Blind Peters Simple Guide to the Holy Spirit

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Wilson's Books Donations Sitemap 3. Ralph F. So far we've examined the Spirit upon Jesus for ministry, and his promise to send the Holy Spirit upon his disciples as the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. Now we need to take a closer look at Jesus' own teaching about the Holy Spirit. These passages are located primarily in John's Gospel:.

We'll begin with the so-called Paraclete Passages found in John chapters Philips translates it as "the one who is coming to stand by you" , cf. It can mean "to urge strongly, appeal to, urge, exhort, encourage," and "to make a strong request for something, request, implore, entreat," then "comfort, encourage, cheer up," and perhaps "be friendly to, speak to in a friendly manner.

Because different translations use different terms, I'll be using the term Paraclete or Counselor to avoid too much confusion. Now let's examine the passages that include this term to describe the Holy Spirit. As we examine the Paraclete passages, I encourage you to take your time, study slowly, seeking understanding. If this were easy, you'd know it already! The world cannot accept [21] him, because it neither sees [22] him nor knows [23] him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. This implies that the disciples already have a Paraclete to help them, and that the Holy Spirit is another Paraclete in addition.

Jesus is saying that at present he is their Paraclete -- the one the Father has sent to help them. In verse 17b, Jesus tells his disciples that they, unlike the world, are already familiar with this Paraclete:.

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For he lives with you and will be in you. Jesus seems to be saying that in his own Person they have experienced the Paraclete living or abiding [25] "with them" [26] or at their side. But, when the Father sends the Holy Spirit, this Paraclete will be future tense [27] within them. We'll explore this idea further in Lesson 5. Jesus has been their Paraclete, Helper, Friend thus far, but the Holy Spirit will replace Jesus as an interior presence, always with them, to guide and instruct them. John In what sense is the Holy Spirit "another" Paraclete? Who was the initial Paraclete?

In what way can the Holy Spirit replace him? How was he "with" the disciples? When will he be "in" them? So we move forward a few verses to where Jesus explains more about the Paraclete who will be sent to his disciples.

Jesus has been the disciples' rabbi and teacher. Now the Holy Spirit will take over that function. The disciples often misunderstood what Jesus said and did. When the Holy Spirit comes he will help them remember -- so they can understand and interpret correctly for the church -- what Jesus had taught them. Soon they'll be assessing Jesus' words in the light of his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Evangelicals believe that the Holy Spirit superintended the development of apostolic doctrine so that it properly interpreted Jesus' own teaching and was passed onto us in the books of the New Testament.

The Holy Spirit doesn't bring a new revelation John Rather, he represents Jesus and makes Jesus' teaching clear -- just as Jesus represented the Father and made the Father's teachings clear John ; Points 1 and 2 we've discussed above in John and But points 3 and 4 are new teachings on the Holy Spirit that we need to discuss. The Spirit's function of testifying about Jesus is closely related to reminding the disciples what Jesus taught John b.

Elsewhere, Jesus told his disciples not to worry about what to say when they are brought into court. The Paraclete will serve as your legal advisor as needed when you are persecuted. In John , Jesus reminds the original apostles that they must testify also, to tell what they know from personal experience John ; Luke -- which the apostles certainly did. John What does it mean to "testify"? In what way does the Spirit testify about Jesus?

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Can you testify from personal knowledge about Jesus? Or were the apostles the only first-hand witnesses? Next, we consider John's teaching that the Holy Spirit is a Person, a divine Being, not just an impersonal force or power. In many languages Spanish, French, German, etc. But, remarkably, on several occasions, John renders Jesus' words using the masculine pronoun, apparently to emphasize the Spirit's personhood. Observe these verses:.

New Testament scholar C.

Barrett observes, "The Spirit is thought of in personal terms. I emphasize the Holy Spirit's divinity and personal nature because it's common to hear Christians refer to the Spirit as an "it. Some groups specifically deny that the Holy Spirit is a divine being. The Jehovah's Witness New World Translation , for example, sometimes even omits the word "Spirit" and substitutes the phrase "God's active force" in its place hardly a faithful translation!

There is solid biblical evidence that points to a conclusion that the Holy Spirit is a distinct Person in his own right and performs functions we attribute to personhood. These are functions we attribute to persons, not to impersonal forces. John sees the Holy Spirit as a Person, sent by the Father to replace Jesus' physical presence to be the Paraclete with his disciples. The personal nature of the Spirit is confirmed in the foundational creeds of the Church. The Nicene Creed uses personal terms to explain our belief in the Spirit.

John ; ; a Why do we believe that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force or power, but a Person? What kinds of functions that we attribute to persons does the Holy Spirit do? Why is it so easy to refer to the Spirit as "it" rather than "Him"? If the Holy Spirit is God, and I believe he is, then it is appropriate to worship him, as the Nicene Fathers observed. However, so far as I know, we don't have any examples in Scripture of praying to the Spirit, worshipping him, or glorifying him. Jesus instructs us to pray to the Father in Jesus' name John ; ; That's our basic pattern.

However, I don't believe it is wrong to pray to Jesus occasionally John And I find myself saying, "Spirit, please guide me And we have a few hymns and choruses that worship the Spirit -- which can't be wrong, since he is divine. Here are a few I sing to the Lord from my era:.

That's appropriate. The Holy Spirit doesn't come to exalt himself, but to point us to Christ John ; Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. The disciples are confused and grieving to hear about Jesus' imminent departure. But Jesus tries to console them with the truth that this will be for their own good. In at least two ways:. Though the disciples didn't understand until later, God's timing in sending the Spirit was much-anticipated even in the times of the prophets , but according to God's schedule, Jesus had to be "glorified" first John The Holy Spirit will not only guide, encourage, teach, and remind them, as Jesus had done, but he will also empower them.

He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John ; What benefit is there to the disciples that Jesus goes away? What promise do we have in John concerning the Spirit's power in believers? So far, Jesus has told his disciples how the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, will benefit them.

But now he explains how the Holy Spirit will affect the world. According to the foreknowledge of God : This describes the nature of their election.

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This foreknowledge includes prior knowledge of our response to the gospel, but is not solely dependent on it. In sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience : An essential result of election is sanctification and obedience. While some would like to think that election has only to do with going to heaven or hell, Peter reminds us that it also touches earth. A claim to be among the elect is doubtful if there is no evidence of sanctification and obedience. And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : However, since all the elect fall short of perfect sanctification and obedience, there is cleansing from sin provided for them through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

There were three circumstances in the Old Testament where blood was sprinkled on people. The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus on us accomplishes the same things. First, a covenant is formed, then we are ordained as priests to Him, and finally we are cleansed from our corruption and sin. Each of these is ours through the work of Jesus on the cross. It is not detailed as a specific doctrine, but woven into the fabric of the New Testament. Jesus has a Father , but not in the sense of being higher than He or the One who gave Him existence.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have existed together throughout eternity and each is equally God. Father and Son are terms used to describe the relationship between these first two members of the Trinity. Grace to you and peace be multiplied : Peter brought a greeting that had become common among the Christians, combining elements from Greek culture Grace and Jewish culture peace.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Only one who has devoutly contemplated the greatness of our salvation could utter such a magnificent paean of praise, one that prepares and encourages the suffering soul to steadfastly continue the spiritual battle. All His goodness to us begins with mercy. As we are by nature, justice condemns us, holiness frowns upon us, power crushes us, truth confirms the threatening of the law, and wrath fulfils it.

It is from the mercy of our God that all our hopes begin. Has begotten us again : The wording of begotten us again is different from born again John but the meaning is the same. To a living hope : We are born again to a living hope because we have eternal life in a Savior who has conquered death Himself.

The hope lives because it is set upon an inheritance incorruptible that can never fade away because it is reserved in heaven. This is a significant contrast to any inheritance on this earth. Other hopes fade like withering flowers. The hopes of the rich, the boasts of the proud, all these will die out as a candle when it flickers in the socket. The hope of the greatest monarch has been crushed before our eyes; he set up the standard of victory too soon, and has seen it trailed in the mire.

There is no unwaning hope beneath the changeful moon: the only imperishable hope is that which climbs above the stars, and fixes itself upon the throne of God and the person of Jesus Christ. All he can tell us is what it is not. What our inheritance actually is is something too great for him to describe. Our inheritance is like the inheritance of Aaron Numbers and the inheritance of the Psalmist Psalm , which is the gift of God Himself.

Since God gives Himself to us now, our inheritance begins here and now. We cannot experience this inheritance unless we are born again. Unregenerate man does not have the capacity to enjoy this inheritance.


It would be like rewarding a blind man by showing him the most beautiful sunset or taking him to an art museum. Who are kept by the power of God through faith : The promise of our inheritance is certain because we are kept by the power of God.

Holy Spirit in Christianity - Wikipedia

This enables us to endure through faith until the coming of Jesus. The person who is kept is a person abiding in a continuing relationship of faith with God. We could say that faith activates the preserving power of God in the life of the Christian. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love.

Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. If need be, you have been grieved : Sometimes it is thought that a strong Christian will never be grieved in a trial. The idea is that a Christian should be like Superman; though bullets are shot at Superman, they all bounce off of his chest.

God has a purpose not only for the trial but also for the heavy grief we feel in the trial. It is tested because we often are ignorant of how much or what kind of faith we have. Who knows whether thou hast any faith?

The Work Of the Holy Spirit

Is this to the honor and praise of thy faith? Dost thou think that such a faith as this will bring any great glory to God, or bring to thee any great reward? If so, thou art mightily mistaken. Much more precious than gold that perishes : If gold is fit to be tested and purified by fire, then how much more our faith, which is far more precious than gold? God has a great and important purpose in testing our faith.

Gold is one of the most durable of all materials. Yet it too will one day perish, but our faith will not. Receiving the end of your faith : The end of your faith is the return of Jesus and the ultimate salvation of your souls. Testing and trials are inevitable as long as we are on this side of the end of your faith.

As long as we do not see the God we serve we must endure through trials and face them with faith and joy. Whom having not seen you love : Peter knew that though he had seen Jesus both before and after the resurrection most every Christian in the early church had not seen Jesus.

Nevertheless, they loved Him. Jesus was no less real because they had not seen Him.

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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. Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully : It was important to Peter — and to all the New Testament writers — to demonstrate that their teaching was no novelty, but that it was testified beforehand by the prophets.

Prophesied of the grace that would come to you : The prophets of the Old Testament longed to see the grace of the New Covenant to come. Prophesying by the Spirit of Christ , they knew something of His sufferings and glories , but far less than they longed to know. One may only imagine how excited Isaiah would have been to read the Gospel of John. The Old Testament prophets knew so much; yet much was hidden to them, including the character of the Church Ephesians and the very essence of life and immortality 2 Timothy To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering : The prophets understood that they were ministering to people beyond them as well as to people in their own day.

These things the prophets predicted were reported as fact by the apostles the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel. Angels observe our conduct 1 Corinthians , making it necessary that Christians conduct themselves properly 1 Corinthians