compare Job 33:4 and 1 Corinthians 8:6. What do these verses tell you about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit?
10. What stood out to you the most in this study? Explain.
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