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Tag: God the Holy Spirit

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Below, you will find the foundational statement of faith of all Reformed Christians. Officially codified in AD 390, this is a concise statement on the essentials of Christian Orthodoxy.

 

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead:

He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the Holy Ghost:

I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

And the life everlasting. Amen.

Foundations Lesson 5: The Holy Ghost

Foundations Lesson 5: The Holy Ghost

The Holy Spirit is a Person

In Greek, personal pronouns are used – He, Him, etc. Greek (parakletos) – “One called alongside to help”, Helper, Comforter, Counselor.

The Holy Spirit possesses attributes of personhood

Intellect. Romans 8:26: … the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Intercession requires intellect.

Emotions. Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

A Will. Luke 2:26: And it had been revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. To actively reveal something is an act of the will.

The Holy Spirit does things only a Person can do:

  • teaches and helps us to remember John 14:26
  • calls men to service (He speaks) Acts 13:2
  • convicts us of sin John 16:8
  • leads Romans 8:13,14
  • authors 2 Peter 1:19-21

being a Person, He can be affected by our actions or attitudes.

  • We can lie to Him            Acts 5:1-3
  • We can grieve Him          Ephesians 4:30
  • We can quench Him        1 Thessalonians 5:19
  • We can insult Him           Hebrews 10:29
  • We can resist Him            Acts 7:51
  • We can blaspheme Him   Mark 3:28-29
  • We are convicted by Him  John 16:7-11

The Holy Spirit is God Himself

In possessing the same essential qualities that Jesus does, He possesses all of the attributes of God:

Omnipresent                                  Psalms 139:7-10

Omnipotent                                   Luke 1:35

Omniscient                                    John 14:26; 16:12-13 1 Cor 2:10-11

Eternal                                           Hebrews 9:14

Holy                                     Romans 1:4

Creator                                          Gen 1:2, Job 33:4; Ps 104:30,

He is called God                                              Acts 5:3-4,  2 Cor 3:3, 17

fills                                                         Acts 4:8,  Eph 5:18

empowers  (epi)                                      Rom 8:13,  Gal 5:17,  Zech 4:6,

Acts 1:8

teaches                                                             John 14:26,  John 16:13,  Neh 9:20,

1 John 2:27

 

edifies                                                              Acts 9:31

He does not call attention to Himself and is ever present to glorify and testify of the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 16:13-14: However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you.

The Spirit of God is active today, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

John 16:8: And when that One comes, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment.

He regenerates

John 3:6-7: That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.

Seals Believers

Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.

and sets the believer apart to a holy life.

Galatians 5:16: I say, then, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of flesh.

At the moment of salvation, each believer is baptized with the Spirit into the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:13: For also by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, even all were made to drink into one Spirit.

To quote Dr. Stanley, at the moment of your salvation, you got all of the Holy Spirit that you are ever going to get.

and at the same moment is permanently indwelt by the Spirit.

John 14:16-17: And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you.

 

At salvation the Holy Spirit sovereignly imparts at least one spiritual gift to every believer for the purpose of edifying and equipping the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:7-8: And to each hath been given the manifestation of the Spirit for profit; for to one through the Spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit.

As to the charismata (grace gifts/gifts of the Spirit)

The Gift of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself, and He is to be desired more than the Grace Gifts which He in His wise counsel bestows upon individual members of the Church to enable them properly to fulfill their function as members of the body of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit, although not always identifiable with natural abilities, function through them for the edification of the whole Church. These gifts are to be exercised in love under the administration of the Lord of the Church, not through human volition. The relative value of the gifts of the Spirit is to be tested by their usefulness in the Church and not by the ecstasy produced in the ones receiving them.

The purpose is to edify the whole Church

Problem (especially for Charismatics):  lack of knowledge of the Person of the Holy Spirit and the proper exercise of His gifts.

The gifts are ALWAYS to focus the believer on Jesus never to focus on the believer himself.

He gifts us by His sovereign will…and takes into account our unique personalities

Gifts complement each other, never compete with each other

The Cessation of the Sign Gifts

The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God.

Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8). Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:118:24). The apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:1016).

Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22), a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church.

As the “Gift of Tongues” seems to be the most common gift sought today, we will focus on it for our arguments

Evidence from Scripture

Is there biblical or theological evidence that tongues have ceased? Yes.

First, the gift of tongues was a miraculous, revelatory gift, and the age of miracles and, especially, revelation ended with the apostles. The last recorded miracles in the New Testament occurred around A.D. 58, with the healings on the island of Malta (Acts 28:7-10). From A.D. 58 to 96, when John finished the book of Revelation, no miracle is recorded. Miracle gifts like tongues and healing are mentioned only in 1 Corinthians, an early epistle and possibly one of the first penned by the Apostle Paul. Two later epistles, Ephesians and Romans, both discuss gifts of the Spirit at length—but no mention is made of the miraculous gifts.

By that time miracles were already looked on as something in the past (Heb. 2:3-4). Apostolic authority and the apostolic message needed no further confirmation. Before the first century ended, the entire New Testament had been written and was circulating through the churches.

John MacArthur makes an excellent point and adds a powerful question:

Charismatic believers insist that none of the gifts have ceased and non-charismatics insist that tongues have already ceased. Who is right and what is the implication?

By the time the apostolic age ended with the death of the Apostle John, the signs that identified the apostles had already become moot (cf. 2 Cor. 12:12).

Secondly, tongues were intended as a sign to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor. 14:21-22; cf. Is. 28:11-12). They signified that God had begun a new work that encompassed the Gentiles. The Lord would now speak to all nations in all languages. The barriers were down. And so the gift of languages symbolized not only the curse of God on a disobedient nation, but also the blessing of God on the whole world. (Here, in a sense, God reversed, or rather superceded, for a time, what He did at the Tower of Babel by confusing humanity’s languages.)

Tongues were therefore a sign of transition between the Old and New Covenants. With the establishment of the church, a new day had dawned for the people of God. God would speak in all languages. But once the period of transition was past, the sign would no longer be necessary.

Third, the gift of tongues was inferior to other gifts. It was given primarily as a sign (1 Cor. 14:22) and was also easily misused to edify self (1 Cor. 14:4). Case in point, the number of people who foolishly claim that all believers should expect this gift, or the even more dangerous teaching that one cannot truly be saved if He does not speak in tongues. The church meets for the edification of the body, not self-gratification or personal experience-seeking. Therefore, tongues had limited usefulness in the church, and so it was never intended to be a permanent gift.

Evidence from History

The evidence of history indicates that tongues have ceased. It is significant that tongues are mentioned only in the earliest books of the New Testament. Paul wrote at least twelve epistles after 1 Corinthians and never mentioned tongues again. Peter never mentioned tongues; James never mentioned tongues; John never mentioned tongues; neither did Jude. Tongues appeared only briefly in Acts and 1 Corinthians as the new message of the gospel was being spread. But once the church was established, tongues were gone. They stopped. The later books of the New Testament do not mention tongues again, and neither did anyone in the post-apostolic age.

Chrysostom and Augustine—the greatest theologians of the eastern and western churches—considered tongues obsolete. Writing in the fourth century, Chrysostom stated categorically that tongues had ceased by his time and described the gift as an obscure practice. Augustine referred to tongues as a sign that was adapted to the apostolic age. In fact, during the first five hundred years of the church, the only people who claimed to have spoken in tongues were followers of Montanus, who was branded as a heretic.

The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). To repeat and reinforce the point, here are six proofs {gotquestions.org} that it has already ceased:

1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned, although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy. The Greek word translated “prophecy” means “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future.

3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies (builds up/trains/molds) believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2. As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.

EQUALITY OF THE THREE PERSONS

We’ve studied Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One more of our claims needs to be addressed; that of the equality of the three:

“[God] is infinite and perfect, eternally existing in three equal persons.”

In what sense are they equal? They are all equally endowed with all of the attributes of Personhood and Deity. Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Father which constitutes him the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one.

John 1:18, John 15:26, John 17:11, John 17:21,  Zechariah 14:9

Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, neither Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others. (John 5:17-30, John 5:32, John 5:37, John 8:17,18)

Master Outline Number 4: The Holy Spirit

Master Outline Number 4: The Holy Spirit

Outline Four: The Holy Spirit

THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

The Holy Spirit is God, and is equal to the Father and the Son. He is God the Holy Spirit, and is distinct from the Father and the Son. In the Genesis account of creation, He is seen actively engaged in the work of creation, along with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, He empowered men for service; but, when they were disobedient, He departed from them.

 

When David sinned, he prayed, “and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me”(Psalm 51:11).
In the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer, never leaving, filling and empowering him. A scriptural understanding of God the Holy Spirit will make you a better Christian and servant of God.

 

1        The Deity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4):  3) But Peter said, “Ananias, why has the Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4) “While it remained was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

 

Notes: In dealing with Ananias, Peter revealed the Holy Spirit’s Deity (Acts 5:3a). In this Scripture it is very clear that the Holy Spirit is God, and He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with the Father and Son.

 

1)     His deity is also set forth in that He possesses divine attributes:

a)     He is everywhere present in the universe (Psalm 139:7-10)

b)     He has all power (Luke 1:35)

c)     He has all knowledge (I Corinthians 2:10-11)

d)     He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14)

2)     His deity is revealed, His name is coupled in equality with the name of the Father and the Son.

a)     In the baptism of the believer (Matthew 28:19)

b)     In the apostolic benediction (II Corinthians 13:14)

3)     His deity is seen in relation to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

a)     Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)

b)     He was anointed by the Holy Spirit for service – Acts 10:38.

c)     He was led by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1)

d)     He was crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14)

e)     He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11)

f)       Jesus gave commandments to the apostles and the church through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2)

 

If Jesus needed to depend solely upon the Holy Spirit here on the earth, can we afford to do less?

 

2        The Emblems of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16):  16) John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you wit water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

Notes: It is difficult to impart truth by words. Frequently they reveal only a half-truth. The Bible used certain emblems when telling of the Holy Spirit, because they show more about Him. They are:

 

1)     Fire as an emblem (Luke 3:16). Fire speaks of His consuming, purifying power (Acts 2:3, Isaiah 6:1-7)

2)     Wind as an emblem. (John 3:8). Wind speaks of His depth in His mighty regenerating power.

3)     Water as an emblem. (John 7:37-39).

4)     Seal as an emblem (Ephesians 1:13) Seal speaks of His ownership; it is a finished, eternal transaction.

5)     Oil as an emblem (Acts 10:38 Oil speaks of His power to anoint for service.

6)     Dove as an emblem (Mark 1:10). The dove speaks of His gentle, tender, peaceful nature. We may know “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) only when fully surrendered to God.

 

3        Sins against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32):  31) “therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.  “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

 

Notes: This is a solemn study, because the Holy Spirit is God and can be sinned against by both the believer and the unbeliever. May He help you search your heart as you consider:

 

1)     The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This sin is committed by unbelievers. It is often called the “unpardonable sin.” It has no forgiveness. It was committed by the enemies of Jesus when they accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24) when Jesus cast them out by the “Spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28

2)     The sin of resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). This sin is committed by the unbeliever when rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

3)     The sin of grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32). This sin is committed by believers. He is grieved by us unless He controls our lives to the glory of Jesus Christ.

4)     The sin of quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) This sin is committed by Christians when known sin is allowed to go unconfessed (1 John 1:9; Isaiah 59:1-2)

5)     The sin of lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11). The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was deception. They tried to mock God (Galatians 6:7) The Holy Spirit can be sinned against, He is God.

 

4        The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14):  7)“Nevertheless 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 depart, I will send Him to you.  8 ) “And when He has come, He will convict toe world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment; 9) “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10) “of rightness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11) “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  12) “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  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 what ever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14) “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you….”

 

Notes:  In instructing His disciples, regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “. . . for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will . . .”

 

1)     Convict men of the sin of unbelief (John 16:9)

2)     Convict men that Jesus is the righteousness of God(John 16:10; Romans 10:3-4)

3)     Convict men that the power of Satan has been broken(John 16:11)

4)     Regenerate the believer (John 3:5; Titus 3:5)

5)     Indwell the believer  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

6)     Seal the believer (Ephesians 1:13-14)

7)     Baptize the believer (Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13)

8 )     Infill the believer (Ephesians 5:18 )

9)     Empower the believer (Acts 1:8 )

10) Lead the believer (Galatians 5:16-18 )

11) Administer spiritual gifts to the believer (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, to remain with the church until it is complete and presented to the Lord Jesus at His coming. Just as Jesus Christ finished the work He came to do in the flesh, so the Holy Spirit will finish the work He came to do in the church.

 

5        The Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23):  22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 22) gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.

 

Notes: “The Fruit of the Spirit is love.” Only as we live in love can we fulfill the will of God in our lives. The believer must become love-inspired, love-mastered, and love-driven (2 Corinthians 5:14). Without the fruit of the Spirit (love), we are just a religious noise (1 Corinthians 13:1).
The Fruit of the Spirit is love,” and it is manifested in joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control:

 

1)     Joy is love’s strength.

2)     Peace is love’s security.

3)     Longsuffering is love’s patience.

4)     Kindness is love’s conduct.

5)     Goodness is love’s character.

6)     Faithfulness is love’s confidence.

7)     Gentleness is love’s humility.

8 )     Selfcontrol is love’s victory.

 

Against such there is no law.” A Holy Spirit-controlled man needs no law to cause him to live a righteous life. The secret of a Spirit-controlled live is found in dedication to God (Romans 12:1-2)
Put your all on the altar, and the Holy Spirit will fill your heart with the love of God (Romans 5:5)

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved