The Holy Spirit (student handout)
The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Lord and Giver of Life in the Nicene creed. He is The Creator Spirit, present before the creation of the universe and through his power everything was made in Jesus Christ, by God the Father. By His Power, Jesus Christ was conceived virginally in the womb of the virgin Mary.[Lk 1:35] He descended over Jesus in a corporal way, as a dove, at the time of his baptism,[Mt 3:16] and a voice from Heaven was heard: “You are my Beloved Son”.[Lk 3:22] He is the Sanctifier of souls, the Helper,[Jn 15:26] The Comforter,[Jn 14:16] The Giver of graces, He Who leads souls to the Father and the Son from Whom He proceeds. Christians receive the Fruits of the Holy Spirit by means of his Mercy and Grace.
The Spirit of God, that manifestation of the one God working in creation and especially in human beings. The Holy Spirit is referred to in the OT about 80 times and about 240 times in the NT. It is the Spirit of God moving over the surface of the water (Gen 1:2) who is active in the creation (cf Ps 104:30). The Spirit is frequently described in the OT as “came upon” or “clothing” or simply “resting upon” men. Whenever this happens the person so affected is then enabled to perform some designated task for God. Thus Bezalel is able to fashion the tabernacle and its utensils (Ex 35:30ff), Gideon summons the Israelites to battle (Judg 6:34ff), Samson kills a lion and his Philistine enemies (Judg 14:6; 15:14ff), and King Saul prophesies (I Sam 10:10ff). The Holy Spirit is the source of the strength of mighty men (Judg 14:6, 19; 15:14; I Sam 11:6), the inspiration of rulers (I Sam 16:13; Is 11:2) and prophets (Mic 3:8; cf Num 11:25-26; I Sam 10:6, 10), often producing unexpected results (I Kgs 18:12; II Kgs 2:16; Ezek 8:3; 11:24), and the gift of intellectual and artistic endowments (Dan 5:14). In eschatological a prophecy the Holy Spirit is associated with divine judgment (Is 4:4), the ideal ruler (Is 11:2), the renewal of the covenant with Israel (Is 32:15; Ezek 11:19; 36:26; Joel 2:28) and future repentance (Zech 12:10ff).
The NT writers quite noticeably expand the role of the Holy Spirit, who is mentioned by all but James and three of the shortest of the epistles. As in the OT, the NT also identifies the Holy Spirit as God himself, once again in a manifestation active in the affairs of men. It is the Holy Spirit who effects the conception of Jesus in Mary (Matt 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35); who descends upon Jesus at his baptism; and who then leads him to his wilderness testing (Matt 3:16; 14:1). By the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus works miracles (Matt 12:28; Acts 10:38) and teaches his disciples (Acts 1:2). John records Jesus’ promise to his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them to remind them of Jesus’ words and to enable them to bear witness of him (Acts 14:16ff; 15:28; 16:6ff). This came to pass immediately after the resurrection (John 20:22) and then in a fuller way 47 days later on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4). This latter event has often been considered the birth of the Church. The Acts of the Apostles (q.v.) place a special emphasis on the activity of the Holy Spirit and for this reason have sometimes popularly been known as “the Acts of the Holy Spirit“. Another appellative for the Holy Spirit in the NT is “the Spirit of Jesus” or “the Spirit of Christ” (Acts 16:7; Rom 8:9; Phil 1:19; I Pet 1:11-12). The NT teaches that the Holy Spirit is active in the believer in Jesus; to give him new birth (Titus 3:5; cf John 3:5-8); to endow him with spiritual gifts for the good of the entire body of believers (I Chr 12:4-11); and to produce in him those traits of character which will make him like Jesus (Gal 5:22-25). For these purposes, the Spirit of God is said to “dwell in” every person who believes in Jesus (Rom 8:9-11).
In Matt 28:19 The Holy Spirit is equally included with the Father and Son, the (three) the name into which we are baptized.
Psalms 139:7 I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
2 Cor. 6:16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
1 Cor. 6:19,20 Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and was given by God.
Eph. 2:21,22 Believers are carefully joined together and are a temple for God. We are part of this dwelling (temple) where God lives by His Spirit.
1 Cor. 3:16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
Acts 5:3,4 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God.”
Seven Ministries of the Holy Spirit
1. Convict of Sin – John 16:8
Conviction is the ultimate bad news/good news. Before we knew Christ the Spirit makes us aware of our sin and our need for salvation in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit wakes us up to the truth of Christ’s claims. For his children, he convicts us to restore fellowship with God and others and to help us change into God’s image.
2. Regeneration – John 3:1-8 (7)
Regeneration refers to the spiritual birth of an individual at the time of becoming a Christian.
The Greek word means “again” and “genesis” or “beginning.”
3. Baptism – 1 Cor. 12:13
We are baptized into Christ. It is the action of God joining/immersing us into the body of believers in Jesus Christ.
The Greek means to “dip, immerse, submerge, to overwhelm or saturate.”
4. Indwelling – Acts 2 (4, 17, 33, 38-39)
During the Old Testament period the Spirit was active but did not remain with believers. He filled or came upon people for a period to perform specific tasks or ministries.
The moment we are born again, we have the wonderful guarantee of the Holy Spirit’s residence in us with the abiding promise that He will remain forever.
5.. Sealing – Eph 4:30
To seal is to close up and make fast with a seal signet such as letters or books that they may not be read. It may also mean to set a mark upon something to attest as to its authenticity. We are identified as joint heirs with Christ. We cannot be possessed by Satan now.
6. Filling – Eph 5:18
The Holy Spirit is ready to fill us to perform his will, but we must allow and request this power. Sin in our lives that we refuse to acknowledge, repent of and seek freedom from, will limit our ability to perform God’s will and work with his power.
7. Restrain the Evil One – 2 Thes 2:1-12 (6)
The Spirit keeps Satan from spreading evil without limit in this present age. The fact that you can look around and see truly good things is a testimony to this truth. Think of the destruction that would be wrought if all restraints were taken off the Evil One.