Holy Spirit #1

Dr. Steve Viars July 25, 1992

God Provided for Your Victory in Honoring Christ


- we are continuing our series on Basic truths every believer
  should know
- today, we begin another study in that series -- the study
  of the Holy Spirit

INPUT:  Why is it important that we take time and study the
        Person of the Holy Spirit?

     - much is said about the Holy Spirit that is false teaching
       (confusion that results and many avoid talking about Him)
     - the Bible has a lot to say about Him and His work
        (Godhead, instrumental in our salvation, in the writing of
         the Scriptures, in our spiritual growth, etc.)
     - understanding the Holy Spirit will help us to be more
       effective in our witnessing because we understand our
       responsibilities (He convicts/we give the message)
     - critical to our spiritual growth
        (He uses the Word to make us more like Christ)

- God's plan that Christ be honored in the church today is to be
  accomplished by the ministry of the Holy Spirit
- the "Acts of the Apostles" is actually a book telling of the
  acts of the Holy Spirit through the believers to honor Christ

- since there is so much confusion concerning His ministry --
  there doesn't have to be, nor should there be
- we have to make sure that we know clearly of the Person of the
  God who abides in our hearts
- and we must seek to cooperate with His goals to honor Christ in
  our life

- there is one place to learn about Him, and that is through the
  Book He inspired men to write

     2 Tim. 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given ...

- we must know who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and how He
  does it

- let's begin by asking the question, "Who is the Holy Spirit?"

  I.  The Identity of the Holy Spirit

      A.  He is a person

          - He is not an "it" or a "gift" or a mere influence or
            divine power - He is a Person:

          1.  Jesus in John 14:26, 16:13 referred to Him as

          2.  He is called the Helper (Comforter)

              - since this term expressed personality in
                reference to Christ, it must do the same in
                referring to Holy Spirit

          3.  Personal characteristics are ascribed to Him
                (3 essential elements)

              a.  intellect (1 Cor.  2:11),
              b.  emotion (Eph.  4:30)
              c.  volition (1 Cor.  12:11)

          4.  Personal acts are performed by Him:

              (regenerate, bears witness, convicts, guide into
               truth, glorifies Christ, calls men into service,
               speaks, intercedes, etc

          5.  The bible says He can be treated as a person:

              (tempted (Acts 5:9), lied to, grieved, resisted,
               insulted, and blasphemed)

          6.  He relates to the Father and the Son as a person

              cf. Mt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:14
              cf. 1 Cor. 12:4-6 -- the administrator of the church

INPUT - what are some of the practical benefits of the fact that
         the Holy Spirit is a Person?

      B.  He is deity - (He is God - 3rd Person)

          1.   He possesses all the attributes and qualities
               unique to God

              - these are attributes that man cannot imitate:

              a.  He is eternal and never changing - Heb. 9:14

              b.  He is omniscient - I Cor. 1:10; Jn. 14:26, 16:12
                  (all knowing)

              c.  He is omnipotent - Lk. 1:35  (all powerful)

              d.  He is omnipresent - Ps. 139:7-10 (all present)

          2.  Works of deity are ascribe to Him

              - we'll take a closer look at these in a minute

          3.  He is called God - Acts 5:3f; 2 Cor. 3:17f

INPUT - what are some of the practical benefits of the fact that
        the Holy Spirit is "100% God."

      C.  What else does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit?

          - take a few minutes (groups of 2-4) and read the
            following verses and describe what they say about the
            Holy Spirit

          1.  Rom. 8:27 - makes intercession
          2.  1 Cor. 2:11 - understands the heart of man
          3.  Acts 1:8 - empowers for service
          4.  Eph. 4:30 - seals our salvation
          5.  Acts 7:51 - He can be resisted
          6.  Acts 5:3 - He can be lied to

- it is critical to our understanding of the Holy Spirit that we
  believe that He is a person, and the 3rd Person of the Godhead
- the Holy Spirit is God -- equal with the Father and the Son
- but He does have a different function than the Father, Son

- let's think about ...

II.  The Works or Ministry of the Holy Spirit

      INPUT:  What are some things the Holy Spirit has done that
      only God can do?

              - creation - Gen. 1:2
              - regeneration - Jn. 3:5
              - inspiration of the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21)
              - raising of the dead (Rom. 8:11)

      A.  He was involved in creation - Gen 1:1,2

          - when God created the heaven and the earth, the Spirit
            was active in that process

      B.  His involvement with the Word of God

          - one name used of the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of

          1.  He is responsible for the inspiration of the Word.

             - 2 Pet. 1:21, 2 Tim. 3:16,17
             - the Scriptures were "God-breathed" and are the very
               words of God as the Holy Spirit moved upon the

             - the bible we have is the Spirit's sword
             - not only did He inspire it, but today the Holy
               Spirit of God uses the Holy Word of God to make us
                more like the Holy Son of God

          2.  He helps us understand the Word - 1 Cor.  2:14

              - Paul said the "natural man" (unsaved) receiveth
                not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are
                foolishness unto him, neither can he know them,
                because they are spiritually discerned."

              - the world cannot receive the Spirit because the
                world lives "by sight" and not by faith in Jesus

              (develop the idea that only a saved person can
               comprehend truth of God's Word and the Spirit helps
               us in that process)

              - cf. Jn. 14:26 (the Spirit teaches us)
                cf. Jn.  16:13 (guides us into all truth)

      C.  His purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ - Jn. 16:7,8

          - this is where much of the confusion comes
          - certain groups are known for there emphasis on the
            Holy Spirit

          - we you look at their literature, you see the symbol of
            the dove (represents the Holy Spirit) -- not the
            cross, which points to Jesus Christ
          - we you talk to them they say things like:

              - ??

          - while we certainly do not want to minimize the Holy
            Spirit (He is God)
          - we want to put the emphasis where the bible does and
           Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would "glorify me"

          - all our efforts, work, service, praise, etc. is
            directed toward the Son

          INPUT:  You tell me what's wrong with the words to this

              - Example:

      D.  He "reproves" the world of sin - Jn. 16:8-11 (read)

          - He does this in a couple of ways

          1.  By bringing conviction to the heart - Acts 2:37

              INPUT:  While the Spirit convicted them, what in
              v. 37 tells you was he avenue of that conviction?

              - the preaching of the word

          2.  Conviction come because the Spirit uses the Word

              - Heb. 4:12
              - as men and women hear the truth -- the Holy Spirit
                of God takes the Holy Word of God and convicts us
                and changes us as we obey that Word to make us
                more like the Holy Son of God

              INPUT:  What are some implications of this point to
              our lives both in church and in our personal lives?

              - while at church do all we can to make it easy for
                folks to hear the word
              - if I'm going to be growing and pleasing God, the
                Word of God has to be a priority in my life

      E.  He is our "Comforter" - Jn. 14:16-18

          - the Greek word "comforter" is parakletos
          - it means "called alongside to assist"

          - our English word comfort domes from 2 Latin word
            meaning "with strength"
          - we usually think of "comfort" as soothing someone,
            consoling him or her
          - and to an extent, that is true
          - but true comfort strengthens us to face life in a way
            that pleases the Lord

          - the word comfortless in 14:18 means "orphans"
          - we are not alone, abandoned, helpless, and hopeless in
            this life
          - wherever we go, the Spirit is with us
          - every situation you face in life, God's Spirit is with
            you to encourage you through His Word and strengthen
            you in that situation

          - some translations call the Holy Spirit the

          INPUT:  In what ways does the Holy Spirit "comfort" us
                  as believers?

              - in times of trial
              - in times of temptation to sin

          - when Jesus said I will send you "another comforter,"
            He was saying "another of the same kind"
          - in other word, the Holy Spirit was to take the place
            of Jesus Christ

          - having the Holy Spirit in your heart is just as real
            as having Jesus Christ

      F.  He is active in our salvation.

          - he is active is the following ways

          1.  He regenerates - Jn. 3:3-6

              - the Holy Spirit does the regenerating work
              - when a person has heard the gospel message and
                acknowledge their sin and need of a Savior and
                calls upon Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Holy
                Spirit transforms into a new creature in Christ

              -  He uses the word of God in that process (Titus

          2.  He baptizes believers into the body of Christ

              - 1 Cor. 12:13

          3.  He assures believers of their salvation - Rom. 8:16

          4.  He seals our salvation - Eph. 1:13, 4:30

              - in the Scriptures, this refers to 3 things:

              a.  a finished transaction - a completed act
                  (marriage, birth, etc)
              b.  ownership - we belong to God, His children
              c.  security - it won't be broken

          5.  He indwells us - 1 Cor. 6:19,20; Rom. 8:9

              INPUT:  How does knowing the Holy Spirit in living
              inside of us help us when we are tempted to sin?

              - God is there and knows what I am doing
              - I have the ability to say "no" to temptation
                (before salvation, all I could do was sin)

              - another part of that "indwelling" is the Holy
                Spirit "filling" us

                  (Eph. 5:18)

              - "filling" means we are controlled by the Spirit
              - as believer, we can't be living by our feelings

                * those are corrupt according to deceitful
                  desires" Paul said

              - instead we have to "principle" oriented
              - we must be making decision based on the principles
                of God's Word as the Holy Spirit seeks to
                "control" us through that Word

              INPUT:  What is some evidence that a person is being
                      "controlled" by the Spirit?

                  - Eph. 5:19 - spiritual songs in the heart
                  - Eph. 5:20 - giving thanks
                  - Eph. 5:21 - submission one to another as
                  - Eph. 5:22 - wives submitting to husbands
                  - Eph. 5:23 - husbands loving their wife
                  - Eph. 6:1-3 - children obey/honor parents

      G.  He helps us in intercessory prayer - Rom. 8:26-29

          INPUT:  According to verses 26 and 27, how does He help

                  - He understands and is aware of needs that we
                    can't begin to comprehend

          INPUT:  How should knowing this particular aspect of the
                  Spirit's ministry encourage us?

                  - I must do my part in praying and making the
                    requests known unto God
                  - but the Spirit in His omniscience "knows"
                    things I don't and can do things that I can't

          INPUT:  According to v. 29, what is His prayer that is
                  according to God's will?

                  - that we would be more like His son

      H.  He gives gifts to believer - Rom. 12:4-9

          - PV, in his series on I Cor., will be dealing with this
            important topic so we won't say a lot about this now

          - but we do need to say that the bible puts the emphasis
            on the "GIVER" of the gifts, not on the gift

      I.  He is active in the sanctification process - Rom. 15:16

          - as believers, we are conformed into the image of
            Christ by the work of the Spirit
          - we obey the Word and Spirit changes us

            cf.  Jam. 1:22-25;  Jn. 13:17

          INPUT:  How can a parent teach a child to "respect" and
                  honor the Word?

                  - read it in the home
                  - where the bible is laid and how it is handled
                  - talk about the Bible as being important
                  - listen carefully in the services and insist
                    that they do the same (explain why)

- next week we'll continue our study and move into our cooperation
  with the Holy Spirit

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video