Introduction: How many times have I written “It” when referring to
the Holy Spirit? Too many times! Perhaps you have too. Perhaps you
still do! Does “He” seem to be the correct term for someone who is
compared to wind? Someone who can be everywhere at once? Someone who
not only lives in you, but lives in Christians everywhere? It is hard
to wrap your mind around these concepts. However, I think it is
easier to understand that the Holy Spirit is a “He” if we focus on
His personality, and not His form. Let’s dive into our study of the
Bible and learn more!

  1. Comforter

    1. Read John 16:2-5. List all the things Jesus said that
      would cause the disciples to grieve? (They would not be
      able to worship in “church.” People will kill them and
      think it is a good idea. Jesus is leaving them.)

    2. Read John 16:6 and Acts 1:6. We cannot appreciate the full
      nature of the loss felt by the disciples unless we measure
      it against their lost hope. For what did they hope? (That
      Jesus would become King of Israel, He would defeat the
      Romans, and they would be His chief rulers.)

      1. Now, tell me how terrible a blow to their hopes is
        this list of losses?

    3. Read John 16:6-7. What could possibly make up for the
      losses that we just listed? (The arrival of the Holy

      1. We have been looking at these verses in John from
        different angles recently. When we suffer loss and
        grief, we want to be comforted. We could use a
        counselor. What does it suggest about the personality
        of the Holy Spirit that Jesus would call Him “the
        Counselor?” (Only someone who understands loss and
        grief would make any sense as a counselor.)

    4. Read John 14:16-18. What Jesus says here is much like His
      statement in John 16. Let’s focus on verse 18. Jesus says
      that He will not leave the disciples as orphans. Explain
      that word picture to me. What is the need of an orphan?
      (Orphans have no parents, they need someone who will help
      and protect them.)

      1. Will the Holy Spirit do the same for us? If so, what
        does that say about the personality of the Holy
        Spirit? (He has the kind of deep understanding you
        would expect of a parent. He is able to understand
        and help in times of grief and need.)

      2. Do you think Jesus just picked the word “orphan” out
        of the air as a good analogy? Or, does it actually
        reflect the situation faced by the disciples? (Jesus
        referred to His “Father.” The idea is that God is our
        parent who never dies, is always present. Jesus
        fulfilled that role with the disciples, and then the
        Holy Spirit took over that role. It means that the
        Holy Spirit is our main interface with the Trinity.)

    5. Read John 15:26-27. The disciples share a task with the
      Holy Spirit: testifying about Jesus. How do you think the
      Holy Spirit does that?

      1. How would you (how do you) testify about Jesus?

      2. Ask yourself, “What would persuade someone to follow
        Jesus?” (The initial message would be that Jesus will
        give you hope for a better life and a better future.
        If that is the approach of the Holy Spirit, we see
        that He gives comfort and hope to those who are
        worried about the future.)

  2. Guide For Life

    1. Read Romans 8:1-3. How are we set free from eternal death?
      (By accepting what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus
      did what the law could not, He set us free from sin and

      1. Look again at the last part of John 8:3. What is
        Jesus’ attitude towards sin? (He “condemned sin in
        sinful man.” Jesus does not approve of sin. He came
        to defeat sin.)

    2. Read Romans 8:4. What does Jesus want from us that
      involves the Holy Spirit? (We see two opposing natures:
      the sinful nature and the life lived according to the
      leading of the Holy Spirit. We are told to live “according
      to the Spirit.”)

      1. Must we live a life in the Holy Spirit for “the
        righteous requirements of the law” to be fully met.)

      2. What does this suggest about the personality of the
        Holy Spirit?

    3. Read Romans 8:5. What is our role in right living? (We
      either set our minds on “what the Spirit desires” or “what
      the [sinful] nature desires.” We need to set our minds on
      the desires of the Holy Spirit.)

      1. Have you thought about having an obligation to choose
        on what you will set your mind?

        1. Is this a single choice that you make in the
          morning? (In my experience, it is a continual
          choice. I keep having to make this choice.)

    4. Read Romans 8:6-8. How important is this choice? (We
      cannot please God if our mind is controlled by our sinful

      1. Must live according to the Spirit in order to enjoy
        grace? Is that what these verses mean?

    5. Read John 5:24-25 and Romans 10:13. These two references
      tell me that if I call on God, if I believe that God sent
      Jesus, I will be saved. How do you reconcile that with
      the statements in Romans 8 that I must set my mind on what
      the Holy Spirit desires in order to please God?

      1. Notice that John 5:24 seems to refer to a single
        decision – that a person who hears and believes “has
        crossed over from death to life.” How do you explain
        that? (My explanation is that Romans 8:5-7 describes
        what kind of decisions God desires of us. God wants
        us to continually call on Him. This is what it means
        to set our minds on what the Holy Spirit desires. It
        seems logical that if you truly believe in Jesus,
        then you have made the decision to live a life led by
        the Holy Spirit, and you will not live a life
        “hostile to God.”)

    6. Read Romans 8:9. Contemplate this for a little bit. What
      does this say about the personality of the Holy Spirit and
      its role in your life?

    7. Read Romans 8:10-11. Let’s work this through. When the
      text says, “your body is dead because of sin,” what do you
      think that means? (We are sinners. The penalty for sin is

      1. Why did Jesus die? (He died for our sins. We see this
        parallel in these verses between our sins that bring
        death and our sins for which Jesus died.)

        1. What is the common cure for these death causing
          sins? (The power of the Holy Spirit. He gives
          life to us just as He gave life to Jesus.)

    8. Read Romans 8:12-13. Given what we just discussed, what
      obligation do we have? (Paul just told us that the Holy
      Spirit gives us life, even though we were dead in our
      sins. Would you feel obliged to someone who saved your
      life? Of course! That obligation is to “put to death the
      misdeeds of the body.”)

      1. Do our works matter? (Yes. John 5:24 tells us that
        belief takes us across the line from death to eternal
        life. Romans says that the elimination of wrong deeds
        is an “obligation.” You are saved and you are

        1. How can we eliminate wrong deeds? (“By the

    9. Read Romans 8:14-16. When you sin does it create fear in
      you? Fear that you will get caught? Fear that your
      circumstances will harm you? (This tells us that a life
      led by the Holy Spirit frees us from fear. It allows us
      the freedom that we enjoy as sons and daughters of God.)

      1. Let’s step back a moment and consider this. We live
        in the midst of a controversy between good and evil.
        God has saved us and given us directions on how to
        live a better life now. Do our actions matter? Do our
        works matter? (Imagine you were in an actual war.
        Would it matter if you followed the instructions of
        your commander? Would it matter if you started
        shooting your fellow soldiers? Would it matter if you
        just started walking toward enemy lines? Of course
        these things matter. The idea that you claim Jesus
        once, and pay no attention thereafter, makes no
        logical sense.)

    10. Re-read Romans 8:16. Does your spirit have a personality?
      (Your spirit is your personality.)

      1. What does the fact that the Holy Spirit “testifies
        with our spirit” teach us about the personality of
        the Holy Spirit? (The Holy Spirit is clearly not a
        bunch of wind. He is the active interface between the
        Trinity and your mind.)

    11. Read Romans 8:26-27. In what other way can the Holy Spirit
      help us? (With our prayers. This tells us that the Holy
      Spirit “intercedes” for us “in accordance with God’s
      will.” The Holy Spirit will help with our feeble efforts
      to pray.)

      1. When I think of intercession, I think about what
        Jesus is doing for us in heaven (Hebrews 8-9), and I
        think of lawyers in a courtroom. How much skill does
        this take? What does this say about the Holy Spirit
        having a personality?

    12. Friend, you desperately need the Holy Spirit in you. You
      need Him to comfort you, direct your actions, and guide
      and intercede for you when you approach God in prayer.
      Will you, right now, ask the Holy Spirit to live in you?

  3. Next week: The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit.