The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

Building Knowledge:Holy Spirit

Don Lambert

The Holy Spirit is found from the beginning to the end of the Bible: Gen 1:2, "the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters"..." the Spirit and the bride say, Come.'" Rev. 22:17.

All we can know about Him, we learn through the revealed Word of God, not through personal experiences. When discussing the Spirit and His interaction with early saints, the apostle wrote, "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant," 1 Cor 14:37-38

The Holy Spirit is presented in Scripture as a Divine, rational, Being interested and active in the salvation of man. His divine creative power is indicated early: "the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters," Gen. 1:2 ["moving over" - exercising a powerful influence over. Compare 2 Pet. 1:21.].

Jesus was glorified through His work in the apostles, revealing and confirming Jesus' identity, role, and grace: "the Spirit of truth..., He will testify of Me," John 15:26; "But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth...He shall glorify Me..." John. 16:13,14. Indeed, those who come to know and believe in the Christ of the gospels are baptized "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," Matt. 28:19.

The event of Ananias and Sapphira strongly demonstrated the Spirit's active interest and involvement in the development of the early church: "But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit... You have not lied to men, but to God... Then Peter said to her, 'Why is it you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test?" Acts 5:3,4,9.

As the gospel was spread throughout the world, the Spirit made choice as to who would go and where they would go: "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them... so being sent out by the Holy Spirit" Acts 13:2,4; "having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia..." Acts 16:6.

When a serious issue threatened the unity of the early church and the fundamental gospel of salvation by faith for all regardless of race, we see the Holy Spiritıs work appealed to in resolving this issue and establishing the truth. Some taught the non-Jews, the Gentiles, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved," Acts 15:1. However, Peter reminded that God gave the non-Jews "the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us," v. 8. Paul and Barnabas related "what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles," v. 12. These signs and wonders were performed by the power of the Holy Spirit. James noted, "the Prophets agree" that God intended to make non-Jews His people, v. 14,15. These prophets were "moved by the Holy Spirit," 2 Pet 1:21. Clearly then, the apostles and elders of Jerusalem wrote, "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit" not to require the "burdens" of circumcision and keeping the law as conditions of salvation, Acts. 15:28.

The early churches, though without the complete New Testament (it was yet being written), were able to enjoy "the word of wisdom" and "the word of knowledge" and other spiritual gifts confirming the word of truth in their assemblies "through the Spirit," 1 Cor. 12:8.

God's plan for manıs salvation in Christ Jesus was "revealed through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches... even the depths of God" (1 Cor 2:7-10). Hearing, believing, and obeying that gospel He revealed, we entered into a relationship with Christ: "by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" (1 Cor 12:13). If we fail to "walk in a manner worthy of this calling," we " grieve the Holy Spirit of God" (Eph. 4:1,30), and if we turn away from that gospel of grace He revealed we "insult the Spirit of grace" (Heb. 10:29). "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come'... take of the water of life without cost." (Rev. 22:17). Let us heed the admonitions given us "by the love of the Spirit" (Rom. 15:30) and always pursue "the fellowship of the Holy Spirit" (2 Cor. 13:14)!