Summary of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Psalm 139:7-10, Luke 1:35,1 Corinthians 2:10-11, Hebrews 9:14, John 16:7-15, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-4

Summary: Our study of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith continues with an examination of the Holy Spirit, Who He is, and what He does as presented in the Scriptures.

We have examined vital Biblical teachings on God the Father, God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we now come to the Person and work of God the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is no doubt the most neglected and misunderstood member of the Holy Trinity. I say that in light of how the church throughout its history seems to bypass Him as it pertains to the work of creation, sustainment, empowerment, strengthening and teaching of the people of God. His Holy Name and character have been used and abused in describing so-called “revelations” and other contemporary “moves of God” by some representatives of the Charismatic movement, which are questionable, ridiculous, or outright blasphemous due to misinterpretations of Scripture in describing His role, purpose, and the gifts He bestows upon the true followers of Jesus Christ.

In all of this, we must ask ourselves, “What do the Scriptures say?”

We need to get it within our minds, hearts, and souls that the Holy Spirit is God, and not an impersonal “force,” “power,” or “it.” He is a Divine Person within the Godhead with all power, everywhere present, all-knowing, and eternal (Psalm 139:7-10; Luke 1:35; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Hebrews 9:14). He is coupled with the name of God the Father and God the Son in the baptism of a believer and within the Apostolic benediction mentioned by the Apostle Paul (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

Within the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was active, starting in His conception (Luke 1:35). Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit, led by Him, was crucified in His power, raised from the dead, and at the time of the Ascension, gave commandments to the Apostles (Acts 1:2, 10:38; Romans 8:11; Hebrews 9:14).

The Scriptures present emblems that describe the Holy Spirit, such as fire, representing the consuming and purifying power of a believer (Acts 2:1-4). He is also compared to wine (John 3:8) that represents the hidden depth of the Spirit in His mighty regenerating power. Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as water that fills the child of God to overflowing spiritual life (John 7:37-39). He is also compared to a seal, such as what one puts on a letter or official document that shows His ownership of the believer that is finished, complete, and eternal. He is also presented as the oil which anoints His people for service (Acts 10:38) and is seen as a dove, gentle, tender, and peaceful, the peace, “which passes all understanding’ (Mark 1:10; Philippians 4:7).

Scripture warns that we can sin against the Holy Spirit, something that He does not take lightly nor excuse. He will not allow sin into His presence and will not have His Holy name and character be the center of jokes, revelry, blasphemies, or willful ignorance of what is sacred and righteous. We need to deal with the most controversial of these sins, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, first mentioned in Matthew 12:14-33.

Let us settle one issue here and now. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit sin cannot be committed by true believers who have been redeemed by the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is this blasphemy specifically that is so wicked that Jesus will not forgive it ever? Look at the situation in these verses. The enemies of Jesus committed this sin when they had accused Him of casting out devils in the power of the devil himself (12:24) when Jesus clearly cast out demons in the name and power of the LORD GOD.

What the Pharisees had done was to attribute Jesus’ power to that of the devil, giving him the credit for the work of the Holy Sovereign LORD. The “unpardonable sin” was committed by the Pharisees and sealed their eternal fate right there and then. They would never repent nor seek consolation from the Lord Jesus. The Pharisee’s hatred for Jesus was so strong that they, the Sadducees, and Rome consolidated to put Jesus to death. In essence, they conspired to put God Incarnate to death, which is the deep desire of all who hate God and His nature (Romans 3:10-18).

This grievous sin cannot be duplicated today, and if you think you have committed the “unpardonable sin,” rest assured, you haven’t. However, a non-believer can resist the Holy Spirit; that is, they can reject the Gospel and the saving grace of Jesus Christ to their eternal regret (Matthew 25:41; Acts 7:51).

Can believers sin against the Holy Spirit? Most certainly. He can be grieved by our inactions and unbelief when we do not allow Him to control our lives to the glory of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:30-32). His power and direction in our lives can also be quenched when we do not confess our sins and ask for forgiveness (Isaiah 59:1-2; 1 John 1:9; 1Thessalonians 5:19). When we do sin, we need to go before the LORD, confess our wrongdoings, repent and seek forgiveness, and then press forward, obedient to His will (Philippians 3:8-14).

In Acts 5:1-11, two members of the early church, Ananias and Sapphira, lied to the Holy Spirit about gifts that they had given, done so in a way that was deceptive and a mockery of God, and paid for it with their lives. This was a wake-up call to everyone to NEVER think that we can fool the LORD and that He takes following Him seriously, with no half-heartedness (Luke 14:25-33).

On the night before He went to the cross, the Lord Jesus taught His disciples about the Holy Spirit and the role He would play in their lives and that of all true believers throughout the history of the church.

This teaching was recorded in John’s gospel (16:7-15) and given further clarity in the letters of Paul and others. The work of the Holy Spirit includes convicting people of their sins (John 16:9), convicting people that Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God alone (Romans 10:3-4) and that the power of Satan has been broken (John 16:11) by the finished work of Christ on the cross. He regenerates, indwells, and empowers believers (John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Titus 3:5) and seals us into salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). He is our Baptizer and fills us with the power and ability to live a life as a child of God (Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:8), which He does immediately at the time we are saved.

We are to ask for the continual filling of the Holy Spirit so that we remain in His will and are always open to His direction as stated in the Word (Galatians 5:22-26). Someone who is controlled by the Holy Spirit needs no law to show him how to live a righteous life, and the secret to living a Spirit-controlled life is found in nothing else except dedication to the LORD (Romans 12:1-6). If we stuck to what the Word of God teaches about not just the Holy Spirit but all aspects of the Christian life, a lot of the foolishness and spiritual abuse we see happening in the churches today would come to a crashing halt. Just a thought.

Join me for “The Reality City Daily Review” weekday mornings at 10:00 CST on YouTube (USA). It will then be posted on Facebook and on my website. My main area of discussion will be on the basics of the Christian faith but will also deal with prophetic issues and other topics as the Lord impresses upon me to handle.