by Dustin Shramek
I. The Holy Spirit is God.
A. The Holy Spirit is a person.
- John 16:13-14.
- How is the personhood of the Holy Spirit made evident here?
- Some object by saying that the Greek word for spirit is pnuema, which is a neuter noun. They also point out that grammar would then demand that the pronoun be neuter. John, however, uses a masculine pronoun (ekeinos) when referring to the Spirit. He broke the rules of traditional grammar. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is a person and John was making that abundantly clear by using a masculine pronoun.
- What personal acts does the Holy Spirit do in this verse?
- How is the personhood of the Holy Spirit made evident here?
- What does the Spirit possess that shows Him to be a person (Romans 8:27; also 1 Corinthians 12:11; Acts 16:6-11)?
- The Holy Spirit has feelings (Ephesians 4:30), a force cannot be grieved.
- In what ways does the Holy Spirit act as a person?
- John 15:26.
- John 16:8.
- Acts 13:2.
- Acts 15:28.
- Romans 8:26-27.
- We can relate to the Holy Spirit in a personal way (Matthew 12:31; Acts 5:3; 7:51; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:29).
B. The Holy Spirit is divine.
- He has divine attributes:
- 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.
- Psalm 139:7-8.
- Hebrews 9:14.
- Acts 5:3-4.
- Hebrews 10:15-17 and Jeremiah 31:33-34.
- Isaiah 6:9 and Acts 28:25-26.
- Matthew 28:19.
- 2 Corinthians 13:14.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-6.
II. The Work of the Holy Spirit.
A. The Holy Spirit empowers.
- He gives life.
- Creation: Psalm 104:30; Job 34:14-15; 33:4
- Regeneration: John 3:6-7; 6:63; Acts 10:44-47; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Titus 3:5. According to John 3:8, to whom does the Spirit give life?
- He conceived Jesus: Matthew 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35.
- He also works in our resurrection: Romans 8:11.
- He gives power for service.
- Joshua: Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9.
- The judges of Israel: Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14.
- David: 1 Samuel 16:13
- Jesus: Isaiah 11:2-3; 42:1; 61:1; Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10-12; Luke 3:22; 4:1, 14, 18; John 1:32; 3:34.
- The disciples: Acts 1:8; 6:5; Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 2:4.
- The church: Acts 4:8, 31; 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:12.
- He gives spiritual gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:11
- What is the purpose of spiritual gifts? See 1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:12, 26; Romans 1:11-12. How often do we lose sight of this purpose?
- He helps us pray.
- Ephesians 2:18-22. Through whom do we have access to the Father? What are the benefits of this access? What is the purpose of this access?
- Romans 8:26-27. What does the Spirit do for us in our weakness? By helping us, does this mean that the Spirit does everything? Will the intercession of the Spirit be successful? Why or why not?
B. He purifies us.
- We have been definitively sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5).
- What does the Spirit do at the moment of conversion?
- The Holy Spirit works in us to sanctify us.
- Romans 8:13. By whom do we put to death the deeds of the body? And what is the outcome?
- 2 Thessalonians 2:13. What has God chosen us for? How does He bring this about? See also 1 Peter 1:12.
- Galatians 5:22-23. What are the fruits of the Spirit? What are the fruits of the flesh (5:19-21)? With what command does Paul conclude with in v. 25. What does that mean?
C. The Spirit unifies.
- Ephesians 4:1-6.
- What must we preserve? What is this unity?
III. The Three main works of the Holy Spirit.
A. He is the Spirit of Adoption
- Romans 8:14-17.
- What is true of those who are led by the Spirit of God?
- What kind of spirit have we received?
- What does the Spirit enable us to do (Ephesians 2:18)?
- How does the Spirit minister to us? Why is this ministry so important? What if He didn’t bear witness with our spirit?
- What is the benefit of being children of God?
- Galatians 4:4-7.
- Why did God send His Son?
- What was true of us before Christ? After Christ?
- What is the privilege of being a son or daughter of God?
- The Spirit testifies that we are children of God, thereby making us aware of the many blessings we have as part of the family of God. Through His testimony we are able to more fully comprehend the love the Father has for His children. The special electing love that brings us into a relationship with Him. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; such we are” (1 John 3:1).
- We are being led by the Spirit (Ro 8:14). Our Father wants His children to be obedient so He has granted us the gift of His Spirit to empower us for obedience.
- The Spirit works to make us ever more clear of our relationship with Christ and with His Father.
- The Spirit causes us to see God as our Father, thereby giving us confidence and trust when we approach Him. We are able to cry out “Abba, Father!” (Ga 4:6; Ro 8:15).
- The Spirit moves in us to cause us to live as royal children.
- He enables us to manifest the family likeness (conform to Christ).
- He enables us to act for the family’s welfare (love our brethren).
- He enables us to maintain the family honor (seek God’s glory).
B. He mediates Christ to us.
- He is the Spirit of Christ (Acts 16:7; Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 1:19; 1 Peter 1:11).
- He is the Spirit who indwelt Christ (Luke 3:22; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; John 1:32; 3:34; Acts 10:38).
- He is the Spirit who Christ gives to us (John 1:33; 15:26; 16:7; 20:22; Acts 2:33; 1 John 2:20, 27).
- John 14:16-21.
- What does Jesus promise in v. 16? v. 18? v. 19? v. 20? v. 21? We see then that when Jesus promises to send His Spirit, He is in a sense promising to come Himself.
- Romans 8:9-11.
- What is the difference between one who is in the flesh and one who is in the spirit?
- Is the Spirit of God equivalent to the Spirit of Christ?
- What is true of those who have the Spirit of Christ (v. 9)?
- Is the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ the same as the indwelling of Christ?
- Who is speaking to the churches in Revelations 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14? What about Revelations 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22?
- Hos does this mediation affect our lives and the way we view ministry?
C. He glorifies Christ.
- John 15:26.
- What will the Spirit do? What does it mean to bear witness of Jesus?
- 2. John 16:13-15.
- What will the Spirit of truth do?
- How will He glorify Christ?
- What is meant by “what is mine?” J.I. Packer says this, “everything that is real and true about me as God incarnate, as the Father’s agent in creation, providence and grace, as this world’s rightful lord, and as the one who actually is master of it whether men acknowledge me or not…all that is real and true about me as your divine lover, your mediator, your surety in the new covenant, your prophet, priest and king, your Saviour from the guilt and power of sin and from the world’s corruptions and the devil’s clutches; and all that is true of me as your shepherd, husband, and friend, your life and your hope, the author and finisher of your faith, the lord of your own personal history, and the one who will some day bring you to be with me and share my glory, who am thus both your path and your prize.” 
IV. The Holy Spirit’s relationship within the Trinity.
A. The Holy Spirit relates to Christ as Christ relates to the Father.
- Jesus has nothing, does nothing, and speaks nothing of himself, He receives all things from the Father (John 5:26, 30; 16:15). So it is with the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14).
- Jesus seeks to glorify the Father (John 1:18; 17:4, 6). The Holy Spirit seeks to glorify Jesus (John 15:26; 16:14).
- No one comes to the Father but through Christ (Matthew 11:27; John 14:6). No one is able to say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).
V. Being filled with the Spirit.
A. Ephesians 5:18-20.
- In what ways is being filled with the Spirit parallel to being filled with wine?
- Is this a command?
- What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
- A common syllogism:
- It is God’s will for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
- God promises to answer all of our prayers that are consistent with His will (1 John 5:14-15).
- Therefore, if we ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit, God will do it.
- Are there logical problems with this syllogism?
B. Colossians 3: 15-17.
- How does this parallel Ephesians 5:18-20?
- After reading this, what is the essence of being Spirit filled?
- What does it mean to have the word of Christ richly dwelling within you?
C. Can one be spirit-filled and not have the word of Christ richly dwelling within them? Or vice-versa?
D. How does one become spirit filled?
E. Being filled with the Spirit is an on going process. If one is already full of the Spirit, how can they receive more? It is like a balloon that is full of air, but if you add air, the balloon increases in volume, thereby making it able to receive more air.
F. What are the benefits of being filled with the Spirit?
VI. Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
A. What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
B. When does it take place?
C. How does 1 Corinthians 12:13 help us understand baptism in the Holy Spirit?
- The translation can be misleading. It says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…” It is clear that the timing of this baptism is at conversion for it is this baptism that places us within the body of Christ. Most Pentecostals and Charismatics interpret this verse to be a different baptism than the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They argue that we are baptized by the Spirit and not in the Spirit when we come to Christ. But the Greek construction here is virtually the same as the other six passages where baptism in the Holy Spirit is explicitly mentioned (Matthew 3:11; mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:6). Therefore it should also be translated, “For in one Spirit…” This translation is foot-noted in the NIV and NASB.
- We see then, that all of the Corinthian believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion. So it is today. The moment we trust Christ, we are baptized into the Holy Spirit and are initiated into the body of Christ.
D. How do we interpret Pentecost?
- Pentecost was the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. The Holy Spirit was active under the Old Covenant (Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9; Ezekiel 2:2; 3:24; Daniel 4:8-9, 18; 5:11; Micah 3:8), but under the New Covenant He came upon believers in a more direct and powerful way.
- Pentecost is the fulfillment of Ezekiel 36; 26-27 and Joel 2:28-29.
E. The three other instances of the Holy Spirit being outpoured in a way very similar to Pentecost.
- Acts 8:4-25, is this a normative experience that we should expect?
- Peter and John did not go to simply baptize them in the Holy Spirit, rather they went in order that “they might receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 15). The modern concept of baptism in the Holy Spirit isn’t equivalent to receiving the Holy Spirit. Why would God withhold the Holy Spirit from these believers? It was so that He would pour out His Spirit in the presence of the leading Jews in the church. They were Samaritans and God showed that they are not second class believers.
- Acts 10.
- Even though Cornelius was one who feared God, he probably wasn’t a genuine believer. For he had never trusted Christ. Could not this simply be describing Cornelius’ conversion as God had prepared his heart to receive Christ?
- Acts 19.
- These people had heard John and were baptized, repenting of their sin. But they probably had not heard of Jesus. Rather they had faith in a Messiah and were waiting for Him. So when they heard the gospel they quickly trusted in Jesus, the true Messiah and thus were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
- RC Sproul’s thoughts are also very helpful here. He points out that these four instances of the Holy Spirit being poured out, happen to four distinct people groups. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit is given to the Jews. Then, in Acts 8, He comes to the Samaritans. In Acts 10, the Holy Spirit is poured out on the God fearers (those who weren’t Jews but believed in the true God). And finally, in Acts 19, the Holy Spirit came on Gentiles. It is as if there were four Pentecosts, one for each group in order to show their full acceptance by God into His church.
1 J.I. Packer, Keep In Step With the Spirit (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1984), pp. 52-53.