The Holy Spirit of God - Systematic Theology Series
Notes adapted and abbreviated from Theology I at Eternity Bible College
A. There is much inaccurate teaching on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit
a. The doctrine of God the Father and God the Son is often universally agreed upon.
i. The Holy Spirit seems to be that person of the Trinity that is more mysterious
b. We must allow Scripture to be our sole and absolute authority regarding the H.S.
c. Personal experience cannot dictate and drive our theology of the Holy Spirit.
i. We should not dismiss the reality of our experience but properly test it.
ii. We must be discerning of supernatural experiences
1. The Spirit will always seek to glorify Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:1-3; 1 John 4:1-3).
2. The devil deceives by disguising himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
B. Main Thought: The Holy Spirit has worked throughout history to align the people of God to His mission.
a. God actively directs the course of history by His Spirit to bring about His glory
b. The better we understand the Spirit's identity and work through saints of the past, the better we can be a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led people for His purposes
I. THE IDENTITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. Common misunderstandings about the Holy Spirit
1. The Holy Spirit is not a powerful influence (cf. Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38)
2. The Holy Spirit is not a form of God the Father
B. The Name: Holy Spirit
1. Holy: sacred and separate from the ordinary. Holy implies assoc. with God.
2. Spirit: The word "spirit" is used in various ways (God - Jn. 4:24; Angels - Heb. 1:14,
Matt. 10:1; Man - 1 Cor. 2:11; Wind - Jn. 3:8) and the context drives the rendering.
3. The adjective "holy" sets this spirit uniquely apart from false/demonic spirits
C. The Persona of the Holy Spirit
1. The Holy Spirit has attributes of persona
a) Knowledge and Intellect: The Holy Spirit has a mind (Rom. 8:26-27).
(1) He examines the depths of God and reveals it to believers (1 Cor. 2:10)
(2) He knows the thoughts of God the Father (1 Cor. 2:11; cf. Isa 11:2; 40:13).
b) Emotions: The Holy Spirit has feelings, to have an awareness and ability to respond to something. A force or influence cannot be grieved, etc.
(1) The Holy Spirit is grieved when believers sin (Eph. 4:30; Isa. 63:10).
(2) The Holy Spirit loves which causes believers to love (Rom. 15:30).
c) Will/Volition: The Holy Spirit has the ability to make decisions
(1) He decides what gifts are given for body edification (1 Cor. 12:11).
(2) He directs the activities of Christians. (Acts 16:6-11). He prevented Paul from going to Asia and Bithynia and directed him to Macedonia.
2. The Holy Spirit has persona and therefore should be referred to with a personal pronoun "He" rather than "it"
a) Scripture uses "He" not "it" when referring to the H. S. (John 15:26; 16:13, 14).
b) The Holy Ghost then, is not an abstraction, nor an influence merely, but a Person, in the full sense in which that word us applied to the Father and Son, possessing will and active principles, intelligence, and action (Robert L. Dabney, Systematic Theology, 196).
D. The Deity of the Holy Spirit
1. If the Holy Spirit is God, then He must possess divine attributes
a) Omniscience: The Spirit knows the things that God knows (1 Cor. 2:10-12).
b) Omnipotence: The Spirit is given the title "Almighty" (Job 33:4; cf. Gen. 1:2).
c) Omnipresence: The Spirit is everywhere; therefore He cannot be hidden from (Ps. 139:7-10; Jn. 14:17).
d) Eternality: Christ offered Himself through the "eternal" Spirit (Heb. 9:14).
e) Holiness: The Spirit is given the title that God alone possesses - "holy" (Rev. 15:4).
E. Conclusion: The Holy Spirit is the third persona of the Trinitarian God.
a) The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son (Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-
6; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2; Isa. 48:16; Rev. 1:4-5).
b) Scripture directly declares the Holy Spirit's Deity (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20).
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. The Holy Spirit's Work in Physical Creation
1. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters in the beginning (Gen. 1:2)
2. Psalmists alludes to the fact that the Spirit was responsible for creating the animal kingdom and they look to Him to sustain them (Ps. 104:27-30)
3. Job tells us the Spirit of God made him and gives him life (Job. 33:4; cf. Gen. 2:7)
B. The Holy Spirit and the Life of the Old Testament Believer
1. The Spirit set apart Joseph in the eyes of the Pharaoh to be raised up to power for God's purposes of preserving Israel (Gen. 41:37-38).
2. The Spirit uniquely enabled men for craftmanship and special skills
- God filled men with His Spirit with the supernatural ability to craft the construction of the tabernacle and all of its elements (Ex. 31:1-3; 35:30-36:1)
3. Isaiah later attested that God's Spirit whom Israel grieved by their sin was in their midst throughout the time of Moses to work miracles, provide comfort and lead the people (Isa. 63:10-14).
4. The Spirit instructed and convicted His people during their 40 yr. wandering
- The Levites attested that God used His Spirit to both instruct (Neh. 9:20) and warn Israel during their wandering in the desert (Neh. 9:30).
5. The Spirit enabled Moses and 70 elders to bear Israel's burdens (Num. 11:17, 25)
6. The Spirit filled Joshua with a spirit of wisdom to lead Israel (Num. 27:18; Deut. 34:9)
7. Spirit prepared the judges to manage the nation of Israel
a) The Spirit was said to be upon both Othniel and Jephthah (Judg. 3:10; 11:29)
b) Gideon was said to be clothed by the Spirit (Judg. 6:34)
c) The Spirit of God stirred in Samson (Judg. 13:25) and then rushed upon him to tear apart a lion with his bare hands (Judg. 14:6), to strike down thirty men (Judg. 14:19), to break new ropes and then strike down 1,000 men with a donkey's jawbone (Judg. 15:14-17).
d) The Spirit departed Samson after He broke the Nazirite vow (Judg. 16:20)
8. The Spirit enabled the kings to rule Israel
a) Saul was anointed with the Spirit to rule over Israel (1 Sam. 10:1-10; 11:6)
b) When David was anointed King the Spirit of God came mightily upon him; the Spirit then departed from Saul (1 Sam. 16:13-14)
c) After David was confronted with his sin, he feared that God would remove His Spirit from him; he feared the same fate as Saul (Ps. 51:11).
d) David desired to do the will of God and be led by the Spirit (Ps. 143:10).
9. The Spirit spoke through the prophets
a) David claimed to speak his last words by the Spirit of God (2 Sam. 23:2).
- Jesus claimed that David spoke by the Spirit (Matt. 22:43-44).
b) Micah claimed to be filled with power and the Spirit of LORD to declare of Israel's sin (Micah 3:8).
c) Haggai and Zechariah prophetically encouraged the disheartened leaders of Israel (Zerubbabel -governor of Judah and Joshua -the high priest) by stating that God's presence was abiding in their midst so that they could complete the impossible task of rebuilding the temple (Hag. 2:1-5; Zech. 4:6).
d) Paul claimed that Isaiah spoke by the Spirit (Acts 28:25-27)
e) The writer of Hebrews claimed that Jeremiah spoke by the Spirit (Heb.10:15-17).
f) Peter taught that no prophecy of Scripture originates with man but instead God spoke through men (i.e. prophets) as they were carried along (analogous to a ship being carried by the wind) by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet.1:20-21; cf. Acts 27:15).
C. The O.T. Ministry of Heart Circumcision (i.e. Regeneration)
1. God commanded them to "circumcise" their hearts (Deut. 10:15-16)
2. God promises that He will "circumcise" their hearts and their descendents' hearts to enable them to love Him (Deut. 30:6).
3. God circumcised or regenerated the fallen heart of His people for obedience
4. Without regeneration, all would be continually evil all the time (cf. Gen. 6:5).
D. The Foretelling of the New Covenant Ministry of the Holy Spirit
1. Isaiah prophesies that God will pour out His Spirit on Israel (Isa. 44:3).
2. Jeremiah prophesies that God will put His law within them on their heart (Jer.31:33) and will give them one heart so that they may fear (Jer. 32:39).
3. Ezekiel prophesies that God will give them one heart and a new spirit; He will remove the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh (Ezek. 11:19); He will put His Spirit with us to cause us to walk in His ways (Ezek. 36:26-27).
4. Ezekiel also promises that God will not hide His face from them when he pours out His Spirit (Ezek. 39:29).
5. Joel prophesies that God will pour out His Spirit on mankind and it will be evidenced by prophesy, dreams and visions (Joel 2:28-29; cf. Num. 11:29; Acts 2:17-18).
1. God specially anointed (aka. Theocratic Anointing) some men throughout the Old
Testament to enable them to function as a mediator between God and Israel.
2. The Spirit uniquely enabled certain individuals for the service to His people, not their own benefit.
3. This ministry of the Spirit could be sovereignly given and could be taken away just as suddenly.
4. It appears as if O.T. believers were circumcised or regenerated in heart by the Spirit but were not permanently indwelt by the Spirit.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST (The Gospel of Luke)
A. Isaiah prophesied that Christ would have the Spirit
1. The Spirit would rest upon Christ with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might and knowledge (Isa. 11:1-3)
2. The Spirit would be within Christ to bring justice to the nations (Isa. 42:1-4; Matt.12:17-21)
3. The Spirit would anoint Christ to bring good news (Isa. 61:1-2; cf. Luke 4:14-18)
B. The Holy Spirit was personally involved in the Virgin Birth (Lk. 1:35; Matt. 1:18; 20)
C. The Holy Spirit empowered and directed Jesus throughout His Earthly Life
1. The Spirit bore witness to Jesus' identity and anointed Him at His baptism (Luke 3:21-22 cf. Matt. 3:16; Jn. 1:32-34; cf. Acts 4:27; 10:38; Heb. 1:9)
2. Jesus was full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit (Lk. 4:1)
3. Jesus ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14-21; Isa. 6:1-2)
a) Jesus preached good news to the poor by the Spirit's power
b) Jesus gave sight to the blind by the Spirit's power
c) Jesus, at times, cast out demons by the Spirit (Matt. 12:28)
D. Jesus rejoiced with the Holy Spirit as He saw the Father's plan unfold (Luke 10:21)
E. The Holy Spirit enabled Christ to offer Himself without spot to God (Heb. 9:14)
F. The Holy Spirit was involved in raising Christ from the dead (Rom. 8:11; 1 Pet. 3:18)
IV. THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (The Gospel of John)
A. John the Baptist testified that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit (John 1:32-34)
- This is most likely not speaking of water baptism but the Spirit's cleansing
B. Jesus told Nicodemous that one must be "born again" by the Spirit (John 3:1-8)
C. Just like a good father, God the Father promised to give the Holy Spirit richly to those who asked (Luke 11:13; John 3:34)
D. Jesus promises that the Spirit will satisfy the thirsty (John 7:37-39)
- The New Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit will be lasting
E. Jesus promises that the Spirit will arrive after His departure (John 14-16)
1. Jesus states that a love for Him will be evidenced by obedience (John 14:15)
2. Jesus then promises to give a counselor similar to Himself (John 14:16)
3. The Spirit will live with them forever, unlike Jesus (John 14:16c, 18)
4. The Spirit will teach them all things (Jn. 14:26; cf. Lk. 12:12)
5. The Spirit is given to enable abiding obedience (John 15:1-8)
6. The Spirit will testify to them of Jesus (Jn. 15:26; cf. Rom. 8:16; 1 Pet. 1:11)
7. The Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (Jn. 16:8-11)
8. The Spirit will guide and lead into all truth (Jn. 16:13; cf. Rom. 8:14)
F. Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem to be clothed with power from the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:5, 8)
V. THE SPIRIT'S ARRIVAL AND WORK THROUGH THE APOSTLES (The Book of Acts)
A. Jesus stated that the disciples would be baptized by the Spirit was imminent (Acts 1:5)
B. Jesus reminded His disciples that they would receive power from the Spirit enabling them to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)
C. The Arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:4, 38; cf. Acts 11:15-16)
1. The Spirit marked His arrival through tongues of fire and by causing people to speak in tongues (Acts 2:3-4)
2. Peter affirmed this supernatural phenomenon as being from God by quoting the prophet Joel (Acts 2:17-18; cf. Joel 2:28-29).
3. Peter promised that those who repented and were baptized would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
D. The Work of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles and Early Church
1. Peter was filled with the Spirit to preach the gospel to the Jews (Acts 4:8).
2. The Holy Spirit filled believers when they prayed enabling them to be a bold gospel witness (Acts 4:31-35).
a) As the believers prayed the Holy Spirit filled them (v. 31)
b) The Spirit supernaturally brought unity of heart and mind (v. 32a)
c) The Spirit supernaturally caused selflessness of possessions (v. 32b-35)
d) Ananias and Sapphira were killed for resisting the Spirit's work (Acts 5:1-11).
3. The apostles looked for men full of the Holy Spirit to take care of the needs within the church (Acts 6:1-6).
4. Stephen was empowered by the Spirit to preach the gospel boldly and die a martyr's death of stoning (Acts 6:10; 7:1-60).
5. The Holy Spirit spreads the gospel to the ends of the earth
a) The Spirit spread the gospel beyond Jerusalem to Samaria (Acts 8:14-17).
b) The Spirit led Philip to share the gospel with the Ethiopian Eunuch who took the gospel to Africa -the ends of the earth (Acts 8:26-29; 34-40).
c) The Spirit converted the most unlikely convert, Saul, and later enabled him to be one of the most powerful missionaries ever (Acts 9:17-19).
d) The gift of the Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles in the exact same way He was poured out on the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 10:44-48; 11:17-18; 15:8-9).
e) The Holy Spirit led the church at Antioch while they were praying and fasting to set apart Barnabas and Saul as missionaries (Acts 13:1-4).
6. The Holy Spirit in the life of Paul
a) Paul proclaimed the gospel boldly by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:9)
b) Paul was forbidden by the Spirit to speak the gospel in Asia, was prevented by the Spirit to go to Bithynia and was finally led to Europe- the ends of the earth (Acts 16:6-10).
c) Paul was resolved by the Spirit to take the gospel to Rome (Acts 19:21).
d) The Spirit led Paul back to Jerusalem and testified that in every city imprisonment and afflictions await him (Acts 20:22-23).
A. The Holy Spirit was given to cause obedience
a. God supernaturally enabled leaders like Moses and Joshua, the judges, kings and prophets to align His people to His purposes.
b. Old Covenant Ministry of the Holy Spirit was insufficient to align God's people
c. New Covenant Ministry would be marked by the ongoing presence of the H.S.
B. Obedience and our Gospel Witness is entirely dependent upon the Spirit (Gal. 2:20-3:3)
a. I have been crucified. I am dead, the evidence of life I see in me is Christ (2:20-21)
b. Our salvation started with the work of the Holy Spirit (3:1-2; cf. John 3:3-8)
c. Our salvation is continued not by human effort but by the power of Spirit (3:3)