2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 4, January 21-27, The Personality of the Holy Spirit
Monday, January 23
The main contributor of the lesson raises very important questions regarding the personality of the Holy Spirit. “Can an impersonal force intercede in our behalf? Does an impersonal spirit or power have the ability to reveal to us things about God” Does an impersonal influence have the ability to speak?” This raises a question of my own: How can an impersonal spirit translate, or intercede on our behalf, “with groanings which cannot be uttered”?
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” KJV, Romans 8:26, 27, emphasis added.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” KJV, Romans 15:30, emphasis added.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” KJV, 1 Corinthians 2:10.
In the stories of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:29), Peter’s vision of the unclean animals and their connection to the Roman centurion (Acts 10:19, 20), and upon Paul’s arrival in Rome he quoted from Isaiah regarding the rejection of the Gospel by certain Jews (Acts 28:25), we see that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. This is not an angel speaking to us, but God in the personage of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit can be grieved away by sin (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit can be lied to, just as we sometimes lie to ourselves, or others (Acts 5:3, 9). The Holy Spirit can disperse gifts to us according to His will, like a Steward of God’s resources (1 Corinthians 12:11). And we can have a reciprocal relationship of love for the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:30).
“The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. In mind, in purpose, in character, they are one, but not in person. By partaking of the Spirit of God, conforming to the law of God, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ brings His disciples into a living union with Himself and with the Father. Through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind, man is made complete in Christ Jesus. Unity with Christ establishes a bond of unity with one another. This unity is the most convincing proof to the world of the majesty and virtue of Christ, and of His power to take away sin.” (Ellen White, Manuscript 111, 1903, emphasis added.)
“The powers of darkness stand a poor chance against believers who love one another as Christ has loved them, who refuse to create alienation and strife, who stand together, who are kind, courteous, and tender-hearted, cherishing the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. We must have the Spirit of Christ, or we are none of His.” (Ellen White, Manuscript 103, 1902, emphasis added.)