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 THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHRISTIAN!

HIS MINISTRY IN THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS OF GOD

"Even the Spirit of truth, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless." John 14:17-18

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

Jesus, when describing the ministry of the dear Holy Spirit, especially in reference to us Believers in Christ, called Him "the Spirit of Truth."

He, the Spirit, is the One Who will keep us from being "comfortless." John 14:17, in an immediate context that focuses solely on the Holy Spirit of God, reads: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

Amen!

That word, "comfortless" translates the Greek term "orphanos." This is our word "orphan!" That is, a child without parents. One who lacks supervision, support and care! 

The implication is that the Holy Spirit fulfills the role of "parent" to us who still live here on earth. We who are still fighting the fight and running the race and finishing the course God gave us.

Wow!

That being the case, we need to better understand the Spirit's relationship to God's children.

The Lord willing, we shall achieve this goal by studying several key Verses that speak of the Holy Spirit and His intimate dwelling within each Christian.

For example, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18

And, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30

Plus, "Quench not the Spirit." 1st Thessalonians 5:19

Also I'd like to discuss this question with you. "Can I pray to the Holy Spirit?" What does Scripture say about that concept? Or at least, "May I include Him in my prayers?"

Perhaps too we'll look at Acts 7:51, Stephen's great words. "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Resisting the Holy Spirit!

And maybe, although I think this is not possible for the true child of God, a glimpse at the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." Matthew 12:31

Anyone want to come along?

A journey through some major "Holy Spirit" Verses of Scripture.

Reminds me of what Moses said to His Father-in-Law one day. "And Moses said unto Hobab, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good." Numbers 10:29

Amen!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, PRAYING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT:

The Holy Spirit, may we pray to Him?

He is our constant Companion, indwelling us really! Those of us who are saved. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" 1st Corinthians 6:19

But praying to Him, is it Biblical?

Of course the Triune God is One! Any time we pray to Him, the Members of the Godhead, Father and Son and Spirit are involved.

But such involvement usually looks like this. We pray to the Father. We pray to the Father through Jesus' Name. We pray to the Father through Jesus our Great High Priest as we are moved or motivated by the Holy Spirit! See the prepositions? To and through and by, important little words here!

But still, back to our question, may we pray to the Holy Spirit?

Technically speaking, I can find no Bible example for doing so. I mean a Verse that says to do it. Or an example of someone doing so.

Using Bible typology, Ezekiel may be pleading with the Spirit of God in that great 37th chapter of his Prophecy. Remember, the vision of the valley of dry bones. God told Ezekiel to preach to the dead dry bones and they would ... in a word, live! Here's the exact account. "Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." Ezekiel 37:9, the "wind" here might be a Symbol of the Holy Spirit. If so, at least it's a type or picture of praying to our great Paraclete, our Comforter, the Spirit of God!

But again, directly, no examples.

No specific Texts.

Now, the old preachers, nearly to the last one, at one time or another, taught or preached about beseeching the Spirit. And they were godly men, too.

Then a hymn comes to mind, written years ago now, that is virtually a prayer to the Spirit. It goes like this, pretty close anyway. "Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me." It continues, asking Him to "mold me, make me, fill me, use me," and the like. Folks, that's prayer!

And when I pray such things, to the Spirit of God, my heart is "strangely warmed," using John Wesley's words.

But, personally speaking now, it's hard for me to imagine living "day in" and "day out" with Someone, the Holy Spirit again, with Whom we do not fellowship.

And isn't that fellowship itself a form of prayer?

If you have a petition, take it to God the Father, in Jesus' Name.

If you want to worship your Saviour, then prayerfully go to Jesus' Feet, at the Right Hand of God's very Throne!

But if you want to love the One Who convicted you and drew you and placed you in Christ's Body and sanctifies you and matures you ... talk to the precious Holy Spirit Himself!

He won't be offended at all!

Now, here's my sole Scripture to authenticate what I've taught today. But one Verse is enough, when you're speaking from the Word of God!

Paul wrote this in 2nd Corinthians 13:14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

See it?

"The Communion of the Holy Ghost."

The great Apostle prays that we will be acquainted with the "communion" of the Holy Ghost! This Greek noun, "koinonia" means "fellowship, association, participation, intercourse and comradery."

That sure sounds like prayer to me!

An old Puritan writer, John Owen, believed and practiced daily communion or fellowship with the Triune God. Breaking such down into regular times of adoration of the Father, worship of the Son, and fellowship with the dear Holy Spirit too!

Try it!

Sure is sweet!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, BLASPHEMY AND THE HOLY SPIRIT:

The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit?

Will such a horrible thing be discussed in this Bible Study series?

Since we are specifically focusing on "The Holy Spirit and the Saints of God," this sin will not be covered, not in any detail.

Why?

Because a Christian, someone born-again, washed in the Blood of Jesus, truly "saved," cannot commit this sin!

Not any more!

Listen to Jesus in Matthew 12:31-32. "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." That's it.

Once this sin has been committed, whatever it may be in particular, that person is doomed, doomed to an eternity in Hell.

And since the Bible teaches that a regenerated man or woman is secure, eternally secure I believe, there's just no way he or she could commit such an egregious sin!

To do so would mean he had automatically reversed his salvation!

That can't be done!

Lost people can blaspheme the Holy Spirit, for sure! Many have in our day of popular atheism and rebellion and reprobation.

And when a sinner goes this far, crosses God's deadline, I suspect he or she is no longer drawn or convicted or troubled by the Holy Spirit at all!

No hope of salvation, ever!

And what's more, they don't care! Not one bit! No "restraint" against sin remains, none whatsoever! God is "through" with them, no more Mercy!

Wow!

Now, don't misunderstand me, please.

A genuine Christian can grieve the Holy Spirit! This sin we shall study, Lord willing.

So can the child of God quench the Holy Spirit. Paul said so in 1st Thessalonians 5:19.

But to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, a sin of that magnitude, taught by Jesus to be certain eternal death, that sin is not in the domain of the sons of God!

Yes, as Paul taught us, "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

It's even possible, Scripture teaches, for a Believer to sin a "sin unto death!" Listen to John. "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." 1st John 5:17

But even this sin, including its premature journey to heaven, an early death, does not imply eternal separation from God!

No, the Christian here, a "brother" according to John, merely goes to Heaven more quickly!

Ask Moses about dying before one's time. Or Hezekiah. Or Ananias and Sapphira I suspect. Or the Church Members, truly saved ones, at Corinth who had desecrated the Lord's Supper!

Sins unto death, yes they're possible for the saint of God to commit.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, no?

And if you believe in the eternal security of the child of God, you agree.

If not, you'll probably worry yourself to death anyway!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, onward to a discussion of a sin the Christian can commit.

That is, a person who is inhabited by the Holy Spirit of God!

What a thrill, God within us! "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27, from the pen of Paul but authorized by the Holy Spirit Himself.

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT:

The Holy Spirit is a "Person?"

Yes, in a real sense.

He's the Third Person of the Trinity!

He is God.

As Such, He has certain traits, called "attributes" by theologians, that define His Life and Ministry.

For example, Christians are cautioned by Paul the Apostle to be careful as they interact with the Holy Spirit ... because He can be "grieved!"

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30

Our Verse here is a command, the main verb being an imperative.

But what does it means to "grieve" Him, God the Holy Spirit?

"Lupeo" is the word, meaning "to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, to make one uneasy, to offend, to cause heaviness."

Don't, by any means, hurt the Holy Spirit's feelings!

He is tender!

He is sensitive!

Yet He is invested with omnipotence, toughness, too!

"Lupeo" occurs just over two dozen times in our New Testament.

Once a King felt "sorry" for a bad decision he had made. Matthew 14:9

Once a Church Family experienced "sorrow" over the deaths of close loved ones. 1st Thessalonians 4:13

Once a group of Believers in Christ entered a time of "heaviness" because of multiple trials and temptations. 1st Peter 1:6

Once Peter was "grieved" because Jesus asked him the same basic question three times. John 21:17

See, this verb is as common as can be, used in everyday situations of life. So does the Holy Spirit live with us, inside us, constantly! In all the everyday situations of life too!

But, for general information, how could one "grieve" the Spirit?

Paul again comes with the answer. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:29-32

The wrong kind of talk will "grieve" Him!

Things like corrupt communication, that is, "rotten and putrefied" speech!

Also things like bitterness of speech, from "pikros" meaning sharp or cutting words!

Both wrath and anger are mentioned too. That includes a short-fused temper even though it might not last very long! And that deeper, more slowing developing, and then slower-to-subside madness as well!

Clamour is "loud revelry," needless noisiness, being boisterous in frivolity and foolishness, silliness.

Then evil speaking is included. The Greek noun is spelled "blasphemia." Need any more be said? Injurious talk, deliberately hurting folks!

And just as these things "grieve" the Spirit, other things encourage Him, excite Him, please Him, the very opposite of grieving Him!

Same Text, or context really, talk in a "edifying" manner. The word is "oikodome," or "building a house!" Build the people around you, spiritually, with your words!

The Holy Ghost will smile!

Be "kind" to others, mellow and mild and sweet.

Tenderhearted is a word that's "physical," meaning to have "strong bowels." In Paul's day that was a way to indicate compassion, empathy, feeling with others in their times of need.

Forgiving others means "to grace" them with kindness, not to hold grudges, much like the Lord has treated us!

Just some quick thoughts today.

How NOT to offend the Holy Spirit!

In fact, here's a nine word description of His Essence. His Personality, His character summary. "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance!" I just quoted for you Galatians 5:22-23.

Yield to the Holy Spirit!

Do not "cross" Him!

And He will grow these seven qualities in the garden of your heart!

Wow!

Tough and Tender!

The Third Member of the Godhead!

Back to where we started. "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

Saint of God, Christian friend, live carefully today!

Don't hurt His Feelings!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, QUENCHING THE HOLY SPIRIT:

Paul cautions us not to "quench" the Holy Spirit of God! He, in context, is writing to us followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His exact words, only four in number, say: "Quench not the Spirit." 1st Thessalonians 4:19

The verb here is "sbennumi," meaning "to extinguish," as with a flame. Or "to suppress or stifle" something.

I can only find this word in the New Testament eight times. In each occurrence it means "to quench" except once, where it is rendered "to go out."

Here's the "go out" reference, in the parable of the ten virgins. "And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out." Matthew 25:8

And look what Jesus says about the fires of Hell. "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:44

Still about fires, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." Ephesians 6:16

"Sbennumi" is pronounced "sben'-noo-mee," accenting the first syllable as indicated.

Here "Quench not the Spirit" is an imperative verb, issuing a direct command to the saints in Thessalonica. To the saints everywhere really!

The Holy Spirit is thereby pictured as a Fire, anything from a small candle giving essential light to a veritable blow-torch, scorching hot with intensity.

In either instance, do not cool His Flame!

Do no retard His Heat!

Do not alter or hamper His Word!

It's amazing that the Bible should reveal the Spirit as being in any way dependent or even conditionally responsive to our whims! But, here we have just such a situation!

But, one "key" thing, at least in 1st Thessalonians 5:19, must be observed. What Paul is teaching here may be qualified by the following verse.

"Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings." This merely adds Paul's next thought, verse twenty. But it supplies a world of understanding.

Paul here is saying that the "main" way, or at least the "Thessalonian" way of quenching the Holy Spirit was by "making light" of the preaching of God's Word!

"Despise" translates "exoutheneo," a blend of "ek" and "oudeis." It means "out of nothing!" To discount Biblical prophesying! To belittle the proclamation of Scripture. To consider it useless! Irrelevant! Out-of-date!

Not to listen to the Preacher week after week!

Maybe even, to fail to attend Preaching service again and again!

Such an interpretation, based on Paul's whole "sense," is astounding!

This view certainly elevates one's estimate of preaching!

It also sensitizes one to the tenderness of the dear Holy Spirit of God!

Ignore God's Word ... and risk suppressing the Power of God's Holy Spirit in your life!

Wow!

Think about this one for a while!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

What are you going to be doing this Sunday morning? We had all better be going to Church ... to listen to a Man of God proclaim the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God!

Amen!

 

 

LESSON 6, THE FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT:

Paul also talked about being "filled" with the Holy Spirit.

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18 is also a command, a double command really!

This Verse presents a critically important aspect of living for the Lord.

But what is the "fullness" of the Spirit?

One old "friendly" argument that occupied a lot of time was this: "Is it possible for us to really get MORE of the Holy Spirit?" Or, conversely, "Is it just a matter of the Holy Spirit getting more of us?"

But, friends, these are not the most important questions I think. Express this great "filling" any way you choose, being led of the Lord by His Word. Better yet is the following course of action. Just let us whole-heartedly study the Text, the entire Paragraph, where Paul taught this filling. There we will gain valuable information.

Yes, here's what important. Get the context of Paul's Sermon. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Ephesians 5:18-21

There are four verbal adjectives here supporting the "be filled" command. Some language teachers say they represent the results of being so filled! Others just as strongly teach that they are the prerequisites of being so filled!

These two models of thought would look like this.

Number one. "Be filled!" Then you will ... speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord; give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Number two. Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord; give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God ... thereby, in so doing, you will "be filled" with the Holy Spirit!

Are these godly activities the results of being filled?

Or the forerunners of being filled?

Let's think about this.

Either answer is fine, I suspect.

Either would promote godly living.

And Christian service, to the Glory of God.

But when the original verb is analyzed, "Be filled with the Spirit," it is framed as a "passive voice" activity. We are not being told to go out and somehow "seize" the Holy Spirit! To go and "get" Him! That's wrong, grammatically and theologically too!

We are being told to so live and so trust the Lord and so love Jesus that ... somehow, in that process, the mechanics still not fully known ... we will "be filled" with the precious Holy Spirit! It happens to us, a gift from God!

This "filling" is not anything I alone can control! It is done to me by Another! I am the passive, obedient, joyful recipient of His Fullness!

So, for the first time ever I'm saying this. Let's obey these participles whole-heartedly. It just may be, that in so doing, I will be overwhelmed, filled, inundated, saturated, imbued, with the dear Person of God the Holy Spirit!

Whether it's me getting more of Him, or Him getting more of me ... the results will be glorious! Like more and more: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and then temperance!" Galatians 5:22-23

The verb "filled" in "Be filled" is "pleroo." It means "to fill to the brim!" Or, "to cause to abound, to be liberally supplied!" It comes from "pleres," the state of being "filled up" as opposed to "empty!" Lexicons say, "covered in every part!" Others, "lacking nothing!"

But again, it's a passive voice verb!

It's also a present tense verb. This "filling" is an on-going way of life! We are constantly being inundated, overflowed, supplied by this great Holy Spirit! The "filling" is not just a once-in-a-lifetime event!

In the Book of Acts note how many times the Christian folks were filled! The same people I mean! Again and again! That's it! Habitual filling!

Now, quickly to those "participles."

Two deal with our relationship with God. These are called "vertical," upward in scope.

The other two concentrate on our relationships with mankind, our brothers and sisters. These are called "horizontal," outward in focus.

Here are those Godward. "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Then, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Manward. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." "Yourselves" is plural here, to each another, the brethren in Christ!  Yes, and also "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

Wow!

Get busy with these!

Ask the Lord to help you.

Do them with all your heart!

See what happens!

I suspect, soon, passively, the fullness of the Holy Spirit will be yours!

The wise old philosophers, now extinct, said that if a person pursued happiness, happiness alone, he or she would never achieve their goal.

But, if he served God and others ... one day, instantly, he would realize that he was happy! Happy in forgetting self and concentrating on someone else!

Just so it might be with the fullness of the Holy Spirit!

Get busy serving Jesus!

And helping the saints!

And that always-sought, ever-elusive Goal may be yours!

"Filled with the Spirit!"

Think about it, anyway!

The grammar is right for sure!

I suspect the theology is too!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, CONCLUSION, STILL TWO MORE VERBS:

Grieving, quenching, being filled, all are legitimate verbs that might be used in reference to the Holy Spirit of God.

Today one or two more will be added to the list.

Stephen, the godly Christian martyr, said to his accusers: "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Acts 7:51

These, his murderers, are lost people, of course. In fact, "stiffnecked" is likely a term that "hints" at idol worship! Back when Israel first worshipped that golden calf, in Aaron's days, they started becoming like the gods they worshipped! Listen to Psalm 115:8. "They that make them (the idols) are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them." Cows and oxen and bulls and goats, objects of heathen worship, symbols of their many so-called gods and goddesses often became stubborn and "stiffnecked" and rebellious!

The term "uncircumcised in heart" refers to the many fleshly, sensual, carnal tendencies that ruled their hearts and lives.

Lost people!

Lost religious people!

But still, watch what they did to the Holy Spirit. They "resisted" Him, always! This sin, resisting God the Third Person, may lie exclusively in the domain of sinners to commit.

But let's study the word anyway. Just in case a Christian might grow lax and fall into the spirit of "resisting" the things of God.

"Antipipto" is a one-time-only Bible verb. Used only here, it blends "anti" (meaning "against" or sometimes "in-the-place-of") and "pipto" (meaning "to fail, to fall, to descend from a higher to a lower place").

Thus, we get a meaning that goes something like this. "To lower something from its rightful place of esteem, maybe even replacing it with another!" Or just "belittling something, perhaps out of sheer antagonism!"

Whatever this means in real-life practice, saints of God, stay away from it!

Flee it diligently!

Do not "resist" the precious Holy Spirit!

Then, in finalizing this Series of Bible Studies, I came across yet another verb. This time Isaiah is the preacher. "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them." Isaiah 63:10

To "vex" the Holy Spirit!

This may be nearly the equivalent of Paul's "not grieving" the Spirit. But it's certainly worth a few more minutes of time.

"Vex" is "atzsab" in Hebrew. It means "to hurt, pain, displease," also "to cause sorrow," or even "to wrest or twist out of shape!"

Interestingly, the noun form of "atzsab" is used 16 times in the Bible to indicate "idols" too! Filthy "images" to be worshipped!

Do not let anything take the place of the precious Holy Spirit of God! Do not pain Him or displease Him in any way at all!

And, certainly, do not distort His True Character or Shape or Essence! After all, He is the Spirit who bears fruit in our lives, fruit like "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance." Wow! These are listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

Or, to use the Colossians list: "bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another." Colossians 3:12-13

Just some closing thoughts about the Holy Spirit, our relationship to Him, precious and sweet as He is!

Do not even come close to "resisting" Him!

And do not "vex" Him either!

Paul in Romans 15:30 mentions some great things, one of them being "the love of the Spirit!"

Do you love Him today?

Tell Him so!

He assuredly loves you!

Commune with Him regularly!

Oh, what a life!

Life more abundantly!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

Thank God for the precious Holy Spirit! What a Blessing He is in our lives! A True Advocate, Comforter, Teacher, Companion and So Much More! We pray that this study of these "key" Holy Spirit Verses will be a source of encouragement to you all!

 

 

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