Locations of visitors to this page
The Lordship of the Holy Spirit
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:16-18; 1 Corinthians 6:1...
Track 1 of 4 in the Person & Work of the Holy Spirit series
Running time: 59 minutes, 53 seconds.

Click above to listen in this window.
Right-click to download MP3. With one-button mouse, control-click.

Be sure to scroll down to read the transcript.

Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Who is the Holy Spirit? I think this question is one of the most important questions we as Christians need to know the answer to. Unfortunately too few Christians know the complete answer. Many church going Christians have a very basic knowledge of the Spirit but not near enough know the Spirit of God intimately. For many, to know God intimately doesn't sound weird but when we say we need to know the Spirit intimately, it sounds out of place for many. I think the main reason for this is many Christians don't see the Spirit as a person, but an "it" or some imaginary thing out there. How can we relate to an "it"?

It is very sad that the Third person of the Godhead is almost forgotten. It is very interesting to observe Christians pray. The two who most of our prayers are directed at are to God and the Lord, Jesus. Very seldom, if any time, do we hear people pray directly to the Holy Spirit and converse with Him as we do Jesus or God. In fact, the problem is most Christians struggle with the fact that Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God are exactly the same person. The Holy Spirit is a person, not an "it". There are many names and references for the Holy Spirit and most of them give us good descriptions of who he is and His function today within the Godhead. The one we need to first come to grips with is:

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Do you hear what Paul is telling us? He is using the Lord and the Spirit as the same entity. There is no difference. When a person is won to Christ (or won to the Lord), it is the Spirit we are working with. He is the one who is the direct contact we have with God. When we think of God, it should be the image of the Holy Spirit that comes to mind.

When someone mentions "God" or mentions "the Lord", what images pop into your mind? Who is it that you think of first? I contend that most Christians will imagine God or the image of Jesus. But we will see in our study, God to us today is the personality of the Holy Spirit and it is in that reference we need to place our faith.

We spent 7 long and hard weeks going through the study of finding spiritual rest in this life. All throughout the study there was an underlying theme developing. I hope you caught it. The theme to every title basically came to the one and same conclusion:

God Doesn't Grade on a Curve
Dead Men Can't Help Themselves
The 10 Commandments Were Not Given To Be Kept
What You See in the Mirror Is Not the Real You
Trying to Live for Jesus Will Only Frustrate You
Prayer Doesn't Change God's Mind
God Keeps Satan on a Leash

Each title and each lesson all put the power, not in our hands but in the hands of another. If we are ever going to find spiritual rest and peace, it takes the Holy Spirit working in us to find them.

The reason why most Christians, and I really believe it includes most Christians, why they don't live a restful and peaceful life is because they don't allow the Spirit to fully work in their lives and they don't really have a clue who the Holy Spirit is. Too many have the wrong idea about the Holy Spirit and for some, their Holy Spirit experiences were bad ones, not due to the fault of the Spirit, but because of men.

Our study is going to delve into the work and person of the Holy Spirit. Who is He and who He isn't. How does he interact with us, why He is essential to our lives and how does He perform His work in us and through us? Where does He want us to go and how do we turn ourselves over to Him. What can we expect from our lives once we are fully filled with His presence? Too often Christians shy away or feel uncomfortable when they hear phrases like, filled with the Spirit, lead by the Spirit, glory in the Spirit, etc. Some practices of other churches seem radical and on the kooky side when they experience the Holy Spirit. I want you to clear your minds on this topic and just listen to what scripture says about God who lives in us today.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

When you hear the phrase, "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit", what goes through your mind? How would you explain this concept to someone like Nicodemus, King Solomon or Daniel?

Acts 19: 1-3 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied.

Here lies the root cause of the deadness and the indifference in many churches today. The average Christian knows too little about the Holy Spirit. They are often ignorant of the doctrinal and practical aspects of the Bible's teaching about God and the Holy Spirit. Spiritual impotency is due to the failure to study the Bible, the only source of truth concerning the Spirit of God. When we earnestly study and sincerely believe in the Spirit, growth in grace and spiritual rest are the results. There are some fundamental truths about the Spirit we need to know and trust.

The Holy Spirit is a Person

It is surprising to me that after 2,000 years of Christian testimony, people still ask the question: "Is there such a person as the Holy Spirit?" One reason why so many are in doubt concerning this question is the fact that Christians do not give the Spirit His rightful place.

You might do this, if you listen to others pray, you will hear others frequently give praise to God for the gift of His Son. But how many of you daily and publicly give God praise for the Gift of His Spirit? Why is that?

Does it matter whether we believe the Holy Spirit to be the Third Person of the Godhead or merely a divine influence? Why or why not? It does matter, it is the difference between truth and error. The one main reason is failure on our part to incorrectly understand who He is robs us of blessings, victory and fruitfulness in this life as well as the life to come.

I want you to understand something about God. He is not three individual Gods. He is one God with three persons (or personalities). Each one is distinguished from one another in Scripture. All are eternal and infinite, one in being. However, they are not one in position or function. Each is one with each other so that there is one God, but their personalities and positions are distinct and different. Like the other two, the Spirit has His own place in the Godhead and he has a special work to do which never overlaps the work of the Father or of the Son, although the unity between the three never ceases to exist.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Why should unity be at the top of the church's priority list? Why is disunity bad? God, in all that he does is unified. He is one and if the Church is really of God, unity will be evidence that He is present.

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called-one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

What is interesting is how Jesus talked about the Spirit. Jesus always used the personal pronoun to stress the fact that the Spirit is a Person, not an "it". In your scriptures you will see the pronouns capitalized indicating a person, but much more than a person. In fact, in the Greek, the word for Spirit is a neuter noun. When the pronouns are used, they too would be in the neuter form. But in the Scriptures written in Greek, the writers used a masculine pronoun communicating to the reader that the Spirit is not an "it", but a real Personality. The Spirit is not an impersonal influence but the actual Spirit of God. He is the very same Spirit who was present at the creation.

It is interesting that the names of God are always in the plural form, not singular. The first usage of God is found at the very beginning of Genesis, Elohim.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The word for God, Elohim, is a plural personal noun. Meaning there is more than one to the entity. When Elohim considered creating humans, notice what he said:

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness

So what is the point to all of this?

The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person

Be honest, when you hear or use the phrase, "The Lord", who do you normally associate it to? Most of the time it is reserved for Jesus and for the Father. But what is interesting is how many times before Jesus comes on the scene is this phrase used to describe the Holy Spirit of God?

Psalm 139:7-8 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

The Holy Spirit is everywhere at the same time. Omnipresence is a characteristic reserved for God himself. In fact, that was not one of the characteristics that Jesus had. Jesus was in the flesh and so he was limited to the flesh in many ways. But these limitations can't confine the Spirit of God. Where ever the church is found, so is the Spirit present. God is always with us and in us. He is part of us as we are part of Him.

There is no way we can ever begin to understand God without the Holy Spirit. The only way to know what God wants and desires for us is by the Holy Spirit telling it to us. How does he do this, He himself is God and only He knows the depths of God and how God thinks and feels.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Remember when we had our discussion about how dead men can't save themselves? My point to the whole thing about salvation is that before man can begin to accept Christ, he first has to be brought again back to life because men are dead spiritually. What causes the change? What wakes the person up to consider Jesus? Paul expounds on that truth to the Corinthians but what I want you to focus on is who does the work.

2 Corinthians 3:12-17 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

It is the Spirit who removes the veil. The Spirit is the one who gives the life and makes it possible for the person to hear the word and to choose to accept or reject.

The Appearance of the Holy Spirit

The discussion of the Lordship of the Spirit would not be complete if we failed to consider the actual appearing of the Holy Spirit among men. For many, it is the idea of the appearance of the Holy Spirit that confuses them, makes many pull back and in many cases causes some to reject or avoid the whole subject. There is no question that from the beginning of the church, there have been those who have used the idea of the Holy Spirit for their own gain. The demonstration of Supernatural power does attract the frauds and manipulators. Unfortunately, there is a history of this throughout church history. Example: Acts 8 (Simon)

However, when the Holy Spirit is present, it is very noticeable. The believer and the church will know the work of the Holy Spirit and his work is very powerful.

Luke 24:48-49 You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Did God keep his promise? Did he send the Holy Spirit? How do we know this and how did they know the promise was fulfilled? Pentecost and the affect the Holy Spirit had on their lives.

The work of the Holy Spirit has some definite and dramatic affects on people. Anyone in that first century who was filled with the Spirit was never the same and possessed power to do many great things in the name of Jesus. The most dramatic was not necessarily the miracles or the signs, but the most dramatic was the life change that took place within the individual's life. When the Holy Spirit moves in, the old self has moved out and the change is very evident.

What are the true signs that a person is under the powerful indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

In the coming weeks, we will discover that there is a lot more that the Holy Spirit does that we didn't even touch on today. The Holy Spirit is deep and very powerful. He is not something out there and He is not someone we are waiting on to show up. He is a real person and He who is in you right now wants to totally take over and work on God's behalf. We just need to get out of the way and let Him do His thing in our lives. His working presence has everything to do with your rest and peace in life that you were designed to experience everyday. If you are lacking that rest and peace, then you need to look at the source of your power, the Holy Spirit in your life.

Have you welcomed Him in? Have you allowed Him to remodel the inside of His home? Maybe you are the problem and standing in the way of his leading.