Thursday, August 25, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series; The Roles of the HOLY SPIRIT, The Promise

Welcome back BGOers! Last week we looked at some of the names of the HOLY SPIRIT in the New Testament. We specifically focused on The HOLY SPIRIT-The Spirit of Truth. This week, we will continue with The HOLY SPIRIT-The Promise.

“37 On the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out: 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! 38 Let anyone who believes in me come and drink! As scripture says, 'From his heart shall flow streams of living water.' 39 He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:37-39, NJB

In the Old Testament, the HOLY SPIRIT is often referred to as, 'The Spirit of GOD'. We see the Spirit at work in in the creation narrative (Genesis 1:2) and in the lives of ordinary people empowered by GOD to accomplish His purpose. There are leaders, judges, kings, prophets, prophetesses, and regular citizens given the Spirit to accomplish specific tasks; Joseph (Genesis 41:38), Moses (Numbers 11:17), Joshua (Numbers 27:18), Bezalel (Exodus 35:31), King David (1 Samuel 16:13), and Gideon (Judges 6:34), just to name a few. So, why does John 7:39 say, “there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified”?

JESUS promised a special outpouring of the HOLY SPIRIT to those who believe He is the Son of GOD, the promised Messiah. This promise begins in the Old Testament, continues into the New Testament and culminates in the book of Acts on the Day of Pentecost.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” Isaiah 61:1-2, NKJV. In Nazareth on the Sabbath, JESUS went into the synagogue, read these same verses and proclaimed, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” Luke 4:21, NKJV.

“28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days,” Joel 2:28-29, NKJV (Joel 3:1-2, NJB).

JESUS is glorified in the crucifixion. He pays the penalty for our sins on the cross, setting us free from the laws of sin and death. He is the Passover Lamb, the Atoning Sacrifice, whose blood purifies and cleanses us. In John 14, when JESUS promises the HOLY SPIRIT, He says, “ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you,” John 14:18, NIV. Then, right before the Ascension he instructs them on The Promise:

“4 While at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. 'It is', he had said, 'what you have heard me speak about: 5 John baptised with water but, not many days from now, you are going to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.' 6 Now having met together, they asked him, 'Lord, has the time come for you to restore the kingdom to Israel?' 7 He replied, 'It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, 8 but you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to earth's remotest end.' 9 As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight.” Acts 1:4-9, NJB.

Join us next week as we look at the Day of Pentecost!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series; The Roles of the HOLY SPIRIT, The Spirit of Truth

The HOLY SPIRIT is often referred to as Advocate, Paraclete, Comforter, Counselor, Helper, and Intercessor in the New Testament. JESUS first introduces the HOLY SPIRIT to His disciples by saying:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be  in you.” John 14:16-17, NIV

26 ...but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.” John 14:26, NJB

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”John 15:26, NKJV

The original word used here παράκλητος, paraklétos, means, “counselor, intercessor, helper, one who encourages and comforts,” (3875, Greek: The STRONGEST STRONG's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible written by James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D., fully revised and corrected by John R. Kohlenberger III and James A. Swanson, published by Zondervan, 2001: Grand Rapids, Michigan).

The HOLY SPIRIT, referred to as the 'Spirit of truth' in the verses above, testifies of the truth and teaches us about the truth. What is truth, according to JESUS? Look at his conversation with Pontius Pilate, “ 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, 'Are You a king then?' Jesus answered, 'You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.' 38 Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?'” John 18:37-38 NKJV.

The truth is that GOD is love (1 John 4:8), and that is why He sent His Only begotten Son, JESUS CHRIST into the world to save us (John 3:16). We were created in the imago Dei, the image of GOD (Genesis 1:27), to be in fellowship with Him. Sin came into the world, through The Fall, in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), and ruptured our relationship with GOD. The imago Dei became defaced, but NOT effaced. GOD made a way, through the Blood of JESUS, to redeem our broken lives and restore our relationship with Him. JESUS' life, death and resurrection encompasses the truth of humanity's existence, purpose and destiny. Redemption and restoration will culminate in eternal, sweet fellowship with GOD, as originally intended. This is the truth that the HOLY SPIRIT reveals to us. He speaks to us, guides us, corrects us, encourages us and empowers us as we read the Bible, pray, worship and live for GOD.

Knowledge without experience is only half of reality, knowledge with experience is the whole. The HOLY SPIRIT allows us to know and experience GOD the Father and GOD the Son in the reality of who GOD is in His Triune glory! He has a wonderful and mighty plan for our lives. Join us next for more of the HOLY SPIRIT!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Who is the HOLY SPIRIT? Why do we speak of GOD as One Being yet speak of GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON & GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Shema, the central prayer in the Jewish prayer book, begins with the following, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one,” Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV. Yet, in the creation narrative the Spirit is mentioned, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,” Gen. 1:2, NKJV. The plural was used when man was created, “26 God said, 'Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves,'” Gen. 1:26, NJB.

The Gospel of John states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made,” John 1:1-3, NIV. “14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14, NIV. JESUS says, “30 The Father and I are one,” John 10:30, NJB.

In the Old Testament, in the book of Malachi, it is asked, “10 Is there not one Father of us all? Did not one God create us?” Malachi 2:10, NJB. In the New Testament we read that, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,” John 4:24, NKJV. Finally, the Great Commission begins with, “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19, NKJV.

Excerpts from the The Nicene Creed explain that:

“We believe in one God,  the Father, the Almighty, Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.  We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial of one Being with the Father...We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.” (

The ontological nature of GOD, which looks at the nature of His Being, is captured in the reality of Trinity. His Triune nature also reflects the way in which He interacts with us. It is a mystery both divine and beautiful, just as The Nicene Creed explains it; that JESUS is of the same substance (consubstantial) with the Father, 'he is begotten not made', and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from them both. Only GOD can create ex nihilo (out of nothing), and the verses we listed highlighted GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON and GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT in Creation. So, when we speak of GOD, we know that He is ONE.

Next week we will look at the roles of the HOLY SPIRIT.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Talk Tuesday: The HOLY SPIRIT Series; Introducing the HOLY SPIRIT

Greetings! Last week we explored what it means to worship GOD in spirit and in truth. This week we will take a brief look at how we are first introduced to the HOLY SPIRIT:

Genesis 1:1-2 NIV, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

Matthew 1:18-20 NJB, “18 This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally. 20 He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.'”

Mark 1:6-8 NIV, “6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: 'After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'”

Luke 1:13-16 NKJV, “13 But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” 

John 1:32-34 NKJV, “32 And John bore witness, saying, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.'”

Notice that within the first chapter of the Bible, and in the first chapters of the New Testament's four Gospels, we hear about the HOLY SPIRIT. Here we see the HOLY SPIRIT in the Creation Narrative, and in the Virgin Birth. He will empower John the Baptist in ministry, and confirm the identity of JESUS CHRIST, the Son of GOD. It is also here that the Baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT is foretold and announced.

Next week we will explore the identity of the HOLY SPIRIT more in depth. We leave you with the following verse, as preparation for our discussion on what is the HOLY SPIRIT; “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen,” Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV.