The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
God, the Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is equally as active as God the Father and God the Son.There is much to know about Him. This study will only skim the surface.
First, let us see that the Holy Spirit is involved in regeneration. The account of Nicodemus in John 3:1-7 shows us that. Starting at verse 4, we read “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Christ is saying here that the Holy Spirit is the One that regenerates. He brings about a spiritual renovation in a person’s life. Titus 3:5 tells us, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. It is the third person of the Trinity that is primarily responsible for the new birth.
You Must Be Born Again
The phrase “born again” actually means to be born anew. It comes from a Greek word that means “from the first”, or “from the beginning. It can accurately be translated, “the beginning born in you”. Of course, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, is described in Revelation as the beginning. When one is born again, it is the Beginning, Jesus Christ being born in him.
This brings about a different nature. This is not a change in the old nature, but the beginning of a new nature. It is the coming of Christ’s nature in us. Because the new nature is eternal, eternal life now exists in us as the eternal Christ comes to live in us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Before leaving John 3, I would like to mention quickly that the “water” referred to in verse five does not refer to baptism. Remember, that the Scripture is its own best commentary. Verse six tells us exactly what Christ meant by referring to “water”. He is talking about a physical birth here. When a baby is born, water is shed from within, and that which is “flesh” IS flesh. That which is Spirit IS spirit.
Jesus says in John 14:15-18, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you”.
n this church age, the Holy Spirit takes up his dwelling in each born againbeliever. Notice no less than five times the Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” or “Him”. Unlike the cults that would consider the Holy Spirit to be just a force like wind or water power, the Bible sets the record straight. The Holy Spirit is a person, a “He”. Actually, He is the third person of the Trinity. He has all the attributes of God, the Father, and God, the Son. He has all the power that they have. He is co-eternal and coequal with them. Compare Acts 5:3 and 4. “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? …thou has not lied unto to men, but unto God. Here, God the Father is equated with the God the Holy Ghost.
I Corinthians 12:4-6 also mentions the Godhead at work. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it the same God which worketh in all”. It is the Holy Spirit that gives the gifts. It is Christ that determines how that gift will be used. It is God, the Father that will give the results.
Suppose that someone has the gift of exhortation. It is the Holy Spirit that gives that gift. Let us suppose that this individual uses the gift of exhortation in counseling. It was Christ that determined the counseling position. Let us suppose that the one being counseled gets the help he needs. It was God, the Father that gave the results.
The Holy Spirit is the bestower of power. The disciples, in Acts 1:5 were told to “…wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” What is this promise? Luke 24:49 says, “And behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, ubtin ye be endued with power from on high.” The disciples were specifically waiting in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to descend. When He came He would bring His power. Remember that Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that all power was given unto Him. The Holy Spirit is equal to the second person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is our guide. Notice in Luke 4:1, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Paul wrote to the Galatians in chapter 5:16-26 that we are to walk in the Spirit (verse 16), be led of the Spirit (verse 18), and to live in the Spirit (verse 25).
If we are walking in the Spirit, you can be sure that the Holy Spirit is leading. As we make a habit of walking in the Spirit and being led by the Spirit, it will become a lifestyle and we will be living in the Spirit. When we are being led by the Spirit, we will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit listed in verses 22 and 23.
Other Activities of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit can be grieved by our misactions. Ephesians 5:30 tells us, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” When we do what God does not want us to do, we grieve the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, in His Word, tells us not to harm our bodies, as they are the temples of the Holy Ghost. Actually, Romans 8:9 shows that the Godhead lives within us. If we transgress that commandment and harm our bodies through the use of cigarettes or alcohol, the Spirit is grieved. In other words, grieving the Holy Spirit takes place when we choose to do what He says not to do - sins of comission
We can also quench the Holy Spirit. I Thessalonians 5:19 clearly forbids this. “Quench not the Spirit.” We quench the Spirit when we refuse to do what He wants us to do. The Holy Spirit may whisper to us in that still, small voice, “Go witness to that man.” We may decide he looks too mean, or he would not be interested. We may come with a million other excuses, but we quenched the Spirit by refusing to follow His leading. Quenching involves us not doing what we should do - sins of omission.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26), shows us that the Holy Spirit is active in our prayer life. Romans 8:28 tells us “...that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Our hearts are deceitful and wrong attitudes, wrong emotions may cause us to pray improperly. The Holy Spirit will interpret our prayers in a right way. The term “helpeth our infirmities” means to “cooperate with our weakness”. In our frailty, the Holy Spirit takes over to assure that God’s best will be accomplished.
The Holy Spirit is by our side as we witness. It is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that brings the new birth about as we looked at earlier, but it is the same Holy Spirit that should be guiding and directing us as we give out His Word. II Timothy 2:16 mentions all Scripture is given by inspiration. God literally breathed His Word to man. II Peter 1:20, 21 shares the same idea as holy men spoke as they were led by the Holy Spirit.
As we take the Word of God (written by the Holy Spirit) and seek to have Him lead us as we speak it, He will. The Holy Spirit in us will speak His word to others as we allow Him the freedom to do so. When someone rejects the Gospel message, please know that it is not you they reject, but the God of the message that you bring.
When someone accepts the Gospel message, please know that you had nothing to do with it. It was the Holy Spirit as He moved through you as you gave His Word that affected the sinner. Salvation is totally the work of God. Trust God, the Holy Spirit to do His work, and people will come to Christ.
So we see that the Holy Spirit is completely involved in the life of the believer. The believer ought to be completely involved in the life of the Holy Spirit.