The Doctrine of The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third divine person of the Godhead. He has a specific ministry to reveal and convert the heart of man to God. We see the work of the Holy Spirit from Genesis right through to Revelation in operation.
The bible begins with:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The bible ends with:
Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
We see the Holy Spirit actively work right throughout the scripture, he is mentioned over 90 in the Old Testament and 360 times in the New Testament. Out of all the books in the New Testament only 2 John and 3 John have no reference to the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is vital for us as believers to have an understanding and appreciation for the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The personality of the Holy Spirit
We have to recognise that though the Holy Spirit is often spoken of in the context of the power of God we have to understand that the Holy Spirit in not some impersonal force or remote power or energy that God uses. It is understandable why people often view the Holy Spirit in this way because in the bible he is symbolised as being wind, water, fire, oil, a seal, just as there are many symbols used for Christ as the lamb, the rock and a lion. But the Holy Spirit is the third divine person of the Trinity.
Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
2 Cor 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Jesus always spoke of the role in the context of a person
John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever
John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
Counsellor: The Greek word parakletos means an intercessor, consoler, advocate or comforter.
- Jesus was referring to someone just like me
The Holy Spirit has the three essential qualities of a person
Mind: Rom 8:27 , 1 Cor 2:12-13
Will: 1 Cor 12:11
Emotions: Rom 8:26, Rom 15:30
The functions of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit Works: 1 Cor 12:11
The Spirit Reveals and Searches 1 Cor 2:10
The Spirit Speaks: Acts 13:2
The Spirit Testifies: John 15:26
The Spirit Teaches: John 14:26
The Spirit Guides: John 16:13
The Holy Spirit has feelings
He can be grieved: Eph 4:30
He can be insulted: Heb 10:29
He can be lied to: Acts 5:3
He can be blasphemed: Mat 12:31
He can be resisted: Acts 7:51
The work of the Holy Spirit in the believer
When we look at the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we see him working in 2 ways
- Making us to be
- Making us to do
The work of Holy Spirit in our lives,
- His first priority is wanting us to be what God wants us to be. 1 Pet 1:2
- The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is to cleanse us and wash us causing us to be Christ like
- The Holy Spirit first wants s to be Christ like in nature, so that we can become Christ like in action
Power For Living
Jesus promised his disciples that when the Holy Spirit came upon them they would receive power to be his witnesses. The change in their lives was dramatic, helping them to be powerful witnesses of the gospel.
When we are baptised in the Holy Spirit we too receive power to be his witnesses. It does not mean that we will automatically become great preachers! But there comes a joy and a freedom and boldness in sharing with others who Jesus is, and what he has done for us.
Acts 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
Acts 1:5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This is the work of the Holy Spirit empowering us to do what God wants us to do, God’s anointing empowers us to be ambassadors for Christ, to represent Christ in the world
- God does not look to our ability but to our availability
- Just as He did with Jesus He wants to give us His strength, His ability and His power
- So the anointing can be best defined as the impartation of God’s ability into our lives,
- Wherever we see the anointing of God placed upon peoples lives it was to do something, God was empowering them for a purpose, he was fitting them for a function
- Aaron was anointed to be a priest
- Moses was anointed to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt
- Joshua was anointed to lead the children of Israel into the promised land
- David was anointed to be king
- Jesus was anointed as Messiah
- Each one of these were anointed to fulfil the calling of God upon there lives
- Each one of them were able to minister in a capacity above and beyond there own ability
- When they were anointed in the Old Testament they would take the anointing oil and pour it upon their head, (this was a wonderful demonstration of what was to come)
- The oil was symbolic of the Holy Spirit that would be poured out to empowers us to fulfil the calling of God in our lives, to fulfil the destiny God
God will give you His anointing to fulfil that gifting he has call you to. Zec 4:6, Luke 24:49
God’s anointing is always for a specific purpose or function
- In the church we have the five fold ministry gifts, but God also gives ministry gifts to the body such as deacons, elders, those who teach, those who prophesy, the exhorters, the givers, the administrators, the mercy givers, the healing ministry, the music and worship ministry, the greeters, the intercessors
- God will give a special anointing to fulfil that gifting He has call you to
- If we try and minister in any capacity outside of that anointing we do it in our own strength, and that will only leave us weary, frustrated, or burnt out
- The anointing is like the oil, given to energise, revitalise and empower us to fulfil the plans and the purposes of God in our lives, it is the anointing that brings the results. Eph 4:1, 2 Pet 1:10-11
The Holy Spirit is the distributor of Gifts
1 Cor 12:8-11 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
There are nine gifts that can be divided into three categories.
Gifts of perception
1. Word of knowledge
2. Discerning of Spirits
Gifts of power
4. Gift of Faith
5.Gift of Miracles
6. Gift of Healings
Gifts of proclamation
7. Other tongues
8. Interpretation of Other Tongues
9. Gift of Prophecy
1 Cor 12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
There are nine fruits of the Spirit
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
As a Christian, God has another wonderful gift for you, the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Word of God teaches much about this experience. John the Baptist spoke of it, and revealed that Jesus is the baptiser with the Holy Spirit.
Mark 1:8 I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is spoken of by a number of names, each describing an aspect of this wonderful Acts.
- Baptism of the spirit (John 1:33) – which means immersion into the spirit.
- Receiving the spirit (Acts 19:2) – referring to the actual moment of reception.
- Filled with the spirit (Acts 2:4) – suggesting something poured into a person.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is also spoken of as the promise of the father, for which the disciples were to wait.
Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Scripture reveals that Jesus fulfilled the promise from the father and sent forth that which they now saw and heard.
Acts 2:33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
- Before we can receive the Holy Spirit, we must first be saved. Acts 19:1-6
- The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation. Acts 8:14-17
- The baptism in the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Mat 3:11, Eph 5:18
- The baptism in the Holy Spirit is for all. Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost are for us today. Acts 2:38-39.
God has given a lasting sign as evidence that we have been baptised in the Holy Spirit. That sign is speaking in tongues, or praying in the spirit. It is part of this supernatural experience. Mark 16:17, Acts 2:4.
The language you receive when you are baptised in the Holy Spirit is not one that you have learnt with the mind. However, you must use your own mouth and tongue to speak the words that God will give you.
Speaking in tongues is more than just the initial evidence of our baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is primarily a prayer language in which the Holy Spirit prays through us to our heavenly father. Romans 8:26-27.
The Gift of Tongues
One of the biggest difficulties people have when it comes to speaking in tongues, or being used to bring a message of tongues, we often struggle with the fact that God does by giving us a supernatural language, a supernatural tongue and for that very reason many people find the whole concept quite strange.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Although it seems strange it is a very biblical concept. Right from the beginning of creation God creates Adam and Eve as adult male and female and he would have had to give them supernatural communication, as they did not have to learn it.Gen 1:27,
Gen 2:23 And Adam said,
Gen 3:2 And the woman said,
The second incident of God giving people a supernatural communication
Gen 11:1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
Gen 11:6-7 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
- Now He’s not just doing it with one person he is doing it with a whole group of people, the entire population of that time.
- Here he gives the entire known world a different tongue, they all started speaking in different tongues and different languages.
The third incident of God giving supernatural communication
Num 22:27-28 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
- If God can give a donkey a supernatural language, who believes that he use you in the gifts of tongues, not only can God give you the gift of tongues but he can give you the interpretation of that tongue
Isa 28:11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people,
The Holy Spirit – A Good Gift
When you ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit, you can be sure you will not receive an evil spirit or something that is not good for you. The bible says that God gives good gifts. James 1:17
The Holy Spirit is one such good and perfect gift from God.
Luke 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
Luke 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
Luke 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
The Holy Spirit plays an important part in the life of a Christian. To live effectively for Jesus, we must make the Holy Spirit welcome in our lives and allow him to take possession of every area of our beings as we yield ourselves to him.