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Bible Study: The Holy Spirit – The Essence of Life – Lesson #1

Lesson 1:    The Holy Spirit – The Essence of Life

The Holy Spirit is seemingly the least understood of the members of the Trinity.  Although many churches in the modern era TALK about the Spirit, the vast majority of them focus on the “power” and the “gifts”, rather than the Person and Ministry of the Spirit.  And even then, they produce a lot of unbiblical information on the “power” and “gifts” that leads to a very unbalanced understanding of what Christianity is really all about.

Hopefully, this study will help us gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s start at the beginning…..

Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

In verse 2 of Genesis 1, we are introduced to the Holy Spirit (or, as here, “the Spirit of God”) as one who is “hovering” (other usages of the word, “fluttering” or “moving”) over the unformed and chaotic earth.  Although this verse does not afford us much detail as to the “mechanism” of creation, it is consistent with later scenes where we will see the WILL of God (Father) expressed through the WORD of God (OT “eht”, NT “Logos” – Jesus) via the POWER of God (Spirit).  The Spirit is the “power” that brings order out of chaos, and life from “non-life”.

Genesis 2:7

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

When mankind is created, unlike the animals, he is imbued with the “breath of life” from God Himself, and becomes a living being.  This is significant because it does not just refer to  the ability to “breathe” oxygen (necessary for physical life), but also includes SPIRITUAL life.  That “soul” or spiritual component of man comes from God, and is what connects him to God.  How do we know that this “breath of life” also refers to spiritual life?  Because of what happens at The Fall of Man.

Genesis 3:1-4

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”  2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”  4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Now, what is interesting here is what is seen in the original Hebrew text of verses 3 and 4.

Gen 3:3   ומפריH6529  העץH6086of the tree  אשׁרH834which  בתוךH8432in the midst  הגןH1588of the garden,  אמרH559hath said,  אלהיםH430God  לאH3808Ye shall not  תאכלוH398eat  ממנוH4480of  ולאH3808it, neither  תגעוH5060shall ye touch  בו  פןH6435it, lest  תמתון׃H4191ye die.

Gen 3:4   ויאמרH559said  הנחשׁH5175And the serpent  אלH413unto  האשׁהH802the woman,  לאH3808Ye shall not  מותH4191surely die:  תמתון׃H4191surely die:

Notice that in verse 3, Eve uses a SINGULAR word for “die”, while in verse 4, Satan uses TWO DIFFERENT FORMS OF THE WORD.  Satan knows something that Eve doesn’t understand; that in disobedience, both PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL death will occur.  This is fundamental to our understanding of the Gospel (born AGAIN – John 3:1-8) and the result of failing to accept the Gospel (2nd death – Revelation 20:11-15).

We see this “impartation” of life via the Holy Spirit when the Apostles are re-created by Jesus to new life in preparation for their ministry.

John 20:19-22

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The Holy Spirit of God is the power of God, and the “soul” of God, and a living part of the TRIUNE God.  This person of the Trinity brought order out of chaos at the creation, and made man a living soul.  He is the power that applies the Atonement of Jesus Christ to a repentant heart by bringing new life as we are born again, and who empowers us to live in Christ.