Welcome to the second lesson in our study of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. Please read page 2 of the article below written by Rev. Charles N. Powell in his book “New Member Training.” Please answer the questions following the article about what you learned or know about the Holy Spirit as a Person, Guide and Counselor.
1. The Personhood
The word “person” as used in connection with the Trinity is not found in the Scriptures. It is evident that, when so used, it does not mean exactly what it does in our ordinary use of the term. When we speak of a person, we think of an individual separate and distinct from others. But when speaking of the three in the Trinity, we mean what has been described as “inner distinctions in the Godhead.”
A divine person is not less than a human person, but more. The nature of these distinctions in the Godhead cannot be defined by infinite minds.
The Scripture presents the Holy Spirit as a personal being, and not a mere influence or power at work in the world.
The Holy Spirit is represented as doing the work of a person. He testifies, He reproves, He comforts, He teaches, He guides, He strives, and He helps. Such words as these can be used only of a person.
The Holy Spirit is affected as a person by the acts of others. He may be resisted, grieved, vexed, insulted, and blasphemed. Only a person can be so affected by the acts of others.
2. Guide and Counselor
Jesus had given definite promises of the coming of the Holy Spirit in his parting message to His disciples in the upper room. “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.” But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things.”
The Holy Spirit was to be “another of the same kind of divine helper” as Jesus had been. He was not to replace Jesus. But through the Holy Spirit, the continuing life of Jesus was to be made evident in His church. The disciples were grieved because Jesus was going away.
But He promised them an even greater privilege than His bodily presence, He had been with them; the Holy Spirit will be within them. He had spoken through their ears; the Spirit will speak in their hearts. They had felt the touch of Jesus’ hand, now they would feel the Spirit’s inward presence. At times, they were away from Jesus’ bodily presence, but they would never be away from the Spirit. Jesus had been with them in body for about three and one-half years. The Holy Spirit would abide with them forever as their “guide and counselor.”
If God is to use us as His hands, feet, and voice, it is necessary that He be able to not only guide us but also counsel us. The Spirit cannot guide us or counsel us, however, as long as we insist on finding our own way. It is as if we, groping along in the dark, are offered a powerful lantern to light our path, but refuse it, preferring to stumble along striking one flickering match after the other.
THE PERSONHOOD OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. Is the word “person” in connection with the Trinity found anywhere in the Scriptures?
2. What does the term “three in the Trinity mean”?
3. Is a divine person less than a human person or more?
4. Do the Scriptures present the Holy Spirit as a personal being or just an invisible influence or a power at work in the world?
5. In the Bible the Holy Spirit is represented as doing the work of an actual person, which Scriptures show the following actions of the Holy Spirit?
6. Since the Holy Spirit is affected by the acts of others, can you find examples in the Scriptures where the acts of others affected the Holy Spirit in the following ways?
THE HOLY SPIRIT AS GUIDE AND COUNSELOR
7. Can you identify the Scriptures where Jesus promises the coming of the Holy Spirit during the Last Supper in the Upper Room?
8. In which Upper Room Scripture does Jesus tell his disciples that the Holy Spirit “leads into all truth” and, what do you think Jesus meant by this statement?
9. In which Upper Room Scripture does Jesus promise that the Father will send the Advocate or Comforter or Helper in “My name” or as “my representative” which is the Holy Spirit?
10. Which of these names helps you best understand the role of guide and counselor of the Holy Spirit: Advocate; Comforter; or Helper and what does your preferred name mean to you?
11. Was the Holy Spirit sent as the replacement for Jesus after his crucifixion?
12. Where in Scriptures do see where Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be our guide?
13. Where in the Scriptures does Jesus promise that the Holy Spirit would live within us?
14. Where in the Scriptures does Jesus promise us the indwelling of the Father and Son?