The Holy Spirit in the Bible
Last week we pondered the incredible event of the Resurrection of Jesus. We are overwhelmed with joy as we think of His powerful return from the grave in newness of life and fullness of resurrection power. But have you really stopped to analyze what happened next? Within days of Christ’s death, burial , resurrection and ascension the most amazing event of all of human history began. God the Spirit began to take the sacrifice of God the Son and by applying Christ’s sacrifice to doomed earthlings, the Spirit of God makes them sons and daughters of God. Across the sin darkened canvas of the 1stcentury world a new day dawned. Starting about 30 AD a world that sat in darkness began o see the light.
In just one generation,
a world crippled by racial enmities,
a world ripped apart by ethnic strife,
a world marred by cruel inhumnity,
a world drowning in sexual perversion,
a world plunging headlong into self indulgence,
a world chained to idolatrous false worship
was gloriously changed.
In one generation, spanning the lifetimes of Christ’s 12 apostles, the entire world was touched. The light of the gospel dawned upon countless hearts. There was no empire untouched. From China to Africa, from Britain to India, across the trade routes to the furthest outpost like a forest fire marching across a sin droughtened woods, the dry and barren lives of the world flamed to supernatural life. The fire of Pentecost burned into the lives of the world of that day the image and life and sacrifice of Jesus.
And that fire has never stopped. This week the Fire of Pentecost has ignited the souls of even more formerly dry, lifeless and doomed sinners unto everlasting life. What am I describing? The birth and growth of the church, the supernaturally regenerated body of Jesus on earth. And who is accomplishing this incredible event? The Spirit of God, the Fire of Pentecost.
God’s Spirit is still washing clean sin stained hearts,
God’s Spirit is still breathing life into sin darkened souls,
God’s Spirit is still filling empty hopeless lives.
God’s Spirit is still transforming barren lives into spiritual gardens.
The Spirit of God
We need to understand this incredible Third Person of God. We need to look at His work as a part of the Triune God we worship and adore. To start would you turn with me to Genesis 1.
– The Spirit of God is the AGENT OF CREATION Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
– The Spirit of God is the AGENT OF CONVICTION Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
– The Spirit of God is the Equipper of the saints Numbers 11:16-17 So the Lord said to Moses: “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you.17 “Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.
– The Spirit of God is THE AUTHOR OF THE SCRIPTURES II Samuel 23:2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.
– The Spirit of God is THE ONE WHO REVEALS JESUS John 16:13“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
– The Spirit of God is THE ONE WHO SECURES SAINTS FOR HEAVEN 2 Corinthians 1:22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
– The Spirit of God is THE ONE WHO MAKES US BRAND NEW Titus 3:5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
– The Spirit of God is THE ONE WHO SCRUBS/BLEACHES OUR MINDSHebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
– The Spirit of God is THE ONE WHO IS CALLING US HOMEWARDRevelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
The Spirit is revealed in many ways. Mentioned perhaps eighty times in the Old Testament, at least fifty times in the gospels, nearly sixty in Acts, and more than one hundred times in the rest of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit attends the birth of Jesus, causing His very conception in Mary (Matthew 1:18, 20), and empowers John the Baptist from childhood (Luke 1:15). He leads Jesus into His desert sojourn (Mark 1:12). He is the agent by whom Jesus baptizes believers into His church (Matthew 3:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13) and by whom He casts out evil spirits (Matthew 12:28). He is the possession of all who are in Christ (Romans 8:9), the down payment of our ultimate redemption (Ephesians 1:13). Scripture also reveals that the Spirit can be betrayed (Mark 3:19), lied to and tested (Acts 5:3, 9), resisted (Acts 7:51), grieved (Ephesians 4:30), and quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
But more than anything else, the Spirit of God can totally alter the way you live, God’s Spirit can change us into brand new people! For our last verses of this morning, would you open to Galatians 5 and stand with me as we read v. 19-26.
First, we will see the Fruit of the Spirit in our Personal Relationship with God.
15 Manifestations of the Flesh
There are 15 manifestations of the flesh in verses 19-21. Of these 8 are dealing with interpersonal problems. It is not enough to say that we have always struggled in these areas. Or, to say I sinned and go on. The Scriptures show us that a truly spiritual person will be growing in a visible way in each of these areas.
- LOVE is the absence of selfishness. It is the product of the Holy Spirit present in our lives Rom. 5:5 says. And it even “flowers in the presence of the unlovely and hostile”. Can others trace my progress in expressing God’s love? Am I less selfish and self-seeking than I was last month?
- JOY is the spiritual quality that releases us from circumstances. Because Love and self-centeredness can not coexist. However, the Apostle Paul said that he was II Cor 6:10 – sorrowful yet always full of joy. Do those that know me and watch my life see me as a joyful person?
- PEACE is the internal serenity that only God can give. “Peace is love in repose, with no borrowing of tomorrows troubles today.”Troubles are not absent. Rather, God is present! “When the Holy Spirit is not grieved the dove of peace is able to alight on the heart.” Has peace become more and more a way of life for you this year? Secondly, we will see the Fruit of the Spirit in our Public Walk with Others.
- PATIENCE is the absence of personal irritation at the actions of others. It is that bearing long with people that Paul spoke of in I Corinthians. Patience is also one of the Supreme attributes of God. It is His character that is revealed as being gracious and longsuffering. See Exod 34:6; Num 14:18; II Peter 3:9. Ask yourself, am I more patient than I was three monthys ago? or less? If we are not increasing in patience it is only that we are not yeilding and submitting to the Holy Spirit.
- KINDNESS is a beautiful reflection of God in our lives. It is the absence of an abrasive manner in my dealings with people. It is a chosen reflection of Ephesians 2:8 and 4:32 in my life. “Kindness is seen as that sensitivity toward others that issues into ddeds of self sacrifice and love even toward the unlovely and undeserving ones. Kindness will soften any word or act that might hurt another. Is my character showing an increasing tendency toward personal kindness in my way with others?
- GOODNESS is being Godlike! It is the opposite of fallen humanity. Today to call someone good is an insult. If you really want to demean someone, call them a “goodie, goodie”. But, look at Jesus in Acts 10:38. When the Holy Spirit annointed His life, what came out? As one author wrote — “Ecstatic utterances? Spectacular Miracles? Flamboyant Sermons? No! He simply went about doing good. ” Am I a visibly better person than last yaer? Do people see me doing good to all those around me? Finally, we will see the Fruit of the Spirit in our Private Life with our Self.
- FAITHFULNESS is the idea here. A trustworthy and dependable life. The kind of person that keeps their own life in order so that you can count on them. Like Psalm 15 speaks of, they make and keep their word. Am I making strides in reliability and dependability?
- MEEKNESS is the opposite of asserting ourself. The Lord said that the Meek were the ultimate winners. [Matthew 5:5] Those who are Servants of the Lord must not strive II Timothy 2:24. They resist selfish ambition [James 3:16] because it is a reflection of Satan not God. Remember Jesus described Himself as ‘Meek and Lowly’ [Mt 11:29]. What shape is my personal agenda in? Is it intact and my rights being defended? Or, is it in hopeless shape, crucified with Christ and fading?
- DISCIPLINE is defined by the Greek Dictionary as “a virtue which consists in mastery of the appetites and passions, especially the sensual ones.” The only force that can control or flesh is the Holy Spirit. When yeilded to Him we become vessels that are worshipful sacrifices to Him no longer to self. Self cannot control self. Flesh is not able to harness flesh. Only the Spirit can discipline us. Do others see me as graciosly under the controll of God’s Spirit of Discipline? Are you beating under and giving knockout blows to your flesh? Paul was in I Cor 9:27. Can we do any less?
Well, are they present? Are they growing? The proof is in how we are with our relationships
OLD TESTAMENT DESIGNATIONS OF THE SPIRIT
- Spirit of God Gen. 1:2; 41:38; Ez. 11:24
- My Spirit Gen. 6:3
- Spirit of wisdom Ex. 28:3
- His Spirit Num. 11:29
- Spirit of Jehovah Judg. 3:10
- Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of the Lord Is. 11:2
- Good Spirit Neh. 9:20
- God of Spirits of all Flesh Num. 16:22
- Free spirit Ps. 51:12
- Thy Spirit Ps. 139:7
- Spirit of the Lord God Is. 61:1
- Holy Spirit Is. 63:10-11
- Spirit Ez. 3:14,24
- Spirit of the holy gods Dan. 5:11-14
- Spirit of grace and supplication Zech. 12:10
- Holy Ghost Mt. 1:18-20
- Spirit of God Mt. 3:16
- Spirit Mt. 4:1; Mk. 1:10
- Spirit of your Father Mt. 10:20
- Comforter Jn. 14:16
- Spirit of truth Jn. 14:17
- Spirit of the Lord Acts 5:9
- Spirit of Jesus Acts 16:7 (ASV)
- Spirit of holiness Rom. 1:4
- Spirit of life Rom. 8:2
- Spirit of Christ Rom. 8:9
- Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus Rom. 8:11
- Spirit of adoption Romans. 8:1
- Spirit of our God 1 Corinthians. 6:11
- Spirit of the living God 2 Corinthians. 3:3
- Spirit of faith 2 Corinthians 4:13
- Spirit of His Son Gal. 4:6
- Holy Spirit of promise Ephesians. 1:13
- Spirit of wisdom Ephesians. 1:17
- One Spirit Ephesians. 4:4
- Spirit of Jesus Christ Phil. 1:19
- Eternal Spirit Hebrews. 9:14
- Spirit of grace Hebrews. 10:29
- Father of spirits Hebrews. 12:9
- Spirit of glory 1 Pt. 4:14
- Holy One 1 John. 2:20
- Seven Spirits of God Rev. 3:1
 J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Discipleship p. 118.