How Well Do You Know God? (Part 10)
By Tommy Thornhill
When discussing the triune God, I readily admit that we will never understand everything about How God in three persons, His triune nature as the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit works. But, enough has been revealed in the holy scriptures (the Bible) that even with our finite minds we can know all that is necessary for us to understand. But, it will take diligent study on our part.
I closed the last article pointing out that without the function of the Holy Spirit, there would be no gospel, no faith, no church and no salvation. In short, without the action of the Holy Spirit mankind would still exist, “having no hope and without God in the world” Eph.2:12. Having stated this, it might be well to give a little more study to the Holy Spirit, and the part He plays in the scheme of redemption for mankind. So, in this article and the one to follow I plant spend some time discussing the Holy Spirit and His work.
People seem to have a good understanding of God the Father, as the Originator, who planned and purposed all things concerning creation and man’s scheme of
redemption. They also have a pretty good grasp on God the Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Executor, the one responsible for executing the plans and purposes of the Father. Yet, most have little understanding of God the Holy Spirit, as the Revelator, the one who revealed to us the plans and purposes of creation and the scheme of redemption for mankind.
The function of the Holy Spirit is important enough, that He, the Holy Spirit Himself, the one responsible for revealing the Bible 2.Tim.3:16-17; 2.Pet.1:20-21 (God’s inspired word), involves Himself in the first and last chapters of the Bible (His revelation) Gen.1:2, Rev.22:17, and in a great number of times in the chapters between.
Yes, The Holy Spirit is a person. He is called God, as previous articles have affirmed (see Acts 5:3-4), and in the scriptures is revealed to have all the attributes and qualities that make Him God. With these things written, it might be wise at this point to correct the misconception that some have, that the Holy Spirit is just an active, controlled force that God uses to influence His purposes, but is not a person. But, when one takes time to notice, the scriptures clearly speak of the Holy Spirit in personal terms.
First of all, let’s notice that the Holy Spirit is spoken of as a person, not a thing. He is not an impersonal God or active force used by God. Jesus, God the Father’s Son, promised His apostles that while He would soon be leaving them to return to His Father’s house, He would not leave them alone. He tells them, “And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you…But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from te Father, He will testify of Me…However, when He the Holy Spirit, 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” Jn.14:16,17; 15:26; 16:13. In these three chapters, Jn.14-16, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirt (the Spirit of truth) nine times, using personal pronouns such as “He” and “His. The use of personal pronouns means the Holy Spirit possesses all the qualities and attributes of a person or intelligent being. He is not just an active, controlled force that God uses to influence His purposes as some contend. The Holy Spirit not only possesses all the qualities that make Him God, but He also possesses all the qualities that make him a person or intelligent being.
Note some of the qualities assigned to Him that show He is a person or intelligent being. He speaks 1.Tim.4:1; Acts 8:29; 10:19; 13:2. He teaches/guides Jn.14:26; 16:13. He thinks Acts 15:28. He communes 2.Cor.13:14. He has a will 1.Cor.12:11. He can be grieved Eph.4:30, insulted Heb.10:29; lied to Acts 5:3; resisted Acts 7:51.He searches and knows the mind of God 1.Cor.2:10-11. These are just some of the person type qualities attributed to Him, that show He is a person, and not a thing.
Even though God the Holy Spirit is not God the Father that originated all things, or God the Son who executed the plans and purposes of the Father, The Holy Spirit’s work is of utmost importance to us. As stated at the beginning of this article, without Him doing His work we would know nothing of what the Father had planned and what Jesus had done for us. Without the Holy Spirit we would not have the gospel that reveals what Jesus did for us. Without the Spirit’s revelation we would have nothing upon which to build our faith. Neither would we know how we are added to the church by God, and become part of His family. In short, without the revelation of the Holy Spirit we could not be saved. We would still be wandering around like shepherdless sheep, hopelessly lost and headed for hell.
After Jesus went back to heaven and sat down at His Father’s right hand Heb.1:3, just as He promised Jn.14:26; 15:26; 16:12-13, He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to begin His work of revealing to the world the unfolded plan of God for saving mankind. He began this by baptizing (immersing and filling) the apostles of Christ with His Spirit Acts 2:1-4. These men under the influence of the Spirit of God began to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus, the crucified Christ and Savior of mankind. (more on this next week).
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