Christians have great and many privileges as children of God because of who the Holy Spirit is, and what He can do in the life of every believer. It is most important to realize that the Holy Spirit is fully God. The deity of the Holy Spirit is affirmed in the Scriptures. He is declared to be God:
1) By Peter, when Ananias and Sapphira tried to deceive God by bringing a portion of an offering, pretending to bring all of it. “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?…You have not lied to men but to God’ ” (Acts 5:1-4). When Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit, he therefore lied to God. The Holy Spirit is God, according to the Scriptures.
2) By the apostle Paul, when he wrote to “the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2), asking them a most important question: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Every New Testament church is composed of born-again, Spirit-baptized believers. The building is not the church, it is the sanctuary where the church meets to worship; and God the Holy Spirit indwells each believer in the church. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). Yes, your physical body is the temple of God, the Holy Spirit.
3) By attributes ascribed to the Holy Spirit that are also ascribed to God the Father and God the Son:
a) Omnipresence—He is everywhere present in God’s universe (psalm 139:7-10).
b) Omnipotence—He has all power in God’s universe (Luke 1:35).
c) Omniscience—He has all knowledge in God’s universe (John 14:26; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11).
Yes, the Holy Spirit is God, and we should desire everything He has for us.
This study on the Holy Spirit and His ministry will help you recognize your great need of His Christ-exalting presence in your life. Jesus said, “He [the Holy Spirit] will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine [receive My teaching] and declare it to you” (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ in and through every child of God. If He is not exalting Christ in your life, it is because He is “grieved.” Paul said, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). God the Holy Spirit is grieved by sin in the life of the believer. You are to put off the life-style of the old man (the flesh) and put on the life-style of the new man. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh [first birth], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [new spiritual birth]” (John 3:6). Paul lists some of the sins that grieve the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers (Ephesians 4:22-32). Search your life and, if you find any sin therein, practice 1 John 1:9. As you confess your sins, call them by name; repent and forsake them, that you may be filled with the Holy Spirit of power and joy (Acts 1:8).
10-1 The Ministry of the Holy Spirit Before Pentecost
(Judges 14:5, 6)
“And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him” (v. 6). Samson was a spiritual enigma. Before his birth he was chosen of God to be a “Nazirite to God” (Judges 13:1-5). A Nazirite could be either man or woman, set apart from things of the world for the service of God. Some Nazirites were separated unto God for a short period of time, but Samson was set apart by God for life. In failing to live the life of the Nazirite, he trusted Delilah and revealed to her the secret of his great physical strength (Judges 16:16, 17). While he slept, with his head in Delilah’s lap, she called for a man to cut his hair. When he awoke, Delilah was saying, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” He said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” Then we come to one of the saddest statements in the Bible—“But he did not know that the Lord had departed from Him” (Judges 16:18-21). When he lost the power of the Holy Spirit, he lost the victory, and the Philistines captured him. Finally, however, the Spirit again came mightily upon him and defeated the Philistines (Judges 16:29, 30).
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon the Lord’s servants, but when they continued to disobey God, the Holy Spirit would leave them. For example, Samuel prophesied to Saul saying, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them [the prophets] and be turned into another man” (1 Samuel 10:6-10). But the time came when Saul, in disobedience to God, sinned so greatly that the Holy Spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14).
When King David repented of his sin, knowing that the Holy Spirit had abandoned King Saul, he prayed, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). This psalm of repentance should be read often and when necessary practiced by every believer, lest the Holy Spirit be grieved (1 John 1:9). The Holy Spirit not only came upon prophets, kings, judges, and priests in the Old Testament, He also filled some for special work. “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘See, I have called by name Bezalel…And I have filled him with the Spirit of God’ ” (Exodus 31:1-11). Bezalel was filled with the Spirit of God and given the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, to be a Spirit-filled craftsman who could supervise the building of the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, and all the furniture, and who could make all the clothes for the high priest and his sons (Exodus 35:31-36:7). The Holy Spirit came upon many, but only filled a few; the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, however, took place at Pentecost.
10-2 The Ministry of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost
When the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost, there were certain supernatural manifestations that marked the beginning of His ministry in the church age. The 120 disciples were in the Upper Room and in accord with one another.
1) The first supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit on this occasion was for the ear—“There came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting” (v. 2). It was for the ear, not the eye. The Scriptures emphasize the importance of hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17). The risen Savior sent letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor and closed each message with the words, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [the Holy Spirit] says to the churches” (Revelation 2 and 3).
The sound was of hurricane force, without physical power. They could hear the wind, but did not feel its force. This lesson is simple but profound: The Holy Spirit is sovereign. He moves and does what He wills (John 3:8). He does not conform to the will or expectations of man. Even though there was no physical power, however, this rushing mighty wind was filled with spiritual power. The Holy Spirit, with Pentecostal power, moved the Upper Room congregation from their place of worship into the city streets and into the temple to witness and share their faith in holy boldness (Acts 4:13).
2) The second supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit was for the tongue—“Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them” (v. 3). This was the cleansing of the tongue in preparation for witnessing (cf. Isaiah 6:5¬8; James 3:5-10). After the tongue was cleansed, each of them could say with Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
3) The third supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit was for witnessing power (Acts 1:8)—“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (v. 4). All of the 120 disciples were chosen by the Holy Spirit to witness in languages unknown to them, but not unknown to the hearers (vv. 7, 8). They witnessed in the power of the Holy Spirit and prepared the people for Simon Peter’s message. This was a great miracle. People from many nations heard the Upper Room congregation share their faith in the language of the hearers. Verse 6 implies that when Peter preached in his language, each one heard him in his own language (vv. 6-36). It is no wonder that about three thousand who heard the gospel in their own language believed it in their hearts, repented of their sins, and were baptized and added to the church (vv. 37-42).
Note that the Upper Room congregation, filled with the Spirit, went to the temple and there exalted Christ, not their Pentecostal experience. They were filled with the Holy Spirit to tell the lost how to be saved (Acts 1:8).
10-3 The Ministry of the Holy Spirit: The Evangelist
The apostles were arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin for evangelizing. They were accused of filling Jerusalem with the gospel—the Good News that Jesus Christ was resurrected after having been crucified. In holy boldness Peter said, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree…And we are His witnesses to these things [the death, burial, and resurrection], and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (vv. 30-32). Paraphrased, Peter was saying, “We are witnesses [evangelists] and the Holy Spirit is an evangelist also.” We must live, that the lost may see Jesus in us; but even though they see Jesus in us, they cannot know how to be saved until they hear the gospel.
Bearing similar witness in the book of Romans, Paul quoted the prophet Joel: “For ‘whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’ ” (Romans 10:13-17; cf. Joel 2:32). In verses 14 and 15 Paul asks four questions which pertain to verse 13:
1) “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” They cannot call on Jesus and be saved until they believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
2) “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” They cannot believe until they hear the gospel, the Good News of salvation. Seeing Christ in the Christian is not enough: they must hear to believe.
3) “How shall they hear without a preacher [a witness]?” The lost must have a witness in order to hear; they must hear in order to believe; they must believe in order to call; and they must call in order to be saved.
4) “And how shall they preach [witness, proclaim the gospel], unless they are sent?” The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost to baptize every born-again believer into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), and empower the believer to witness, i.e., to evangelize (Acts 1:8). The risen Christ instructed Hs disciples: “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Before His death, Jesus instructed His followers: “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:3 8). The “Lord of the harvest” (the Holy Spirit) answered that prayer on the Day of Pentecost. The 120 were sent into the fields, “already white for harvest!” (John 4:35). For almost two thousand years the Lord of the harvest (the Holy Spirit) has continued to send Holy Spirit-filled laborers into the fields, white already to harvest. When you enter the harvest to win souls to Christ, the Holy Spirit (the Lord of the harvest, the world’s greatest evangelist) will go with you, indwell you, and fill you with power to evangelize.
Remember, the lost cannot be saved until they call on the Lord for salvation. But they cannot call until they believe, they cannot believe until they hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), and they cannot hear without a witness. The witness cannot witness unless he or she is sent by the Lord of the harvest, who will fill the witness with His power. He is waiting for you to say “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
10-4 The Ministry of the Holy Spirit: The Helper
“I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper” (v. 16). “Parakletos” is the Greek word used four times in the Gospel of John, and is translated “Helper.” The word means, “one called alongside,” i.e., to take the place of Jesus. The Lord Jesus was the first Helper sent by the father; “He will give you another Helper” (v. 16). Now the Father would give the disciples the Holy Spirit (Paraclete) to “help” them and all believers, to be with them in the absence of Christ. The disciples were sorrowing because Jesus told them that He would go away, and they could not go with Him then. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
1) The Helper will “abide with you forever…and will be in you” (vv. 16, 17). Let this fact comfort you in these days of trials and tribulations. Paul said, “We also glory in tribulations…because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). The Helper has been given to all believers to fill our hearts with the love of God.
2) The Helper was sent by the Father, in the name of Jesus, to take His place and continue to teach His disciples all things. He would also cause them to remember all that Jesus taught them, so that they could give us the complete Word of God (John 14:26); cf. 2 Peter 1:12).
3) The Helper, “whom I shall send to you from the Father,” was sent to “testify of Me” (John 15:26). For almost two thousand years the Holy Spirit has motivated believers to give testimony to the saving and keeping power of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 8:29-40). And the Helper will continue to fill obedient believers with the power to share their faith with the lost (Acts 1:8).
4) “When He [the Helper] has come” (John 16:7-15):
a) He will convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment;
b) He will guide you into all truth;
c) He will show you things to come;
d) He will glorify Christ;
e) He will take the things of Christ, and show it to you.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would take His doctrine and guide the apostles as they recorded what He taught. He would help them to remember, and show them things yet to come (Acts 1:1, 2). On the Day of Pentecost the Helper began His ministry of evangelizing the world and guiding the apostles as they wrote the New Testament. He has continued to evangelize the world and to guide believers as they study God’s Word, helping them to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. He will continue His great, ministry until Jesus come to rapture the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
10-5 The Ministry of the Holy Spirit: The Giver of Spiritual Gifts
(1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
We find the Holy Trinity working together from Genesis to Revelation. So it is no surprise to find the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working together in the church, the body of Christ (vv. 12-31), so that the whole body of Christ may profit spiritually in every good thing (v. 7). The apostle Paul would not have us be ignorant of how the Trinity is involved in giving and using spiritual gifts for the edifying of the church:
1) The Holy Spirit. “There are diversities [differences] of gifts, but the same Spirit” (v. 4). We are told to earnestly desire the best gifts (v. 31), especially the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1). “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church” (1 Corinthians 14:4). You may choose a special gift and desire it, pray for it, and yet not receive it, because the Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts according to His sovereign will, and not always according to your wishes. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things [spiritual gifts], distributing to each one individually as He wills” (v. 11).
2) The Lord Jesus Christ. “There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord” (v. 5). Paul says there are varieties of ministries in the church, and the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts according to His sovereign will, enabling all to perform their ministries in the power of the Holy Spirit, under the lordship of Christ, because Christ is the head of the church, the body of Christ (Colossians 1:18, 19).
3) God the Father. “And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (v. 6). In the church there are varieties of operations; God the Father, working with God the Holy Spirit and God the Son, enables those who have been given spiritual gifts to exercise them to the honor and glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one [in the body of Christ, the church] for the profit of all” (v. 7). Spiritual gifts, ministries, and operations are not bestowed on a person in order to attract attention to that person. They are given to attract sinners to Christ and to bless the whole body of Christ.
Every born-again child of God should have the attitude of John the Baptist. When asked, “Who are you?” he answered, “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord” ’ ” (John 1:22, 23). In John’s humble opinion he was not important, he was just the voice of one; he was one of many who helped prepare for the first coming of Christ. John also said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Do you have a decreasing of expanding ego? The nearer you are to God, the smaller the ego; the farther you get from God, the bigger the ego. John delighted in exalting Christ, not himself. God the Father has exalted God the Son, and given Him a name above all names. At the name of the Son of God (not a servant of God), every knee in heaven, on earth, and in hell will bend; and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:1-11).
The apostle Paul lists nine spiritual gifts:
1) The word of wisdom (v. 8)
2) The word of knowledge (v. 8).
3) Faith (v. 9)
4) Gifts of healing (v. 9)
5) The working of miracles (v. 10)
6) Prophecy (v. 10)
7) Discerning of spirits (v. 10)
8) Different kinds of tongues (languages) (v. 10)
9) Interpretations of tongues (v. 10)
1) They are gifts of the Spirit; you cannot earn them by keeping the law or doing good works. They are gifts of pure grace, not of works just like salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
2) Are all spiritual gifts given to every member of the body of Christ? The answer is obvious—No (vv. 29, 30).
3) Can the individual Christian choose the spiritual gift he or she would like to receive? You are to “desire spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1); however, the gifts are given according to the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit (v. 11). You may desire the best gift; but you will not receive it unless it is the will of God.
4) Are these spiritual gifts for the church today? Some say no that God phased out some or all of the spiritual gifts, that they are not for the church today. It is true that these gifts are not apparent in many local churches, but that does not mean that they are not in any of the churches. Remember that God is sovereign, and does whatever pleases Him in heaven and on the earth (Psalm 135:6; Daniel 4:35).
At the close of chapter 12 Paul says, “But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way” (v. 31). In chapter 13 he reveals that love is the more excellent way to manifest spiritual gifts. It is surely the only effective way. “Though I speak with the tongues [languages] of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). There are two main Greek words for love:
1) Phileo—this is love between friends (brotherly love); it is kindly feeling toward one another. This Greek word for love is found often in the Bible.
2) Agapao, with the noun form agape—this is perfect love. God is agape—“God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Paul was saying that you may be blessed with spiritual gifts, but if you do not have agape (“the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” Romans 5:5)—your spiritual gifts will be ineffective. You will become “sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). In other words, you will be nothing but a religious noise.
Master Outline 10 – The Holy Spirit: His Ministry
 It is important to realize that the Holy Spirit is?
 Who did Peter say Ananias and Sapphira lied to?
 When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, what important question did he ask them in
1 Corinthians 3:16?
 In the New Testament Church, is the building the church? YES or NO. Explain.
 What three (3) attributes ascribed to God the Father and God the Son apply to God the Holy Spirit?
 What did Jesus say about the Holy Spirit in John 16:14?
 Who is glorified when the Holy Spirit is manifested in a believer’s life?
 What does sin in a believer’s life do to the Holy Spirit?
 List the ten (10) sins in Ephesians 4:23-32 that grieve the Holy Spirit.
 What are the three (3) steps a believer takes when he finds sin in his life?
 What was the distinguishing factor of a Nazarite?
 What is the sad statement in the life of Samson?
 What would happen in the Old Testament when a person continued to disobey?
 After King David repented of his sin, what did he pray?
 Who was the Spirit- filled craftsman of Moses’ day?
 What was the first supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? What was the lesson?
 What was the second supernatural manifestation?
 What was the third manifestation?
 The Upper Room Congregation was filled with the Spirit not to exalt their Pentecostal experience, but to what?
 Who besides believers is a witness to the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus?
 What does the Greek word “PARAKLETOS” mean?
 How long will the Helper abide with us?
 What five (5) things will the Holy Spirit do?
 You may choose a special gift, desire it, pray for it, and yet not receive it. TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 Does the Holy Spirit call us to a ministry that He does not gift us for?
 What is the purpose of endowing a person with spiritual gifts?
 Explain John the Baptist statement, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
 List the nine (9) spiritual gifts Paul gives.
 Can you earn spiritual gifts? YES or NO. Explain.
 Are these spiritual gifts for the church today?
 What is the more excellent way Paul speaks of?