Bible study on the Holy Spirit
I believe it is critical for our growth as Christians to rediscover the person of the Holy Spirit. Without rediscovering the truth about the Holy Spirit we will continue to flounder on in our attempt to live as Christians. There is a desperate need for the rank and file of the Christian world, both Pentecostal and Reformed and everyone in between to know the truth and develop our intimacy with God. To understand why ‘doom’ sprayers and other disgraceful practices that are being encouraged by so-called Christians and self-appointed prophets is wrong.
In our day and age, there is so much confusion about the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Few churches give the detailed teaching on the person and work of the third person of the Trinity. On the one hand, there is widespread abuse of the use of the Holy Spirit, if that is possible, or at least the wrong concept of the Holy Spirit. This stems from a lack of teaching and understanding of and about the Holy Spirit. There is much talk about the Holy Spirit, but more froth than substance.
On the other hand an almost complete neglect or wilful avoidance of the Holy Spirit. Many churches and pastors hardly ever address the teachings of the Holy Spirit. They may express disapproval for the excesses and wrongs happening in the name of the Holy Spirit in some quarters, but either they do not teach a corrective or deal with it superficially leaving people in a semi-ignorant state.
The cause of this in our day and time may be many, but two areas I think that contribute greatly to the abuse and neglect are: One, our lack of understanding and applying our minds in our day and age on the Trinity, and secondly a general aversion to focussed theological thinking. This produces either people who out of lack of knowledge and understanding ‘abuse’ the Holy Spirit or has an Ostrich mentality out of lack of clear understanding, as far as it is Biblical.
The Bible speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit from God in five ways as shown so clearly by John Owen in his book, The Holy Spirit, book 1, chapter five. He shows very clearly the distinctions, and purposes between these five ways that God the Father ministers to us by the Spirit. But even before one can fully appreciate these various aspects of the ministry, Owen shows earlier that our understanding needs to start with a clear understanding of the Trinity. In the process, never to forget the oneness or the absolute unity of the Godhead, and never to compromise on this eternal glorious unity of God.
Below is an outline of part of the chapter as it relates to these five aspects of the way in which God works in various ways in the coming of the Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit is given of God. Luke 11:13
1.1.1. Grace of God viewed objectively
1.2. Giving implies;
1.2.3. Bounty brings;
2. Sent by God. Psalm 104:30
3. God is said to minister the Spirit. Gal.3:5
4. God is said to put his Spirit in or upon men. Isa. 42:1
5. God is said to pour him out. Prov.1:23
This chapter is well worth a read and I do not intend to even try to give a summary of the chapter. However, one aspect of the chapter specifically got my attention. When speaking about the bounty of God in his giving, the privilege that comes is very interesting.
Some people receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for a specific purpose without actually being saved or their eternal soul benefitting from this.
Mat 7:21-23 ”Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Matthew Henry mentions Balaam and Caiaphas were overruled to prophesy, and Saul was against his will among the prophets, yet that did not save them.
Here is a very sobering thought, Judas cast out devils, and yet was a son of perdition, Mark 6:7-12. There may be a faith of miracles, where there is no justifying faith; none of that faith which works by love and obedience.
[Those who do these things are either copycats being used by Satan or they are being used by the Holy Spirit for a specific and special purpose.] JO p.103 Isa 45:1-4. Cyrus …wherever men in the world have been raised up to do great and wonderful things… they also received the special gifts and assistance of the Holy Spirit of God.
Those who receive His gifts only and not His grace to justify them remain in their unsaved state. They will appear before Him one day and will be cast away. Miracles and gifts do not safe, grace alone saves. All the gifts God give are good and will be beneficial to those who receive them and those who receive ministry from the individual who has received the gifts. 1Co 12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
There is great benefit in these gifts because they are good and when used to the benefit of all, they will be a great blessing.
Let us pray for faith to be saved and develop our personal relationship with God. Walking in obedience to this relationship.