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The Person of the Holy Spirit

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Theme:  It is primarily through the person of the Holy  Spirit that believers encounter God.  How we view the Holy Spirit affects how we understand His workings in our lives  (Fundamental Vol. 2, p. 323).

Introduction:   Much of what has been preached on these past few weeks is building up to sermons in the coming weeks about what a life completely committed  and sold out to God and completely yielded to the Holy Spirit looks like.  These sermons have been establishing  a starting point upon which to launch into learning about life with the Holy Spirit.  But before we understand how to live by the Spirit, we must first understand who the Holy Spirit is.  On Pentecost we learned that He was the fulfillment of prophecy.  Last week we saw that He was the gift of the Father.  Today I would like to take a look at a little more specifically who the Holy Spirit is. 

I. What the Holy Spirit is not

A. Not some cosmic sacred power  that you tap into through the practice of yoga, or meditation, or any other means.

B. Not the basic flow of energy sustaining all life (Star Wars “May the force be with you.”; New Age)

C. Not the feminine side of God (Unification church; Moonies)

D. Not an influence or impersonal power (How can I get a hold of and use the Holy Spirit?; An American with an English gentleman was viewing the Niagara whirlpool rapids, when he said to his friend: “Come, and I’ll show you the greatest unused power in the world.” And taking him to the foot of Niagara Falls, “there,” he said, “is the greatest unused power in the world!” “Ah, no my brother, not so!” was the reply. “The greatest unused power in the world is the Holy Spirit of the living God. —A. J. Gordon; not dynamite power or explosive - “Holy Ghost explosion” as popular evangelists say.)

II. What the Holy Spirit is

 A. The 3rd person of the Trinity (three distinct persons, one Divine essence/substance; “one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity  in unity”)

1. united to and equal with the Father and Son (John 14:16:  “another”  two words in Greek which are translated [ 1) eJtero~; another of a different kind, 2) a{llo~;  another of the same kind;  “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”, Matt. 28:19 and 5 other passages)

2. distinct from the Father and Son (own person)

B. Characteristics of His personality

1. has knowledge/intelligence (1 Corinthians 2:10,11:  “10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”)

2. has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11:  “11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”)

3. has a mind (Romans 8:27:  “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.”)

4. loves (Romans 15:30:  “30 I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”)

5. can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30:  “30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”)

6. can be blasphemed (Matt. 12:31; Mark 3:29)

III. How we relate to Him

(As we have a relationship with the other persons of the Trinity we can have a personal relationship with Him )

A. Intimate knowledge

1. He knows us  (Ps.  139:1-7)

2. We know Him (John 14:17: “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.”)

B. Two way communication

1. He speaks to us (Spirit speaks to the churches, mentioned several times throughout chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation; John 16:13,14:  “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.”)

2.  We can speak to Him (something implied by His personhood)

Conclusion:  The Holy Spirit is a person and we are to relate to Him as a person.  Anything else as an affront to God.  He is equal to the other persons of the Trinity and so we relate to Him as God - any way in which we relate to the Godhhead, we can relate to Him.  He is the very Presence of God in our lives who knowing the heart and mind of God, draws us deeper into a deeper and closer relationship with Him.

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