Sermon on the Holy Spirit
TITLE: Who is the Holy Spirit?
Bible Text: John 14:25-26
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will examine the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” The biblical answer to this question is threefold. First, the Holy Spirit is divine. Second the Holy Spirit is a unique person of the Godhead. Third the Holy Spirit has a unique role in the Godhead.
OBJECTIVES: Each listener should be able to describe the Holy Spirit in terms of the scriptures.
AIM: I want to educate each listener on what the Bible teaches regarding the Holy Spirit.
1. Read: John 14:25, 26 “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 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.”
2. About the Text:
1) Jesus is speaking to his disciples regarding his departure.
2) However, He did not want them to be without assurances.
3) He assures them that the Father will send the Holy Ghost/Spirit in Jesus’ name for the continued efforts of the disciples.
4) Verse 26 is one of the few verses in the Bible that mentions the three persons of the Godhead–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. Overview of subject.
1) We spend a lot of time learning about God the Father.
2) We spend a lot of time learning about Jesus the Christ.
3) We don’t spend as much time studying about the Holy Spirit.
4) Perhaps this is the reason that this subject is so misunderstood in the religious world today.
5) Let’s begin a series of studies on the Holy Spirit. We will study this subject Sunday evenings.
6) We won’t be able to cover everything, but we can learn some things.
7) This evening we want to answer the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit.”
4. A brief word about the Godhead.
1) The word “Godhead” refers to all three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2) It comes from “Godhood” and it refers to the Deity of God.
3) They are ONE.
4) All share the same purpose.
5) So it is sometimes difficult to see the distinctions between the three.
5. How can we learn about the Holy Spirit?
1) By reading the revealed will of the Spirit.
2) Can only get this through the Bible–not through natural revelation.
3) Who reveals information about the Holy Spirit?
4) The Spirit himself (1 Corinthians 2:10-13).
5) Holy Ghost (KJV) and Holy Spirit are same.
6. Who the Holy Spirit is NOT.
1) The question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” is the correct question to ask.
2) The Holy Spirit is not some mystical force.
3) The Holy Spirit is not some mist, fog, or wind moving hither and thither in some mysterious manner.
4) The Holy Spirit is a person with personal characteristics.
5) The Holy Spirit is referred to in the New Testament with masculine gender pronouns.
6) The Holy Spirit is not an “IT.”
DISCUSSION: Who is the Holy Spirit?
I. First, the Holy Spirit is Divine–He is God/Deity.
1. The Holy Spirit shares all the attributes of God.
1) Omnipresence — Psalm 139:7-12 “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
2) Omniscience — Isaiah 40:13, 14 “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?”
3) Grace — Hebrews 10:29 “Spirit of Grace”
4) Powerful — Romans 15:19 “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
5) Eternality — Hebrews 9:14 It was through the “eternal spirit” that Christ offered himself to God.
2. The Holy Spirit is mentioned as being in a divine relationship with the Father and the Son.
1) Ephesians 4:4-6 as there is one Lord and one Father, there is one Spirit as well. They are all three mentioned together as part of the godhead.
2) The Holy Spirit is one with the Son.
a. Isaiah 11:1-4 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
b. John 1:33 “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
c. John 3:34 — Spirit given without measure. “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”
3) The Holy Spirit is one with the Father.
a. Isaiah 48:16 when the Father sends, the Spirit sends as well. “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.”
b. Matthew 10:19, 20 when the Spirit speaks, the Father is speaking. “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
3. The Holy Spirit is worthy of Worship.
1) Praise for His goodness. Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”
2) Praise for His work in creation. Psalm 104:30 “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”
II. The Holy Spirit is a unique person of the Godhead.
1. He manifests the attributes of an individual personality.
1) He speaks. 2 Samuel 23:2; Ezekiel 11:5; Matthew 10:20; Acts 8:29; Acts 10:19; Acts 13:2
2) He acts. Acts 8:39 Took Philip so that the Eunuch saw him no more.
3) He leads. Matthew 4:1 Lead Jesus to be tempted of Satan.
4) He calls. Acts 13:2 Called Paul and Barnabus unto a specific work.
5) He guides. John 16:13; Acts 11:12 Guide the Apostles into all truth. Guided Peter to the house of Cornelius.
6) He forbids. Acts 16:7 Forbade Paul and company to go into Asia.
7) Can take a unique form. Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22 (bodily shape)
8) He makes intercession. Romans 8:27
9) He knows. 1 Corinthians 2:11 Knows the mind of God.
10)Makes decisions. Acts 15:28 Seemed good to us AND the Holy Spirit.
2. Although he is part of the godhead, he stands in distinction to the Father and Son.
1) Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:21– To the son. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
2) Isaiah 63:10-16 (read) — To the Father
3) Ephesians 4:4-6; Matthew 28:19; John 14:26; Mark 1:10, 11 — All instances in which the three are distinguished from each other.
3. He deals with man in a unique way–through inspiration.
1) Of all the members of the Godhead, he alone is responsible for inspiration.
2) He inspired the Old Testament prophets — 2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not . . . . Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
3) He inspired the New Testament writers — 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 “All scripture . . . .”
4) He leaves those scriptures for us to study today.
5) We will study more about the relationship between the Holy Spirit and man later in the series.
III. The Holy Spirit has a unique role within the Godhead.
1. He had a unique work in the physical creation.
1) Responsible for shaping the earth. Genesis 1:2 “The Spirit of God moved (acted) upon the face of the deep.”
2) Exodus 31:3; 35:21 Men were filled with the Spirit of God to accomplish building tasks.
3) Responsible in creating man.
a. Job 33:4 — “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”
b. Psalm 104:30 — “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth”
4) Luke 1:35 — creation of Jesus physical form — “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
5) We see several things here in regard to creation.
a. The role of the Father in creation is similar to an architect. He came up with the blueprints.
b. The role of the Son/Second Person of the Godhead is similar to a foreman. He tells what needs to be done.
c. The role of the Holy Spirit is similar to the craftsman. He takes the materials in hand and shapes them to the proper form.
2. He had a unique work in the creation of the Bible.
1) He is responsible for disseminating the message of God. Numbers 11:25-30 “And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake: would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!”
2) Hebrews 3:7 — when quoting the Old Testament we are quoting the words of the Holy Ghost. “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice. . . .”
3) 2 Peter 1:21 — prophecy came through the work of the Holy Spirit. “Holy men of God spake. . . .”
4) Again we see His work distinguished from the Father’s work.
a. The Father is responsible for the creation of the message–the ideas.
b. The Son is responsible for the formation of the message–the speech writer.
c. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the delivery of the message–the speech deliverer.
3. He has a unique work in spiritual creation.
1) Isaiah 59:21 — His words will never depart — “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.”
2) He uses those words to invite the sinner to be saved. Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
3) He is responsible for delivering the word of God and the message of salvation in the book we have today as the Bible. Ephesians 3:3, 4 “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).”
4) We obey the truth through the Spirit–by the message of the Spirit. 1 Peter 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
5) When we obey the teaching of the Spirit we are “born” of the Spirit — John 3:5 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
6) When we participate in the new birth, we receive the justification of the Spirit — 1 Corinthians 6:11 — “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
7) As a result, God’s house is built. Ephesians 4:12 says that the Spirits work is for “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
8) Again we see His work distinguished from the Father’s and the Sons.
a. The Father was responsible for the plan. Ephesians 3:9-11 “eternal purpose.” Architect of the church.
b. The Son was responsible for the execution of that plan. Foreman of the church. He said, “I will build my church.” Matthew 16:18.
c. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the application of that plan to man. Craftsman of the church.
9) Next week we will examine the details of the Holy Spirit’s involvement in the early church.
1. We have looked at the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?”
1) He is God.
2) He is a unique person.
3) He has a unique role.
1) If you are a Christian but have fallen away
a. Part of that role is inviting the unfaithful back to the way of truth.
b. He has given us God’s words so we can understand that God wants us to be faithful.
c. Would you heed the invitation of the Spirit today?
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. The Spirit works today in His word to provide for you a way to be saved.
b. His work is to build the church today through His word.
c. Do not neglect the call of the Spirit today.
d. Heed the Spirit’s plan for man’s salvation!
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible . . . .”
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 16:16).
e) Be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).