What I Believe – Lesson 8

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What I Believe

The Holy Spirit

Apostle Creed

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and was buried. The third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”

Article 4—Of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

As we come to the next article in the study of what Methodist believe, we must first understand that this will be a brief study on the Holy Spirit.  We could spend countless hours on Scriptures that deal with the ministry, characteristics, and purpose of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.

We are living in the age of the Holy Spirit.  When you look into the Scriptures, you will notice that God the Father was the prominent figure in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the prominent figure in the Gospels.  However, when you look into the book of Acts dealing with the church, the Holy Spirit is the prominent one.

Christ tells us that when He returns back to Heaven, He will send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Tonight, we want to have a brief overview of the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 4:4–7 ESV “4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” 

Romans 8:15–17 ESV “8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” 

Who is the Holy Spirit?

He is the closest person of the Trinity

He is the God that is the nearest.  He is the God that is living within your hearts when you accept Christ as your saviour.  He is the One who is speaking to our hearts rebuking of our evil thoughts and deeds.  He is the One who testifies with our spirit that we are a child of God.

2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 

He is the One that was sent by Christ

John 14:16–18 ESV “14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

14:18 ¶ “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” 

John 16:7–13 ESV “16:7 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 go, I will send him to you.

16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;

16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;

16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

16:12 ¶ “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” 

Holy Spirit will come after the Son is glorified

Notice in verse 7 that the Holy Spirit would not come until Jesus Christ was glorified.  When the Holy Spirit came, it would signify that the work of Christ was perfect and complete.

John 7:39 ESV “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Holy Spirit’s Mission to the world

Look at verse 8.

16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

Convict the world for its sin – verse 8

16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;

Reprove the world of sin – the greatest sin in the world is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Look down to verse 9.  His work is to reprove men of their refusal to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reprove the world of righteousness – His work is to show the world that man’s self righteousness is but a filthy rag in the sight of the holiness of God.  He is to show the world that man can not be saved by his own goodness.

Isaiah 64:6 ESV “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”.

16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Reprove the world of judgment – His work is to show the world that their refusal to accept Christ as their saviour will bring the judgment of God upon them.

John 3:18 ESV “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” 

Holy Spirit’s mission to the church

John 16:13 ESV “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

 

1.  Holy Spirit is a guide to all truth

The Holy Spirit is the guide for the church into truth.  If the church (true) is to know the truth, they must know it through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  It is the Spirit of God that leads the children of God to the truth.

Pilate asked the great question, “What is truth?”  The answer was standing before him, Christ is the truth.  The Holy Spirit points us to the truth, which is Christ.

2.  Holy Spirit reveals the things of Christ to the church

John 16:14–15 ESV “16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Holy Spirit points us to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord Jesus Christ pointed us to God the Father.  He shows us the things of Christ found in the Scriptures.

Holy Spirit is God, Third Person of the Trinity

Is the Holy Spirit truly God?  Or, is He an impersonal force used by the Father to accomplish His will?  Consider the following proofs that the Holy Spirit is indeed the Lord, the third person of the Trinity.

Divine Names of the Holy Spirit

Spirit of God –  1 Cor 2:11 clearly shows that He is the Lord by the use of the personal name.

In Romans 8:9-11, all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned.

Romans 8:9–11 ESV “8:9 ¶ You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

Holy Spirit used in Acts 16:6-7

Acts 16:6–7 ESV “16:6 ¶ And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.

16:7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”.

 

Divine Attributes of the Holy Spirit

1. Life in Romans 8:2 is attributed to the Spirit.

Romans 8:2 ESV “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

2. Omniscience – 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 is shown in the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10–12 ESV “2:10 ¶ these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”

3. Omnipotence – Job 33:4 shows the Spirit of the Lord in the creation. 

Job 33:4 ESV “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” 

4. Omnipresence of the Spirit is shown in Psalms 139:7-10

Psalm 139:7–10 ESV “139:7 ¶ Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

139:8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

139:9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

139:10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

5. Eternal nature of the Holy Spirit is shown in Hebrews 9:14 

Hebrews 9:14 ESV “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

6. Holiness of the Holy Spirit is shown in Matthew 12:32.

Matthew 12:32 ESV “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” 

7. Love of the Holy Spirit is shown in Galatians 5:22

Galatians 5:22–23 ESV “5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

 

8. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is shown in 1 Corinthians 3:16

1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV “¶ Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

Divine Personality of the Holy Spirit

Christ Jesus always refers to the Holy Spirit in the personal sense using He, Him, His, etc.  Other passages in the New Testament refer to the person of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Acts 2:1–4 ESV “2:1 ¶ When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.

2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

2:3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.

2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The Holy Spirit came to the church on the day of Pentecost and rested on the hearts of the men and women who knew the Lord as their saviour.  They were blessed because the Comforter had come.

Acts 1:8 ESV “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”” 

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the church has become a witness to the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of God is shed abroad, through all the churches.  It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we experience the Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts and come to know the Lord as our saviour.

What did the Holy Spirit do for the early church?

Acts 2:1–8 ESV “2:1 ¶ When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.

2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

2:3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.

2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

2:5 ¶ Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.

2:6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.

2:7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?”

Together in one accord

Loved the place of prayer – Acts 1:14

Acts 1:14 ESV “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” 

Love was evident in the life of the Believers  

Romans 5:5 ESV “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Filled with the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:4 ESV “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” 

Conclusion

I believe in the Holy Spirit.  I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I believe in the transforming of the Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit and let the Spirit produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

Galatians 5:22 ESV “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” 

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