Acts 19:1-7 (New International Version)
…Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
I think many, if not most people, would say they believe in a God, a supreme being. Many have heard of this man named Jesus who was some sort of representative of God but many people don’t know much about this Holy Spirit. Even in churches very little is being taught about the Holy Spirit, who He is and His role and ministry in the life of the believer and in the life of the church.
“Teach my people about my Spirit. I want my people to know my Spirit, to be well acquainted with my Spirit and to abide with my Spirit.”
Many Christians are unfamiliar with the reality and the entity of the Holy Spirit. Some are even uncomfortable with the idea of the Holy Spirit. As I said last week the Holy Trinity isn’t the Father, the Son and the Holy Bible.
“The Holy Spirit is the governing agent for the New Testament believer.”
John 14:1 (NIV)
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
John 14:16-17&25 (NASB)
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 16:7 (NASB)
7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
Truths about the Holy Spirit
· Fully God – Spirit of God & Spirit of Christ; no less than Father /Son
· Personification of God – not just a force or an “it”; person of God
· Eternal Creator – Creation; Ruach Hakodesh; conception of Jesus
· Abiding Presence – Omnipresent In the world and both internally & eternally in the believer.
1 Corinthians 6:17 (New American Standard Bible)
…the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Romans 8:9 (NASB)
9 … you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Romans 8:16 (New International Version)
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Galatians 4:4-7New International Version (NIV)
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to Sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
The Holy Spirit is God, Fully God, the True Person of God and the very real Presence of God in the world and the living presence of God in the lives of His children. The Holy Spirit is the one that will never leave us or forsake us. The Holy Spirit is not in our lives just to follow us around like a shadow. He is not in our lives to just hang around us and smile. The Holy Spirit is meant to be acknowledged. The Holy Spirit is meant to be adored. The Holy Spirit is worth getting acquainted with. The Holy Spirit is someone we should address. The Holy Spirit is worthy of our worship, worthy of our praise, worthy of our obedience, and a recipient of our prayers. He is God!
And because the Holy Spirit is the person of God; a person with intellect, emotion, and will. The Holy Spirit thinks, feels, communicates, perceives, and responds. He can be lied to. He can be insulted. He can be blasphemed. He can be grieved, He can be quenched, and He can be resisted
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There are 4 warnings in regards to Holy Spirit that show the sensitive, personal and divine nature of the Holy Spirit.
· Blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 12:31-32 NIV
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
The term blasphemy may be generally defined as “defiant irreverence” or willfully degrading things relating to God. This case of blasphemy, however, is a specific one, called “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” as known as the unforgiveable or unpardonable sin. (One of the scariest passages in the Bible.) But if you look at the context it deals with two things 1.) the knowingly denial of who Christ really is and 2.) attributing the work of His Spirit to Satan. The unpardonable sin is committed in one’s final verdict regarding Christ, is to show contempt for the Spirit’s testimony of Christ’s deity by knowingly denying that Christ is God in the flesh and attributing the works of Christ which is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit to the enemy.
How do you know if you have committed the unforgivable sin? If you’re concerned about it that’s a pretty good indicator you haven’t. If you can say from your heart that Jesus is Lord you haven’t committed it.
1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV)
3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
· Grieve the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:17-31 (NIV)
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
The Bible tells us that we are not to grieve the Spirit. To understand what it means to grieve the Spirit, we must first understand that this indicates the Spirit possesses personality. Only a person can be grieved; therefore, the Holy Spirit must be a divine person in order to have this emotion. Once we understand this we can better understand how He is grieved, because we too are grieved. We’re one spirit with Him and sin is inconsistent with our nature.
Sin always grieves the Holy Spirit; sin against God first and then others.
Tearing one another down grieves the Holy Spirit as it is inconsistent with God’s purposes for our lives. We are to build one another up as believers, not tear one another down. In addition to sinning as the result of anger, Ephesians 4 offers other ways believers can grieve the Spirit. These include living like unbelievers (vv. 17-19), lying (v. 25), stealing (v. 28), using bad language (v. 29), bitterness (v. 31), unforgiveness (v. 32), and sexual immorality.
In contrast, believers are to speak truth, not sin when angry (v. 26), work hard (v. 28), encourage (v. 29), and be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of one another (v. 32). The contrast of grieving the Spirit includes, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
If we are living a life that is grieving the Spirit there are only two possible results: 1.) we either conform to the Spirit or 2.) we desensitize ourselves to the Spirit’s promptings which leads to even greater detriment. Mark 4/ Rom. 1
· Quench the Spirit
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
When the word “quench” is used in Scripture, it is speaking of suppressing fire. In the context of Paul’s letter, he was encouraging believers to live life according to God’s Spirit. They were not to stop doing the things they had been instructed to or to live in sin in ways that would quench or put out the fire of God’s Spirit at work among them. Sin always quenches the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a fire dwelling in each believer. He wants to express Himself in our actions and attitudes. When we do not allow the Spirit to reveal Himself the way that He wants to, when we do not allow the Spirit to be seen in our actions, when we do what we know is wrong, we quench the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Ephesians 5:17-19 (NIV)
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,
If we quench the Spirit we not only hinder the move of the Spirit and work of God, our relationship with Him will become lifeless lukewarm dead religion.
· Resist the Spirit
51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit was speaking through Stephen and, when his message was rejected, the Holy Spirit was being resisted. Jesus worked miracles “by the Spirit of God” yet they attributed his power to demons. (Matthew 12:25-31) They were resisting the Holy Spirit. In John 5:40 Jesus said to them, “You refuse to come to me to have life.” Jesus didn’t say that they couldn’t come, but that they refused to come to him. They were resisting the Holy Spirit. Today we can resist the Holy Spirit by rejecting what he has revealed, by ignoring what he has said, by being disobedient to his instructions. Closing our ears to what he has to say because we find it offensive is to resist him. Everything revealed by the Holy Spirit is truth. We must approach the Spirit of God with a heart that submits to its authority, a mind that desires to know the mind of the Spirit, and a heart that desires to conform to the heart of God.
Hebrews 4:6-7 (NLT)
6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:
“Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”