THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE WORD
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans )
Please use the King James Version to fill in blanks
1. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WHAT DOES HE DO?
There is much
confusion relative to the Holy Spirit among religious people.
can be no clear understanding of the Scheme of Redemption without a
understanding of the WORK of the Holy Spirit. To be ignorant on this
to lead one, in one way or another, into serious errors on the whole
sam Pentecostalism, which is based on misconceptions of the Spirit, and is largely emotionalism, is growing all over the world. The multitude of voices speaking on the subject has largely added to the confusion, misconceptions, and one-sided views on this topic. It is imperative, then, that we know what the Bible teaches concerning the Holy Spirit and His WORK in relation to man's salvation.
All that we know about the Holy Spirit is from the Word of God. Therefore, no one can say anything about the WORK of the Holy Spirit without examining what the Bible teaches. There are three basic truths that we need to understand at the outset of this lesson. First, the Bible teaches the Holy Spirit is a Person. He is one of the members of the Godhead (Col. 2:9). There is God the ___________ (2 Tim. 1:2), Jesus Christ the __________ (Mark 1:1), and the __________ Spirit (Luke ). THEY are three divine, distinct, eternal personalities, and yet there is only __________ God (James ) - ONE divine nature known as God or Deity (Acts ).
Many false teachers say the Holy Spirit is a mere "influence" or "force." However, the Bible teaches that He is Deity (cf. Acts 5:3-4 where the words Holy Spirit and God are used interchangeably). To speak of the Holy Spirit as "it" is not correct. Jesus referred to the Spirit of truth as “_________” (John ).
Second, the Holy Spirit had a part in the creation of the material universe. “The Spirit of God __________ upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). Job said, “By his spirit he hath ____________ the heavens” (Job 26:13). Additionally, the Spirit had a part in the creation of man. Again, Job said, “The ___________ of God hath made me” (Job 33:4). Hence, He helped in creation and in the establishing of divine law in the natural realm (cf. Ps. 104:30; Gen. 1:11-25).
Third, the Holy Spirit revealed the truths of Christianity (the Scheme of Redemption) to the world and miraculously demonstrated its divine origin (cf. Acts 2:4; Heb. 2:4). “For God hath revealed them unto us (apostles, inspired men) by his ____________: for the _____________ searcheth all things, yet the deep things of God” (1 Cor. ). Regarding the system of Christianity, God planned (1 Cor. 2:7), Christ executed (Col. 1:15-17), and the Holy Spirit revealed (Eph. 3:5).
We learn from the apostle Paul that God had a way, or plan, called the “eternal ____________ which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. ). This eternal plan (which concerned man's salvation in Christ Jesus) had “from the ____________ of the world” been hidden in the mind of God (Eph. 3:9). This "purpose" was, in due time, made known that man might learn the way of salvation.
Now, the thing needful for us is to learn HOW, WHEN, and by WHOM this hidden mystery in the mind of God was made known, WHAT there is in it for us, and HOW we may obtain it. The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit revealed the will of God through certain ones, confirmed this message by many signs and wonders (Heb. 2:3-4), recorded it in words (James 1:21-22), and that we today have this complete inspired message in the New Testament (James 1:25; cf. Heb. 9:15).
Conclusion: The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Godhead. He is not simply or solely an influence. He is a Person wielding an influence and this is done through means - the revelation of truth which He made through the writers of the Scriptures (1 Cor. 2:9-13).
2. WHAT WAS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? In order
understand the Spirit's work in the Scheme of Redemption, it is
we go back to the time when Adam and Eve sinned and God drove them out
Garden of Eden. It was then that Jehovah made a promise that the
“of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head (Gen. 3:15). This is the
FIRST reference to Christ. Here we have a ray of hope for man's
Some 2000 years passed by in the Patriarchal Age, until God called Abraham to leave his kindred and go into a strange land. God informed Abraham that he was to be the father of a great race of people, saying to him, "And in thy ____________ shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). This also had reference to Christ, as Paul explained: "Now to Abraham and his _________ were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy _________, which is _________ " (Gal. ). Later, the Law of Moses was given to Abraham's descendants at
Finally, after the passing of the centuries, “. . . when the fulness of the ____________ was come" (Gal. 4:4), Christ, the promised seed came to earth to execute God’s plan and to die on the cross of
How did God speak by the prophets? "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy ____________ " (2 Pet. ). It was the Spirit's work to ____________ through the prophets. Their words were the words of God given by the Spirit. Nehemiah, speaking of God's work of teaching the people in the long ago, said: "Yet many years didst thou forbear them and testifiedst against them by thy ____________ in thy _____________” (Neh. ). Also David said: "The _____________ of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue" (2 Sam. 23:2; cf. Acts ; 28:25-26).
However, the many blessings in the Lord's church, spoken of by the Old Testament prophets, were kept secret in the mind of God (called at that time a "mystery"), until revealed by the Holy Spirit at God's appointed time. Paul, in First Corinthians 2:9 cites Isaiah 64:4, and says, "But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath _______________ for them that love him."
This text is often quoted as referring to things to be revealed in heaven, but the context shows that it is a prediction of provisions and blessings to be unfolded in Christ in the Gospel dispensation, for Paul says in the next verse, referring to those blessings, "But God hath revealed them unto us [apostles, inspired men] by his _____________: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of ____________ " (1 Cor. 2:10).
Conclusion: “The things which God hath prepared for them that love him" have now been revealed by the Holy ____________, through the apostles, and these things have been seen and heard in this the Christian Age (cf. Eph. 3:3-5).
3. WHAT PROMISES DID CHRIST MAKE TO THE APOSTLES CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT? To answer this question we must first examine what Jesus said to His apostles prior to His death and ascension regarding things He wanted them to accomplish after His departure. John chapters 14, 15, and 16, contain a private talk by Christ to His apostles (cf. Matt. 26:20; Mark ; Luke ; John 13:5).
The Lord promised His disciples that after His ascension He would send them another "_____________" - the Holy Spirit (John -17, 26; 16:7). Jesus said, "...ye know him; for he dwelleth ____________ you, and shall be ___________ you" (John ). After having trained them for three and one-half years, Jesus had in mind a great work for the apostles to do, and they would need the POWER of the Holy Spirit. However, the promise of the Spirit here named by Christ was to the apostles ONLY, and was a power the world could not receive. Jesus said: "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the ____________ cannot receive" (John ).
What was the Holy Spirit to do to the apostles? "He shall _____________ you (them) all things, and bring all things to your (their) _______________, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John ). Jesus had taught them many precious truths; however, it was not possible for them to remember all that Christ had said to them. Hence, the Holy Spirit, when He came, refreshed the minds of the apostles with the teachings of Jesus. The apostles, therefore, by the POWER of the Spirit, had an infallible guide. The language of Jesus here is NOT applicable to us. We must study the WORD and rightly divide it (2 Tim. ).
Again: ". . . he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the ______________ " (John -27). In the New Testament we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit through the apostles concerning Christ, and this testimony is “written” so that we might “_____________ “ (John 20:30-31). But no man can read John -27 today and make this Scripture apply to himself, because he has NOT been with the Lord "from the beginning."
Hear Christ again: "Howbeit when he, the ____________ of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall ____________, that shall he ____________: and he will shew you things to come" (John ). Here we learn that the Spirit could both HEAR and SPEAK. To whom was He to speak? He was authorized to speak to the apostles. What was He to speak? That which He had heard from the Father. What was He to do? He was to GUIDE the apostles into “ALL _____________."
What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would do for the world? "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of __________, and of _________________, and of _______________" (John 16:8). How did the Spirit do this? He did it by coming to the apostles, and through THEIR inspired words people were convicted of sin, righteousness, and judgment (cf. Acts 24:24-25).
In what place were the apostles to receive the POWER from the Holy Spirit? Jesus said to His apostles, after His resurrection and prior to His ascension, "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of ____________, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Christ repeated this to His apostles just before He ascended (Acts 1:2-4). The apostles were to tarry in
When was the power to come? "But ye shall receive _____________, after that the Holy ______________ is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Conclusion: The POWER here promised, which Christ called the baptism "with the ____________ Ghost" (Acts 1:5; cf. Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33), would enable the apostles to execute the Great Commission by going into all the world to preach the soul saving Gospel (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; cf. Matt. 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; Col. 1:23).
4. WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW DID THE HOLY SPIRIT COME UPON THE APOSTLES? In Acts 2 we read of the Spirit's coming: WHEN He came, WHERE He came, HOW He came, and to WHOM He came. Christ, having accomplished the object of His mission to this earth, ascended back to the Father from the Mount of Olives; and the apostles, after His ascension, returned to _______________ (Acts 1:12). There they waited ten days.
Then, on the day of Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit on His mission, in the city of
When the Holy Spirit came to the apostles, they were clothed OR “endued with _____________ from on high” (Luke 24:49). No one today has been baptized with (in) the Holy Spirit as the apostles were on Pentecost, for no one living today was there! No one today can do what the Holy Spirit-baptized apostles did; such as, speak in tongues [i.e., inspired and foreign languages], heal the sick, raise the dead, impart power to work miracles, and reveal truth (Acts 2:43; 3:1-16; 5:12; 8:14-21; 9:32-41; 13:9-12; 20:9-12; 2 Cor. 12:12). ALL the religious leaders of today who CLAIM and DECEIVE people into believing they can perform the miraculous powers of the apostles are _______________ prophets! (Matt. 7:15-20).
When the Holy Spirit came to the apostles and began His work, He preached through the apostles the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ as existing facts for the first time in the world's history (Acts -36). What happened to the people who had murdered Jesus? The people listened, and upon hearing the Holy Spirit’s words, "they were pricked in their _____________, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we ____________? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be ______________ every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ ____________ the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the ______________ of the Holy Ghost" (Acts -38).
Here the apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, preached "repentance and remission of sins" for the first time "in the name of Christ" (by His authority), "beginning at ________________" (Luke 24:47). This was the first Gospel sermon ever preached. What were the results of this sermon? "Then they that ______________ received his word were ______________ (immersed in water): and the same day there were ______________ unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts ).
The Holy Spirit convicted these people of sin and converted them by the instrumentality of the Gospel preached by the apostles (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4). This was the beginning, NOT of the Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or Denominational Age, BUT of the CHRISTIAN Age. Those penitent baptized believers "continued stedfastly in the ______________ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts ; cf. Matt. 28:20). From that day until the present, the Lord has been adding to HIS “______________ daily such as should be saved” (Acts ; cf. Matt. ).
Conclusion: When did the Holy Spirit come with POWER on the
apostles? Answer: On the day of ______________ (Acts 2:1).
did the Holy Spirit come upon the apostles? Answer: In the city
______________. Who sent the Holy Spirit upon the apostles?
The ______________ (John ).
What do people become when they obey the Word of God? Answer:
_______________ (cf. Acts ;
26:28; 1 Pet. ),
Adventists, Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jehovah Witnesses,
Mormons, etc., etc.
5. HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACH US TODAY? When the Holy Spirit came to the apostles, how were God's thoughts and ideas communicated to man? Paul makes the answer clear in his statement: "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few _______________, whereby when ye _______________, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the ______________" (Eph. 3:3-5).
Through inspired men, the Holy Spirit revealed the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. ). Paul, an inspired apostle guided by the Spirit, wrote the Gospel in WORDS in his letters to the Christians. They then could read and understand God’s Will (cf. John ). The same is true of all the writers of the New Testament.
The Holy Spirit communicates to man through WORDS! Words are signs of ideas. This is how the mind of God is conveyed to the human mind. It is through WORDS. Peter called them “the words of _____________ life” (John 6:68). He later told Cornelius these words, “whereby thou and all thy house shall be _____________” (Acts ). Faith in God and His Son comes ONLY through hearing the ______________ of God (Rom. ).
God communicates to man by the medium of WORDS chosen by the Spirit (not words chosen by the Pope, Brigham Young, or any other man or woman). The Bible says, “Holy men of God _____________ as they were moved by the Holy ______________” (2 Pet. ). What did the Holy Spirit move the apostles to do? He moved them “to speak with other ______________ (or words), as the _______________ gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
After the Holy Spirit revealed God's will to certain men, these men recorded the truth in the Scriptures (the BIBLE). We can now understand and believe God's will by studying the WORD of God for ourselves (cf. 2 Tim. ; Acts -12). In NO OTHER WAY can we today learn God's will. It comes only by reading, or hearing proclaimed, this Gospel message (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my _____________” (John ). Friend, do you love Jesus? You say YES! Then why are you NOT keeping His WORDS? (cf. Luke 6:46; Matt. 7:21). Many of you are quick to keep the words of a man. Please raise your hand if you keep the words of the Pope (the Catechism). Please raise your hand if keep the words of Joseph Smith (the Book of Mormon). Please raise your hand if you keep the words of Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Russell, Mohammed, or Buddha...etc.
Many of you are willing to follow the UNINSPIRED words of men, even though “by good ______________ and fair speeches (they) deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:18). WHY are you willing to follow the words of men? Answer: Because that’s the way your parents were raised, and their parents were raised, and now you are being raised, and you hope your children and their children will be raised. But friend, you should “let no man _____________ you with vain _____________” (Eph. 5:6; cf. Matt. 15:8-9). You must study your Bible (2 Tim. ) and learn the truth (John ). The truth will then “set you _____________” (John ) from the words of men.
Conclusion: The Gospel came by direct ______________ (Gal. ), through the Holy Spirit. It was confirmed (Heb. 2:3-4), and recorded. The faith has been one time for all time "delivered unto the ____________" (Jude 3), and it is perfect (complete), and OUR infallible rule of faith and practice (cf. 2 Tim. -17). We will be judged by (so we must be governed by) the written WORD of God in all religious matters (John ). Today, we DO NOT have inspired men living, but we have the inspired BOOK, and we can read that Book, the Bible. This is HOW the Spirit teaches all men today.
6. WHY DO WE TEACH THAT THE BIBLE (and only the BIBLE) IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD? Speaking not only of the Old Testament writings but also of the New Testament, Paul boldly declared: "All _______________ is given by _______________ of God . . ." (2 Tim. ) [literally, the Scriptures are "God-breathed"]. The Scriptures (the 66 BOOKS of the BIBLE) are the REVELATION of GOD - the Revelation of God's will - and INSPIRATION is the method by which revelation was delivered. Thus, the Holy Spirit REVEALED God's will (HIS WORD) to man, and the manner in which the Spirit did this was through the prophets of the Old Testament (cf. 1 Pet. 1:9-12; 2 Pet. ), and through His "holy ______________ and prophets" (Eph. 3:5) of the New Testament.
What is Verbal Inspiration? The WISDOM of MEN knew not the great truths of Christianity, for Paul stated: "But we [apostles, inspired men] speak the ______________ of God in a mystery, even the hidden ______________, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew...For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the ______________ of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the ______________ of God. Now we [apostles, inspired men] have ______________, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might _______________ the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we [apostles, inspired men] speak, not in the words which man's _______________ teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual [words, ASV]" (1 Cor. 2:7-13). This is a Verbal INSPIRATION.
Now, what about the man of the world, the UNINSPIRED man? "But the ______________ man receiveth ______________ the things of the ______________ of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are ______________ discerned" (1 Cor. ). This is a very significant statement, but it has often been taken out of context and grossly perverted. Some FALSE TEACHERS say the "natural man" CANNOT receive the Spirit. However, Paul said he does not receive the “__________ of the Spirit” - i.e., the “natural man” is not INSPIRED.
The NIV and ESV deceitfully change verse 14 to say man cannot "understand" the things of the Spirit. This change has been made to deceive the sinner into believing a DIRECT OPERATION of the Holy Spirit is necessary to convert him. Then he can understand and appreciate the things of the Spirit. But Paul did NOT say that the unregenerate man CANNOT understand or grasp the things of the Spirit, the WORD of God. Paul was CONTRASTING human philosophy with divine REVELATION. He was NOT speaking of CONVERSION; he was talking about INSPIRATION.
There is NOTHING in this verse that supports the THEORY of a DIRECT OPERATION of the Spirit to enable a sinner to understand the Gospel and obey it. The Bible does NOT teach that a person is born in sin, TOTALLY DEPRAVED, and thereby needs a DIRECT OPERATION of the Spirit for conversion. That doctrine is simply a FALSE TEACHING being taught (and blindly followed) by many major “Protestant” denominations that worship God according to the teachings of John Calvin.
The "natural man" in this statement is the UNINSPIRED man; the "spiritual man" (v. 15) is the man INSPIRED by the Spirit. The apostles had to be INSPIRED by the Holy Spirit to KNOW the things of the mind of God and to REVEAL them to man in WORDS selected by the Spirit. The apostles, therefore, were given the (2 Cor. -20) "______________ of reconciliation” (v. 18); so they preached the "______________ of reconciliation" (v. 19); because they were the "______________ for Christ" (v. 20).
The things of God concerning SALVATION by the blood of Christ for both Jews and Gentiles in the One body [the CHURCH] (Eph. 2:13-16), were NOT known to man prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit to the apostles and His Revelation of this truth through them. The Holy Spirit SEARCHED and REVEALED “the _____________ things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). The apostles “preached the ______________ unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven” (1 Pet.1:11-12). The Holy Spirit taught the apostles “______________ things” (John 14:26); He guided them into “_____________ truth” (John 16:13). The POWER of the Spirit was in the inspired apostles (Rom. -20).
Why were INSPIRED men needed at the beginning of Christianity? Answer: Because the early Christians had no New Testament from which to read. Now we have that INSPIRED teaching which the apostles and prophets gave in the Scriptures (the BIBLE). The "mystery" of the will of God has now been made known, and the New Testament system is "the law of the_____________ of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2). The apostles FINISHED their work. They had NO successors. ALL modern day men who claim to be APOSTLES or SUCCESSORS to Peter and the apostles “are FALSE ______________, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the _______________ of Christ” (2 Cor. ; cf. 1 John 4:1).
Conclusion: The WORK of the Holy Spirit to reveal, record, and guarantee God’s divine message of Christianity (the New Testament) to the world has been accomplished (Read and Study Rom. 15:19; 16:25-26; Mark 16:20;1 Thess. 1:5, 2:13). The Holy Spirit, however, in His MIRACULOUS power does NOT accompany preachers today.
7. HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT OPERATE ON THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF MEN TODAY FOR THEIR SALVATION? Loved ones, all the truth has been given (John ), confirmed (Mark ; Heb. 2:3-4), and recorded in the Bible (Eph. 3:3-4). Therefore, the influence of the Spirit upon the human mind for MAN'S SALVATION is ONLY through the Word, His Gospel message. Everything the Spirit does to saved the lost soul the Word does also (search the Scriptures and see for yourself). Thus, the Spirit works through the Word which is His _______________ (Eph. ).
In conversion, the Holy Spirit does NOT operate independent of the Word on the sinner's heart by a "direct" impact to bring about his salvation. The Bible does NOT teach that the Word, unless accompanied by a "direct influence" of the Spirit, is dead; and therefore has no power to convert or turn sinners to God. Paul clearly stated: "For I am not ashamed of the ____________ of Christ; for ___________ is the _____________ of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. ).
The Gospel is God's power to save; it is the means that God has appointed to save sinners (cf. Isa. 55:10-11). The Greek word in Romans 1:16 translated "power" is “dunamis.” Our English words "dynamo," "dynamic," "dynamite" comes from this same Greek word. All these words suggest POWER. The Gospel is God's dynamite - unto salvation! Concerning His powerful Word, God said through Jeremiah: “Is not my ____________ like as a fire...and like a hammer that _____________ the rock in pieces? (Jer. 23:29).
Some of you reading this article THINK you have had a "Direct Operation" of the Spirit, but all you have had is an “emotional experience." Your "experience" is no proof that you are right with God. What is the power that converts men’s souls? The Bible says, "The law of the Lord is perfect, ______________ the soul" (Ps. 19:7; cf. 119:9). "For the _____________ of God is quick, and powerful [living, and active, ASV], and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . " (Heb. 4:12). The Holy Spirit gave by inspiration the Scriptures, and when the Scriptures influence men, the Spirit operates on men.
Everything that is necessary to conversion is represented in the Bible as being accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. Note a few examples:
(1) A person needs faith, for "...he that _____________ not shall be damned" (Mark ), and "without _____________ it is impossible to please" God (Heb. 11:6). But how does faith come? "So then faith cometh by _____________, and hearing by the _____________ of God" (Rom. ; cf. John -31).
(2) Men need to be drawn to Christ. But how is it done? It is by being taught and by learning the Gospel that men are drawn (2 Thess. -14). Jesus said: "And they shall be all ______________ of God. Every man therefore that hath _____________, and hath ______________ of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:45). Men are NOT drawn to the Lord by some "direct" power of the Spirit. The Gospel is the power to draw men to Christ. Paul said God calls us by the ______________ (2 Thess. ).
(3) Alien sinners need to be begotten of God and born again (John 3:3-5). But how is it done? James says: "Of his own will ______________ he us with the ______________ of truth." Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "I have _____________ you through the gospel" (1 Cor. ; cf. Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Peter wrote to Christians: "Being ______________ again (having been begotten again, ASV), not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the ______________ of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Pet. ). "The seed is the _____________ of God" (Luke ). Life is in the seed. In the new birth the Spirit works in and through the Gospel. One is begotten of the Word when he becomes an obedient believer (1 John 5:1). Since the Spirit is the AUTHOR of the Word, this explains how one is begotten or born of the Spirit; it is only as the Spirit works through the Word. No one is born again without the Word. The "water" in the new birth refers to baptism (John 3:5 is a parallel to Mark ).
(4) People need to be purified. But how is it done? The Bible says, "Seeing ye have ______________ your souls in ______________ the truth through the Spirit . . .” (1 Pet. ). Thus, purification comes by obedience to the Word. Jesus said, "And ye shall know the _____________, and the _____________ shall make you free" (John ). One must KNOW and OBEY the truth (the Gospel) to be made free from sin (cf. Heb. 5:8-9).
(5) The sinner needs to be quickened or made alive (Eph. 2:1). But how is it done? The Psalmist wrote, “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath ______________ me" (Ps. 119:50). "I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast ______________ me" (Ps. 119:93). The Words of the Spirit give life; for Jesus said, "it is the spirit that ______________; the flesh profiteth nothing: the _______________ that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are ____________" (John 6:63).
(6) The conversion of those on the day of Pentecost shows how people are "quickened," or spiritually made alive. Luke says that after the people had heard Peter's sermon “they were _____________ in their heart" (Acts ). On that day hearts were pierced, people were convicted, and about ___________ thousand turned to the Lord and were baptized (v. 41). The Gospel was the POWER which converted these individuals; the Spirit influenced them by His Words. Since the Word of God is "the
_____________ of the Spirit" (Eph. ), it was the Word preached by the Spirit through the apostles that "pricked" these people in their hearts. The Spirit did the work, but NOT in a DIRECT manner. This one example plainly shows HOW the Holy Spirit operates upon sinners in conversion.
(7) However, the same is true in EVERY example of conversion in the book of Acts. The Word of God - God's power “unto ________________” (Rom. ) - was always taught. By hearing, believing, and obeying the Gospel, as those did on the day of Pentecost, people are converted, or born again; “born of ______________ and of the Spirit” (John 3:5). The Gospel is the INSTRUMENT which the Holy Spirit always uses in His work of conversion - in quickening the soul. When an act is said to have been done by a person AND by a certain instrument, it is clearly understood that the person performed the act, but used his instrument as a means.
(8) What saves our souls? James says the engrafted Word of God “is able to ______________" our souls (James ; cf. Acts ). The false theory of a "Direct Operation" of the Spirit destroys man's moral freedom, makes salvation wholly unconditional, and charges God as being a respecter of persons. If the Spirit operates DIRECTLY on sinners, why are not all sinners saved? If God sends a "direct," irresistible operation of the Holy Spirit to one person, He must send it to all, or show respect of persons. Yet, the Bible says “that God is no ______________ of persons" (Acts -35).
After one becomes a Christian, he receives the indwelling
gift of the
Holy Spirit (Acts ;
Romans 8:9-10). He still needs GUIDANCE in living the Christian life.
that guidance come? "Thy ____________ is a lamp unto my
and a light unto my ____________" (Ps. 119:105). "The entrance
of thy ______________ giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the
simple" (Ps. 119:130). Thus, God's Word furnishes guidance. Additionally,
after one becomes a Christian, the Bible says, "Likewise the
______________ (who now indwells the Christian's heart by faith - cf.
Eph. ) also
helpeth our infirmities;
for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit
maketh _______________________ for us with groanings which cannot be
uttered" (Romans ).
What a comfort to know that the Holy Spirit intercedes in prayer for
Christian as he walks in the Spirit (Gal. ).
Christians need to be strengthened and built up in the faith. But how is it done? Paul said to the elders of the church at
Children of God need to grow (2 Pet. ). But how is it done? Peter admonished new converts: "As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the ______________, that ye may ______________ thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2). Christians are to be led by the Spirit: "For as many as are _____________ by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. ; cf. Gal. ). But how is it done? "Thou shalt guide me with thy ______________, and afterward receive me to glory" (Ps. 73:24). Thus, Christians are led as they follow the teaching of the Spirit in the Word. Since Christians “walk by ______________, and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7), we understand that this means we walk by the Word, because “_____________ cometh by hearing, and hearing by the ___________ of God” (Rom. ). The Spirit leads, guides, and directs the child of God through the Word. Christians who live by the instruction of the Spirit, as obedient children, bring forth the "fruit of the _____________" (Gal. -25). The Word produces that fruit (READ Col. 1:5-6).
Children of God need to live holy lives before the Father. But how is it done? The Bible teaches that the body is not to be given over to unrighteous acts, especially sex outside of marriage (1 Cor. 6:9-20). One of the apostle's effective arguments for the sanctity of the Christian's body is that the Holy Spirit indwells that body as the temple of God, hence, those saints were to glorify the Father in their bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20). "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our ______________, that we are children of God" (Rom. ASV). There is the joint testimony of two spirits - the Holy Spirit and man's spirit. "Or know ye not that your _____________ is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? And ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify __________ therefore in your body" (1 Cor. ). We are confident that an awareness of the Spirit's abiding presence can be a powerful motivation to godly living. The indwelling of the Spirit and a strong providential activity aids our own spiritual development toward its highest potential. Though the age of miracles is over, spiritual relationships and spiritual activities are not over! The awareness that the third member of the Godhead dwells within us is a tremendous incentive to holiness.
Conclusion: Paul wrote: "All scripture is given by
of God, and is profitable for _____________, for reproof, for
_______________ in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect,
thoroughly furnished unto __________ good works" (2 Tim.
Peter affirmed: "According as his divine power hath given unto us
things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the
him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Pet. 1:3). The Holy
is the agent in every conversion, and whenever the Word of God is
preached, the Spirit works through the Word upon the mind and heart of
hearer for the purpose of making him a child of God; but only those who
the Spirit's teaching and become obedient to it are saved. On the
Pentecost, “they that gladly ______________ the word were baptized: and
same day there were _____________ unto them about three thousand souls”
(Acts , cf.
vs. 47). Man has the
moral freedom to accept or reject the Word (cf. Acts ). It’s our
fervent prayer that you
will not be among those who reject it (John ).
8. HOW DID SOME (OTHER THAN THE APOSTLES) PERFORM MIRACLES? Some of the early members of the church had miraculous gifts imparted by the “laying on of the ________________ hands” (Acts 8:18; Acts 6:6, 8; 19:6; Rom. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:6). These gifts were miraculous manifestations of the POWER of the Holy Spirit, but this was NOT the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. These gifts were always bestowed by an apostle laying his hands on the person. The person receiving the miraculous gift from the Spirit could not in turn pass it on to someone else (Acts -20).
Christians who possessed these gifts were to use them for the edification of the church, the body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:5, 12, 26). These members in the Apostolic Age were needed as helpers to the apostles, since the apostles could not always remain with all the congregations. These gifts were extant before the complete will of God (the New Testament) had been given and recorded. Possessing any of these gifts did NOT save one’s soul nor make the one any more spiritual or devoted in his own personal life.
How long were these gifts to last? These gifts were temporary and were to cease with the completion of the last will and testament. The Bible says, "Charity never ____________: but whether there be ______________, they shall fail; whether there be ____________, they shall cease; whether there be ________________, it shall vanish away" (1 Cor. 13:8). When would this happen? "But when that which is ______________ is come, then that which is in ________________ shall be done away" (v. 10). That "which is perfect" - that perfect thing (not Christ) - was the word of God, "the _______________ law of liberty" (James ), and it has come.
We should now "earnestly contend for the _______________ which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). The Word of God (the Bible) contains all that Christ wants us to believe, teach, and practice religiously; it excludes everything we are not to believe, teach, and practice. Once the whole (perfect) body of truth had been one time for all time given and confirmed (Heb 2:1-4), then the miraculous gifts ceased (Eph. 4:7, 11-13). There are no miracles being done today by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, this is how and how long these signs followed the body of believers (Mark -18). No believer in the first century had ALL the miraculous gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11), and there is no man living today who has ANY of these miraculous gifts. Why? Because there is no apostle living to bestow them. When the last apostle died, and the last man died on whom an apostle had laid his hands, these gifts ceased. By that time, however, these gifts had served their purpose; the complete will of God had been given and confirmed (Mark ). These miraculous gifts in the early church were just as scaffolding that is needed for the erection of a building that is torn down once the building is finished.
Hence, the purpose of miracles being performed no longer exists; the means of performing miracles no longer exists; and the fact of miracles being performed no longer exists. Indeed, lying frauds are in abundance today (2 Thess. 2:9-12); but real miracles are not being done or seen, as we read in the New Testament. The so-called "healers" have all been tried and found wanting. Their system is a scheme to make money in the name of religion (Matt. -23). If the "charismatic" doctrine were demonstrable, they would heal the sick, speak in tongues, drink poison, take up serpents, and raise the dead. But they cannot do these things. The so-called "Holy Spirit Movement" of today is a hoax, a great deception.
Conclusion: The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, which some Christians in the apostolic age possessed by the laying on of the apostles' hands, was a supernatural demonstration of the Spirit but is not available for anyone today.
We Close With A Few Words About Water Baptism. Some are misleading people by teaching them to pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or for one of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, or by saying that a certain "feeling" is due to some secret influence of the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. To assume that receiving "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) means receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or receiving some miraculous gift of the Spirit shows an incorrect understanding of the Holy Spirit and His work.
When one is immersed in water, with the
understanding that it is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Rom.
puts on Christ or gets into Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3-4). He receives
begins to enjoy all spiritual blessings, for "all ______________
are in Christ" (Eph. 1:3; cf. 2 Cor. ). One of the spiritual blessings in Christ
_________________ (2 Tim. ).
The child of God can grow and become a partaker of "the
nature" (2 Pet. 1:4); he can fill his heart with the word of
and thereby be guided by the Holy Spirit (Col. 3:16). If he remains
God's family he will finally go home to heaven and receive eternal life
2:10; ; 2
1:4-11; Rom. ).
The Lord planned for all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, to receive these blessings in the Christian Age as they are CALLED by the Gospel (Acts 2:39; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; cf. Acts 13:26, 32, 38, 39, 46, 47; Gal. 3:14, 26-29). If we will read, believe, and obey what the Holy Spirit has said in His Word, God will do His part; and we will have all the blessings that the Lord has promised us in this life and eternal life “in the _____________ to come” (Mark 10:30).
Acts is an exact parallel to Acts . Both statements were made by the inspired apostle Peter. "Repent ye therefore, and be ____________ [turn again, ASV), that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of ______________ shall come from the presence of the Lord." Hence, "refreshing . . . from the presence of the Lord" is the same as "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts ). Likewise, 1 Corinthians 12:13 speaks of Christians receiving spiritual blessings, in figurative language also, from the Holy Spirit: "For by one Spirit [the instruction, teaching of the one Holy Spirit] are we all ____________ [immersed in water for the remission of sins] into one ____________ [the church], whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one ____________."
Paul asked a rhetorical question to the Galatians: "Received ye the ____________ by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Gal. 3:2, cf. 4:6). He showed these Christians that they had become children of God by ____________ in Christ (Gal. ), by obeying the Gospel of Christ, and NOT by meritorious works of the Law of Moses. So we receive the Spirit by hearing the message of faith, and by our obedience to that word. The Bible teaches that Christ dwells in Christians: "Christ in you, the ___________ of glory" (Col. 1:27; cf. Gal. ). God also dwells in Christians: ". . . as God hath said, I will ___________ in them, and walk in them" (2 Cor. ). "If we love one another, God ____________ in us" (1 John 4:12). "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God ___________ in him, and he in God...and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him" (1 John 4:15-16).
But how does Christ and God (Deity) dwell in Christians? "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by __________" (Eph. ). The Holy Spirit dwells in Christians exactly the same way that God and Christ dwell in Christians; and when God and Christ dwell in Christians the Holy Spirit is dwelling in them. The Holy Spirit indwells the sinner when he becomes a Christian through obedience to the Word of God (i.e., by faith). This is how the Godhead indwells Christians today.
Conclusion: What is the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38? Ultimately the gift of the Holy Spirit is the same as the gift of God and "the gift of __________" (Eph. 4:7). "The gift of God is ___________ life" (Rom. ). "The Spirit is __________ because of righteousness" (Rom. ). Christians have received "the gift of __________" and shall reign in life by Jesus Christ (Rom. ). Christians have received "the gift of the ___________ of God" (Eph. 3:7). Our ultimate salvation is by __________ through faith, which is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Christians have been "sealed with that holy Spirit of ____________, which is the earnest of our ________________________until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Eph. -14).
Since the influence of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind for man's salvation is accomplished through the Word, our appeal is for people to believe all that the Bible teaches and practice all that it commands. Christians too must, "hear what the _____________ saith unto the churches" (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). May we all continue to read the grand Book of God, believe it, love it, and obey it, letting the Holy Spirit lead us through His Word, while we trust God for the fulfillment of all of His promises, until some sweet day heaven will be our eternal home.