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Established November 2008
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4
Thank you all for stopping by and for your commitment to Bible study whether it is here or elsewhere. Now without further ado let us return to the business at hand. Please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 8; we’ll begin at verse 16.
16: The Spirit Himself testifies (Greek translation = Summatuero – pronounced: soom-mar-too-reh’-o – meaning: to bear witness) with our spirit that we are children of God.
Last week, I ended the lesson referencing the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church Age.
I want to follow up on this topic before we press on to answer some questions you may have about the role of Spirit today and to address those misconceptions people have about the Spirit of God in general.
First, the Holy Spirit is not an “it.” He is not a ghost. He is not a theory or a concept.
The Holy Spirit is not some invisible force (as in the Movie Star Wars) used by God the Father to accomplish His will here on earth.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son.
The Holy Spirit is God – with all the characteristics of deity.
The Bible does not teach the Trinity but the Holy Trinity exists. In Genesis chapter 1 God gives us indication of the Trinity. The Spirit of God is mention at Genesis 1:2.
But even before that, we have the word “God” in Genesis 1:1. This word in the Hebrew language is Elohim (pronounced: el-o-heem’) and means the true God; plural; intensive. Further on, at verse 26, we have this:
26: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,
Here is more evidence of the Trinity - note the plurality in this verse.
Man has struggled to define the Holy Trinity for centuries. No one can. At best we can come up with illustrations that fall short of the goal. For example, I could describe H20 as a liquid, a solid, or a vapor depending on whether it was water, ice, or steam. A man is a husband, a father, and a son – yet he is but one man. No illustration is adequate.
All man can do is describe what God is like from our perspective - tainted by sin.
Dr. Wilbur Smith, a seminary professor said, “The man who denies the Trinity will lose his soul. The man who tries to understand the Trinity will lose his mind.” We who are finite, cannot comprehend God, who in infinite (Romans 11:33).
The Holy Trinity is one of the mysteries in the Bible (Deuteronomy 29:29). Once again, Scripture doesn’t tell us everything we want to know, but Scripture tells us everything we need to know. With this thought in mind, please turn to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6.
1 Corinthians 6
19: Or do you not know that your body is (not a dwelling, not a home, not a house, not a tent, but) a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
20: For you have been bought (redeemed) with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
In our study of Romans we’ve recently learned that Jesus Christ Himself lives within each Believer (Romans 8:10). Considering this truth, let us consider this one as well.
Each Believer was not redeemed with silver or gold or any other perishable thing; it was with the precious, unblemished blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Jesus purchased our freedom from the slavery of sin with His shed blood and as Believers our bodies are now God’s temple. Paul teaches us that we are to use them to glorify God (1COR 6:20).
Consequently, it matters how we behave, speak and think; and what we permit into the “temple” through our eyes and ears becomes a critical element as well for every thought, word, and deed is in His view (Matthew 6:22; Ephesians 4:31-32).
Ask yourself then, what are you reading, what are you viewing on your T.V. and at the movies? What are you listening to? Would you bring these items into your church building or into your small group and share them with others? Why not – you’re already sharing them with Jesus!
Next, God said there is only one Spirit. Please turn to Ephesians, chapter 4.
4: There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
The Apostle Paul states “There is…one Spirit” from this we are to recognize that the Person of the Spirit is not under consideration as much as His “administration” or the capability He provides the Lord’s people to function according to God’s will.
As I said last week, this is one more reason why it’s so important to rightly divide the word of truth. While the Bible is written for all classes of people, and for our learning, it is not addressed to all peoples in general. But part of it is addressed to the JEWS, part to the GENTILES, and part to the CHURCH. These three constitute the three classes into which humanity is divided (1 Corinthians 10:32). This is an oversimplification of this phrase but concerning the Spirit there has definitely been a change in methodology under the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3).
Please turn to John chapter 14. Here we have the Lord promising to send His disciples “another Helper” (a comforter in the KJV) who will take His place.
Role of the Spirit
16: ”I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Greek translation = Parakletos – pronounced: par-ak-lay-tos – meaning: an assistant destined to take the place of Jesus Christ), that He may be with you forever;
The Lord had gathered His disciples together in the upper room to prepare them for His departure by way of the cross. Perceiving that they were deeply troubled by His words, the Lord attempted to console them by promising to give them “another” Helper.
As I helped point out in verse 16, the word Helper, in the Greek, means an assistant destined (certain) to take the place of Jesus Christ, but this isn’t a substitute mind you.
I remember having substitute teachers when I was in school from time to time and I’m sure you do too. They were not like my regular teacher. They didn’t even come close.
The “Helper” Jesus is asking His Father to send to His disciples is not a substitute.
How do we know this? The word “another” in this verse gives us the details.
In the original Greek language, the word “another” has two meanings in scripture.
First, there’s Heteros (pronounced: het-er’-oce meaning otherwise, or different.
For instance, if you have a peach in one hand and a pear in the other, both are fruit, but the peach is not a pear. It is a fruit of “another” or Heteros - different sort. However, if I put the peach down and pick up “another” pear now I am holding two pieces of fruit which are “Allos,” (pronounced: al’-los) the same sort or kind.
Jesus uses the term “Allos” in John 14:16 to communicate to His disciples that He will send them another Helper, of the same kind, who would teach them and bring all things to their remembrance (John 14:26).
The Lord’s parting instructions to His disciples confirm this truth: the Holy Spirit is a Person who possesses a personality. This means the Spirit of God has an intellect, a will, and emotions just like Jesus - “Allos.”
Today, in the Grace Age, the main purpose of the Holy Spirit is to come alongside the Believer to do what Jesus did for His disciples when He was here physically. But now the Spirit of God permanently indwells the Believer which is a change. You and the Spirit are one (1 Corinthians 6:17).
You can’t shake your shadow while walking in the great outdoors even if you enter a shady area for a time. Once you emerge from the shade, there’s your shadow. Your shadow is always with you even if you can’t see it for a time. The Spirit of God is similar. Where you go the Spirit goes and what you experience the Spirit of God experiences…. and this all Believers need to understand.
I remember Les Feldick saying this to his class one day, “When you go to some ungodly place you're not going to check God at the door. You take Him wherever you go. You cannot check Him wherever you think it's not fit for Him to be, so you'd better be careful where you go. Because this body is the temple of the indwelling Holy Spirit and He comes (enters) the moment we believe!"
Now the Apostle Paul uses the Greek word pnuema (Spirit) as the masculine pronoun He, which gives Him an identity. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a personal being with an identity different then both God the Father and God the Son. He is identified as, “I” in Acts 13:2 for example.
We therefore recognize the Holy Spirit as a personal being with an individual identity, which means He has an intellect, a will, and emotions just like Jesus Christ.
Backing up, at this time, and picking up Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4:4 again he states, “There is…one Spirit (emphasis mine).
The Apostle Paul wants us to know there has been a dispensational change meaning, an exemption or release from a divine rule or obligation. The role of the Spirit under the Kingdom gospel and His role under the Gospel of Grace have changed. We see “signs” of this change in the first few chapters of Acts.
(To be continued)
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