1. A CREATIVE POWER
a. Under the direction of God, the Father, with what work was the Spirit of God closely involved? Genesis 1:1–3, 26; Job 33:4.
“All things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, came into existence by the breath of His mouth.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 414.
b. What did the first human being receive from God? How does this compare with the renewal of spiritual life? Genesis 2:7; John 20:22.
“The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The breathing of Christ upon His disciples was the breath of true spiritual life. The disciples were to interpret this as imbuing them with the attributes of their Saviour, that in purity, faith, and obedience, they might exalt the law, and make it honorable.”—The Review and Herald, June 13, 1899.
2. A REGENERATING POWER
a. What parallel is there between the creation of our world and the redemption of the soul? 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 2:10.
“Though marred by sin, [nature] speaks not only of creation but of redemption. Though the earth bears testimony to the curse in the evident signs of decay, it is still rich and beautiful in the tokens of life-giving power. The trees cast off their leaves, only to be robed with fresher verdure; the flowers die, to spring forth in new beauty; and in every manifestation of creative power is held out the assurance that we may be created anew in ‘righteousness and holiness of truth.’ Ephesians 4:24, margin. Thus the very objects and operations of nature that bring so vividly to mind our great loss become to us the messengers of hope.”—Education, p. 27.
b. When man sinned and thus forfeited eternal life, who became the agent for the new birth? John 3:5, 6.
“The change of heart represented by the new birth can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. It alone can cleanse us from all impurity. If it is allowed to mold and fashion our hearts, we shall be able to discern the character of the kingdom of God, and realize the necessity of the change which must be made before we can obtain entrance to this kingdom. Pride and self-love resist the Spirit of God; every natural inclination of the soul opposes the change from self-importance and pride to the meekness and lowliness of Christ. But if we would travel in the pathway to eternal life, we must not listen to the whispering of self. In humility and contrition we must beseech our heavenly Father, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me’ (Psalm 51:10). As we receive divine light, and cooperate with the heavenly intelligences, we are ‘born again,’ freed from the defilement of sin by the power of Christ.”—Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 24.
“This new birth is the result of receiving Christ as the Word of God. When by the Holy Spirit divine truths are impressed upon the heart, new conceptions are awakened, and the energies hitherto dormant are aroused to cooperate with God.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 520.
3. A CONQUERING POWER
a. Who continually worked on the conscience of the sinner before and after the Flood? Genesis 6:3.
“The Spirit of God continued to strive with rebellious man until the time specified had nearly expired, when Noah and his family entered the ark, and the hand of God closed its door. Mercy had stepped from the golden throne, no longer to intercede for the guilty sinner.”—Reflecting Christ, p. 321.
“The divine Comforter is full of pity and sympathy; He seeks to woo men to God, to direct their attention to Christ as He really is, full of mercy, compassion, and pardoning love.”—The Bible Echo, March 19, 1894.
b. In what kind of battle are we all involved and who directs it? Ephesians 6:12.
“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”—Evangelism, p. 617.
“[Christ’s followers] are to contend with supernatural forces, but they are assured of supernatural help. All the intelligences of heaven are in this army. And more than angels are in the ranks. The Holy Spirit, the representative of the Captain of the Lord’s host, comes down to direct the battle. Our infirmities may be many, our sins and mistakes grievous; but the grace of God is for all who seek it with contrition. The power of Omnipotence is enlisted in behalf of those who trust in God.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 352.
c. How only is it possible to resist evil? 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5; Ephesians 3:16.
“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.”—Ibid., p. 671.
4. AN ENLIGHTENING POWER
a. What guiding light will the Holy Spirit give to those who will allow Him to dwell in their hearts? Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 30:21.
“We cannot use the Holy Spirit; the Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit, God works in His people ‘to will and to do of His good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:13). But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 672.
“God is speaking to us through His word, pointing out the path of faith and righteousness as the only path to glory. All who have the Spirit of Christ will place high value upon the Scriptures, for they are the oracles of God. They are as actually a divine communication saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it’ (Isaiah 30:21), as though these words came to us from Isaiah in an audible voice. Oh, if the people only believed this, what awe, what reverence, what prostration of soul would attend their searching of the Scriptures, which show the way to eternal life!”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, p. 212.
b. What should we always endeavor to do in the Christian walk? Acts 24:16.
“Take your conscience to the Word of God, and see if your life and character are in accordance with the standard of righteousness which God has there revealed. You can then determine whether or not you have an intelligent faith, and what manner of conscience is yours. The conscience of man cannot be trusted unless it is under the influence of divine grace. . . .
“It is not enough for a man to think himself safe in following the dictates of his conscience. . . . The question to be settled is, Is the conscience in harmony with the Word of God? If not, it cannot safely be followed, for it will deceive. The conscience must be enlightened by God. Time must be given to a study of the Scriptures and to prayer. Thus the mind will be stablished, strengthened, and settled.”—Our High Calling, p. 143.
5. AN INTERCESSORY POWER
a. What is the role of Jesus in the presence of the Father in heaven? 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 8:34.
“Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1077.
“[Jesus] thinks of us individually, and knows our every necessity. When tempted, just say, He cares for me, He makes intercession for me, He loves me, He has died for me. I will give myself unreservedly to Him.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 391.
b. How does the Holy Spirit assist when the sinner comes before God in prayer? Romans 8:26.
“Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, pp. 1077, 1078.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is the Holy Spirit to the soul?
2. How does the Holy Spirit work as a regenerating agent?
3. What part does the Holy Spirit play in the battle against the forces of evil?
4. What does it mean to live with a good conscience before God and men?
5. How does the intercession of the Spirit differ from that of Christ?