2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 4, January 21-27, The Personality of the Holy Spirit
Sabbath, January 21
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” KJV, John 14:26.
God the Father is mentioned in the Bible as a personal pronoun “He”. The Son of God is mentioned in the Bible as a personal pronoun “He”. In the above verse, the Holy Spirit is also referred to as the personal pronoun “He”. However, we often think of the Holy Spirit as being somewhat less personal because the symbols like wind, fire, rain, dove descending from heaven, all are gender nonspecific. Notice how the NIV communicates the non-gender approach to referring to the Holy Spirit:
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” NIV, John 14:26.
This can create in our minds a separation of the personality of the Holy Spirit from the power of the Holy Spirit until we no longer see a connection to the Holy Spirit’s individuality as a third person of the Godhead–capable of dwelling in us as a divine power living out the fulness of the Godhead in us, bodily.
As we learn more about the personality of the Holy Spirit, we can hopefully begin to comprehend His role in our lives as Christ’s representative–working out the regeneration of sanctification without which would make the justification of Christ’s righteousness and death on the cross of no avail to us. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence and divine power in order to be prepared for the glorification that takes place upon Christ’s second coming.
“Why are many of us so weak and inefficient? It is because we look to self, studying our own temperaments and wondering how we can make a place for ourselves, our individuality, and our peculiarities, in the place of studying Christ and His character.
“Brethren who could work together in harmony if they would learn of Christ, forgetting that they are Americans or Europeans, Germans or Frenchmen, Swedes, Danes, or Norwegians, seem to feel that if they should blend with those of other nationalities, something of that which is peculiar to their own country and nation would be lost and something else would take its place.
“My brethren, let us put all this aside. We have no right to keep our minds stayed on ourselves, our preferences, and our fancies. We are not to seek to maintain a peculiar identity of our own, a personality, an individuality, which will separate us from our fellow laborers. We have a character to maintain, but it is the character of Christ. Having the character of Christ, we can carry on the work of God together. The Christ in us will meet the Christ in our brethren, and the Holy Spirit will give that union of heart and action which testifies to the world that we are children of God. May the Lord help us to die to self and be born again, that Christ may live in us, a living, active principle, a power that will keep us holy.” (Ellen White, Vol. 9, Testimonies for the Church, 187, 188, emphasis added.)