This is a lesson in the Crossroads programme, a discipleship programme written by Dr Kevin Smith and offered by the South African Theological Seminary. This lesson is about the Person of the Holy Spirit.
IntroductionThe doctrine of the Trinity hinges on six truths: 1. The Father is God. 2. The Father is a separate person. 3. The Son is God. 4. The Son is a separate person. 5. The Spirit is God. 6. The Spirit is a separate person.Only the two statements that are highlighted arequestioned by those who deny the Trinity.
IntroductionThose who deny the Trinity usually deny two things,namely: • Jesus Christ is God. • The Holy Spirit is a person.They acknowledge that Jesus is a separate person, butdeny that he is God. The acknowledge that the Spirit isGod, but deny that he is a separate person; they treathim as God’s active force or presence.
IntroductionAs far as the Holy Spirit is concerned, if we are tobelieve in the Trinity we must establish that he is (a) God, and (b) a separate Person.Since Scripture clearly treats the Holy Spirit as God, thisis seldom questioned. But some do doubt whether theHoly Spirit is a separate person.
Lesson OutlineA. The Holy Spirit Is God • Here we need to establish that the word of God treats the Holy Spirit as part of God.B. The Holy Spirit Is a Person • Here we need to establish that the word of God treats the Holy Spirit as a person, distinct from the Father and the Son, yet equal to them.
The Holy Spirit as GodSince this point is not generally disputed, we shallbriefly mention a few major evidences. 1. The Holy Spirit is called God. 2. The Holy Spirit communes with God. 3. The Holy Spirit communicates as God. 4. The Holy Spirit is characterised as God. 5. The Holy Spirit acts as God
The Holy Spirit as GodThe Holy Spirit [is] In Acts 5:3-4, the Holy Spirit is explicitly called 1. called God God. To lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God.
The Holy Spirit as GodThe Holy Spirit [is] The Holy Spirit appears alongside the Father and 1. called God the Son as an equal 2. communes with God member of the Trinity in texts like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14.
The Holy Spirit as GodThe Holy Spirit [is] What the Holy Spirit says, God says. The Holy Spirit 1. called God is God. When quoting OT 2. communes with God scriptures, the NT can say ‘God said’ or ‘The Spirit’ 3. communicates as God with equal authority.
The Holy Spirit as GodThe Holy Spirit [is] There are many texts which characterise the 1. called God Holy Spirit as possessing 2. communes with God all the attributes of God, such as being omnipotent, 3. communicates as God omniscient, and omni- 4. characterised as God present.
The Holy Spirit as GodThe Holy Spirit [is] What the Holy Spirit does, God does. “The 1. called God work of the Holy Spirit is 2. communes with God the work of God” (Williams). The Spirit’s 3. communicates as God works include 4. characterised as God creation, providence, the incarnation, regeneration, 5. acts as God and so on.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonWe are going to look at five lines of evidence showingthat the Holy Spirit is a Person rather than a force. 1. Personal pronouns 2. Personal titles 3. Personal acts 4. Personal relationships 5. Personal treatment
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences The Holy Spirit is a 1. Personal pronouns ‘He’, not an ‘It’! The word of God treats the Holy Spirit as a Person by calling the Spirit ‘he’, ‘his’, and ‘him’. These pronouns suggestion a person, not a force.
John 14:16-17And I will ask the Father, and he will give youanother Counsellor to be with you forever— theSpirit of truth. The world cannot accepthim, because it neither sees him nor knows him.But you know him, for he lives with you and willbe in you.
John 14:16-17And I will ask the Father, and he will give youanother Counsellor to be with you forever— theSpirit of truth. The world cannot accept him,because it neither sees him nor knows him. Butyou know him, for he lives with you and will bein you.You could not speak about a glass of water or a container ofliquid nitrogen in this way.
John 16:13-14But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he willguide you into all truth. He will not speak on hisown; he will speak only what he hears, and hewill tell you what is yet to come. He will bringglory to me by taking from what is mine andmaking it known to you.
John 16:13-14But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he willguide you into all truth. He will not speak on hisown; he will speak only what he hears, and hewill tell you what is yet to come. He will bringglory to me by taking from what is mine andmaking it known to you.You could not speak about your arm or hand or any part of yourbody this way.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences The Holy Spirit is 1. Personal pronouns ‘another Helper’. 2. Personal titles Jesus promised that he would send ‘another Helper’ to take his place with his disciples. The new Helper would be another like him. This clearly implies that the Spirit is a person just as Jesus was a person.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonJohn 14:16-17, ESV John 14:25-26, ESVAnd I will ask the Father, and These things I have spoken tohe will give you another you while I am still with you.Helper, to be with you forever, But the Helper, the Holyeven the Spirit of truth, whom Spirit, whom the Father willthe world cannot receive, send in my name, he will teachbecause it neither sees him you all things and bring to yournor knows him. You know him, remembrance all that I havefor he dwells with you and will said to you.be in you.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonJohn 15:26, ESV John 16:7, ESVBut when the Helper Nevertheless, I tell you thecomes, whom I will send to truth: it is to your advantageyou from the Father, the Spirit that I go away, for if I do not goof truth, who proceeds from away, the Helper will not comethe Father, he will bear witness to you. But if I go, I will sendabout me. him to you.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences The Holy Spirit speaks 1. Personal pronouns to believers. 2. Personal titles The Holy Spirit communicates in ways that only a person can 3. Personal acts communicate. Scripture often describes him performing communicative acts that could not be said of an impersonal force.
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks Romans 8:26-27b) He intercedes In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks John 15:26b) He intercedes When the Counsellorc) He testifies 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.
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks John 14:26b) He intercedes But the Counsellor, thec) He testifies Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in myd) He teaches name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks John 16:8b) He intercedes When he comes, he willc) He testifies convict the world of guilt in regard to sind) He teaches and righteousness ande) He convicts judgment.
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks Acts 20:28b) He intercedes Keep watch overc) He testifies yourselves and all the flock of which the Holyd) He teaches Spirit has made youe) He convicts overseers. Be shepherdsf) He chooses of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
The Holy Spirit as a Persona) He speaks Acts 15:28b) He intercedes It seemed good to thec) He testifies Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you withd) He teaches anything beyond thee) He convicts following requirements.f) He choosesg) He evaluates
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences The Holy Spirit shares a 1. Personal pronouns personal relationship in the Trinity. 2. Personal titles 3. Personal acts The Holy Spirit is named alongside the Father and Son in the baptismal 4. Personal relationships formula and the benediction. Since the Father and Son are persons, this only makes sense if the Holy Spirit is also a person. If he were just God’s active force, why list him separately from God?
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences Matthew 28:19 1. Personal pronouns Therefore go and make 2. Personal titles disciples of all 3. Personal acts nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father 4. Personal relationships and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences 2 Corinthians 13:14 1. Personal pronouns May the grace of the Lord 2. Personal titles Jesus Christ, and the love 3. Personal acts of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with 4. Personal relationships you all.
The Holy Spirit as a PersonFive Evidences We can treat the Holy 1. Personal pronouns Spirit like a Person. 2. Personal titles The Holy Spirit can be treated 3. Personal acts like a person. That is, we can treat him in ways that only 4. Personal relationships make sense if he is a person, not if he is a force. 5. Personal treatment
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be Ephesians 4:30 1. grieved And do not grieve the 2. resisted Holy Spirit of God, with 3. insulted whom you were sealed for 4. tested the day of redemption. 5. lied to 6. quenched 7. blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be Acts 7:51 1. grieved You stiff-necked 2. resisted people, with 3. insulted uncircumcised hearts and 4. tested ears! You are just like your 5. lied to fathers: You always resist 6. quenched the Holy Spirit! 7. blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be Hebrews 10:29 1. grieved How much more severely do 2. resisted you think a man deserves to 3. insulted be punished who has trampled the Son of God under 4. tested foot, who has treated as an 5. lied to unholy thing the blood of the 6. quenched covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the 7. blasphemed Spirit of grace?
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be Acts 5:9 1. grieved Peter said to her, “How 2. resisted could you agree to test 3. insulted the Spirit of the Lord? 4. tested 5. lied to 6. quenched 7. blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be Acts 5:3 1. grieved Then Peter 2. resisted said, “Ananias, how is it 3. insulted that Satan has so filled 4. tested your heart that you have 5. lied to lied to the Holy Spirit and 6. quenched have kept for yourself some of the money you 7. blasphemed received for the land?”
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be 1 Thessalonians 5:19 1. grieved Do not quench the Spirit. 2. resisted 3. insulted 4. tested 5. lied to 6. quenched 7. blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as a PersonThe Holy Spirit can be Matthew 12:31 1. grieved Therefore I tell you, every 2. resisted sin and blasphemy will be 3. insulted forgiven people, but the 4. tested blasphemy against the 5. lied to Spirit will not be forgiven. 6. quenched 7. blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as Our Personal GodBecause we recognise the Holy Spirit as a divineperson, he can be the object of our 1. celebration in worship 2. communion in prayer 3. cooperation in ministry
The Holy Spirit as Our Personal GodCelebration in Worship Matthew 12:32If he is fully God, it is only Anyone who speaks anatural to celebrate him in word against the Son ofour worship. We worship Man will be forgiven, butthe Triune God: anyone who speaksFather, Son, and Holy against the Holy Spirit willSpirit. We should speak to not be forgiven, either inand about the Spirit with this age or in the age tolove and honour. come.
The Holy Spirit as Our Personal GodCommunion in Prayer 2 Corinthians 13:14We can enjoy personal May the grace of the Lordfellowship with the Spirit. Jesus Christ, and the loveIn our prayers, we speak of God, and the fellowshipto him and he speaks to of the Holy Spirit be withus. He also speaks to us you all.through the word of God.
The Holy Spirit as Our Personal GodCooperation in Ministry Acts 1:8The Holy Spirit empowers But you will receive powerus for ministry. He leads; when the Holy Spiritwe follow. He is not a comes on you; and youforce that we manipulate. will be my witnesses inHe is the all-wise and all- Jerusalem, and in all Judeapowerful Lord to whom and Samaria, and to thewe listen and yield. ends of the earth.
Conclusion• If people deny the Trinity, they deny that (a) Jesus is God and (b) the Holy Spirit is a person.• The word of God teaches that the Holy Spirit is both (a) God and (b) a person.• Since the Holy Spirit is our personal God, we can celebrate him in worship, commune with him in prayer, and cooperate with him in ministry.