Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes. beingrecreated

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

The Spirit of God is a person is in His own right (Trinity).  He has a personality and a role in the Lord’s work among us.  When we work with someone it is good to understand them.  When we do, we can work with them not against them.  The texts on this page aim to explore some of the Characteristics of the Spirit so we can be sensitive to Him.


Bible Zone

The headline aspects of our life with the Spirit have their own pages  - Live by the Spirit, The Spirit’s Fruit and the Spirit’s Gifts.  This page focuses on who the Spirit is -


The Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity.  This means that He is a person, and He is God.  Many people talk of the Holy Spirit as IT, as if He had no personality and was merely a spiritual force to be used as we choose.  In fact He is God, and has His sensitivities. Acts 5:1-4

  1. In what way does this passage link God and the Holy Spirit?
  2. What implications are there about the Holy Spirit being a person, if the Holy Spirit is lied to?


Acts 5: 1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property.2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife's consent, he kept the rest.

  3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God!"

The Spirit, God’s Proof

The Holy Spirit coming on us demonstrates to us that God has accepted us.- Ephesians 1:13-14

  1. What commitment is made to us by the Lord when He sends His Spirit?
  2. What do people need to do to receive the Spirit?
  3. What relationship does the Lord have with those who have His Spirit?


Ephesians 1:13-14  13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own* by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.14 The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.


The special mark, or seal of ownership cannot be broken.  Once we are God’s we have a very certain hope for eternity.


The Spirit and Wind

When talking to a religious leader, Jesus gave the wind as an illustration into the way the Spirit operates. Note the play on words: Spirit and wind are the same word in Greek, the language of the New Testament. John 3:5-8

  1. What is the origin of spiritual life?
  2. What characteristics of spirit and wind does Jesus tie together in this passage?
  3. In the light of this, how should we expect the Spirit of God to operate?


John 3:5-8    5 Jesus replied, "I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.*6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.*7 So don't be surprised when I say, 'You* must be born again.'8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit."


Help in weakness

The Spirit knows us from the inside out.  When we are in trouble, He knows how to intervene.  Here is Romans 8:26-27

  1. What understanding does the Spirit have of our need and our ability?
  2. How does the Spirit help us?
  3. How can we look for help from the Spirit in prayer?


Romans 8:26   26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers* in harmony with God's own will.


Sensitivity of the Spirit

We have seen that the Spirit understands our weaknesses and is able to sympathise with us.  There are implications to the Holy Spirit having feelings. Ephesians 4:29-30

  1. What feelings can the Holy Spirit experience?
  2. How can we make the Spirit feel this?
  3. How willing are we to help someone who has made us sad?


Ephesians 4:29-30   29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.   30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,* guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.


The Spirit Defended

The Father and Jesus are very sensitive to protect the Spirit.  See how Jesus defends the Spirit in Matthew 12:24-32

  1. What accusation was made of the Spirit who was at work in Jesus?
  2. What was the attitude of the accusers?
  3. How does Jesus differentiate sin against Himself with sin against the Spirit?


Matthew 12:24-32    24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, "No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,* the prince of demons."   25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, "Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive.27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said.28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.   30 "Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me.   31 "So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.


Note the level of antagonism towards the Holy Spirit by the Pharisees.  This is not a sin that people would slip into by accident.  Most people believe themselves to have committed a sin against the Holy Spirit at some point in their lives.  We can trust the God who loves us to handle this situation.  Jesus is silent about the consequences of such sin, what not being forgiven will lead to.  It would be foolish to conclude that it means going to hell.  (Consider evaluation time)

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT