Keith Hunt - All About the Holy Sporit Restitution of All Things

All about the basics on the Holy Spirit


The gospel's mystery and power are revealed in Christ - through
the Spirit.

by Calvin Burrell

What should you know about the Holy Spirit? What would you like
to learn?

Let's admit here and now that there is something puzzling -
something mysterious - about God's Spirit. Like Nicodemus, we
easily believe earthly truths - the physical and natural kind -
but struggle to understand and believe heavenly things -
spiritual and supernatural truth (John 3:12).

Like God the Father (who is both holy and Spirit), the Holy
Spirit is not comprehended by science or sensory experience.
Rather, the Spirit is understood through the revealed Word and
experienced by faith - inwardly, not outwardly. This suggests an
intuitive, emotive, even romantic element (subjective is a better
word for this) about the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).

Experience God?

Many Christians have been blest by the writings of Henry Blackaby
on the topic of "experiencing God." A good case can be made that
the Holy Spirit is the only divine being we've ever experienced.
We've never seen, heard, or touched God the Father at any time.
He is transcendent deity in heaven, far beyond our finding out
(John 1:18; 5:37; 1 John 4:12).
Nor has anyone seen, heard, or touched Christ the Son, except
those first disciples who witnessed His glory and humanity up
close (John 20:27-31; 2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1:1-3).
Though we've never encountered the Father or Son except by faith,
we have God's Spirit residing within, just as Christ promised.
Transcending our five physical senses, this Reality enters our
experience through our human spirit. Only by the Holy Spirit do
we now experience the Father and the Son (John 14:1623; Romans
This claim to a sixth, spiritual sense that engages divinity can
sound audacious to those without faith. Some "believers" make
this claim in duplicity, still pursuing their own carnal opinions
and actions. But neither unbelief nor hypocrisy can negate our
Lord's assurance that the Father and Son now indwell the faithful
by the Holy Spirit, also called the Helper (Comforter, KJV). They
are with us and in us, because He is.

Roots and wings

More experienced in natural human kingdoms than in God's
supernatural one, we struggle to grasp life's invisible,
spiritual realities. Let us never deny them. If the Holy Spirit
appeals more to the left half of our brains, it is no less real
for this fact.
This fact, however, does suggest certain cautions for our study
and experience. Because spirit, like wind, partakes of this
subjective, emotive, airy quality, it is vital that the Holy
Spirit be anchored in the objective soil of God's Word. And so it
is. The inspired writings of Scripture - God's revelation of
Himself culminating in Jesus Christ - provide a down-to-earth,
practical, rational, external, and empirical frame of reference
for our faith and for all our subjective experiences in Christ.

Conversely, the God-man, Word-become-flesh Jesus the Christ
admits of the need for wings to go beyond the objective limits of
His earthy body. And He has them - in the Holy Spirit. The limit
of the human Christ is that He was anchored to one place on earth
for His service and witness. The Spirit of Christ has no such
limit (John 16:7).
The Spirit's soaring is tethered only by the Word's anchor. John
recalls Jesus' saying that, while the Spirit - not the flesh -
gives life, it is the words He spoke that are truly spirit and
life. Later, the same apostle writes of the anointing of the
Spirit, or "Holy One," and links it closely with the truth
received. The words of Scripture are, in turn, confirmed and
animated by the divine Spirit within (John 6:63; 1 John 2:20-27).

Mystery and power

We see the tendency to claim Holy Spirit sanction for any belief
or phenomenon that strikes one's fancy, no matter how slim its
biblical support. For example, one person claimed that God had
healed his car when he anointed it with a can of STP. Others, in
the Spirit's name, practice ministries that range from the
showman to the bizarre.

While power and mystery may be related to spiritual work, must we
uncritically accept all such belief and practice as from God,
lest we quench or grieve the Holy Spirit? No. The Bible counsels
us to test all things, to try the spirits, to search the
Scriptures whether these things are so (Acts 17:11; 
1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 4:1a).

A closer look at relevant texts shows that God's mystery of
eternal redemption, addressed often by Paul, is not primarily
about the Spirit but about Jesus.

The Spirit confirms and clarifies for believers the divine
mystery that was once hidden but is now revealed in Christ.
Similarly, the Spirit is neither the mighty power of God nor the
main sign of our faith. The gospel of Christ is the power of God
unto salvation. Trusting Jesus and loving His people are the
signs we are saved. Expounding on the Spirit may not demonstrate
the wisdom of God, but Christ himself is God's highest wisdom
(Romans 1:16; 16:25; 1 Corinthians 1:22-24; 2:7-14; Ephesians
1:9, 10; Colossians 1:27; 2:2, 3; 4:3).

Putting the puzzle together The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God
- the divine entity, reality, and personal presence who completes
the chain of Deity, doublelinking earth with heaven.

Just as Christ the Son came to reveal God the Father, so did the
Holy Spirit come to speak of Jesus and remind us of all Christ
said and did. Just as the Son made the Father known in human
terms - bodily and locally - so the Spirit makes the Son known in
heavenly terms - spiritually and universally. And just as the
Father was one with, and fully present in, the Son, so the Holy
Spirit came to provide the presence of the Son, not to replace
the absent Son (Colossians 2:9; John 15:26b; 16:13-15).

The divine chain is now complete: from God the spiritual Father
in heaven to Christ the fleshly Son on earth and back again
through the Holy Spirit - eternally blessed God.

The Spirit's Roles


As the work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection is
central to justification, so the work of the Holy Spirit in the
believer is essential in sanctification (Romans 8 and 12,
Galatians 5, Ephesians 4, Colossians 3).


Every disciple is called to bear much fruit, making beautiful
people for Jesus. Starting with love, these qualities reflect the
full character of Christ (John 15:1-16; Galatians 5:2223;
Ephesians 4:1-3, 32; 5:9; Colossians 3:12-15; 2 Peter 1:2-8).


Every Christian is given one or more spiritual gifts for
effective service to God's kingdom. These gifts range from the
less conspicuous, like mercy and giving, to the more dramatic,
like miracles and tongues (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians
12; Ephesians 4:7-16).


The Holy Spirit energizes the work of the gospel - Christ's
cross, empty tomb, and return. The Spirit is the divine agent to
convict, call, and convert sinners to a saving faith in Jesus,
thus growing the church (John 6:44, 63; 15:26; 16:8-11; Matthew
16:17; 1 Corinthians 12:3).


The Holy Spirit opens people to Scripture's truth, guiding them
into its fullness by teaching spiritual things that could never
be known by natural means (Luke 12:12; John 14:17, 26; 15:26;
16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 2:27; 4:6).


The Holy Spirit comes alongside Christians, often through other
believers, to supply just what their spirits, minds, and hearts
need for the present circumstance (John 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:4;
Acts 9:31b).

The Spirit's Names, Titles

The Bible refers to the Spirit (Greek, Pneuma) in many ways,
including Helper (Comforter, AV; Greek, Paraclete); Holy One;
Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost, AV); and Spirit of Christ, Spirit of
faith, Spirit of glory, Spirit of His Son, Spirit of holiness,
Spirit of life, Spirit of our God, Spirit of adoption, Spirit of
the living God, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of truth, Spirit of
wisdom and revelation.

Key Spirit Texts

In John's Gospel, especially the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus
promises the Paraclete (Comforter; Helper) and symbolically
breathes the Spirit over His disciples (7:37-39; 14:16-21, 25,
26; 15:26; 16:7-16; 20:22).

In the Acts of the Apostles, the Spirit is at work in the world
and within the disciples, bringing remarkable expansion to
the early church, along with the ability to endure suffering for
Christ's sake (see especially chapters 2,4 8,9, and 19).
In Romans 8, Paul teaches the Spirit's rote in Christ's gospel:
the way of life (vv.4,5); source of regeneration-revival (vv.
1013); identifier-confirmer of God's people (vv.14-16); foretaste
of future glory (v.23); helper with our weaknesses, intercessor
in our prayers (vv.26,27).
In 1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14 Paul reflects on spiritual gifts
(see also Romans 12:6-8 and Ephesians 4:7-16) and corrects their

- Calvin Burrell

Bible Advocate - May/June 2012 - a publication of the Church of 
God, Seventh Day - Denver, CO USA.


What has been given is the overall truth about the Holy Spirit.

To address the teaching that the Holy Spirit is some THIRD
individual PERSON ***separate*** from the Father and the Son, as
some of the "trinity" doctrines teach, is dealt with in another
study called "Holy Spirit - Trinity?" further down in this section 
of this website - Keith Hunt

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