A Note all bold and italics added in bible quatations and other text other than post heading and subheadings is for added emphasis.
This is a topic that could easily fill a great many posts because the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and just what it does is substantial and complex. That of course is only the case if you’re talking about the traditional Christian perspective on the Holy Spirit.
However first of all we need to address the way things were, as far as I know are being taught in the SDA church about the Holy Spirit.
Adventist Perspective on the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is not a person according to Adventism; in fact Adventists don’t seem to know what to do with the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. You see Adventists have a distinct problem with the more supernatural aspects of the Holy Spirit, they generally shy away from anything that sounds like Spirit world or such strangeness.
While I was an Adventist I was basically taught that the Holy Spirit would walk around, kind of alongside us in life. It would help us to “be good” and “do the right things”, in the end if we listened to the Holy Spirit because of its help we would if we “were good” in the end be able to “perfectly keep the 10 commandments”.
Adventists also have an exceptionally narrow definition of what the word spirit ALWAYS means…it always means breath.
To be really technical this is somewhat similar to the Old Testament way that the Holy Spirit worked, in fact this is the very earliest manifestation of the Holy Spirit. During the Old Testament times the Holy Spirit generally worked with or alongside people, and on the rare occasion came upon someone. However those were rare cases and for the most part the Holy Spirit was active in guiding to a certain extent and helping those who trusted in God.
Don’t worry if your eyes are bugging out of your head mine our too, it’s entirely normal when looking at such strange unbiblical teaching. You’ll notice that there’s nothing about sealing, indwelling, regenerating, teaching, counseling, or the fact that the Holy spirit is referred to as He. Nor do Adventists believe that the Holy Spirit is actually what confirms that you are in fact destined for eternity.
Traditional Christian Beliefs on the Holy Spirit
Two paragraphs above I described the way the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament so I won’t cover it again here, but you will find as we continue that the New Testament work of the Holy Spirit is incredibly important.
The first thing I need to say is that the Holy Spirit is a person in that the pronoun referred to the Holy Spirit is the word he.
and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and remind you of all things that I said to you.
Robert Young Literal Translation 1862, 1887, 1898 Info
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes forth from with the Father, he shall bear witness concerning me;
J.N.Darby Translation 1890 Info
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a ghost, vapor or cloud but a spiritual person who is referred to as He.
He Convicts us of our Sin (And the fact that we’re buried and dead in it).
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Before we are indwelt (that’s coming up) by the Holy Spirit He convicts us of our sin and our need for a Savior- the Holy Spirit always points to Christ and never to himself.
He Regenerates us (Helps our Spirit to be reborn)
not by works [done] in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
American Standard Version 1901 Info
Once we are indwelt by His Spirit (which happens on conversion) He begins to regenerate our Spirit. This enables us to worship in Spirit and in truth.
He Bears Witness
And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
Revised Standard Version © 1947, 1952.
The Holy Spirit bears witness through us that we have the Truth because the Spirit is in fact truth.
He is Assurance of our Salvation
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The moment of conversion we are assured of Salvation, we are Saved. We are led by the Spirit into greater truth but right now what I want to make perfectly clear is that we are Sealed unto the day of redemption.
He is the Inspirer of Scripture and our Personal Teacher
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Revised Standard Version © 1947, 1952.
For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
American Standard Version 1901 Info
As we continue our daily walk in Spirit and in truth the Spirit Himself reveals more of the word to us, in fact I’ve found he reveals new things from passages I’ve already read. This leads to inspiration, which should come as no surprise since all the written word of the Bible was spoken by the writers as they were moved by…the Holy Spirit.
He Dwells IN the Believer
1Co 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
1Co 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
1Co 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1st Corinthians 6:17-20
This is absolutely key the Holy Spirit on conversion comes to DWELL IN the Believer FOREVER. If a person DENIES the doctrine of the Holy Spirit then they cannot and will not receive the Holy Spirit and therefore ARE NOT converted…and ARE NOT Christians.
He Gives us the Fruit of the Spirit
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
As we grow in the Spirit we’ll notice the fruit of the Spirit replace, overwhelm and nearly obliterate the fruit of our sin nature. This is part of the ongoing nature of living in Spirit and in Truth.
He is our Comforter
Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
When the Spirit is in you it is a fact that you will experience God’s unconditional love, this gives you immense not to mention calming peace of mind.
He Sanctifies…and so much more
Rom 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
Rom 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Rom 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Rom 8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
An Acrostic to help you remember…
This simple acrostic will help you remember the key ideas of the Holy Spirit and you.
Helps you to realize you’re a sinner by pointing out you’re dead to sin, and buried in it.
Once you realize and repent He comes inside.
Lends your Spirit help in regeneration.
You begin to loose the fruits of the flesh and show the fruits of the Spirit.
Sealed for God and for Heaven, since God sealed you only He can break this seal.
Personally the Spirit will lead you into new Bible truth and clarity.
Intimacy between His Spirit and Our Rekindled Spirit.
Radical new access direct to the Father who we can now call: “Abba, Father.”
In our Spirit we are continually comforted by His Spirit.
Total assurance of Salvation from point of conversion onwards.
There are many more things that need to be said about the Holy Spirit, but that will have to wait for another time as I think this will take some time to digest properly.
However don’t worry I won’t forget those questions I asked at the end of yesterdays post, they are quite important also in fact they are incredibly important.
Until next time, God Bless.