The Holy Spirit–Third Person of the Trinity

The truth of the Spirit transcends, but does not contradict reason. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one and only one God.”  – Herbert Lockyer

My finite mind certainly can’t grasp everything about the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three distinct Persons, yet one in essence. But the following analogy helps me better understand the Godhead relationship.

WATER

Water (H2O) is a compound composed of three common states: solid, liquid, and gas. According to Wikipedia, water may take many different forms on Earth: water vapor and clouds in the sky, seawater in the oceans, icebergs in the polar oceans, glaciers and rivers in the mountains, and liquid in aquifers in the ground.

Each property of water plays a unique and vital role not only in our lives, but also in our ecosystem. Without water, life would cease to exist.

THE TRINITY

The Bible clearly states there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). The term Trinity signifies the “threefoldness” of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Spirit (Genesis 1:26; 11:7; Matthew 28:19). In reference to these three members, the Greek term homoousious means: “of the same essence or substance [God].” All three are coequal and coeternal.

Of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Lockyer writes, “Each has some characteristics which the other does not. Neither is God without the others, and each with the others is God . . . . The Father loves the Son—the Son honors the Father—the Spirit testifies of the Son.”

  • God the Father is the original Source of everything (Genesis 1:1).
  • God the Son follows in the order of revelation (John 5:24-27).
  • God the Spirit is the Channel through which the blessings of heaven reach us (Ephesians 2:18). (Source: All the Doctrines of the Bible)

How important is the Holy Spirit’s Work?

I like what Tony Evans says about the centrality of the Holy Spirit:

Without the Holy Spirit, humankind wouldn’t be here. There would be no creation or principle of life. There would be no Virgin birth, or victory over Satan in the wilderness (since the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted). There would be no Bible, no Christians, no one to restrain sin in our world, and no hope of Christ returning.”

Without the Holy Spirit, there would be nothing.

The following music video features the song “How Great Thou Art” sung by nine year-old Rhema Marvanne. Enjoy!

Coming next week: The Holy Spirit’s Uniqueness.

Five Reasons to Study the Holy Spirit

Although I have experienced the Holy Spirit’s goodness, power and witness in my life, I can’t fully grasp and explain everything about Him. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d want a fully explainable and predictable God. There’s adventure, curiosity, and beauty in His mystery, especially when realizing God’s character is steeped in truth and love.  a0a02b4f6a9ba17d5fcfcd6983b11064

I can imagine the character Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story saying of God’s Spirit: “He’s to infinity and BEYOND!”

After all, He is Co-Creator of the world and of people.

As a student who is dependent upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I approach this subject carefully and in awe.

Why study the Holy Spirit?

Herbert Lockyer writes, “It is imperative to grasp the truth of the Spirit for many reasons,” [mainly]:

  1. Because it is a neglected doctrinef05477f27e516a79df01596db16d8e6a
  2. Because it is a misunderstood doctrine
  3. Because it is a perverted doctrine
  4. Because it is a Scriptural doctrine
  5. Because it is a practical doctrine

Realizing that God’s Spirit can never be contained, or placed in a neatly labeled box, my next few posts will be a simple summary of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics and ministry from a biblical view. For a more in depth study, I recommend Herbert Lockyer’s excerpt “The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit” from All the Doctrines of the Bible.

Tony Evans book, The Promise, is also enlightening. Tony writes:

To talk about a relationship with the Holy Spirit is at the same time to talk about a relationship with the Father and the Son. Yet, because the Spirit is a distinct Person in the Godhead with a distinct ministry, we also benefit from His unique ministry . . . . The vast resources of the Spirit are for every individual within the church.”

What is your understanding and relationship concerning the Holy Spirit?

Have a wonderful week!

Why Study the Bible?

“If there is one terrible disease in the church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is. We’re too familiar with God.”  – A.W. Tozer, Worship: The Missing Jewel

Growing up and regularly attending a Bible based church has truly been a blessing. But I confess, there have been times when I allowed my relationship with God to become too casual–viewing Him more as my buddy rather than the infinite, omnipotent King of Kings. A peruse of Job 38-41, however, quickly put things into proper perspective. 🙂

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When we apply ourselves to Bible study we grow in knowledge, wisdom and truth (Proverbs 2:6).

The Bible–A Map to Guide Us

God knows we desperately need a map to point us in the right direction. On our own we are lost sinners. His inspired Word provides the guidance we need to acquire His perspective and principles for living (Psalm 119). No wonder King David penned, “you [Lord] have exalted above all things your name and your word”  (Psalm 138:1-2).

Knowing God’s Commands

Matthew 7:1-13 records Jesus scolding the Pharisees for claiming to know God’s will in every detail of life. They created much confusion amongst the people by adding hundreds of their own petty rules and regulations to God’s laws. Jesus said, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men,” (vs. 8).

Engaging Our Minds

Jesus used parables to explain spiritual truth, compelling listeners to think. He doesn’t want us to park our minds in neutral and follow Him in a blind free fall. He calls us to actively engage our minds in His Word (Matthew 22:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; 1 Corinthians 10:15; 1 Peter 3:15).

Other Benefits From Bible Study

  • Knowing Jesus Christ and God the Father: His justice and mercy
  • Understanding how to receive eternal life
  • Knowledge of the beginning and the end (Genesis, Revelation)
  • Training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • Combatting temptation and spiritual warfare (Matthew 4:1-4; Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Understanding God’s purpose of spiritual gifts and the function of His church
  • Discernment of false teachers

The Take Away

God wants us to not only listen carefully to His instructions, but also obey (Hebrews 2:1; James 1:22-25).

ed81919a606f79fe2cf3cb280c73b462When we seek God through Bible study and prayer, He will come along beside us personally each day and help us carry out His principles. He will also grow our faith and bless our obedience.

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”  – 1 Timothy 4:16

Are you currently engaged in Bible study? Does a Christian ever reach a point when he/she doesn’t need God’s Word anymore?

Coming next—“Understanding Biblical Truth.”

Related Posts:

The B-I-B-L-E

Today’s Word

Knowing God

Salt and Light

I must have been about eight when I hid a bowl of cookie dough under my bed. Our family outing prompted me to take action to keep my brother from eating any.

0f0272b0a9d411e2974222000a1fbdac_7Mission accomplished.

However, the adage “out of sight, out of my mind” rang true for me. My goods remained under my bed until my Mom’s discovery a month later. No scent or taste of warm Chocolate Chip Cookies enjoyed from this batch. Not even bugs or mice could penetrate this hardened mound.

My prized dough became useless, losing all flavor and luster.

Flavor and Shine for God

Jesus shared a few words concerning our effectiveness—or lack of—to Him.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”  – Matthew 5:13

And . . . .

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”   – 5:14-16

Our Usefulness to God

I don’t want my heart to harden like that mound of cookie dough–losing Christ’s seasoning, or hiding His light. My guess is that you don’t either.

How do we lose or gain our usefulness for Christ? How do we positively flavor society and let our light shine?  I invite your input.

Morning Star

The night I wrote my last post, From Darkness to Light, our electricity went out. Thankfully, my oldest son brought me a candle when the house went black.

d6b9c109d99fb4a851625cbb14a7a4c3In the middle of the night, I stumbled outside onto our deck to gaze at the stars. Without any street lights, the stars sparkled like polished diamonds.

I was reminded: Jesus is not only the light of the world (John 8:12), but He is also the morning star (2 Peter 2:19; Revelation 2:28; 22:16).

A morning star appears when the night is coldest and darkest, just before dawn.

In Revelation 2:18, Jesus is described as “the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.”

A Letter to the Church of Thyatira

This Revelation chapter 2 contains a letter from Jesus to the Church of Thyatira, one of the seven churches that He addresses. Jesus commends their deeds, love, faith, perseverance, and increase of service. However, He warns:

I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.”   – Revelation 2:20

Jezebel, a pagan queen of Israel, was considered the most evil woman who ever lived (1 Kings 19:1-2; 21:1-15; 2 Kings 9:7-10, 30-37). Jezebel may have been the name of the woman in the Thyatira church who promoted sexual immorality amongst believers, or Jezebel may have been a symbol of the evil God abhors.

When Christ gave this woman time to repent—turn away from her sins and follow Him—she refused, sinking further into spiritual darkness and God’s judgment.

Jesus’ words are weighty, but clear:  “I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. . . . Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds . . . . To you who do not hold to her teaching: Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will until the end, I will give authority over the nations . . . . I will also give him the morning star.”  – Revelation 2:22-28.

Are You Prepared to Meet Jesus Christ?

When the world is at its darkest, Jesus will rush onto the scene. Shining in brilliant glory, He will expose evil with the light of His truth. He will also bring His promised reward. Until that time, He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and shed light on His truth in the Bible.

Are you prepared for the dawning of The Morning Star?

Let’s ask the Lord to search our hearts and help us overcome any sin that holds us captive. Let’s seek His will and persevere in it.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”  – Isaiah 30:15