TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

I.  General

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Chapter 4  Part I

General

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The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. This assertion is reflected by the Holy Spirit’s divine and imposing attributes. However, the Bible also distinguishes the Holy Spirit from God, portraying him as a personal being in his own right.

The Holy Spirit of God

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God . . .

Now [in the beginning] the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.   Genesis 1:2  NET

The Holy Spirit is God’s spirit. As such one should bear in mind that when the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, it is in effect speaking of God himself.

. . . God refers to the Holy Spirit as his Spirit

I will no longer hide my face from them, when I pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord.   Ezekiel 39:29  NET

The Holy Spirit is correlated with God’s presence

[John, to believers:] Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.   1 John 3:24b  NET

This correlates the Holy Spirit with God’s presence by asserting that believers having God’s Spirit verifies that God lives in them.

God and the Holy Spirit know each other’s mind

And he [God] who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.   Romans 8:27  NET

[Paul, to believers:] No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.   1 Corinthians 2:11b  NCV™

The Holy Spirit’s Being

As well as being a spirit, the Holy Spirit is everywhere

[David, to God:] Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!   Psalms 139:7-8  ESV

Verse 7 links the Holy Spirit with God’s presence, and so along with v. 8 implies that the Spirit is omnipresent – i.e. everywhere.

The Holy Spirit is eternal

How much more is done by the blood of Christ. He offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God.   Hebrews 9:14a  NCV™

The Holy Spirit has great power

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him [the Messiah], the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.   Isaiah 11:2  ESV

[John, to believers:] You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.   1 John 4:4  NET

The “one who is in you” is most likely referring to the Holy Spirit. As such, the description of the Holy Spirit as greater than Satan – “the one who is in the world” – is indicative of the Spirit’s great power.

The Holy Spirit has great knowledge

[Jesus, to his disciples:] But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.   John 14:26  NET

The Holy Spirit has great wisdom

But some men from the Synagogue of the Freedmen … as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10Yet they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.   Acts 6:9-10  NET

This suggests that Stephen’s profound wisdom was a product of the Holy Spirit – indicative of the Holy Spirit having great wisdom.

The Holy Spirit’s Personhood

The Holy Spirit is distinguished from God and Jesus Christ

[Paul, to believers:] There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.   Ephesians 4:4-6  NET

The Holy Spirit has his own mind

And he [God] who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.   Romans 8:27  NET

The Holy Spirit has personal characteristics

[Paul, to believers:] Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf.   Romans 15:30  NET

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control.   Galatians 5:22-23a  NET

Each of these characteristics is described as a “fruit of the Spirit” because – like fruit from a tree – their source and means of growth is the Holy Spirit. Arguably this implies that the Holy Spirit’s own character is reflected in them.

The Holy Spirit communicates . . .

[Paul, to believers:] But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain.   Romans 8:26b  NCV™

. . . and the Holy Spirit interacts in other ways

The church became stronger, as the Holy Spirit encouraged it and helped it grow.   Acts 9:31b  CEV

[Paul, to believers:] But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.   Galatians 5:18  NET

Pray for persecuted Christians