Class One: Who is the Holy Spirit & What Does He Do?

Key idea:  The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is the fullness of the promise of God-with-us.
Names of the Spirit: Spirit of God, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Christ, Holy Ghost, etc.

What is the Hebrew word for Spirit?  What does it mean?
What does the Holy Spirit do?  How is the Spirit involved in creation?
What sort of people received the Spirit in the Old Testament?
Future promise of God’s Spirit?
Where do Jesus and the Spirit connect?

What does the Old Testament tell us about the Spirit of God?
Hebrew – Ruah or occasionally Neshamah.  Wind, breath, spirit.  Invisible.  Energizing.
Genesis 1:2, Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:8, etc.
Consider the following stories: Samson (Judges 14:19, 15:14) and Saul (1 Samuel 10:6-13).
In the OT, the Spirit is:  Indicative of God’s power and presence, equips mortals for extraordinary works, comes in a time-limited fashion and only for specific purposes, not an endorsement of individuals.
But … Joel 2:28-29.  Future vision of a universal outpowering of God’s Spirit.

What does the New Testament tell us about the Spirit of God?
Greek – Pneuma
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 – “The Lord is the Spirit.” 
John 14:16-17 - The Advocate (Paraclete) and a Person
Doctrine of the Trinity - Three hypostases (persons) in one ousia (substance). 
Spirit of Christ - All the Persons of the Trinity are distinguished by their devotion to one another and exaltation of the other.  If a spirit doesn’t point towards Jesus then it’s not the Holy Spirit.
What is the job of an advocate?
The Holy Spirit with us is BETTER than Jesus with us.  John 16:7-15.  But Jesus is > the OT, and they had the Spirit in the OT.  What changed?
1 Corinthians 6:19 – You are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit lives inside you. 
Change from the Old Testament – not time limited.  Still enables amazing acts – Pentecost – but not limited to them.  The extraordinary work of the Spirit in the life of every Christian is the union of God and human.
Note - This is not “breath” and not for non-believers.
How do we get the Holy Spirit?  Acts 2:38
If the Ruah of God, the Pneuma of God, brings life and vitality to the world, then we can acknowledge that there is conflict between the world and the Spirit.  Likewise, that conflict extends to our inner lives.
Romans 8:8-17
Conflict between Spirit and flesh
How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit?  How does the Spirit affect change in our lives?  Find out next week!

Homework/Discussion Topics
1.       Answer the question, “who is the Holy Spirit?”, as you would to a child.
2.      Read some additional Old Testament stories about the Holy Spirit (for example, Exodus 31:1-11, 35:30-36:1, or Numbers 11:24-30).  What do you learn about the work of the Holy Spirit in these stories?
3.      Direct some of your prayers this week to the Holy Spirit, instead of to the Father or Son.  How does this shape your prayers in new and different ways?
4.      How do you need the Spirit to advocate for you today?  How can the beachhead of the Spirit be expanded in your life?