The Holy Spirit …
Its Power and Works
A Study Outline
I. To understand the spirit of God is to understand a very complex topic, because the spirit is not seen, though it can be sensed, especially by those who possess His spirit.
II. Just what is the spirit? Essentially, only two words are used in Scripture.
A. Hebrew ruwach (Strong 7307), “wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible or violent exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expressions and functions).”
B. Greek pneuma (Strong 4151), “a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (super human) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the holy spirit.” This word is rarely used for wind, but when so used it is known for its strength, vigor, and force (John 3:8; Acts 2.2; 27:40). Pnoe (Strong 4157) is Greek for a gentle breeze.
C. This spirit can be …
1. A Godly or satanic being Acts 23:8 (angels, spirits); Matthew 12:43 (unclean spirits).
2. An attitude. II Timothy 1:7 (spirit of fear, power, love, etc.).
3. The power of God. This is what Pentecost is involved with, since this is the power that was promised to be given by Christ when He spoke at the Passover before His crucifixion. Luke 24:46-49.
III. Pentecost pictures the giving of the holy spirit, 50 days from the Wave Sheaf Offering during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
A. Leviticus 23:15-16. “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.”
B. This day of Pentecost is one of the three major Feast days during the year: see Deuteronomy 16:16.
C. This brilliant “New Testament” event is recorded in Acts 2:1-47.
IV. What are the characteristics of the spirit? Be aware that these qualities all come from the same source, and the points overlap.
A. Gives comfort. John 14:16; 15:26. “But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he [it] shall testify of Me ….” “But when the comforter is come, whom [which] I send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he [it] shall testify of Me ….”
1. Comforter = parakletos (Strong 3875). This comforter is the spirit given through the Father and Jesus Christ, Christ pleading to Him to pardon our sins. I John 2:1. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
advocate = parakletos. Both Jesus Christ and the spirit the Father gives to us are Comforters.
2. This “comforter” is not a part of a “trinity” of co-equal spirit beings, the Father, Son, and the holy spirit.
3. At Pentecost, this parakletos [comforter] was the power that was prophesied to come upon all flesh in Joel 2:28-29 (Acts 2:17): “I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh ….” This essence or power of Jesus and the Father was placed within His disciples, at this time represented by tongues of fire on their heads, and the ability to communicate in various languages.
B. Is truth. John 14:17. “… even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him [it] not, neither knows him [it], but you know him [it]; for he [it] dwells with you, and shall be in you.”
C. Teaches all things. John 14:26. “But the comforter, which is the holy spirit, whom [which] the Father will send in My name, he [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Teach = didasko (Strong 1321), “to teach.”
D. Brings things to remembrance, the things that Christ had said to them. John 14:26. Remembrance = hupomimnesko (Strong 5279), “to remind quietly, i.e. suggest to the memory.”
E. Is life. Romans 8:10. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.”
1. Life in the flesh. John 10:10; Exodus 15:26.
2. Life in the spirit (eternal life). Romans 8:10-11.
F. Is a helper in our weakness. Romans 8:26. “Likewise the spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
G. Makes intercession for us. Romans 8:26. See F above.
H. Has power. Romans 15:19. “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and around about unto Ilyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
I. Grants liberty.
1. Liberty = eleutheria [Strong 1657], a noun, “freedom or liberty”; from 1658, eleutheros, and adjective, “freedom to go wherever one likes”. It can also mean not in slavery, whether freedom, manumitted, or exempt from any obligation or liability.
2. “Manumission” is illustrated in Galations 5:13, where there is a formal release from slavery or servitude. Among the Greeks, this was accomplished by a legal fiction, in which the manumitted slave was purchased by a god; since the slave could not provide the money, the master paid it into the temple treasury in the presence of the slave, and a document was drawn up containing the words, “fpr freedom”. No person could enslave him again, since he was the property of a god, hence the word apeleutheros, a “freed man”.
J. Reveals secrets. I Corinthians 2:10. “But God has revealed them [the things that God has prepared for those that love Him] unto us by His spirit: for the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
K. Searches all things. I Corinthians 2:10.
L. Is part of your being. I Corinthians 6:20. “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
M. Manifests different qualities or gifts in different people. I Corinthians 12. There are gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracle working, prophecy, discerning spirits, speaking tongues, interpreting tongues, all facets of the same spirit for the edification of the entire body.
N. Dwells in the saints along with the body and mind. I Thessalonians 5:23.
1. Romans 8:9. “But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” This spirit is also called the spirit of Christ, because it is the same power as exists in the Father and in Christ. John 17:21. “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
2. I Corinthians 3:16. “Know your not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
3. I Corinthians 6:19. “What? know you not that your body is the temple of the holy ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?”
4. John 3:5. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
5. Ephesians 3:16. “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man:”
6. It is given freely by God to those appointed to receive it (John 6:44; Romans 8:29), and cannot by purchased (Acts 8:18-22).
O. Manifests the “fruits of the spirit”.
1. Love. II Timothy 1:7.; I Corinthians 13:1-13. Love = agape [Strong 26], “affection or benevolence”.
2. Joy. Galations 5:22. Joy = chara [Strong 1515], “cheerfulness, calm, delight”.
3. Peace. Galations 5:22. Peace = eirene [Strong 1515], “peace, by implication prosperity”.
4. Longsuffering. Galations 5:22; Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18.
5. Kindness. Galations 5:22; Nehemiah 9:17; Joel 2:13.
6. Goodness. Galations 5:22; Romans 15:14; Exodus 34:6. Goodness = agathosune [Strong 19], “goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence”.
7. Faithfulness. Galations 5:22; I Corinthians 13:13:7, 13. Faith [belief] = pisteuos [Strong 4100], “to have faith”.
8. Gentleness. Galations 5:22. Gentleness = chrestotes [Strong 5544], “usefulness, i.e. moral excellence (of character or demeanor)”.
9. Self-control [temperance]. Galations 5:23.
10. Humility. Psalm 34:1-2; Proverbs 22:4; Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 2:3-8; Isaiah 66:2.
11. Hopefulness. I Corinthians 13:12; Romans 8:24; Hebrews 6:18-19. Hope = elpis [Strong 1680], “to anticipate, usually with pleasure, expectation, and confidence”.
12. Mercy. Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 86:5; Exodus 34:6.
13. Slow to anger. Nehemiah 9:17; Joel 2:13; James 1:19.
14. Graciousness. Nehemiah 9:17; Joel 2:13; Exodus 34:6.
15. Willingness to suffer for His sake. I Peter 2:19-23; Romans 8:16-23; Acts 14:22; Philippians 1:29; I Timothy 2:11-12; Zecharia 9:9.
16. Ready to pardon or forgive. Nehemiah 9:17; Mathew 6:12; 18:21-22.
17. A sound mind. II Timothy 1:7. Sound mind = sophronismos [Strong 4995], “discipline or self-control; saving the mind through admonishing and calling to soundness of mind”.
18. Power. II Timothy 1:7; Luke 24:49; Acts1:8. Power = dunamis [Strong 1411], “force (figurative or literal), specifically miraculous power”.
19. Casts out fear. II Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15; I John 4:18. Hebrews 2:14-15 shows that the fear of death is a major motivation that people use to control other people; in particular it is used by governments to capture people’s allegiance to their cause.
P. Can possess a person against his own will. I Samuel 10:9-10. “And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.” See also in Exodus 7 through 14, where Pharaoh’s heart is hardened or loosed by God to carry out His will.
Q. Is the power by which creation occurs.
1. Genesis 1.
2. Psalm 33:6. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Breath = ruwach.
3. Hebrews 11:3. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” See also John 1:1-3.
4. Job 26:13. “By His spirit He has garnished the heavens; His hand has formed the crooked serpent.”
R. Can manifest itself in various ways.
1. Cloven tongues of fire. Acts 2:2-3.
2. Like a dove lighting on one’s head. Matthew 3:16.
S. Can heal the sick. Matthew 8:2-3, 13.
T. Will cast out demons. Matthew 8:28-33.
U. Will affect physical things.
1. Cause a fig tree to wither. Matthew 21:19.
2. Move a mountain into the sea. Matthew 21:21.
V. Like the wind blowing in the trees, or invisible gas molecules cooling our face, we can note the effects of the spirit of God but cannot see it. Yet, it is always present within the saints as our endless supply of energy to be used for the good He desires to manifest through us.
A. Galatians 6:9-10. “And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
B. Romans 12:1-21.
VI. Like light and other electromagnetic energy, which we cannot see unless we look directly at the source — a star or a light bulb — or notice a reflection of it on an object, or pick up a radio or cell phone signal and translate its message, the spirit of God is always present. Note John 14:16 and 15:26: this power “proceeds from the Father” as an energy source for our continual edification.
VII. How do we access this power of God?
A. Pray and meditate. This is communication directly to the source of all spiritual power, breaking through into the heavenly realm to directly access our true Father.
1. Matthew 6:9. “After this manner therefore pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
2. Romans 8:26-27. “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the spirit, because He [Christ] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
3. Ephesians 6:18. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
4. James 1:5-6. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives to all men liberally and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
B. Fast on occasion.
C. Fellowship with the brethren, and be encouraged by them.
D. Then, live every moment for your Creator, without fear, and let the chips fall where they may!
Romans 9:19-23. “You will say then to me, why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? No but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endures with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.”