See our "How to Make Friends for God" lesson index plus extra resources on our 2020 Third Quarter Index
Lesson 3 *July 12-18
Read for This Week’s Study: John 14:16-18; John 14:26; John 15:26; Matt. 12:31-32; John 16:8; John 3:5-8; Luke 11:9-13.
And I will pray the Father, and He will
give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever (John 14:16,
Of the three Persons of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is the least understood. It is ironic that the Person who is closest to us, the Being who produces the new birth in us, who dwells in us and transforms us, is the One we know so little about.
Why? To begin with, the Bible is less explicit regarding the Holy Spirit than it is about the Father and the Son. There are many references to the Spirit in Scripture, but most are metaphoric or symbolic. The Bible gives us ample information about the work of the Spirit, but it says little about His nature.
Another reason arises from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is constantly trying to focus our attention on Christ, not on His own Person. In the plan of salvation, the Spirit plays a subordinated role, serving the Father and the Son, although this function does not imply inferiority in essence.
This week, as we listen to what Jesus taught about the Spirit, let us eagerly pray for His transforming presence in our lives.*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, July 19.
Sunday July 13
With fear and sadness, the disciples listened as Jesus announced His imminent death. When they were deprived of His presence, who would be their Teacher, Friend, and Counselor? Knowing their desperate need, Christ promised to send His representative to be with them.
What particular name did Christ use for His representative? See John 14:16-18. In what sense was that name so appropriate? See also John 14:26.
Helper, Counselor, and Comforter are various translations of
the Greek parakletos, which is made up of the
the adjective kletos,
It literally means
one called to the side of,
giving the idea of
a person summoned to one’s aid.
It may refer to a mediator, an intercessor, a helper, an advisor, or
even a legal advocate.
Only John uses the term parakletos in the New Testament. Interestingly, he also applied this word to Jesus Himself (1 John 2:1).
During His earthly ministry, Christ was the disciples’ Counselor, Helper, and Comforter. Therefore, it is quite appropriate for His successor to receive the same name. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father at the request of the Son, and in the name of the Son (John 14:16, 26). The Spirit continues Christ’s work on this earth.
Through the Holy Spirit the disciples had the presence of
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you
NKJV), said the
Lord. He was not talking
about paying them an occasional visit, which wouldn’t be of much
comfort to helpless
orphans. Rather, He was
announcing a permanent and intimate relationship:
I in you
NKJV). This was
going to be possible only
through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, Christ’s human nature hindered Him from being personally in every place at the same time. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is omnipresent (Ps. 139:7). By the Spirit, our Savior is accessible to all, independent of where they are or the physical distance that separates them from Christ.
In what ways have you experienced the reality of the Holy Spirit, even though His nature and how He works in our lives is not easy to understand?
Monday July 14
Ellen G. White wrote that
the nature of the Holy
Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not
revealed it to them. . . . Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep
for human understanding, silence is golden. -The Acts of the
Apostles, p. 52.
Nevertheless, she also affirmed that
the Holy Spirit
is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the
children of God. . . . He must also be a divine person, else He could
not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God.
— Ellen G. White, Evangelism,
pp. 616, 617. This statement was based on the Bible (Rom. 8:16
and 1 Cor. 2:10-11).
we are limited by
our human nature, through the Scriptures we can at least know that the
Holy Spirit is a Person and that He is Divine. What Jesus said about
the Holy Spirit confirms this conclusion.
What are some of the actions of the Holy Spirit that show us He is a Person? See John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7-14.
Jesus mentioned several activities the Spirit carries out, all of which imply a personality. Who better than a person can teach us and bring to our remembrance all the things that Christ said (John 14:26)? Or who better than a personal being can testify of Jesus (John 15:26), convict the world (John 16:8), guide us into all truth, and also hear and speak (John 16:13)?
Following the teachings of Jesus, the New Testament writers made it clear that the Holy Spirit has the essential characteristics of a person: will (1 Cor. 12:11), intelligence (Acts 15:28, Rom. 8:27), and emotions (Rom. 15:30, Eph. 4:30).
Because the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, we must humbly surrender ourselves to His will and guidance. We will invite Him to dwell in our hearts (Rom. 8:9), to transform our lives (Titus 3:5), and to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our characters (Gal. 5:22-23). On our own, we are helpless; only through His power working in us can we become what we have been promised in Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is a gift; like most gifts, it can be rejected. How can you make sure, day by day, that you are not turning away from what the Holy Spirit seeks to do in your life?
Tuesday July 15
When Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit to the disciples, He
another Helper (John
The Greek word Jesus used for
another is allos,
another of the same kind, in contrast
another of different kind
or quality. The same likeness of nature that bonds the Father
and the Son is revealed in the relationship between the Son and the
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit
will tell you things
to come (John
Only a divine Being can announce the future (Isa.
The divinity of the Holy Spirit is also attested by His role
in the inspiration of the Scriptures, a function that Jesus explicitly
acknowledged. He argued that
David himself said by the Holy
12:36, NKJV) what
is recorded in Psalm 110:1.
While on this earth, Jesus was constantly under the direction
of the Holy Spirit. After being anointed by the Spirit in His baptism (Matt. 3:16-17),
led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Luke 4:1,
NKJV). Victorious over the tempter, He
the power of the Spirit to Galilee to carry on His ministry (Luke 4:14,
NKJV). The miracles He performed were done through the Holy
Spirit (Matt. 12:28).
that the Son of God depended on
the Spirit is another demonstration of the divine character of the
Spirit, for it’s hard to imagine the Son of God dependent upon anything
less than the Divine.
Further evidence for the deity of the Spirit lies in His
association with the Father and the Son in texts that mention the three
Persons as equal. Thus, Jesus commissioned the apostles to baptize the
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit (Matt.
How do the following verses help us to understand the divinity of the Holy Spirit? See Matt. 12:31-32.
The comparison between speaking against the Son of Man, a sin
that may be forgiven, and speaking against the Holy Spirit, a sin that
cannot be forgiven, shows that the Spirit is not a common being.
Blasphemy is a sin committed directly against God. Thus, we conclude
that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of the Godhead. Though
much has been written about the
the immediate context shows people so hardened against the Spirit and
His role in salvation that they attribute His work to the devil!
Wednesday July 16
We have already mentioned the important role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the incarnated Christ and in the inspiration of Scripture. Let us focus now on what Jesus taught about the Spirit’s work for our salvation.
What indispensable work does the Holy Spirit do in order to prepare us to accept the Savior? See John 16:8.
Who takes their medicine unless they acknowledge that they are sick? By the same token, we cannot be saved unless we recognize that we are sinners. Softly but steadily the Holy Spirit convinces us that we have sinned, are guilty, and are under the righteous judgment of God.
Then the Spirit guides us to Christ, testifying about Him (John 15:26),
the only One who can save us. Since Jesus is the truth (John 14:6),
by taking us to Jesus the Spirit is also taking us
could not be any other way; after all, the Holy Spirit is called
Spirit of truth (John
Once we are convicted of sin (which implies repentance from our sins) and are directed to Jesus and His truth, we are ready for the Holy Spirit to do His greatest work.
is it so crucial to be
born of the Spirit ? See
Those who have tried to reform their lives by themselves know
how futile their efforts are. It is impossible for us, without divine
intervention, to transform our deteriorated sinful lives into a new
being. The regeneration of a sinner requires the kind of creative power
that only the divine Holy Spirit can provide. We are saved
the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5,
NKJV). What the Spirit does is not a modification or
improvement of the old life but a transformation of nature, the
creation of a new life. The results of such a miracle are clearly
visible and constitute an irrefutable argument in favor of the gospel.
The operation of the Holy Spirit is not necessary only at the beginning of our Christian life; we need Him constantly. To foster our spiritual growth, He teaches us and reminds us of all the things that Jesus taught (John 14:26). If we allow Him, He abides with us forever as our Helper, Comforter, and Counselor (John 14:16).
Bad character habits are hard to change, are they not? And even when we stop, unless constantly vigilant, we can be overcome by them again, as well. What should our inherent weaknesses and propensities to sin tell us about our constant need to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit?
Thursday July 17
No doubt, it is important to know who the Holy Spirit is. But
this knowledge would be pointless unless it leads us to completely open
our lives to be filled with Him. Jesus made it clear that if we fail to
invite the presence of the heavenly Guest to abide in us daily, there
is another kind of spirit that is eager to enter into the empty life
and produce a spiritual disaster (Matt.
Jesus Himself was
filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1,
Daily He received a fresh baptism of the
Holy Spirit. — Ellen G. White, Christ’s
Lessons, p. 139.
What does xtell us about the way we may receive the Holy Spirit? What do these verses show us regarding the Father’s willingness to give us the Holy Spirit?
At the Last Supper, Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit. He emphasized the Spirit’s comforting and teaching ministry, which was to meet their need at that time. After Christ’s resurrection, however, the context was different, and the disciples faced new challenges.
What was the focus of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit after His resurrection? See Acts 1:4-8.
contains the only record of
Jesus talking about being
baptized with the Holy Spirit (NKJV).
John the Baptist had announced this special baptism (Matt. 3:11,
but it had to wait until Christ’s ascension. What does baptism with the
In Acts 1:8,
Jesus Himself explained
this with a parallel
expression. You are
baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5,
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you
NKJV). To be baptized
is to be totally
immersed in something, usually water. It includes the whole person.
Baptism with the Holy Spirit means to be totally under the influence of
the Spirit, completely
filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18,
NKJV). This is not a
once and forever
experience, but is something that needs to be constantly renewed.
If someone asked you, Have you
filled with the Spirit, what would you
answer, and why?
Friday July 18Further Study: Ellen G. White,
The Power Promised,pp. 19-23, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8;
The Gift of the Spirit,pp. 47-56, in The Acts of the Apostles.
At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in
all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing,
and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to
the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly
friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the
heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always
at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. —
Ellen G. White, The
Desire of Ages, pp. 669, 670.
The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He
[Jesus] could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people.
The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this
the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil
had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this
satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only
through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would
come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It
is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the
world’s Redeemer. -Page
filled with the Spiritis to be able to speak in what is commonly referred to as
tongues.How should we respond to this claim?