1. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
a. How long has the Holy Spirit existed? Genesis 1:2; Psalm 51:11; Hebrews 9:14.
b. Describe and explain the extensive nature of God’s Spirit. Psalm 139:7–12; 1 Corinthians 2:9–12; 2 Peter 1:21.
“During the Jewish economy the influence of God’s Spirit had been seen in a marked manner, but not in full. For ages prayers had been offered for the fulfillment of God’s promise to impart His Spirit, and not one of these earnest supplications had been forgotten.”—My Life Today, p. 36.
“Before the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression, the human race has been cut off from this high privilege. By the plan of redemption, however, a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection with heaven. God has communicated with men by His Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to His chosen servants.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 190.
2. IS HE A PERSONAL BEING?
a. Name some traits of character that show the personality of the Holy Spirit.
(1) The Spirit knows. 1 Corinthians 2:9–12.
(2) Able to love. Romans 15:30.
(3) Able to commune. 2 Corinthians 13:14.
(4) Because He can commune, He must speak. 1 Timothy 4:1.
(5) Thus He is able to teach. 1 Corinthians 2:13.
(6) He is able to be a witness. Romans 8:16.
“Christ gave His followers a positive promise that after His ascension He would send them His Spirit. ‘Go ye therefore,’ He said, ‘and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father [a personal God], and of the Son [a personal Prince and Saviour], and of the Holy Ghost [sent from heaven to represent Christ]: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ ”—The Review and Herald, October 26, 1897.
“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.
“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. . . .
“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’ ”—Evangelism, pp. 616, 617.
“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 23.
“There are three living persons of the heavenly trio: in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.”—Evangelism, p. 615.
3. IS HE A PERSONAL BEING? (continued)
a. What are some other traits that show the personality of the Holy Spirit?
(1) He intercedes in our behalf when we pray. Romans 8:26, 27.
(2) He is the distributor of special gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:7–11.
(3) He also invites the sinner to repentance. Revelation 22:17.
(4) He not only invites the sinner to repent, He also seals or settles him in the faith. Ephesians 1:13.
(5) Because He seals or settles us, against what are we warned? Ephesians 4:30.
(6) Because He is a personal being, Jesus applied the personal pronoun “He” and “Him” to the Holy Spirit 24 times. One such example is John 14:16, 17.
“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.
“Happiness is composed of little things and great things. . . . If we would become like Christ and receive His fashion of character, we must in little things train the soul to daily progressive sanctification. We have no time to lose. Would you impress the seal to obtain a clear impression upon the wax, you do not dash it on by a violent action, but you place the seal carefully and firmly and press it down until the wax receives the mold. Just so the Lord is dealing with our souls. . . . Not now and then, but constantly the new life is implanted by the Holy Spirit after Christ’s likeness.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 66.
“The Holy Spirit indites all genuine prayer. I have learned to know that in all my intercessions the Spirit intercedes for me and for all saints; but His intercessions are according to the will of God, never contrary to His will. ‘The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities;’ and the Spirit, being God, knoweth the mind of God; therefore in every prayer of ours for the sick, or for other needs, the will of God is to be regarded.”—The Signs of the Times, October 3, 1892.
4. WHAT IS HIS WORK?
a. As Jesus went to intercede in our behalf at the right hand of the throne of God, what shows that the Holy Spirit is the personal representative of the Saviour? John 15:26; 16:13, 14.
b. What does the Holy Spirit supply to our lonely heart in the absence of our beloved Friend? John 16:7.
c. How does He lead us to conversion? John 16:8 (margin); Zechariah 4:6.
“The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. 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.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 671.
“The image of Christ engraved upon the heart is reflected in character, in practical life, day by day, because we represent a personal Saviour. The Holy Spirit is promised to all who will ask for it. When you search the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is by your side, personating Jesus Christ.”—The General Conference Daily Bulletin, February 15, 1895.
“The preaching of the word is of no avail without the presence and aid of the Holy Spirit; for this Spirit is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit, will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. A minister may be able to present the letter of the word of God; he may be familiar with all its commands and promises; but his sowing of the gospel seed will not be successful unless this seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Without the co-operation of the Spirit of God, no amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light.”—Gospel Workers, p. 284.
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHURCH
a. How does a person come to a full knowledge of the truth? John 16:13.
b. Since this is the work of the Holy Spirit, what is His role in helping us find the true church? 1 Timothy 3:15.
c. Since the Holy Spirit is so important to have in our lives, what should we be doing in order to have the full power of the Holy Spirit? Luke 11:9–13.
“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.
“Just as long as the church are satisfied with small things, they are disqualified to receive the great things of God. But why do we not hunger and thirst after the gift of the Holy Spirit, since it is the means whereby the heart may be kept pure? The Lord designs that divine power shall cooperate with human effort. It is all-essential for the Christian to understand the meaning of the promise of the Holy Spirit just prior to the coming of our Lord Jesus the second time. Talk of it, pray of it, preach concerning it; for the Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit than parents are to give good gifts to their children.”—The Review and Herald, November 15, 1892.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How do we know that the Holy Spirit was an active Agent during Old Testament times?
2. What are the evidences of the personality of the Holy Spirit?
3. What is the difference between the intercessory work of Christ and that of the Holy Spirit?
4. What are some of the most important roles of the Holy Spirit in the plan of salvation?
5. What is the Holy Spirit’s involvement in helping people understand the true church?