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Sunday, March 23, 2014 am            BasicsIndex

BACK TO BASICS – 11
The Godhead – 4
What is the Work of the Holy Spirit?

As we continue our study of the Godhead, we have discussed who Jesus is, Jesus as the Son of God, The Holy Spirit as God (and the Godhead).  Today we want to discuss the work of the Holy Spirit.  Being the Holy Spirit, we are still dealing with a subject that is much misunderstood and often neglected.  But it is fundamental to our faith that we fully understand Who God is and how He works today. 

 I.                    The Holy Spirit Then

a.        He worked in creation – Gen. 1:2, 1:26-27 – let us make man…

b.       He was at work in the life of Jesus – as we noted last week.  You find Him at His birth, baptism, in His temptations, throughout His preaching and teaching, at the cross and His resurrection.

c.        Holy Spirit and miracles – He had an integral part in miracles in scripture.

                                                   i.      Acts 2:1-4 when the apostles spoke in tongues it was because they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

                                                  ii.      The purpose of miracles was primarily to confirm the message preached –
Jesus demonstrated His power and teachings with miracles -
In Matthew 9:6 (cf. 9:1-8)
Jesus healed a paralytic to demonstrate that He was the Son of Man with power to forgive sins.   The miracle confirmed His claims.
In John 5:36 (10:25) Jesus clearly said the works bore witness of Him.
On Pentecost as Peter preached he noted,
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—” (Acts 2:22)
The apostles and other inspired men similarly confirmed their message with miracles - Heb. 2:3-4, Mark 16:20, Acts 5:12, “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch” and Romans 15:18–19, “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
See also Ephesians 3:1-5, 2 Cor. 12:11-12, etc.

                                                iii.      1 Cor. 12:1-11 is a passage that links miraculous spiritual gifts to the Holy Spirit.  He distributes them as He wills.

                                                iv.      Miracles have ceased – the Holy Spirit is no longer working miraculously.  Because such is not needed.  Some points to consider in this include:
1) 1 Cor. 13:-8-12 which states that miracles would be done away with “when that which is perfect has come”.  That which is perfect is the word of God (cf. James 1:25, 2 Tim. 3:16,17, 2 Pet. 1:3-4).
2) In addition to this, we find that it was only through the laying on of the apostle’s hands that one could receive the ability to perform miracles – Acts 6:5 – (cf. Stephen - Ac. 6:8, Philip – Acts 8:4-8). 
Acts 8:18, “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,  
Also Acts 19:5-6 finds Paul with this power as well.
SINCE, the apostles have all died and their generation, we no longer can receive the ability to perform miracles. 

d.       He worked through inspiration – He was instrumental in revealing God’s word to us.

                                                   i.      The word of God is the work of the Spirit.  Much of what He does for us today is through His word.  Note again Hebrews 2:1-4 where we find what was confirmed by miracles, signs and wonders was the word of God.

                                                  ii.      Remember the promise of Jesus to His apostles - John 16:12-13 – He will guide you into all truth.  John 14:26 – He would bring to their remembrance that which they had been taught.

                                                iii.      The prophets of old - 2 Pet. 1:19-20, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

                                                iv.      The apostles and inspired men of the first century - 1 Pet. 1:10-12, “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
In 1 Cor. 2:10-13 Paul explains how what He taught (and the others) was “through His Spirit.  IN vs. 13 we read, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

In our next lesson we will discuss how the Holy Spirit works today!