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."
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.
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."
And, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of
God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
Plus, "Quench not the Spirit." 1st
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
--- 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
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
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
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
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
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."
"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!
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.
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
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 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!
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
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
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
--- 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
He is tender!
He is sensitive!
Yet He is invested with omnipotence,
"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."
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,
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
The Holy Ghost will smile!
Be "kind" to others, mellow and mild and
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
Forgiving others means "to grace" them with
kindness, not to hold grudges, much like the Lord has treated
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!
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
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
The verb here is "sbennumi," meaning "to
extinguish," as with a flame. Or "to suppress or stifle"
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."
"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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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."
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
Get busy serving Jesus!
And helping the saints!
And that always-sought, ever-elusive Goal may
"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
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
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."
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"
The term "uncircumcised in heart" refers to
the many fleshly, sensual, carnal tendencies that ruled their
hearts and lives.
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
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
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!