Purpose of this Session
To establish in the mind of the believer that Scripture clearly reveals that the Holy Spirit is more than a mere influence or spiritual force, He is a Person whom we can know, work and fellowship with.
More Than An Influence!
Do not consider the Holy Spirit to be just an influence. Many are robbed because they consider the Holy Spirit to be an impersonal influence, energy or power.
It is true that the Holy Spirit influences the life of the believer and He is revealed as the Power of God, but this influence is a personal one. Misunderstanding has arisen largely for the following reasons:
i. The word ‘Spirit’ is the Greek, “pneuma” meaning ‘breath ‘ or ‘wind’, which implies the concept of an unseen force. (John 3:5-8)
ii. The Holy Spirit is symbolised as many impersonal objects such as wind, water, fire or oil, seemingly negating the fact that He is a person.
iii. The Holy Spirit’s work seems mystical, secret and invisible.
iv. The Holy Spirit as a title is less relatable than “Father” and “Son”. However, the Spirit is a person, though invisible and incorporeal.
The Holy Spirit Is A Person
The Holy Spirit is revealed in scripture as the third person of the eternal Godhead. To consider Him as something less than a personality can cause people to look on the Spirit as Simon the Sorcerer did in Acts 8:18-20 who wanted to purchase “this power”.
If we consider the Holy Spirit a mere influence it will rob us of the joy of knowing Him, and worshipping and reverencing Him rightly according to scriptural revelation of Truth.
He is referred to with personal pronouns and Titles
In His teaching in John’s gospel, Jesus uses personal pronouns (He, His, Him) in relation to the Holy Spirit over ten times.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” John 14:15,16, NKJV.
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:26,27, NKJV.
In John 14:16 the Spirit is spoken of as “another Comforter” (KJV), meaning “another of the same kind”. How could the Holy Spirit take Jesus’ place if He were no more than a mystical power? The Holy Spirit came to be personally IN the disciples what Jesus had been personally TO them.
He has personal qualities
The three main qualities which constitute personality are attributed to the Holy Spirit.
“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
1 Corinthians 12:11
The Spirit is spoken of as having personal feelings such as love(Romans 15:30)
that could never be attributed to an impersonal power. He can be:
i. Grieved(Eph 4:30)
ii. Insulted(Heb 10:29)
iii. Lied to(Acts 5:3)
iv. Blasphemed(Matthew 12:31-32)
v. Resisted(Acts 7:51)
vi. Vexed(Isaiah 63:10)
vii. Quenched(1 Thessalonians 5:19)
The Holy Spirit performs personal acts
Take 10 minutes to look up and consider the following Scriptures that speak of the Holy Spirit and His activities. What do you discover about the Person of the Holy Spirit and some of the personal acts that He performs?
1 Corinthians 12:11
1 Corinthians 2:10
1 John 5:6
1 Corinthians 12:7-11