2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 2, January 7-13, The Holy Spirit: Working Behind the Scenes
Sabbath, January 7
What is the role of the Holy Spirit? He is One with the Father and the Son just as the Father and the Son are One. In this we see the Godhead working in unity of purpose. Yet, to all appearances, the Son is submissive to the Father, and the Holy Spirit submissive to both the Father and the Son to such an extent that we read of Him as being the Spirit of the Father, or the Spirit of the Son.
“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” KJV, Matthew 10:19, 20.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” KJV, Galatians 4:6.
“The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is his representative. Through it he infuses spiritual life into the soul, quickening its energies for good, cleansing from moral defilement, and giving it a fitness for his kingdom. Jesus has large blessings to bestow, rich gifts to distribute among men. He is the wonderful Counselor, infinite in wisdom and strength; and if we will acknowledge the power of his Spirit, and submit to be molded by it, we shall stand complete in him.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, August 25, 1896.)
“In describing to his disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired his own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help he had provided for his church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that he 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 fulness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character on his church.
“Of the Spirit, Jesus said, ‘He shall glorify me.’ The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of his love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing his grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of his people.
“‘When he [the Spirit of truth] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.’ The preaching of the Word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit, will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the Word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, ‘Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.'” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, November 19, 1908, Art. B, emphasis added.)