The Promise of the Comforter

Bible Answers to your Questions | Vol. 24 No. 1 |Nov-Dec 2013

Among many Christian groups today, there is much talk of the Holy Spirit, also referred to as the Holy Ghost. Phrases such as “spirit-filled,” “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” “speaking in tongues,” and “Pentecost power,” are frequently heard. Is there such a being as the Holy Spirit? If so, who is He? The Bible says, “For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7. Throughout scripture, we see the Holy Spirit as a Being equal with the Father and the Son. He is as much God as they are.

Read Acts 5:1-11. When the early Christian church was having financial problems, members were asked to give liberally. Some even sold their houses and gave the full amount to the church. One couple, Ananias and Sapphira, promised to donate the price of their land, but when the sale took place, they withheld a portion of the money.

When asked how much they received for the sale, they lied. The apostle Peter said, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” Again, the Holy Spirit is represented as an actual being. Peter notes that, in lying to the Holy Spirit, they also lied to God. Acts 5:4.

To understand more about the Holy Spirit and His role, let’s go to God’s Word.

Always pray before studying the Bible. God has promised divine enlightenment to those who desire spiritual truth. Psalms 119:130

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

1. Who created the heavens and earth? Genesis 1:1
2. What did God say before He created man? Genesis 1:26

“Let us” indicates that God was not alone when He created man. The Son and the Holy Spirit were with Him. Genesis 1:2; John 1:1-3, 14.

3. What work of the Holy Spirit is spoken of in Genesis 6:3?
4. What did the prophet Samuel say would happen to Saul when the Holy Spirit came upon him? 1 Samuel 10:5-7
5. What did the following individuals do under the power of the Holy Spirit?

Bezaleel and Aholiab, Exodus 31:1-6

Balaam, Numbers 24:1-5

Gideon, Judges 6:33-35; 7:19-21

We see that throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit empowered selected individuals to do specific tasks.

IV. THE LAW AND OBEDIENCE

1. Should I obey God’s law? Ecclesiastes 12:13
2. Can I obey His law in my own strength? John 15:5; Mark 10:27
3. Then how am I to obey? Philippians 4:13; 2:12, 13

Only by surrendering ourselves to God and praying earnestly are we endowed with the power to say “Yes” to the Ten Commandments and to keep them.

4. What does God promise to do for those who truly desire and seek to obey His law? Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 10:16
5. What will obeying God’s law, through His grace, do in my life? Psalm 19:7, 8
6. As a result, what will be my attitude towards keeping the law? Psalm 40:8; 1 John 5:3

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

1. What other description does Jesus give of the Holy Spirit? John 14:16, 26; 16:7

Some people are afraid of the Holy Spirit, thinking He is like a ghost. But God tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter.

2. How was the Holy Spirit involved in Christ’s birth? Matthew 1:18, 20
3. How was the Holy Spirit involved in other stages of Christ’s life? Matthew 3:16, 17; Acts 10:38; Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12

The Holy Spirit was present at the beginning of and throughout Christ’s ministry.

4. What did Jesus say concerning the Holy Spirit’s role in His own life? Luke 4:18-21

This was a prophecy about the Messiah found in Isaiah, chapter 61. But when Jesus said “this scripture” was fulfilled that day, He was telling those in the synagogue that He was the Messiah, and that the Spirit of the Lord was on Him.

III. CONDITIONS FOR  RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT

1. What prerequisites did Jesus give for receiving the Holy Spirit? John 14:15-17; Acts 5:32\

There is a strong relationship that exists between love for God, obedience to His Commandments, and the Holy Spirit.

V. GIFTS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT

1. What is one subject that Paul wanted the church at Corinth to clearly understand? 1 Corinthians 12:1
2. What gifts does the Holy Spirit give to believers? 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
3. How are these gifts manifested in the church? 1 Corinthians 12:27, 28

IV. FUNCTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

1. What does Paul say the Holy Spirit does for us? Romans 8:26

One of the most important areas of His work is in our personal lives. He helps us, and He even intercedes for us as we pray.

2. The Holy Spirit has many different roles. What are some of them?

1 John 5:7

Romans 8:11

Luke 12:11, 12

John 16:13, 14

Psalm 51:10-12

3. What did the Holy Spirit lead the early church leaders to do? Acts 13:2
4. What does Peter say the Holy Spirit does?  1 Peter 1:2

VI. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND GOD’S LAST GENERATION

1. What amazing spiritual manifestation took place at Pentecost? Acts 2:1-5

Never in the history of this world has there been an outpouring of the Holy Spirit such as was experienced by the disciples on the day of Pentecost. But, can we look forward to the same experience in our day?

2. What does God promise to do for those who are thirsting for righteousness? Isaiah 44:3
3. What does the prophet Joel predict will happen in the last days, before Christ’s Second Coming? Joel 2:28-32
4 .What preparation is necessary before this special outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit? Joel 2:12, 13

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