THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 COR 6:19,20
INTRO: Some Biblical subjects and texts are so easy to study. There is ample information given so that we can come to sound, well studied conclusions. Then, there are those subjects or texts which are difficult. They may be difficult because God has simply chosen not to reveal a great deal of information about them. They may be difficult because there are so many varied and conflicting ideas circulating about them. They may be difficult because we are insisting on more information than is available ... and in our discontent we overreach or speculate. Our speculations then become sacred to us even in the absence of scriptural evidence. Perhaps the subject of the Holy Spirit is just one such subject. And it does really matter what you believe about the Holy Spirit.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NO STRANGER TO BIBLE HISTORY
A. True, Jesus did say He would send the Holy Spirit from the Father
1. Jno 15:26 - ...whom I will send unto you from the Father...
2. and, yes, there is that incredible event of Pentecost - Acts 2:1-4
3. but these things do not mitigate against His role in history
B. For example...
1. Gen 1:2 - And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters
2. 2 Chron 15:1,2 - And the spirit of God came upon Azariah...
3. 2 Pet 1:21 - For the prophecy came not in old time...
C. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is one of the Godhead
1. Mt 28:19,20 - the three named here are doubtless equal in attributes
2. Jno 14:26 - notice that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are named here
3. Father, Son and Holy Spirit have at times seemed to have different roles - but act in complete and total unity of design and purpose - Oneness
II. IT REALLY DOES MATTER...
A. That you believe the Holy Spirit is a person
1. there are those who believe He is just a force or an influence
2. one has the impression some think He is just an it ... not a He
3. the Holy Spirit has the attributes of personhood
4. He has mind (Rom 8:27); He communicates (1 Tim 4:1); He has emotions (Eph 4:30) ... etc.
5. He is person in the same sense the Father and the Son are!
B. That you believe the Holy Spirits role in revealing the word
1. the Bible is not the product of human minds!
2. 1 Cor 2:9-13 - But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit...
3. this is a vitally important passage ... the Holy Spirit has revealed the mind of God; He has revealed even the words which would communicate Gods mind
4. Jno 14:26 - the Holy Spirit has done exactly this
5. Heb 3:7 - notice that Paul refers her to what the Holy Spirit said ... and quotes directly from Ps 95:7-11 - and recall 2 Pet 1:21
C. That you understand baptism with the Holy Spirit
1. Lk 24:49 - Acts 1:4,5,8 with Acts 2:1-4 - the promise to apostles and fulfillment ... not a promise with universality (as some would claim)
2. baptism with the Holy Spirit was a promise and was limited as to recipients thereof ... apparently, the apostles
3. Eph 4:5 - one baptism ... but which one?
4. Mt 28:19,20 & Mk 16:15,16 - the unmistakably universal baptism was one which could be commanded and to which one could respond in obedience
5. I. Pet 3:20,21 - the one baptism is baptism in water - baptism of the great commission
D. That you understand the gifts of the Holy Spirit
1. Heb 2:4 - these gifts were miraculous gifts
2. these gifts were first possessed by the apostles - Acts 2:43 - 5:12
3. then, some were possessed by those upon whom the apostles laid their hands - Acts 6:6-8 (first record of anyones performing miracles other than apostles ... after apostles had laid hands on them, imparted to them gifts
4. by the very nature of this process the gifts of the Holy Spirit necessarily end near the conclusion of the 1st century - they do not continue today!
5. Mk 16:20 with 1 Cor 13:8-11 - a very definite purpose for the miraculous gifts ... when the purpose, completed revelation from God, completed, these gifts ceased
CLOSE: Obviously, this can not have been an exhaustive study. But I hope it is enough to reaffirm that it does really matter what we believe about the Holy Spirit. Someone wisely said, Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I have no interest in claiming, teaching more that I can know from scripture about the Holy Spirit and His work. When people go beyond what is written, the confusion and error begin.
Cecil A. Hutson
July 17, 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)