THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the Old Testament there is a reference to more than one person in the Godhead. A reference to this can be seen in Genesis 1:25-27 which states: “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (NASB)
Through God’s revelation in the Old Testament of the Bible, the Holy Spirit was not understood or revealed openly to the people of Israel to whom the Scriptures were originally given. However, as God’s revelation was expanded through the New Testament the Holy Spirit has now been revealed as the mystery to come. Consider the Apostle Paul’s words as he writes in Ephesians 3:1-19:
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles– if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. (NASB)
Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, and is recorded in John 14:23-26: “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (NABS)
The Work Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Read John 14:16,26; John 15:26 and Romans 8:26. The Holy Spirit’s purpose in the world includes the following as illustrated by the Scriptures given:
- He convicts the world of sin – John 16:8-11.
- He regenerates the believer – Titus 3:5.
- He seals the believer – Ephesians 1:13,14 and Ephesians 4:30.
- He in-fills the believer – Acts 2:4 and Ephesians 5:18.
- He empowers the believer – Acts 1:8 and Acts 10:38.
- He guides the believer – Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:16-18.
- He anoints the believer – 1 John 2:20,27.
- He instructs the believer – John 14:25-26.
The Scriptures reveal to us that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, and He dwells in the Christian believer, who serves as His temple. It is from His temple that He performs His purposes as described above. In the end, without the work of the Holy Spirit, there can be no Salvation for mankind. Please see the article about being “Born Again” for more information on this doctrine.