OceanSide church of Christ
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THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON
Victor M. Eskew
A. The Holy Spirit is a subject that abounds on the pages of God’s Word.
1. There is much ignorance on the subject.
2. There is much fear regarding the subject.
3. There is much controversy regarding the subject.
B. One should start learning about the Holy Spirit by learning “who” He is.
1. Even at this point, there is much controversy.
a. Some believe that the Spirit is an impersonal “it.”
b. Some believe that He is “God’s active force.” In an article found at watchtower.org, we read the following:
“The Bible’s use of ‘holy spirit’ indicates that it is a controlled force that Jehovah God uses to accomplish a variety of his purposes. To a certain extent, it can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adopted to perform a great variety of operations…
“No, the holy spirit is not a person and it is not part of a Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God’s active force that he uses to accomplish his will. It is not equal to God but is always at his disposition and subordinate to him” (The Holy Spirit Is God’s Active Force).
c. Others believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is a real being. In fact, He is the third member of the Godhead.
2. We believe that the third position is the true one. The Holy Spirit is a person, and we will prove this assertion in this lesson.
I. THE DIFFICULTY
A. We usually associate personality with body.
1. The Holy Spirit does not have a body.
2. What we forget is that the parts of the human frame are not characteristics of personality. They are the channels through which personality flows.
3. Personality is not the outward building, but the tenant within.
4. Definition: A person is a being
a. Conscious of self.
b. Subsisting in individuality and identity.
c. Endowed with intuitive reason, rational sensibility, and a free will.
(The Holy Spirit, H. Leo Boles, p. 33)
B. A person is associated with HEART-MIND-WILL.
a. Definition: The seat of affection.
b. The Holy Spirit has the ability to love (Rom. 15:30).
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.
a. Definition: The source of intelligence, reason, and knowledge.
b. In Romans 8:27, Paul refers to “the mind of the Spirit.”
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit…
c. His mind knows the mind of the Father (I Cor. 2:11).
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
a. Defintion: The ability to will (decide), giving expression to our thoughts.
b. I Corinthians 12:11
But all these (spiritual gifts) worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ACTIONS PROVE HE IS A PERSON
A. In his book, All About the Holy Spirit, Herbert Lockyer notes that some 160 passages in the Old and New Testaments teach about the actions of the Spirit (p. 31).
B. A list of some of the things the Holy Spirit can do:
1. Command (Acts 16:6-7).
2. Guide (John 16:13).
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…
3. Intercession (Rom. 8:26).
4. Invites (Rev. 22:17).
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
7. Reveals (Eph. 3:4-5).
8. Searches (I Cor. 2:10).
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
9. Speaks (I Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:7).
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
10. Strives with man (Gen. 6:3).
11. Teaches (John 14:26; Neh. 9:20).
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
12. Testifies (John 15:26).
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE MISTREATED, WHICH PROVES HE IS A PERSON
A. There are at least seven (7) actions that we can commit “against” the Holy Spirit.
1. We can vex Him (Isa. 63:10).
But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
2. We can blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32).
3. We can lie to the Holy Spirit just as Ananias and Sapphira did (Acts 5:3).
4. We can resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your Father did, so do ye.
5. We can grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).
6. We can quench the Spirit (I Thess. 5:19).
Quench not the Spirit.
7. We can do despite to the Spirit (Heb. 10:29).
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
B. “If the Spirit of God is simply an influence, there is no need to concern ourselves about man’s treatment of Him, for influence is incapable of recognition, feeling an action” (Lockyer, 30).
A. Dr. Jewett: “Our fellowship is not with a ‘something’ but with a ‘Somebody’; not with a ‘force’ but with a ‘Spirit’; not with an ‘it’ but with a ‘Him.’”
B. If He is a person, and He is;
1. He is due our faith, love, and fellowship.
2. He is due our surrender, yielded and still.