BASICS • Part 7 – The Holy Spirit

I.   INTRODUCTION • Acts 5

A.  Is It Real?

1.   I hold in my hand, a CD; it’s the new delirious? CD “glo” – at least that’s what the label says

2.   It declares itself to be music by the group from England

3.   But how do I know it is what it claims to be?

4.   It might be blank – or it might be Willie Nelson’s Greatest hits or Wayne Newton does Led Zeppelin covers

5.   How can I know that this is really “glo?”

6.   I have to put it into a CD player and listen, and when I do I discover that indeed, the music of delirious is on here - it’s them singing and playing

7.   In the same way, there are many people who walk around with the label “Christian” on them

8.   But how do we know they’re the real thing?  What is it that makes them the genuine article?

9.   It’s the presence of the Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer that makes him or her a Christian

B.  Today

1.   This is Part 7 of our BASICS series we’re doing on Sunday mornings

2.   After today we have just a couple more weeks to go

3.   But today we’re taking a look at the Holy Spirit

4.   We’ll be examining His personality and deity as well as His ministry

II.  THE PERSONALITY AND DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

A.  The Problem

1.   One of the identifying marks of a cult is their rejection of the Trinity

2.   Where the cults often go wrong is that they feel compelled to explain everything and clear up what the Bible leaves as a mystery

3.   For instance, the Bible crystal clear that there is only one God!

a.   Deut 6:4 is the motto  and foundational truth for Judaism

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

b.   the first of the 10 Commandments is, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

4.   The Bible is clear on this – there is only one God

5.   But it is equally clear that there are three Persons who comprise this one God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

6.   For that reason, orthodox believers for 2000 years have believed in the doctrine of the Trinity, which states, God is one in essence but three in person.

7.   This doctrine of the Trinity provokes the cults who set about to dismantle it.

8.   They usually do so by affirming the deity of the Father, but then lessening the status of the Son and the Spirit

a.   they turn Jesus into nothing more than a mere mortal, or maybe an angel

b.   and they twist the Holy Spirit into merely an impersonal force; they make the Holy Spirit out to be God’s influence, but not God Himself.

9.   We’ve already well established the dual nature of Christ in our study two Sundays ago

10. Today we want to see that the Holy Spirit is both a Person and God

B.  The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit • Acts 5

1.   There’s a story in the book of Acts that speaks powerfully to both the Personhood and Deity of the Holy Spirit

2.   It’s a story about a man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira and a bit of deception they attempted to bring in to the Church

3.   Let me briefly set the scene before we begin reading . . .

a.   this takes place in the earliest days of the church in Jerusalem

b.   thousands have been won to faith in Christ and the Church is growing dramatically

c.   not just in numbers but in the quality of the lives these new believers are living

d.   so intense was the ministry of the Holy Spirit among them that a deep and profound love for one another was revolutionizing their community

e.   we read at the end of ch. 4 that people were turning their savings over to the Apostles and asking that the funds be used to make sure the poor and needy were being taken care of

f.    people who had extra homes and property were selling them and doing the same thing

g.   the love that Jesus had said would be the distinguishing mark they were His people, was in abundant evidence

h.   as people would offer their savings and proceeds from the sale of lands, praise went up to God from the entire church, and those who gave were recognized as being generous & touched by the power of GOd

i.    well, along came Ananias and Sapphira – they had some land too

1) whereas the others had been motivated to give out of a pure motive of love

2) these two saw the recognition the others got and lusted for it

1          But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.

2          And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3) Ananias & Sapphira decided to secretly keep part of the money for themselves; and that was fine because it was their money and they could do whatever they wanted to with it – the problem was when they brought the rest as an offering, they said it was the whole amount!

4) but his deception didn’t pass . . .

3          But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

5) note that!  Peter said that Ananias had lied,   to who?    The Holy Spirit

6) can you lie to an impersonal force? No, because a force is mindless and amoral

7) you can only lie to a person; someone with intellect and will

8) but notice what Peter goes on to say . . .

4          While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

9) in v. 3, Peter said that Ananias had lied to who? The Holy Spirit

10) now in v. 4, who does he say he’s lied to?  God

j.    This short passage boldly asserts both the Personality and the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

4.   There are so many other ways in which scripture reveals the personality and deity of the Spirit.

5.   Let me mention just a couple more . . .

a.   in scripture, the Holy Spirit is never referred to as an it, but rather He

b.   and this is unusual because in the Greek language, the word spirit is neuter

1) as I’m sure most are familiar with, many languages see nouns as being either masculine or feminine, with a few leftovers as neuter

2) Spanish does this, and when you speak Spanish, you have to make sure all the adjectives and pronouns you use agree with the noun

3) so we say, “la casa” not “el casa” or “los burritos” not “las burritos”

4) if you mixed masculine adjectives with feminine nouns, you’d be considered an uncultured and illiterate barbarian

c.   in Greek, the word spirit is neuter and any pronoun associated with it has to be neuter as well – IT!

d.   but over and over we find the Holy Spirit being called He.  John 16:13-15

13        When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

14        He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

15        All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

e.   10 times in 3 verses Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as He

1) to the Greek ear this would be as jarring as saying “el casa” or “las ninos”

f.    John 16 is just one example of the many times the Holy Spirit is referred to by a masculine personal pronoun

g.   consider this verse – Acts 13:2

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

1) does an impersonal force answer a request made of God?

2) does an impersonal force refer to itself as “Me?”

3) does an impersonal force commission the servants of God to their life’s calling?

4) no, no, and no!

6.   We’ve only barely scratched the surface, but even from this it’s clear that the Bible reveals the Holy Spirit as both a person and God.

7.   In your handout are some passages for further study on the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit

III. THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

A.  John 16:7-15

1.   The ministry of the Holy Spirit is another subject that could occupy our attention for many hours

2.   Once again I have to condense this down to just a few thoughts

3.   The best place to begin is with John 16, in which Jesus tells the disciples about the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives . . .

John 16:7-15

7          Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

4.   Jesus has just told them that He is soon to leave them

a.   they express dismay and reluctance to accept this news

b.   but now He tells them that it is actually to their advantage that He depart

c.   the advantage His leaving yields is the coming of someone Jesus calls the Helper

5.   If we put ourselves with the disciple round that table as they listened to Jesus speak these words we might find ourselves thinking the very thoughts they were.

a.   we ask ourselves, “What could possibly be better than having Jesus right here by my side?”

b.   the only answer is -- To have Jesus in here! [point to heart]

6.   You see, prior to His death and resurrection, Jesus could only be “with” the disciples.

a.   but after His resurrection, He would send the Helper to come to dwell, not with, but in them.

b.   Jesus had spoken of this a bit earlier;     in John 14:16-18 we read . . .

16        I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

17        the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

18        I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

a.   Jesus has been telling them that He is leaving, returning to the Father, but here He says He will not leave them alone – He will come again to them.

b.   and the verb tense He uses means He will come to them to stay with them

c.   How will He come to stay with them if He is also going away?

d.   through the presence of the Helper, the one who will come and abide with them forever.

e.   notice how Jesus describes this Helper – He says He is another Helper.

1) this word another means another of the same kind

2) not someone fundamentally different, but of the same kind, just like Jesus Himself

f.    Jesus calls Him the Spirit of Truth and says that this Spirit has been with them, but will be in them

g.   the Holy Spirit was with them in the Person of Jesus, but once Jesus rose from the dead, the Spirit was sent to them so that instead of merely being alongside them in the Person of Christ, He indwelt them

h.   this is why Jesus says He will not leave them alone like orphans; He will come to them and indwell them through the Life of the Spirit, who is just like Jesus!

7.   The word we see translated as Helper, is the Greek word is “Paraclete

a.   it’s a title given to someone who takes your side and offers whatever assistance is need

b.   different English translations render this word a multitude of ways

1) Comforter

2) Advocate

3) or as we find it in the NKJV, Helper

8.   Just as Jesus had been their everything for the 3 years they followed Him, so the Holy Spirit would now be their everything for the rest of their lives.

9.   Jesus goes on in John 16 to describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit . . .

8          And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9          of sin, because they do not believe in Me;

10        of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;

11        of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

10. After Jesus’ mission was finished, it became the duty of the Holy Spirit to apply that mission to the hearts and lives of men and women

a.   he does this through the work of conviction

b.   He convicts the world of their sin and shows them they do not measure up to the standard of God’s righteousness, and that if they don’t repent and come to faith in Christ they will be judged

c.   we could call what Jesus describes here as the Holy Spirit’s work of conversion

d.   it is only by the Spirit’s work of revealing our sin and it’s deplorable consequences that a man, woman or child can be saved.

1) no one is ever argued into heaven

2) salvation doesn’t common merely by a powerful and overwhelmingly logical presentation of the gospel

3) conversion is a supernatural work of the Spirit of God who turns dead sinners into living saints

4) He opens our pride-blinded eyes and reveals the corruption of our sinful ways

5) He shows us that we cannot save ourselves but must cast ourselves on Christ in complete trust

6) and then, the moment we by faith alone trust in Jesus, He sweeps into us with all His fullness and effects a radical change

7) in John 3, Jesus calls this being born again

8) the entrance of the Spirit into the human spirit imparts spiritual life where there was none before

11. And that, my friends is THE difference between the genuine believer and all the rest of humanity, whether they wear the label of Christian or not

a.   the true Christian is one who has been born again by the entrance of the Holy Spirit

b.   he or she is indwelt by the Spirit of God

c.   that’s what Jesus meant in John 14 when He said to the disciples, “He is with you, but will be IN you.”

1) the Holy Spirit was with them in the person of Christ

2) but it took the death of Christ on the cross to effect the means of our salvation,

3) then His resurrection insures the presence of the Spirit to apply that salvation by indwelling us with His Life.

4) Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead to give us new life

12. But the Spirit does even more as we read on . . .

12        “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

13        However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

13. Jesus had more truth, more lessosn to teach the disciples, but their little hearts and minds were full and could take no more

a.   so Jesus promised that when the Spirit came, He would continue the teaching ministry of Jesus

b.   as the Spirit of Truth, He would progressively share that truth as they needed it

c.   and indeed, this is exactly what we see in the Book of Acts as the Church had to deal with different problems.

d.   God revealed to the Apostles the fullness of the Gospel which we find in the rest of the books of the NT

14. But it’s in v. 14 that we find the real heart, the real core of the ministry of the Holy Spirit

14        He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

15        All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He £will take of Mine and declare it to you.

15. The basic goal of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ!

a.   everything He does is aimed at this one thing

b.   the Glory of Christ is His mission and ministry

1) His goal in convicting the world of sin is to what end?  Glorify Christ!

2) His role as teacher and guide is to what end?  To teach people about and bring them to Christ!

16. I find this fascinating:

a.   When the Father wanted to reveal Himself to mankind, what did He do?  He sent the Son!

b.   When the Son wants to reveal Himself to His followers today, what does He do?  He sends the Spirit!

c.   when the Spirit comes, who does He glorify and promote?  Jesus!

d.   when Jesus comes, who does He glorify and promote? The Father!

e.   such humility! Even in the Godhead!

17. There is so much attention given to the Holy Spirit in some circles today

a.   there seems a preoccupation in some Charismatic and Pentecostal groups with the moving of the Spirit

b.   these groups are so focused on looking for the evidence of the Spirit that they seem to have forgotten what the Spirit’s goal is – to Glorify Christ!

c.   He does not move or work to draw attention to Himself.

d.   His whole work is aimed at drawing people to Jesus and exalting Him

e.   consequently, He is grieved when the attention is placed on Him to the exclusion of the glory of Christ

18. Look at John 15:26 . . .

“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.”

19. I think it very important that we understand this about the ministry of the Holy Spirit because it seems so badly abused today

20. Jesus said the Helper, the Holy Spirit, would testify, or bear witness to Christ.

21. This then becomes a good test for what people claim is the moving of the Spirit of God, doesn’t it?

a.   we ought to be able to look at something and know if the Spirit is genuinely in it by whether or not attention is being given to Jesus

b.   does this draw people to Christ?

c.   does this look, sound, and feel like Christ?

B.  2 Corinthians 3:18

1.   Once the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, He then embarks on a mission of conforming us to the Image of Christ

2.   This is another way that He brings glory to Jesus; He progressively matures us in spiritual things so that we become more and more like the Lord in our moral character

3.   We see this in 2 Corinthians 3:18

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

a.   the Apostle Paul is saying that now that we are born again and indwelt by the Spirit of Truth, the veil that blinded us to God has been taken away

b.   now we actually see the truth, not perfectly because we are still in these fallen bodies and await the final redemption

c.   we see things now, as in an old-fashioned metal-mirror

d.   and as we live this life, seeing something of the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed by the Spirit of God into that same image -

e.   progressively taking on more and more of the actual moral character an excellence that is Christ’s

4.   Last week as we examined the subject of salvation, I said that as we stand in Christ before God, He sees us clothed with the Righteousness of Christ – That is our legal POSITION before God

5.   But there is also the daily and PRACTICAL behavior that more or less aligns with the Righteousness of Christ

6.   While our position before God is Perfectly Righteous, practically we are growing in righteousness as we grow in Christ: We could say it this way . . .

a.   faith in Christ results in being POSITIONALLY RIGHTEOUS before God

b.   and being positionally righteous will ultimately result in our being PRACTICALLY RIGHTEOUS before the world

7.   The agent of this change is who?  The Holy Spirit!

8.   The specific flavors of this Practical Righteousness are listed in the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

C.  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

1.   There is one more ministry of the Holy Spirit that I want to look at with you this morning

2.   It’s a relationship to the Holy Spirit that in most cases comes after being born again

3.   Remember how we read in John 14: 17 that Jesus said the Holy Spirit was with them but would be in them?

a.   He was with them in the person of Christ prior to the resurrection,

b.   but in them after the resurrection

c.   let me show you when this actually took place – turn to John 20:19-22

19   Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

20   When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

21   So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

22   And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

4.   This is after His resurrection and the first time he appeared to most of the disciples

a.   they were spooked when He suddenly just appeared in the room with them

b.   so he moves quickly to calm their fright with a word of peace

c.   then he does something very interesting – He breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

d.   keep in mind that some of the last words He had spoken with them a few days before were of this very thing, and now, here He is telling them the time has come to receive what was promised.

e.   the word “receive” is in the form of a present command!

f.    in other words, Jesus is literally imparting the Holy Spirit to them at this moment.

g.   this is the point at which they are born again and the Spirit of God comes to indwell them

h.   the evidence that this is the point at which they are born again is found in Luke 24:44-45

44        Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

45        And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

i.    v. 45 is the clincher – in 1 Corinthians 2, Paul tells us that apart from the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the things of God

j.    this is why so many people who try reading the bible give up so quickly; it seems like nothing more than confusing religious words

k.   but the minute they are born again, the Bible, which was so difficult before suddenly becomes a treasure trove of truth and spiritual riches

l.    think about the disciples prior to this – they had spent over three years following Jesus and it seems that most of the time they were pretty clueless about what He was saying

m.  they misunderstood Him at every turn

n.   but now, here, Luke says Jesus “opened their understanding” and they finally understood everything the Scriptures had to say about Christ and His mission.

o.   how did He open their understanding? He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell them – they are now born again.

p.   they couldn’t be up to this point because Jesus hadn’t gone to the cross yet

5.   Yet despite the fact that they are now born again and indwelt by the Spirit of God, Jesus tells them there’s more: Look at Luke 24:49 . . .

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

6.   Luke repeats this in Acts 1 where we read  . . .

4    And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;

5    for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6    Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7    And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

8    But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

7.   Note carefully the prepositions Jesus has used to speak of the ministry of the Holy Spirit

a.   John 14:18 – He is with you and shall be in you

b.   but now in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8 – the Holy Spirit will be what? – upon you.

8.   Remember, when Jesus spoke these words to the disciples, the Holy Spirit was already IN them, but here He speaks of the Holy Spirit coming UPON them and their receiving power to be His witnesses

9.   Jesus said this would take place in a few days when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit

10. Let me use an illustration to describe the difference between these three prepositions describing the Spirit’s relationship to us: Pitcher, glass and water

11. John 7: 37-38

[Jesus said] “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.   He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

12. A few days later, on the day of Pentecost, a Jewish feast which celebrates the harvest, the Holy Spirit came upon those first believers, about 120 in all, and they were so moved by the power of God they began to declare the praises of God in languages that were not their native tongues.

a.   a crowd quickly gathered from the many Jewish pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast

b.   then Peter stood and boldly preached the Gospel – some 3,000 responded and came to faith in Christ.

III. CONCLUSION

A.  Have You Been Baptized With The Holy Spirit?

1.   I want to end with a question this morning – Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit?

2.   Maybe you’re one who’s come to faith in Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God indwells you –

3.   Great – but have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Has the power of God come upon you?

4.   Do you find that you serve as a vital witness of Jesus Christ?

5.   Does your life and lifestyle draw others to the Savior?

6.   Those first disciples simply did what Jesus said

a.   He told them to wait till the promise of the Father came upon them

b.   they waited, and prayed, expecting the Spirit to come because Jesus said He would

c.   they had to wait till the Day of Pentecost because it was a prophetic fulfillment of another of the Jewish feasts which all point to Jesus

7.   You and I don’t have to wait today – we just need to ask, and God will fill us and baptize us in the Holy Spirit.

8.   Like every gift of God, it’s something that we appropriate by faith.

9.   Listen to what Jesus said about this in Luke 11:9-13

9          “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

10        For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

11        If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

12        Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13        If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

10. Simply ask my friends, and receive by faith.

B.  My Testimony Of Receiving The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit

1.   [Tell story]

2.   The evidence not tongues as some contend

3.   The gifts of the Spirit are indeed available today because Jesus is still building His Church

4.   But these things are not THE Evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit

a.   Jesus is clear in Acts 1:8

b.   the evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit is power to be a vital witness of Jesus Christ where ever we are

C.  Not One Time!

1.   Also, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t a one-time thing

2.   As Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, we are to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit

D.  Who Wants To Be More Like Jesus?