THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Suppose that the King of England were coming to eat at your house one night. What would you serve him? Before you answer that question, consider this one added detail……….along with the King’s acceptance you also have access to his personal diary telling of his previous royal visits elsewhere. Now, what would you fix the King for supper? Doubtless, you would search through his diary for hints about his likes and dislikes. That diary of his past experience would be an invaluable guide to his likes and dislikes today. Your understanding of the past would illuminate your work in the present.
So it is with the Holy Spirit. His past work illuminates His present ministry. And we have His “diary”, the record of His activities in days gone by. We have the Old Testament. What He did in those days reveals a great deal about what he is doing in these days, and what He wants to do in your life.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN CREATION Genesis 1:2
A. He protected God’s original creation.
B. He gave physical life to the earth.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT PERFORMED EXTRAORDINARY ACTS
A.He empowered men to prophesy. II Peter 1:10 (voice, dreams, visions)
B. He inspired Scripture. II Peter 1:20
“We grant, that they used their own abilities in the choice of words; but the Holy Spirit, who is more intimate to the minds and skill of men than they are themselves, so guided them, that the words they fixed on were as directly and certainly from Him, as if they had been spoken to them by an audible voice.” (John Owens, Holy Spirit, p.78)
C. He enabled men to perform miracles (no man could do them).
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERED SPECIAL INDIVIDUALS
A. He gave special power to Israel’s leaders. Numbers 11:16-17,25
B. He gave special power for battle. Judges 6:34
C. He gave wisdom for difficult tasks. Exodus 31:2,3
IV. THE HOLY SPIRIT PREDICTED A COMING WORLDWIDE MINISTRY
A. He would be poured out on all flesh. Joel 2:28-29 (not limited at all)
B. He would indwell every believer permanently. Ezekiel 36:26,27
Conclusion: What the Holy Spirit did in that day He wants to do in this day. He has left a clear record. What we need is not more information, but more supplication. Do you face a hard task? The Holy Spirit stands ready to help you. Do you need strength? The Holy Spirit will supply it. Do you need God’s wisdom? The Holy spirit will stir up your mind. Do you need Comfort? He is the great comforter. Are you facing a spiritual battle? Let the Holy Spirit give you the ammunition you need.
You see the Old Testament paints a beautiful picture, but it is incomplete. We live in the age of God’s abundant grace. We have privileges and blessings those Old Testament saints never dreamed about. Jesus said the Holy Spirit was “With them and shall be “in”us. In fact the new age is so great that we could say that the Holy Spirit was not even given, so great is His outpouring in these final days. There are rivers of living water available, streams in the desert for the thirsty saints, strength, wisdom, power, supernatural ability, all open to us tonight. What they had then, we have it more. They have the mercy-drops, we have the showers of blessings. The Holy Spirit is here, with us, available to us. He is intimately involved in our life.
Be encouraged, child of God! We have the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. And we can have all His blessing tomorrow and for all the tomorrows yet to come.
How important is it to know the Holy Spirit? Listen.
“All light, life, and power are from him alone……From him was the word of promise, and the gift of prophesy: from him was the revelation and institution of all the ordinances of religious worship:…..And if this was the state of things under the Old Testament, a judgment may thence be formed, how it is under the New: the principal advantage of which, next to the coming of Christ, is the pouring out of the Spirit in larger measure than before.” Owen, p.84
“The spirit gives life, performs miracles, works in the heart of men, using them as His instruments: in short, nothing is accomplished without Him, and all is brought to pass with His help. God’s word sums it up this way, “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Pache, p. 36)
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
In our continuing quest to discover the Bible truth about the Holy Spirit, we come to our Lord Jesus Christ. This may surprise some, since they might think the Two Persons are entirely without contact but it is not so. Two facts are important to notice tonight as we begin: First, we all admit that the goal of our living is to become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ. In all we attempt, we ultimately want to become like the Man from Galilee. Anything that will shed light on how to do that will be helpful. Second, even a casual reading of the Gospels reveals the great importance of the Holy Spirit in the earthly life of Christ. We see Him at every stage of Christ’s life. That tips us off that knowing about the Holy Spirit can help us become more like Jesus Christ. We see Him in every key point in Christ’s life.
I. WE SEE HIM AT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
A. Conceived of the Holy Spirit Matthew 1:20
B. Born of the Virgin Mary
C. Result: The God-Man, not a new person conceived but a human nature formed.
II. WE SEE HIM AT THE THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST
A. The Holy Spirit came to abide with Him. John 1:33
B. The Holy Spirit empowered Him for ministry. Luke 4:1
III. WE SEE HIM AT THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
A. The Spirit led Him into the wilderness. Luke 4:1
B. The Spirit empowered as a result of the temptation. Luke 4:14
IV. WE SEE HIM IN THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST
A.Christ cast out demons by the power of the Spirit. Matthew 12:28
B. His entire miracle working ministry was in the power of the Spirit. Luke 4:14-15
V. WE SEE HIM IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST
A. Hebrews 9:14
VI. WE SEE HIM IN THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
A. Romans 8:11; I Timothy 3:16
What Conclusions should we draw form this evidence:
1. Christ lived His entire life in dependence on the Holy Spirit. In so doing, He becomes the model for Christians today. He was the Son of God and needed the Holy Spirit. How much more do we.
2. Christ is thus the perfect man. He had our same limitations, felt our joys and sorrows, lived as we lived. He is a High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Christ was a real man, more real than anyone here tonight.
3. We need to follow His example. How can we, sinful and powerless creatures hope to live a Christian life even one day without the Holy Spirit? Are we better than Jesus? Christ faced every crisis of His life with the Spirit’s aid. No wonder He succeeded. How much more would we succeed if we would become poor in spirit, admit our need and rely solely on the Holy spirit, asking God for His strength and help. Truly, the way up is down. If we will but admit our defeat, God will bring the victory. If we will but confess our weakness, God will make us Strong. Christ our perfect pattern was filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit. Let us follow His perfect example. What He did for Christ, the Holy Spirit will do for us.
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL MAKE US STRONG THROUGH THE DESERT EXPERIENCES OF LIFE. God did it for Jesus. So He will for us. When the temptation comes, if we face it in the power of the Spirit we will emerge shaken, scared, and in truth stronger than ever before. For every Cross there is an empty tomb.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BIBLE
One of the often overlooked ministries of the Sprit is that of revealing and inspiring the truth of the Bible. That is, the average layperson may overlook it. We tend much more to think of the special, flashy ministries of the Spirit only to neglect this foundational one.
Yet, Satan knows all too well how important this truth is. He keeps his agents busy throughout the world destroying confidence in god’s word. The greatest way to combat that is for believers to be thoroughly informed about what the bible says about the work of the spirit.
FIRST, SOME KEY WORDS
Inspiration — God superintending the authors of scripture so that what they wrote is without error in the original manuscripts (VERBAL, PLENARY)
Inerrancy — God safeguarding the writing of scripture so that whenever it speaks in any area —science, history, geography, theology —it speaks truth without any mixture of error.
Illumination — God making the Word plain to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
SECOND, SOME KEY TEXTS
Matthew 5:17 — All Scripture is equally important to God. All equally inspired.
II Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is God-breathed. Thus errorless.
II Peter 1:21 — All Scripture controlled by the Holy Spirit as to the very words.
THIRD, SOME KEY IMPLICATIONS
First, The Bible is Entirely Trustworthy. It is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. It is as trustworthy when it speaks of history and geography as when it speaks of the death of Christ.
Second, All the Bible is equally God’s Word. This means that we may gain guidance, strength, and help from any portion in the Bible. All 66 books will help us.
Third, We must boldly proclaim the Bible’s message in the disputed reasons today. This means we must proclaim creation as an accomplished fact although many deny it. This means we must proclaim Bible history as accurate though many doubt it. This means that we must condemn homosexuality and abortion though many practice it. As Dante said, the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in the time of moral crisis proclaim their neutrality.
Fourth, We can understand the Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired it. He lives within. We can be guided into the truth by relying upon Him. Pray as you read, and read as you pray. Soon enough the truth of God will be true to you.
Fifth, The Bible is not just a book or a good book. IT IS GOD’S BOOK, HIS WORD to us. It is foolish to defend the Bible without obeying it. Therefore, our study of this doctrine leads us to conclude that The Bible must be the authority of the believer. More than the Pastor or church, more than family, The Bible and the Bible alone is the Word of God written and must rule our lives to be effective. “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own souls.” The Bible is not a book to be admired. It is a book to be obeyed. The proof of our doctrine of inspiration lies in the obedience we give to the Bible.
THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT
It has been said by some that the Old Testament represents the age of the Father. The Gospels represent the age of the Son, and the present time is the age of the Spirit. While that distinction should not be pressed it is useful for our thinking. Clearly, the Book of Acts is greatly concerned to show how the Gospel of Christ was carried about in the power of the Spirit.
This much is clear: This age, these days in which we live are pre-eminently the days of the Spirit. He has always been, always worked, empowered men of all ages but…..in 1980 He is working in mighty power, is available to us. He has been poured out from on high on each person here tonight.
Think of it this way. When the new year begins generally our attentions focus on basketball. As Spring turns to Summer we focus on baseball. And as the leaves turn and the year draws to a close, we think of football. Now, all three games might be played at any time of the year but fall is especially the football season. As the year closes and the days grow cooler, we enter the age of football.
So it is with us. As we come to the climax of human history and near the end of this world, we live in the age of the Holy Spirit.
What are the results of this being the Age of the Spirit?
FIRST, THE SPIRIT GIVES US POWER TO LIVE A NEW LIFE.
A. The Law gave rules without power.
B. The Law therefore brought condemnation.
C. The Spirit gives inner power to keep God’s laws. Romans 8:2
SECOND, THE SPIRIT PUTS GOD’S LAWS IN THE BELIEVER’S HEART.
A. The Law in olden days was external.
B. The Spirit has placed the law of God on the inside. II Corinthians 3:16
THIRD, THE SPIRIT CIRCUMCISES OUR HEART
A. Physical circumcision means physical relationship.
B. Spiritual circumcision means spiritual relationship. Romans 2:28-29
FOURTH, THE SPIRIT’S MINISTRY IS BASED ON CHRIST’S WORK
A. The Spirit seeks to glorify Christ. John 16:13-14
B. We can clearly see three dispensations
In the Old Testament — The Father Reveals Himself. God For Us.
In the Gospels — Christ comes to earth. God With Us, Immanuel.
In the Church —Holy Spirit Poured Out. God in Us.
We sometimes hear of full salvation. That’s what we already have.
God thought it.
The Son bought it.
The Holy spirit wrought it.
We have now a chance to live a brand new life. We have privileges those in ancient Israel never dreamed about. We have the abundant overflowing power of the Holy Spirit. He and He alone can empower us for life’s tasks. He and He alone is able to give guidance in darkened pathways. He and He alone can fill us with love in impossible situations. The seasons of God’s calendar are fully Turned. This is the Age of the Spirit. Rejoice and take part. The spirit is here in power.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In modern times, there have been two extremes concerning the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, there have been believers who have found the Holy Spirit as the key and center of their faith. For them, a life-changing encounter with the Holy Spirit opens the doors of God’s blessings. For some, this even includes meeting the Holy Spirit with ecstatic speech, visions, tears, and odd manifestations. They believe in Jesus, but it is the Holy Spirit who fills their thinking. On the other hand, some believers have virtually ignored the HOLY SPIRIT. They live, think, and talk as if He did not exist. Perhaps it is in reaction to charismatic excess, or perhaps through poor instruction, or perhaps through a penchant for careless living. For them, the Holy spirit is real, but not important. A name, a title, a phrase, but not a living reality.
Somewhere in between those extremes, the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit must be found. After all, the Bible is full of information about Him. We have names, symbols, actions, attributes of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, this doctrine is important. And so we come to this series of short, informal studies on what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit.
Tonight, we consider the most basic question, who or what is the Holy Spirit? Specifically, is He a power, an influence, a kind of divine electricity, an impersonal force that makes us do good? Come to think of it, is the Holy Spirit an “it” or a “He?”
FIRST, THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS THE ATTRIBUTES OF PERSONALITY
A. The Holy Spirit has a Will. I Corinthians 12:11
B. The Holy Spirit has an Intellect. Romans 8:27
C. The Holy Spirit has Emotions. Ephesians 4:30, Romans 15:30
D. The Holy Spirit Speaks. Acts 10:19
SECOND, THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES THINGS ONLY A PERSON CAN DO
A. The Holy Spirit teaches men. John 14:26
B. The Holy Spirit testifies to men. John 15:26
C. The Holy Spirit guides men. John 16:13; Romans 8:14
D. The Holy Spirit restrains men. Genesis 6:3
E. The Holy Spirit gives commands. Acts 8:29
F. The Holy Spirit calls me to service. Acts 13:2
G. The Holy Spirit intercedes with the Father for us. Romans 8:26
These things taken together cannot be performed by a mere power or influence or emanation. They are those of a person, a personal being.
THIRD, THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE TREATED AS A PERSON
A. He can be lied to. Acts 5:3
B. He can be obeyed. Acts 10:19-21
C. He can be grieved. Ephesians 4:30
D. He can be Blasphemed against. Matthew 12:31
E. He can be called upon for help. Ezekiel 37:9
FOURTH, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS CALLED “He” and “Him”
A. The grammar of Holy spirit is neuter calling for “it”.
B. The N.T. consistently contradicts normal grammar by using “He” and “Him”.
C. Thus, the writers of the N.T. thought of the Holy Spirit as a definite person.
FIFTH, HE IS RELATED TO OTHER PERSONS ON AN EQUAL BASIS
A. He is thus related to the apostles. Acts 15:28
b. He is thus related to Jesus. John 16:14
C. He is thus related to the Father and the Son. Matthew 28:19-20.
When we thus talk about the Holy spirit we are not talking about some mysterious, mystical, other worldly power. We are not talking about a supernatural shiver up and down the spine. We are not talking about a divine electricity that hooks us up with God.
No, when we talk about the Holy Spirit we are talking about a person, a person like us who thinks, feels, knows, speaks as we do. If the truth were known, the Holy Spirit is more like a person than we are. He is true personality. He is living, He is real, He is personal.
We are not left to seek some strange feeling, or supernatural experience. We have a friend, a comforter, a helper, another person who knows us inside and out. The Holy Spirit is not a power which acts in a friendly manner. The Holy Spirit is a Powerful Friend who acts to help us when we need Him.
· · *Also, A. The Spirit gives life. Ezekiel 37
B. The Spirit is called Living Water..surely proof that He is alive (a power or thing or force cannot truly be “living”).
THE SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Surely the greatest problem in the study of the Holy Spirit is in getting a grasp of who He is. A person without a body…..how odd that seems. God seems comprehensible….after all, He is a Father. Jesus of course we can visualize because He was man, a person just like us. But a Holy Spirit?
But the Bible helps us out. Scattered throughout Scripture are several key symbols of the Spirit. If He has no body, at least He does manifest Himself in visible forms. These help us understand who He is, what He does, and how we are to know Him daily.
John 3:8 “The Spirit (wind) blows where it will. “impetuous, invisible, and unexpected action of the Spirit.” “sovereign”, “Powerful”, “From Above”
B. The Dove
“purity”…”gentleness, tenderness”, “innocence”…”peace”
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit…is upon me, because He hath anointed me” “necessary for light-giving ministry”….”Cleansing of lepers” “power for service”
“the purifying flame of judgment”, burning out the dross “the presence of the Lord”…..approval and protection of the Lord”
“life-giving and life-sustaining power” ….”power to affect and help others”…”quenches our thirst and others also”
F. The Seal
“guaranteed salvation”…completed transaction, signed, sealed and delivered. “Thus the Holy Spirit becomes the divine stamp upon us, the mark of God’s property. Ownership, security, authority, completion.
G. The Earnest
II Corinthians 1:21-22
Down payment, promise of more to come. First installment on full salvation. “We’re not what we ought to be, we’re not what we used to be, but we’re not just what we will be someday.” God will make good on His promises.
Still vague on the Holy Spirit. You shouldn’t be. He is not some vague, ethereal, heavenly Ghost who flits around the believer. No, He is God Himself, residing with us and in us, making God’s promises certain, cleansing us, changing us, working in unseen ways to bring us to maturity, flowing through us to those all around us. Thank God for the Symbols of the Spirit. We are not alone.
THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Our great problem with respect to the Holy Spirit is in grasping who He is. We know from the Bible that He indwells us, empowers us, guides us, convicts us, fills us, produces the likeness of Jesus Christ in us, seals us, teaches us, warns us, produces fruit in our life. Indeed, we know all that. But do we know Him? Do we know who He is?
In a practical sense, is there a difference between God and the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit of Jesus the same as the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit? Who is this person the Bible calls the Holy Spirit?
Ah, and there’s the problem. Holy Spirit. Sounds like a sanctified ghost, or an advanced angel, or a mystical power. You can’t see Him, smell Him, touch Him, or hear Him. That’s strange to us. We like to grab hold of the people we know.
Who is this person called the Holy Spirit? How does He relate to God?
There are four important lines of evidence.
I. HE DOES THINGS THAT ONLY GOD CAN DO
A. He knows all things. I Corinthians 2:10,11
B. He exists everywhere. Psalm 139:7
C. He cannot be taught. Isaiah 40:13
II. HE IS INTIMATELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE FATHER AND THE SON
A. In Baptism Matthew 28:19-20
B. In Blessing II Corinthians 13:14
C. In indwelling believers I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, Colossians 1:27
It is impossible to receive one member of the Trinity without receiving the other two.
“He who rejects Christ rejects the Holy Spirit. He who believes in God believes in His Son. He who yields to Jesus yields to the Holy Spirit.
III. HE IS GIVEN IMPLICATIONS THAT ONLY GOD CAN HAVE
A. To lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God. Acts 5
B. What God said in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit says in the New Testament. Jeremiah 31 & Hebrews 10
IV. HE IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THE SPIRIT OF JESUS, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. There is one Spirit. Ephesians 4:4
B. The Holy Spirit bring believers in the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:13
C. The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus as interchanged. Acts 16:6,7
We have seen that the Holy Spirit is a Person and the third Person of the Divine Trinity.
The establishment of this fact is what gives deep interest to this study which we are about to make on His work in the human heart. Indeed, if the Spirit were merely a power coming form above, it would be at my disposal. But if the Spirit is a person and more than that, If He is God hImself, it is I who should be at hIs disposal, and love and obey him in all things.
Besides, receiving into our hearts not only a blessing, not only a power, not only divine help, but the very presence of the Almighty God is to have within us the source of all grace and all possibility. God with US! That is the great truth of the Holy Spirit. Nothing now is impossible. No sin is unconquerable, no problem unsolvable, no river uncrossable. God has not left us alone as orphans in the world. He has not sent His executive Vice President to oversee us. No, He has come Himself into our hearts in the person of the Holy Spirit. We are not alone.