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The Holy Spirit
The fact that the One True God is a Trinity has confused the minds of
man for ages, and it still does today; it’s not easy to understand.
However, the Bible does give us information on this subject.
We serve a God-head of three persons who are completely united in purpose
that they are one. Each has His
distinct, divine role in the eternal [everlasting] plans for each believer, but
in carrying out these responsibilities act as one.
[Matthew 28:19] Jesus
the Christ, told his disciples to baptize everyone into the name – not names
– of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The three persons together constitute one God.
This makes us face one of the most unfathomable truths of all:
What are we to make of it? In
itself, the concept is a mystery to us in our feeble, human attempts at
understanding; indeed, all truths about God exceed our comprehension for the
most part. How the singular is
plural and the plural is singular; How the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
are personally distinct, yet one entity is more than we can truly know or
explain. Any attempt to explain it
is feeble at best. Often, any
attempt to “explain” it or dispel the mystery by reasoning is bound to
falsify it. Here, as elsewhere, God
is too big for our little minds!
Yet, history shows us that Jesus the Christ, a man who was God, prayed
to His Father and promised that He and His Father would send another comforter
to continue His divine ministry. This
Comforter, the Holy Spirit, working within you, prompts you to worship the God
above and to know the fellowship of God the Son with you.
This working within us points inescapably to the Trinity, as does the
cooperative activity of the three in saving us:
The Father planning, the Son procuring or obtaining and the Holy Spirit
applying. Many scriptures point to
this truth; the truth of the Trinity proves to be the foundation and framework
for the Gospel of Christ. (Luke
10:21, 1 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Peter 1:17, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1,
Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Mark 12:29-30, 1 Corinthians 8:4)
One of the reasons the Trinity is so difficult to grasp is that we have
no analogy for it in our experience. It
is found only in the Bible. This is
one reason so many have shown great skepticism.
Thomas Jefferson said it is “incomprehensible jargon”.
Many think it’s a fairy tale. We
can look to the heavens and see the proof of the existence of God, but not the
Trinity. It cannot be proved.
This uniqueness has great implications.
Any attempt to put away the notion of a Trinity is an attempt to make God
like man; at least from man’s perception.
However, man is made in God’s image; God is
Father, Son and Holy Spirit; man is also a trichotomous (or three-part being);
body, soul and spirit. The teaching
that man is a dichotomous or two-part being is the teaching of evolutionists.
They teach that man has a body and a soul or spirit (life force).
The Bible teaches that man has three parts and God has three parts. I believe the Bible.
God’s unity in
the Bible is stressed so that we might not fall into polytheism (poly; belief or
worship of many gods). Deuteronomy
6:4 tells us, “Hear, O Israel,
Jehovah our God is one Jehovah;” Here, a
plural name is a single entity (Hebrew and Greek both have three number:
singular, dual, plural). As
soon as we speak of separate persons, it is easy to think of separate gods, but
the Bible warns us against that.
Furthermore, God is
not one person showing Himself to humans in three forms.
(This is an error called Sabellianism; A follower of Sabellius, a
presbyter (elder or priest) of Ptolemais, which was a maritime city of Galilee
(Acts 21:7) in the third century. He
maintained that there is but one person in the God-head, and that the Son and
Holy Spirit are only different powers, operations, or offices of the one God the
Father.) There are three separate
Persons comprising one God. The
unity and equality of the God-head is taught throughout the Scriptures in places
such as Genesis 1:26, which says, “And God said, Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and
over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Matthew 3:16-17 tells
us, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the
water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God
descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven,
saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
and John 10:30, which succinctly says, “I and
the Father are one.”
What about passages such as Philippians 2:5-8 where it appears that one
member of the Trinity can be dominant? This
just indicates that in God’s program dealing with humanity, there are certain
things He does that distinguish each member of the Trinity.
In Philippians 2, we see that the incarnate second person (Jesus)
subordinated Himself to the will of the Father to go to the cross for human
beings. The Holy Spirit did not
become joined to humanity, nor did the Father; the Father never appeared to
individuals, nor did the Holy Spirit. Neither
the second person (the Son) nor the Father is said to have directed the writers
of Scripture; the Spirit did.
There have been several names for the different Persons
of the Trinity used, but the Bible never actually speaks of the first Person,
second Person and third Person of the Trinity.
The word “Trinity” is never used in the Bible. But, all of these terms are convenient in helping us
understand this concept. The Bible
does speak of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
The word “God” can refer to the Trinity or to each of the three
Persons individually. The word
“Lord” is used often of both the Father and the Son.
While stressing the equality of the three Persons, each has a complex and
extensive role, especially toward believers.
We ought to cultivate, for example, the special presence of the Holy
Spirit to teach and encourage us. [John
14:26] Every believer has the Holy
Spirit within him! We’re all
baptized in the Holy Spirit!
“the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”] Because the Holy Spirit cannot be seen, many have doubted His
existence or relegated Him to simply an influence or a feeling; maybe an emotion
or conscience. However, His role in
creation demonstrates His intelligence and purposefulness; these are qualities
attested by His interaction with individuals. Many
err in thinking that the Spirit is somehow less of a deity than the Father and
the Son (a view held by some cults). If
we take the Biblical record seriously, we have to accept that creation is
something only God can do and the Holy Spirit did it.
The Holy Spirit is
also intimately connected with God in other areas such as [1 Corinthians
2:11-12]. Just as the spirit of man
and the spirit of the world lets us know about man and the world, the Holy
Spirit knows and imparts to believers the things of God. We have His instruction book and we know His spirit.
If we are obedient and filled with the Spirit of God, the spirit of the
world should offend us.
provides an extensive discussion of both the Person and the work of the Holy
Spirit. Let’s look at a few of
2:10] The Holy Spirit has intellect
as is evidenced in 1 Corinthians 2:10 in which He investigates the deep things
of God, and then teaches them to believers.
[1 Corinthians 2:12]
The Holy Spirit has emotions in that He can be grieved.
The Holy Spirit is
deity; He is God.
regeneration is literally “again-becoming”]
The Holy Spirit regenerates.
Holy Spirit indwells. [1
Corinthians 3:16] The Holy Spirit
lives in each and every believer.
Ephesians 4:30; And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are
sealed unto the day of redemption.]
The Holy Spirit seals each believer who is being faithful (the brethren;
Matthew 12:50), to help him attain entrance into the coming Kingdom.
He Himself is the seal, as an earnest or promise of our inheritance. (“Earnest” is “arabon”; Semitic in origin; a dowry or
down payment on the total obligation; earnest money.)
The Holy Spirit enables you to live by His power.
So, we see that the
Holy Spirit has intellect, he has emotions, he is God, he regenerates, he lives
in each and every believer, and he seals faithful brethren to help them attain
entrance into the coming Kingdom; he’s their “earnest money”.
However, one of the
least understood principles of Scripture is the infilling and the baptism in the
Holy Spirit. [1 Corinthians 12:13
by in one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...]
So many people miss the greater blessing of experiencing God because they
believe that salvation is the baptism and that’s all there is.
This is not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit at the moment we
surrender our hearts to Christ. (Romans
8:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:19) God
puts His Spirit within us and we are born as a child of God; we’re born from
However, when a child is born, is that the end?
No, it’s just the beginning. The
same is true of our Christian lives.
v.20 “Showed” - This
body that he showed them is not yet glorified, and retained the marks of the
nails and of the soldier’s spear, ample proof of the bodily resurrection; This
goes against the modern view that only Christ’s “spirit” arose and against
the Gnostic notion that Jesus had no actual human body. Luke 24:39 adds feet to
hands and side.
“Were glad” -
Jesus had said in John 16:22 that it would be so. Luke adds in 24:41 that they “disbelieved for joy”.
It was too good to be true; though terror had first seized them when
Jesus appeared in Luke 24:37 because of the suddenness of his appearance and
their highly wrought state.
“Even so send I you…” Jesus
has often spoken of the Father’s sending him using both “apostello” and
“pempo”. Here he employs both words in practically the same sense.
Jesus still bears the Commission of the Father.
(John 6:57 has a similar “even…so” event.)
This is the first of the three commissions given by the Risen
“He breathed on them…” It
was a symbolic act with the same word used in the Septuagint when God breathed
the breath of life upon Adam in Genesis 2:7.
It occurs also in Ezekial 37:9, which says, “Then said he unto
me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus
saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these
slain, that they may live”.
He breathed on them.
[Acts 5] The
Holy Spirit is a gift and it’s given at salvation. But, we are filled, as we
are obedient. [Acts 5:32]
The Holy Spirit indwells carnal believers; all believers are baptized
into the Holy Spirit. The carnal Corinthian Christians, who were guilty of incest,
lawsuits against fellow believers, and other sins, were nonetheless indwelt by
the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19
says, “What? Know ye
not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost Spirit [which is] in
you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” If only the Spirit indwells a select group, then the
Corinthians would not all have been indwelt.
Romans 8:9 and 2 Corinthians 1:22 demand a conclusion that all believers,
regardless of their spiritual condition, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
The concept of sealing includes the ideas of ownership,
authority, and security. Since God
has sealed us, we are His possession, secure until the day of redemption (unless
there were someone with greater power than God Himself!).
[Romans 8:38] But, notice the context of Ephesians 4:30 (grieve not the
holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption).
Sealing is the basis for an exhortation not to grieve the Spirit by
committing sins, especially with the tongue.
A proper understanding of security never breeds license to sin.
We’re still supposed to be obedient.
We have accountability.