Introduction: The nature of God is a major subject of the Bible. What
separated the followers of the Living God from the rest of the world
was their belief in a single living God, and not a large number of
gods. Even today, observant Jews wonder how Christians could get “off
the track” with their belief in three, not one God. Why do we
believe that the Holy Spirit is one part of the Trinity that is God?
Who is the Holy Spirit? What is His nature? Our study this quarter
takes us into these questions about the Holy Spirit. Let’s begin by
plunging into our study right now!

  1. Holy, Holy, Holy

    1. Read Genesis 1:1-3. At what point in the Bible are we
      introduced to the Spirit of God? (The very beginning.)

    2. Read Psalms 104:30. Does this text, and Genesis 1, suggest
      that the Spirit of God created us? (Yes.)

    3. Read John 1:1-3. Who does this text say created us? (The

      1. Who is the Word? (Read John 1:14. This chapter in
        John makes clear that Jesus is the Word.)

    4. Do these texts contradict each other? Some texts say the
      Spirit of God created us, others say that Jesus created
      us. How do you explain this? (Read Genesis 1:26. God uses
      the plural when He says that He is going to make humans in
      His image. In the very beginning of the Bible we are
      introduced to this idea of the “plural” nature of our one
      Living God.)

    5. Read Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8. Do you wonder why
      when praising God the heavenly beings repeat “Holy” three
      times? (This also implies a Trinity of three.)

    6. Read Matthew 28:18-19. After Jesus’ resurrection from the
      dead He gives this instruction to His disciples. When
      Jesus directs us to “baptize them in the name,” what is He
      saying? (The new converts are to enter into a new
      relationship with their God. They acknowledge their
      allegiance to their new God.)

      1. Who is the God whom they now serve? (In Matthew 28:18
        Jesus announces that now that He has defeated Satan,
        all authority has been returned to Him. He re-enters
        His rightful place as one of the three facets of God:
        the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)

      2. For the purposes of this lesson, we are most
        interested in the Holy Spirit. What authority does
        the Holy Spirit possess? (It is fully part of the
        Trinity. When we are baptized we accept the Holy
        Spirit as God every bit as much as we accept the
        Father and Jesus as our God.)

  1. Blasphemy

    1. Read Matthew 12:22-23. When the people see Jesus perform
      this great miracle, what thought comes into their minds?
      (That He could be the promised Messiah, the “Son of

    2. Read Matthew 12:24. What alternative answer do the
      Pharisees suggest to what the people are thinking? (That
      Jesus is using the power of Satan to do miracles. He is
      not simply a man, he is a man who uses evil power.)

    3. Read Matthew 12:25-27. How does Jesus answer the
      accusation of the Pharisees? What logic does He use?
      (What common sense is there in Satan driving out His own
      forces? Why would Satan do that? If it is true that Satan
      is willing to drive out his own forces, then when the
      Pharisees drive out demons they might be relying on Satan

    4. Read Matthew 12:28. What does this verse teach us about
      the Holy Spirit? (1. That He is stronger than Satan. 2.
      That He is willing to work with humans to overcome Satan.
      3. His work is proof of the presence of the Kingdom of

    5. Read Matthew 12:29. Is Jesus telling us that He and the
      Holy Spirit are robbers?

      1. If so, what is being taken by the robbers? (Sinners!
        Those captive to sin. I was going to skip over this
        text until I realized the importance of what Jesus is
        saying: We cannot defeat Satan without the power of
        the Holy Spirit. We cannot convert sinners without
        Satan being first bound by the Holy Spirit.)

    6. Read Matthew 12:30. What is it to “gather?” (Help convert

      1. Why can’t we be neutral? Why is the absence of
        “gathering” “scattering?”

      2. When I took a course in logic in (a Christian)
        college, my professor pointed to a similar statement
        by Jesus as being an example of the “Black/white” or
        “Division” fallacy. My view then, as now, was that
        the sayings of Jesus could not be a logical fallacy.
        So, how do you understand Jesus’ statement? (In many
        situations of life we can be neutral. Thus, the
        logical fallacy is accurate. But here the context is
        very important. Jesus tells us that a “strong man” is
        at work who already has “possessions.” We don’t
        start out neutral. We start out as fallen humans,
        sinners, who are the possessions of Satan. When it
        comes to spiritual matters, there are no neutral

    7. Read Matthew 12:31-32. Can you blaspheme someone who is
      not God? (No. This is further proof of the divinity of the
      Holy Spirit.)

      1. Is this proof that Jesus is not divine, since
        speaking against Him can be forgiven? (No. The
        assumption in Jesus’ statement is that speaking
        against Him is blasphemy too. It can, however, be

      1. What, exactly, is the blasphemy against the Holy
        Spirit here? (Go back to the story of the healing of
        the demon possessed man. Attributing to Satan the
        power of the Holy Spirit is the blasphemy.)

      2. How can we avoid blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in
        the future? (I recall articles in religious (non-charismatic) publications which pretty directly
        called certain faith healing the product of the power
        of Satan. This kind of statement is very dangerous.
        You need to be 100% sure before you make any
        statement like that. Calling the work of another
        Christian the work of Satan is a dangerous thing.)

    1. Read Mark 3:28-29, another account of Jesus’ statement.
      Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit the unpardonable
      sin? Standing alone, these two verses in Mark would
      contradict each other. Obviously, Jesus does not consider
      them to contradict each other. How do you reconcile these
      two texts? (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
      Old and New Testaments has an explanation, part of which I
      like. It looks at Mark 3:28 and concludes “There is no sin
      whatever, it seems, of which it may be said. ‘That is not
      a pardonable sin.'” Thus, verse 29 explains verse 28, it
      does not contradict it. There is nothing in the nature of
      any sin in itself that would make it unpardonable.)

      1. Then what is it about this sin that makes it
        unpardonable? (Read John 16:8-11. This is a text
        about the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy
        Spirit which brings conviction of sin and salvation.
        If you reject the power of the Holy Spirit in your
        life, if you attribute the Spirit’s work to Satan,
        then by necessity you will never confess sin or
        accept God’s gift of salvation. It is not that any
        sin is unforgivable, it is simply that if your sin is
        rejecting the power that convicts you of sin, you
        will never be convicted of your sin!)

        1. Is rejecting the Holy Spirit a “one time” thing,
          or a slow process of the life? (It must be slow
          because John 16:8 says that the Spirit “will
          convict the world of guilt.” I don’t think you
          need to accept the Holy Spirit to be convicted
          of sin. It is by steadily rejecting the Spirit’s
          efforts that you direct your path to eternal

    2. Friend, accepting the Holy Spirit as fully God is
      essential to becoming a Christian. Accepting the work of
      the Holy Spirit in your life is essential to living the
      Christian life. Will you invite the Holy Spirit into your
      life today?

  1. Next week: Holy Spirit Symbolized in Scripture.