The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit
The disciples knew that Jesus was going away. He had told them so. At first it didn’t sound like good news and their hearts were troubled. They loved Jesus; they had walked three years with Jesus. How could they live without Him?
Jesus read their hearts and He assured them that it was best for them that He return to His Father in heaven. His Father would send the Holy Spirit (part of the Trinity we read about in lesson 2) and they would never be left alone.
God’s Spirit wouldn’t be felt in just one country, or minister to just one race of people but over the whole earth. On the Day of Pentecost Peter spoke to the crowd representing at least 15 different language groups. Acts 2:16-17 tells us what he said: “This is what the prophet Joel spoke about: This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.”
In Lesson 6 we studied about salvation. Did you know that we are brought to salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit? Let’s study about the Holy Spirit and His work in us.
The Person of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God. He is the third Person in the Godhead, called the Holy Trinity. Like the Father and the Son, He also has other names. Some are the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter. Matthew 28:19 mentions all three Persons. “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is like God the Father. He is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere. He works together with the Father and the Son and was with them at Creation. Let’s look at some verses that tell us about the Holy Spirit.
“Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to God” (Hebrews 9:14).
“The Spirit searches everything, even the hidden depths of God’s purposes” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
“God’s spirit made me and gave me life” (Job 33:4).
The Holy Spirit moved on prophets and priests in Old Testament times. He helped men and women to serve God. Of Joseph who was sold as a slave into Egypt it was said, “We will never find a better man than Joseph, a man who has God’s spirit in him” (Genesis 41:38).
The Work of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit plays an essential part in our salvation. He shows us how wrong our sins are and helps us accept Jesus as our Savior. He changes our lives.
And when he comes [the Holy Spirit], he will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin and about what is right and about God’s judgment (John 16:8).
“I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus, “that no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. A person is born physically of human parents, but he is born spiritually of the Spirit” (John 3:5-6).
The Holy Spirit dwells in every believer. He enters the heart when conversion takes place. “To show you that you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, ‘Father, my Father’” (Galatians 4:6). Romans 8:9 says further, “Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.” If we belong to the family of God, His Spirit dwells within us.
For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” (Romans 8:15-16).
We have talked about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and we may also have the infilling of the Holy Spirit which occurs after conversion. It is sometimes, called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Not every believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, but it is an experience God wants all His children to have.
He [Jesus] has been raised to the right side of God, his Father, and has received from him the Holy Spirit, as he had promised. What you now see and hear is his gift that he has poured out on us (Acts 2:33).
Peter said unto them, “Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, our Helper. He teaches, gives us love and fellowship, and guides us into truth. He has fruit for us, like joy, peace, patience, humility and self-control (Galatians 5:22) and spiritual gifts with which to minister unto the Lord and to our fellowman (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).