The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit Class | Week #1

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As we study the Book of Acts in our Sunday services, you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Holy Spirit by taking this class, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit taught by Pastor Cary Sharpe.

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The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit Class | Week #1

  1. 1. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit Lesson 1 Launching Platform Foundational beliefs and summary of conclusions from study of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament: 1. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. 2. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead or Trinity. 3. The Holy Spirit is everywhere. 4. God is everywhere through the person of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is here then God is here… God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are one. 5. The Holy Spirit moves. Like the wind, He is not seen but felt and He is able to move upon us. 6. The Holy Spirit is the unseen, active presence of God on the earth. 7. The Holy Spirit strives or works on us. 8. The Holy Spirit may stop working on us in certain cases. 9. The Holy Spirit can “gift” individuals with skills and abilities, even such gifts as craftsmanship. 10. In the O.T., the Holy Spirit only came upon or remained upon relatively few select individuals. 11. This would change under the New Covenant in the New Testament through the availability of Baptism with the Holy Spirit for all believers. 12. The work of the Holy Spirit is not dependent upon the “quality” of the person He chooses to use. 13. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon (and often depart from) those who were sinful and unrighteous. 14. Prophets acted as intermediaries between God and man. 15. God would speak to Prophets through the Holy Spirit, telling them what to do and what to say. 16. The phrase “The word of the Lord came” can be understood as God the Father speaking through the work of God the Holy Spirit. 17. The Holy Spirit can change you. 18. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, Gifts may operate through you on a temporary basis. (The only times that Saul prophesied it was a temporary action of the Holy Spirit) 19. The Holy Spirit can be withdrawn from your life. 20. The Holy Spirit can empower you for any number of things. 21. The work of the Holy Spirit can continue in your life in spite of your struggles and failures.
  2. 2. Accounts of the Holy Spirit’s work in the New Testament prior to the Day of Pentecost. 1st Account: The conception of Jesus in Mary through the Holy Spirit Matthew 1:18-20 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 (NIV) The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. What was the work of the Holy Spirit in the conception of Jesus? 1. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary. 2. The Holy Spirit was the agent of this miraculous conception. Interesting notes related to these passages…  The Greek word that translates as “power” in Luke 1:35 is the same word used in Acts 1:8. Acts 1:8a (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; Strong’s: Greek 1411, dunamis, doo'-nam-is; from Greek 1410 (dunamai); force (literal or figurative); specially miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself) :- ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, might (wonderful) work. 2nd Account: John the Baptist, his mother Elizabeth, and father Zachariah were all filled with the Holy Spirit Luke 1:13-15 (NIV) But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
  3. 3. Luke 1:41-42 (NIV) When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! Luke 1:67 (NIV) His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: Thoughts on the role of the Holy Spirit in this account: 1. John was filled with the Holy Spirit to do a specific work. 2. The Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth and Zechariah as the parents of this very special “voice of one calling in the desert.” Scriptures related to these thoughts: Mark 1:2-5 (NIV) It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"-- 3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' " 4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. Luke 1:76-77 (NIV) And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 3rd Account: Simeon and Anna Jesus was taken to Jerusalem as an infant to be consecrated (dedicated) to the Lord… Luke 2:25-40 (NIV) Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." 33 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to
  4. 4. cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." 36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. Thoughts on the role of the Holy Spirit in this account: 1. The Holy Spirit confirmed the identity of Christ through these two righteous people. 2. The Holy Spirit gave prophetic warning of things to come to Mary through Simeon. 4th Account: The Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus in the form of a dove Matthew 3:16 (NIV) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. Mark 1:10 (NIV) As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. Luke 3:22 (NIV) and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." John 1:32-33 (NIV) Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' What can we learn about the Holy Spirit and Jesus from this account? 1. The Holy Spirit can appear in bodily form. 2. Even Jesus (God the Son) needed the Holy Spirit (perhaps because He was made flesh) to do the work He came to do.
  5. 5.  As we will see as we continue this study, the Holy Spirit played an active part in Jesus’ ministry! Accounts of the work of the Holy Spirit during the Ministry of Jesus Christ here on earth: Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit: Matthew 4:1 (NIV) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Mark 1:12 (NIV) At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, Luke 4:1 (NIV) Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, Luke 4:14 (NIV) Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.  The same Greek word for power (dunamis) that we spoke of earlier is used here. It was after His wilderness experience that Jesus began to do miracles. Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit: Luke 4:18-21 (NIV) "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Acts 10:37-38 (NIV) You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-- 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Jesus was full of joy through the Holy Spirit: Luke 10:21 (NIV) At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. Jesus drove out demons by the Holy Spirit: Matthew 12:28 (NIV) But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
  6. 6.  When you put all this together it seems evident that everything that Jesus did, the teaching, preaching, and the miracles, was done by the power (dunamis) of the Holy Spirit! General teaching regarding the Holy Spirit in the New Testament prior to Pentecost Jesus taught that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven. Matthew 12:31-32 (NIV) And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Mark 3:28-29 (NIV) I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Luke 12:10 (NIV) And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. According to Easton’s Bible dictionary: Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is regarded by some as a continued and obstinate rejection of the gospel, and hence is an unpardonable sin, simply because as long as a sinner remains in unbelief he voluntarily excludes himself from pardon. Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit’s agency. According to the Life Application Bible Notes: Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. This has worried many sincere Christians, but it does not need to. The unforgivable sin means attributing to Satan the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes. It is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. It is a deliberate and ongoing rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work and even of God himself. A person who has committed this sin has shut himself or herself off from God so thoroughly that he or she is unaware of any sin at all. A person who fears having committed it shows, by his or her very concern, that he or she has not sinned in this way. Jesus taught that we are born again by the Holy Spirit:
  7. 7. John 3:5-7 (NIV) Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' Jesus taught that true worship is done in Spirit and in truth: John 4:23-24 (NIV) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Jesus taught that the Spirit gives life and that His words are life: John 6:63 (NIV) The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Next week we will study the scriptures that point to Pentecost and the changes that would come in the work of the Holy Spirit. Signs of change in the availability and work of the Holy Spirit Scriptures that point to change: John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as the one who would Baptize with the Holy Spirit, and the change to come. Mark 1:8 (NIV) I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Luke 3:16 (NIV) John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. John 1:33 (NIV) I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' John 3:34 (NIV) For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. Notes from these passages: 1. Jesus “baptizes” us in the sense that we are reconciled to God through Him, thus qualifying us to receive the Holy Spirit. 2. As a result of Jesus’ mission here on earth, the Holy Spirit is now given without limit.
  8. 8. Jesus taught that we could now ask God for the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:9-13 (NIV) "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Notes from this passage: 1. Jesus is pointing toward the time when the Holy Spirit would be given to all believers who ask for Him. 2. We can understand this to be speaking of Baptism with the Holy Spirit since this is the context of such teaching in the N.T. 3. Like so many other good things we are taught to ask for in prayer, we can now ask for Baptism with the Holy Spirit. John points to the change and when the Holy Spirit would be given. John 7:37-39 (NIV) On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. From this passage we can see that: 1. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given 2. The Holy Spirit would later be given to those who believed 3. The Holy Spirit would not be given until after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and perhaps even His ascension. During the Last Supper discourse (John 14-16) Jesus spoke several times of the change to occur with the arrival of the Holy Spirit. John 14:15-18 (NIV) "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:25-26 (NIV) "All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
  9. 9. John 15:26 (NIV) "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. John 16:5-15 (NIV) "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. Notes from these passages: 1. The Holy Spirit was coming 2. The phrase “he lives with you and will be in you” is a strong indication that change will occur when the Holy Spirit comes 3. The Holy Spirit wasn’t going to come until Jesus went to the Father 4. The Holy Spirit was going to continue the ministry of Christ Jesus gave specific instructions to wait for the arrival of the gift of the Holy Spirit shortly before He ascended into heaven. Acts 1:4-5 (NIV) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 1:8 (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Notes from this passage: 1. The unrestricted giving of the Holy Spirit was going to radically change the lives of the believers that would receive Him. 2. The believers would receive supernatural power (dunamis) when they were Baptized with the Holy Spirit!
  10. 10. “This is That” - The Joel 2, Acts 2 Connection The Day of Pentecost is identified as the time that the change takes place! Joel prophesies of a time when the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all people, not just the few. Joel 2:28-32 (NIV) "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Peter confirms that Baptism with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost marked the beginning of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all believers which Joel foretold. Acts 2:14-21 (NIV) Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' Additional notes from this passage: 1. We are living in the last days. 2. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is still available to all believers. For extra study to prepare for next week: Study the historical accounts of Baptism with the Holy Spirit found in the book of Acts: Acts 2:1-41, Acts 8:4-25, Acts 9:1-20, Acts 10:1-48, Acts 19:1-7

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