Holy Spirit Part 2
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Paul telling us to live by the Spirit implies that we can live by our own power and not by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to do things we cannot do without Him....like not gratifying the desires of the sinful nature along with about a million other things. I hope and pray that through this study that we all will come to a better understanding of exactly what we need to do the let the Holy Spirit have his way in us and this verse is the beginning of that. Live by the Spirit so you don't do what the world does.
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
The Greek word translated as "holy" here is Hagios meaning the most holy thing. The word translated as "spirit" is pneuma. One that we looked at last week meaning breath.
The Holy Spirit
Let's review just a bit from last week. Who is the Holy Spirit? He is God. He knows the mind of the Father. He knows the mind of the Father because He is one with the Father. We learned that just like the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. We learned that the Holy Spirit had a part in creation. We learned that the Holy Spirit is a person.
We looked at some of the names and words used in the Bible for the Holy Spirit...
finger of God
Spirit of the Lord
Spirit of Christ
Now, lets take a closer look at the Spirit's role in the old testament.
We must begin with a little more on...
The Holy Spirit's role in creation
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The word Hebrew word translated as God is "elohiym". Elohiym is plural. This shows us that all 3 parts of the Trinity were at work here right from the start. The Hebrew word "ruwach" is translated as Spirit. Ruach literally means "breath" or "wind". The Hebrew word for hover is "rachaph" rock ah hoff of which literally means to move or shake. What we are seeing here in the first verses of the Bible is all the parts of the Godhead at work. The Holy Spirit is acting in His role as energizer. He is applying the power and the energy of the Godhead to the act of creation. One God, three personalities. This is evident in this passage....
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
The word used for Lord is "Jehovah", the existing, eternal one. The word used for God here is again "elohiym", plural.
One Lord accomplished the creation of all things through the Father's will, The Son's word and the Spirit's action. The Father willed it. The Son spoke it. The Holy Spirit energized it into being. Like I mentioned last week, we will see throughout this study that this is a reoccurring theme. What happened here in creation is the exact same thing that is going on in every one of us at this very moment if we are yielded to God. God directs us individually exactly the same way the world was created. The Father first wills. The Son speaks to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit supplies the power for us to obey and to do whatever it is that the Father wills. The Father has a perfect plan for every one of our lives.
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
In advance, the Father has willed a perfect plan for our lives. Each and every one of us. That perfect plan is possible by the blood of Jesus who has given us His Word to direct our paths. The Holy Spirit then teaches us His Word and empowers us to obey and to follow it. The Father's will, the Son's Word, the Spirit's action just like when the world and all things were created.
Let's look at some other verses that show the Spirit's role in creation
7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The words for Lord and God are the same as the verse from Deuteronomy. Jehovah and Elohiym. Again showing multiple personalities but one Lord, forming the man and breathing life into him. This is a really good spot for me to push you to look at more than one bible translation. This verse was used in the bible dictionary to show the Spirit in creation. I looked at it in NIV and was a bit unsure that it was really pointing to the Spirit's role in the original creation.
Job 26:13 (NIV)
13 By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
Job 26:13 (KJ)
13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
The word for Spirit in all these verses is that word "ruach" again, the breath of God. The word translated as hand is "yad" which literally means His power which again is referring to the Spirit.
4 The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
In this verse Spirit is "ruach" again but the word breath is actually "nashamah" which means spirit of God. Obviously the Spirit had a huge role in creation and is still at work in us today.
One of the main functions of the Spirit in the old testament was..
The Holy Spirit's role in equipping men for service
The Holy Spirit is always said to be "on" a person in the old testament. In the new testament the Holy Spirit is "in". The Spirit would com upon people for specific tasks not dwell in them as He does in us.
Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.
Throughout these chapters in Exodus, God is instructing Moses on building the Tabernacle. He is talking abut all these great things, the altar, the priestly garments, the priest's breast piece and on and on and on... then at the very end God shows Moses that He will put the Holy Spirit on the men that are going to accomplish all these things. The tabernacle had to be perfect in every way. It had to be exactly as God had commanded. The men making and building all these elaborate thing had to bring each on the Moses to make sure they were exactly right before becoming part of the tabernacle. If you think about all the times that the Israelites had failed, all the times that they made idols, all the times they had complained and fell short, it was truly amazing that they actually were able to do what had been commanded this time. How did they manage to do it? The same way that we manage to do what God wants us to do now. The Holy Spirit.
Another example of the Holy Spirit coming on a person and empowering them was Sampson. Judges 13:5 says that Sampson was set apart from birth to begin the deliverance of the children of Israel from the Philistines. The Philistines had Israel in slavery for 40 years. All throughout Sampson's story in Judges 13-16 the Holy Spirit comes on Sampson and empowers him to do mighty things. We'll just look at one of these instances....
The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.
There are other examples of the Sprit coming on Sampson all throughout his life. In 14:19 he killed 30 men. In 15:14 he killed 1000 men with a donkey's jawbone. This is how the Holy Spirit moved and worked in the old testament. He would come on a person for a time and for a specific reason. Whether it was building the tabernacle or doing great feats like Sampson did, the Spirit enabled men to do what they could not do on their own. Again, this is the same was that He works IN us now. He enables us to do the things that we have no chance of doing on our own. The huge advantage we have is that He is IN us now not just on us when we have something special to do.
He inspired the prophets to write the books of the old testament just as he inspired those who wrote the new testament. As we know from
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
All scripture is from the Holy Spirit. He inspired the prophets to do what they did. Let's look at another example of the spirit coming on men in the old testament. Turn over to Numbers 11.
Israel was again complaining. They were not satisfied with the manna. They were "wailing" as verse 4 says for meat. The Lord was angry that they were still doing this after all they had been through. Moses was very troubled by all this. Lets look ate verses 11-15.
11 He asked the LORD, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, 'Give us meat to eat!' 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin."
The Lord told Moses to gather 70 elders and bring them to the tabernacle God and He would impart the Holy Spirit on them so they could help Moses. Verse 17 says..
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.
The Lord tells Moses that Israel will have meat to eat for an entire month. Moses himself doubts God. He says in verses 21-22
21 But Moses said, "Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, 'I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!' 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?"
Even Moses is doubting again. In verse 23 the Lord answers him...
23 The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
In verses 24-25, Moses gathers the elders and the Lord takes the Spirit that was on Moses and puts it on the elders also.
This in itself is a great story but it has an interesting twist. There were to of the elders that did not go to the tabernacle when they were supposed to. They were Eldad and Medad. They stayed behind in the camp. Even though they had not gone into the tabernacle, the Spirit came on them also and they began to prophesy. A boy runs to Moses and tells him what is going on in the camp and begs Moses to stop them from prophesying. In ...verse 29 Moses responds......
29 But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"
Eldad and Medad received the Holy Spirit just because of who they were. They were called of God. The were among the chosen ones and whether they were where they were exactly where they were supposed to be or not, the Spirit came on them. Is that not like us? Even if we are not exactly where He wants us to be or we are not there exactly when He wants us to be there, the Spirit is still with us. Moses telling the boy that he wished that the Holt Spirit was on all of Israel is a precursor to what we have now. The Spirit is with every one of God's children just like it was on Moses and the elders of Israel. Just like it was on every prophet of the Old Testament. The only problem is we have to be yielded to Him for Him to work in us the way He wants to. I hope I have been able to show you a little of what the Holy Spirit can do to empower you to live a righteous life. How He can and will empower you to do what God has commanded you to do.