Lesson 4 - The Spirit of God

Do you know who said, "I can of myself do nothing."  John 5:30.  You'll probably be surprised to learn that the answer is Jesus Christ.  Yet He performed many miracles, including the healing of the sick, and the raising of the dead.  Of Himself He could do nothing, and yet He did so much.  How could this be?

The Man Christ Jesus depended upon the Spirit of God in all that He did.  In Luke 4 Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth, and read from Isaiah 61:1, 2.  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."  Jesus did all of these things, but not in His own strength, but rather in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you want to live a victorious Christian life?  It is no secret that such a life is possible only through the indwelling presence and power of the Spirit of God.  Jesus was filled with the Spirit.  Luke 4:1, 18; Acts 10:38; Hebrews 9:14. 

In the New Testament believers are admonished to live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and be filled with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18.  How can we be filled with the Spirit of God?  Much has been written.  Consider one brief statement that may be helpful.  God only fills that which is His.  The question is not how much we have of Him, but rather how much He has of us.

More has been written about the Holy Spirit in John 14:15-16:33 than anyplace else in the Bible.  In our study we wish only to highlight the most important truths found there.

 

Two Titles

Jesus mentioned both titles in John 14:16, 17, which says, "And I (Jesus) will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever---the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him...."  (Bold has been added for emphasis.)

The Holy Spirit is identified by Jesus as "another Helper."  See John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7.  The word "another" may have two different meanings, depending upon the way the word is used.  First, "another" may mean "another of a different kind."  For example, let's say that you are in the produce department of a supermarket.  The person who works there shows you an apple.  You look at it, and then say, "I think I'll have another apple."  You are saying that you want a different kind.  Second, "another" may mean "another of the same kind."  This time you approve of the apple, and say, "I think I'll have another apple," but you mean that you will have another one of the same kind.

When Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as "another Helper," He meant another of the same kind.  He was saying that the Spirit of God was like Him.  Jesus is God, as we learned in Lesson 2.  Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is God.  Jesus is the second Person of the Trinity.  The Spirit of God is the third Person of the Trinity.

The second title applied to the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth."  See John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.  The Holy Spirit deals in truth.  He is the Author of the Bible.  In your study of the Scriptures you should depend upon the Spirit of truth to lead you.

 

Five Ministries

First and foremost, the Spirit of God is the Indweller.  Jesus told His disciples, "He (the Holy Spirit) dwells with you, and will be in you."  John 14:17.  Prior to the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 the Spirit dwelt with the apostles, but on that day they received Him.  Today all believers in Jesus Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  He is the dynamic difference in living the Christian life.   

Jesus also said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."  John 14:23.  The Father and the Son make their home with us by the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God.

Second, the Spirit of God is our Teacher.  Jesus also said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."  John 14:26.  He continued, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth...."  He will also help you remember the things that you have learned, but you must learn it before you can have it brought back to your memory. 

Today there isn't any shortage of Bible teachers.  The best teacher that the Christian can have is the Spirit of truth.  We need to be open to the teaching ministry of the Spirit of God.  We need to make ourselves available to Him by meditating upon the Word of God.  He is here to shed light on the holy Scriptures.

Third, the Spirit of God is the Testifier.  The Holy Spirit is a missionary Spirit.  In John 15:26 Jesus said, "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me."  Yes, the Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus.  He does not speak of Himself. 

But Jesus went on to say, "And you also will bear witness...."  John 15:27.  The indwelling Spirit of God, who teaches us, also empowers us to testify of the Lord Jesus.  We are His witnesses.  He is the message.  Yes, His name is Jesus...Savior.  The Spirit filled Christian speaks of Christ.  See Acts 4:31.

Fourth, the Spirit of God is the Convictor.  Jesus said, "And when He (the Helper) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."  John 16:8-11.

This is the Holy Spirit's ministry to the world, that is, to unbelievers.  He convinces them of three things: sin, righteousness, and judgment.  He shows the sinner his need of faith in the Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ.  He reveals that the only righteousness that is satisfying to the Father is the righteousness of the Son.  He declares that Jesus is the Victor, the mighty One who conquered sin, death, and the devil.  It is the Spirit of Christ who draws us to the Lord.  He is the soul winner.

Fifth, the Spirit of God is the Glorifier.  In John 17:4 Jesus prayed to the Father, "I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work which You have given Me to do."  The Father sent the Son into the world to glorify Him.  Now the Father and the Son have sent the Spirit to glorify Jesus.  The Lord said, "He (the Spirit of truth) will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you."  John 16:14.

Volumes have been written about the Holy Spirit.  Here we are simply dealing with the basics, but they are foundational to living a life in the Spirit.  Be filled with the Spirit, and give all the glory to Jesus.

 

Lesson 5 - The Laws of God

 
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