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Topical - Holy Spirit - Mystery of 3 in One

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The Scripture has its own mysteries—just as intriguing, just as captivating as any mystery crafted by the latest best-selling author, yet they are infinitely more baffling.  No human mind can plumb their depths.  Who can fully explain how God can be sovereign and yet give man and women free will?  How could Jesus be 100% human and 100% divine?  A thousand such puzzles confront us throughout the pages of the Bible.  But perhaps the greatest biblical mystery of all is the Trinity. 

A.       Understand it is a Mystery.

1.    Great is the mystery of godliness – 1Tim.3:16

a)         Our minds cannot fully understand this truth.

(1)        We are dealing with an infinite God

·                  Job 5:9; 11:7-9; Eccl.3:11

(a)         Just because one is unable to fully comprehend a doctrine does not mean that it is false.

(b)        For humans to be able to understand everything about God, they would have to have the very mind of God. 

(c)         Do you think it is possible for humans to understand everything about the nature of God?

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33 NKJV)

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.   "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV)

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV)

(d)        A child cannot understand everything his father says, so also we as God’s children cannot understand all there is to know about our heavenly Father ILLUS. EXP. GEOM.TO BRITT.

b)        According to the Scriptures, how is God manifested in the Trinity?

(1)        There is one God manifested in three Persons:

(a)         The Father

(b)        The Son

(c)         The Holy Spirit

(2)        There is nothing that can adequately picture the Trinity of God

(e)         Egg (shell, yolk, white)

(f)          Water (liquid, frozen, steam)

(g)        Whatever we use to try and describe God, it always falls short of who He is!

     To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? (Isaiah 40:18 )

     To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?   (Isaiah 46:5)

2.    Beware to never deny the Trinity!

a)         Denial of the Trinity always denies the deity of Christ & Personality of the Spirit.

(1)        Is it a mathematical problem?

(a)         You can’t disprove God mathematically.

·                  1+1+1=3

·                  1x1x1=1

(b)        We must stick to what the Bible declares about the nature of God

(a)        There is One God, manifested in 3 Persons: the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit.

(b)        The Westminster Confession: There is but one living and true God.  In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons.  One God of one substance, power, and eternity.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

B.       In the Old Testament

1.    The Holy Spirit is mentioned just under 80 times in the Old Testament

a)         The First Mention of the Holy Spirit by name comes in Genesis 1:2

(1)        The Old Testament Names of the Holy Spirit are often:

(a)         “the Spirit of the Lord”

(b)        “the Spirit of God”

(c)         “the Holy Spirit”

b)        There may be a hint of the Spirits existence in the first verse of the Bible

(1)        Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God”

(a)         The Hebrew word translated “God” is “Elohim” a plural from (the singular is El )

(b)        The first mention of God in the Bible uses a plural rather than a singular form.

Then God [Elohim] said, "Let Us [plural pronoun] make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

c)         The Trinity in the Shema.

(1)        The Shema, the foundation stone of Judaism, is found in Deuteronomy 6:4.

(a)         The Hebrew word for God in the plural, Elohim, is used here again.

(b)        The Hebrew word for "one" is echad which is a compound unity rather than the word yacheed which is an absolute one.

2.    The triple use of the Divine Name.

a)         The names are repeated 3 times

(1)        Why is the word used 3 times and what is its significance?

·                  Numbers 6:24-26                The Trinity of blessing in unity

·                  Psalm 29:3-5                         The Trinity in Power

·                  Isaiah 6:3                               The Trinity in Holiness

C.       The New Testament

1.    The Trinity of God is taught from Matthew to Revelation.

a)         All Three Members of the Godhead are clearly seen.

·                  Matthew 3:16 – the Baptism of Christ

·                  John 14:16-17 cf. 14:26 – At the request of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was to be sent from God.

·                  Matthew 28:19 – the Great Commission

·                  Acts 10:38 – all Three Persons of the Godhead are clearly mentioned in this passage.

·                  Ephesians 4:4-6 – once more the Trinity is being proclaimed (1x1x1=1).

·                  Jude 1:20-21

b)        Order does not make a difference.

(1)        Being the “Third Person” of the Trinity does not mean inferiority.

(a)         In other passages the Spirit is mentioned other than 3rd.

·                  Ephesians 4:4-6

·                  Romans 15:30

·                  2 Corinthians 13:14

What can we say with confidence concerning the Holy Spirit?

–         The New Testament teaches:

–         There is One God, manifested in three coequal persons.

–         They are the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit, yet they are distinct & separate.

–         This means that the Spirit of God [the Holy Spirit] is just as much God as the Father & Son.

D.       The Attributes of Deity

1.    Looking at His attributes is another way of seeing the Holy Spirit’s Deity.

a)         List the attributes of the Holy Spirit given in these passages.

Attributes are God’s distinguishing characteristics that set Him apart & through which He reveals Himself to mankind. 

(1)        The Spirit is Eternal (Hebrews 9:14)

(2)        The Spirit is Omniscient (1Corinthians 2:10-11)

(3)        The Spirit is Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10)

(4)        The Spirit is Omnipotent (Luke 1:35)

b)        Other divine qualities of the Spirit.

(1)        The Spirit is Good (Neh.9:20; Ps.143:10)

(2)        The Spirit is Holy (Ps.51:11; Acts 1:8)

(3)        The Spirit is Love (Rom.15:30; Gal.5:22)

(4)        The Spirit is Power (1Pet.3:18)

(5)        The Spirit of Truth (John 14:16)

(6)        The Spirit of Wisdom & Understanding (Isa.11:2)

E.       Scriptures Relating God and the Holy Spirit.

How Does God Speak?


1.    God speaks in the Spirits voice.

a)         O.T. Scriptures referring to God, that are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

(1)        Paul clearly attributes to the Holy Spirit and Old Testament passage ascribed to God.

(a)         Isaiah 6:8-10 refers to God speaking—Acts 28:25-27 quotes the same verse but says the Holy Spirit said it.

(b)        In Jeremiah 31:31-33 God made a covenant—In Hebrews 10:15-17 it says the Holy Spirit made the covenant.

(c)         Psalm 95:7-11 speaks of hearing God's voice—Hebrews 3:7-9 refers to the Holy Spirit speaking there.

That is why we read in 2 Timothy 3:16:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV)

And yet Peter says in 2 Peter 1:21:

For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21 NKJV).

Notice Paul says:

“All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God”


Yet Peter declares that:

“The holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”


Is there a contradiction or problem?  No, not at all.  Why not? Because the Holy Spirit is God

2.    Divine References of the Holy Spirit.

a)         There are some Scriptures that refer to the Holy Spirit as God.

(1)        The Spirit is Called God (Acts 5:1-11)

(2)        The Spirit is called Lord (2 Cor.3:17-18)

(3)        The Spirit is called the Spirit (Gal.5:16)

(4)        The Spirit is identified with Yahweh (Heb.3:7 cf. Ps.95:7-11; Ex.17:7)

(5)        The Spirit is spoken of as Divine (Mk.3:29)

F.        The Works of Deity

1.    The Scriptures teach that all three Persons of the Godhead were active in Creation

a)         What are the works of Deity ascribed to the Holy Spirit?

(1)        Genesis 1:1 – the plural word for God, Elohim, indicates that the Trinity worked together.

(2)        Genesis 1:2 – speaks of the Spirit moving on the face of the waters.

(3)        Genesis 1:26 – gives us a glimpse of the trinity working in harmony to create man. "Let us make man in our image."

(4)        Psalm 104:30 – also speaks of the Spirit's part in creation.

(5)        Psalm 33:6 – the word breath in Hebrew is “ruach”, which means “wind” or “spirit”

And in John 1:3 we discover that Jesus was involved in creation:

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3 NKJV)       


Paul adds in Colossians 1:16-17:

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.   And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17 NKJV)

G.      How Does the Holy Spirit Help us?

1.   This gift is no other than God Himself!

a)         The Holy Spirit is a helper Who comes alongside us to guide us in our Christian walk (John 14:16)

(1)        He Teaches us (John 14.26, 1John 2:27, 1Corinthians 2:13-14)

(2)        He guides us into all truth (John 16:12-13)

(3)        He shows us things to come (John 16:13)

(4)        He helps us to understand the prophecies in the books of Daniel & Revelation & Ezekiel.

(5)        He assists us in worship (Phil 3:3)

(6)        He assures us (Rom.8:16)

(7)        He Baptizes us (1Cor.13:12)

(8)        He blesses us (Gal.6:8)

(9)        He Controls believers minds (Rom.8:5-6)

(10)     He empowers believers (Acts 1:8; Eph.3:16)

(11)     Equips believers (Eph.6:17)

(12)     He prays for and with believers (Rom.8:26-27; Eph.6:18; Jude 20)

(13)     He transforms believers (2Cor.3:3, 18)

How has the Holy Spirit spoken to You?

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