While in school, have you ever come up against a subject that was difficult for you to understand? Did it seem that no matter how hard you studied to understand, it just wouldn’t sink in? If you have ever been in such a circumstance, you can appreciate the value of having someone to help you understand.
God, our Creator, realizes that we all face circumstances which are difficult and at times overwhelming for us. Throughout our lives, challenges will arise that will appear insurmountable. Knowing our weaknesses and limitations, God offers each of us a “helper” for these kinds of situations. This “helper” is called the Holy Spirit.
When the term “Holy Spirit” is used, do you understand what is meant? In this issue of Teen Bible Study, we will discuss what the Holy Spirit is and its importance to each of us.
What Is the Holy Spirit?
John 4:24: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
1. What does the word “spirit” tell us?
Comment: Spirit describes the very essence of God. Just as God is invisible so is the Holy Spirit. The word “spirit” is translated from the Greek word for wind (pneuma) which conveys to us something we cannot see and, like the wind, is a powerful force.
Pneuma can also be translated as “breath” (Revelation 11:11). As breath is essential to physical life, so is God’s Spirit to spiritual life.
Revelation 15:4: “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy.”
2. What does the word “holy” mean?
3. What is holy besides God? Compare Exodus 15:11 and 1 Samuel 2:2.
Comment: God is spirit and He alone is holy. The term “Holy Spirit” then is an invisible power like the wind that is holy because it comes from God (John 15:26). “Comforter” is another name for God’s Holy Spirit.
Psalms 139:7-8: ” Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”
4. Where do we find God’s Spirit?
Comment: Through the Holy Spirit, God is everywhere in the universe.
Is the Holy Spirit A Person?
John 17:1: “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You….”
1. To whom did Christ pray?
2. To whom did Christ teach the disciples to pray? Read Matthew 6:6-9.
Comment: Jesus never gave any indication that His disciples should pray to the Holy Spirit. However, we are told to ask the Father in Jesus’ name (John 15:16; John 16:23).
Matthew 1:20: “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’”
3. How was Jesus conceived in His mother’s womb?
4. Does Jesus refer to the Holy Spirit as His father? Consider John 8:19.
Comment: It was through the Holy Spirit that Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb. Yet He does not refer to the Holy Spirit as His Father. Clearly, the Holy Spirit is not a person but the power God the Father uses to accomplish His will.
Galatians 1:1: “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)….”
5. For whom did Paul serve as an Apostle?
6. As Paul sent greetings to the churches of God did he mention the Holy Spirit? Read the opening verses to Paul’s epistles, such as, 1 Corinthians 1:3 and Ephesians 1:2. Why is there no mention of the Holy Spirit?
Comment: Paul offers greetings from God the Father and Jesus Christ to the churches in each of his letters. He never offers greetings from the Holy Spirit. These examples help us to see that the Holy Spirit is not a person.