Foundations of Truth #4: God the Spirit
Topic: Discipleship Class
Foundations of Truth
Week Four – God the Spirit
February 23, 2022
This lesson was compiled using the following resources:
- Christian Theology, Emery Bancroft, Zondervan Publications.
- Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, C. Sproul, Tyndale House Publishers.
- Fundamentals of the Faith, John MacArthur, Moody Publishers.
- Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem, Zondervan Publications.
“For to us God revealed them [the hidden thoughts of God] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10
From the Baptist Faith and Message (2000)
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.
The Holy Spirit is a Person – “HE” not “it”
The Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an impersonal force or power.
- At times, we use the word “spirit” to describe a general tone or shared feeling in a group of people – “There’s such a sweet spirit in this group of people.”
- At times, we use the word “spirit” to describe a characteristic or motivation – “I was moved with the spirit of patriotism.”
- The Holy Spirit is a person, like the Father and Son.
Designations consistent with personality are given to Him. How do the following verses show the Spirit as an individual person?
- John 16:13,14 [pronouns]
- John 15:26 [His title/role must be a person]
His name is mentioned in immediate connection with and distinction from other persons
- In connection with Christians – Acts 15:28
- In connection with the Father and the Son – Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14
He performs acts consistent with personality - Luke 12:12; John 16:8; Acts 8:29; 10:19, 20; 13:2; 16:6; Romans 8:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:21
He is affected as a person by the acts of others. Isaiah 63:10; Acts 5:3-4, 9; 7:51; Ephesians 4:30
The Holy Spirit is God
The Bible speaks of Him as God. How do the following verses show the Holy Spirit to be God?
- Acts 5:3, 4
- 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
He possesses the attributes of God. Which attributes of God are presented in the following passages?
- Hebrews 9:14
- Luke 1:35
- John 16:12, 13
- Psalm 139:7-10
Divine works are ascribed to Him: creation (Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30); giving of life (Genesis 2:7; John 6:63; Romans 8:2); prophecy (2 Samuel 23:23; 2 Peter 1:21); regeneration (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5); resurrection (Romans 8:11)
The Holy Spirit can be blasphemed, and this is possible only of God. – Acts 5:3-4
The Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
- He was actively at work in the creation of the universe and renews life on earth - Genesis 1:2; Psalm 104:30
- He specially gifted each of the human authors of the Bible – 1 Corinthians 12:4, 8-11, 28, 29
- He gave revelations to the prophets that were separate from their own thinking – 1 Peter 1:10-12
- He gave prophetic knowledge to men – 2 Peter 1:21
- He provided the words of Scripture, not simply the thought or meaning – 1 Corinthians 2:13
Salvation - What do the following verses teach us about the Holy Spirit’s role in our salvation?
- John 16:7-8
- 1 Corinthians 12:3
- Titus 3:5-6
- Romans 8:9
- 1 Corinthians 12:13; cf. Romans 6:1-4
- Ephesians 1:13-14
- 1 Peter 1:2
- Galatians 5:22:23
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Baptize = Immerse
The baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to the immersion of a believer into the person and work of Jesus. If you have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit, you have not been saved.
- Happens at the time of Conversion – Romans 6:1-4; Ephesians 4:4-6; Galatians 3:27
- Places the believer into the body of Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:13
- Is the basis for our union with Christ – Galatians 2:20
Filling of the Holy Spirit
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not the same as being baptized by the Holy Spirit or indwelt by the Spirit.
- We are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit
- The command is present tense – moment by moment. “Be being filled”
- Being filled means to be controlled by or carried along by (think of a stick carried along by a river)
- How does the comparison to being drunk help us understand what it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
How do we pursue being filled with the Spirit?
- Compare Ephesians 5:17-19 with Colossians 3:16-18
- Romans 8:5
- Colossians 3:1-2
- 1 Corinthians 2:14
- John 6:63
- Luke 11:13/Ephesians 3:19
What about Spiritual Gifts?
Sign Gifts (healing; miracles; tongues; prophecies) are usually what people are referencing with this question.
- Some teach that the sign gifts completely ceased with the completion of the written word of God. The proof text for this is 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. What is the “perfect?” The Word or Christ?
- I take this passage to be referring to the second coming of Jesus, when we will know Him “face to face.”
- So, I do not see a CLEAR, DEFINITIVE verse that teaches the sign gifts would never to be given to Christians once the Scriptures were completed.
However, there are several things that have shaped my thinking on this subject.
- These gifts were given to authenticate the message and messengers of the gospel – Hebrews 2:3-4; Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 15:18; 1 Corinthians 14:22
- These gifts were never experienced by all believers - 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
- These gifts were given in connection within the apostolic period of the church (which did come to an end). Acts 1:20-26
- These gifts were given to be used under the leadership of spiritual leaders, with self-control and in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:26-33).
- The word “tongue” means “language.” The use of tongues in the church is to be connected with interpretation so that those who are gathered can understand what is being said (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
Passage for Meditation – John 16:7-11
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Belief Statements: Concise statements of truth that are taken directly from the text.
Example: The Holy Spirit convicts people concerning their sin.
Application: Is there an area of sin in my life where the Spirit is bringing conviction? How might I be trying to do the Spirit’s job in the lives of other people?
Pray: Confess any lingering sin the Spirit has shown you. Repent from that sin by agreeing with God that it is sin and looking to Jesus for forgiveness and power to live differently.