WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Scripture: Genesis 1:2; Psalm 139:7; Luke 3:21–22; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10–11
Memory verse: Romans 5:5
“God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit."
Before class, list the following Bible references on the chalkboard: John 14:16 (Counsellor); John 15:26 (Spirit of truth); Romans 1:4 (Spirit of holiness); Romans 8:2 (Spirit of life); Romans 8:14 (Spirit of God); Romans 8:15 (Spirit of sonship); and Hebrews 9:14 (eternal Spirit). Each of these verses gives a name for the Holy Spirit
Bring to class a magazine that shows a variety of cars. Ask the students to tell you what a car is. After a few descriptions, write on the chalkboard “Characteristics of cars.” Below this write: “make, model, years produced, speed, size, colours.” Refer to the encyclopaedia if needed. As the students name characteristics, write the description under the appropriate category. Ask them to explain how they would know a machine was NOT a car. Compare their answers with the items in the list of characteristic.
Explain that we can know about a person or thing by the characteristics that are common about it, just as we identified how we can know a car. Assign students to find and read the Scripture verses on the chalkboard.
Explain that although there are many different types of cars, there is not one that is any more of a car than another. They are all cars. God is much more powerful and holy than any object we could describe on earth, but the idea is much the same. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God, but each is different. These verses help us know the nature of God the Holy Spirit by describing some of His characteristics, such as holy, truthful, counsellor, eternal, etc.
Hearing God’s Word
This week we will look at how we know who the Holy Spirit is and why He is God.
Characteristics of God
God has unique characteristics that place Him above all other beings. (Let the students look up the Scripture references interspersed throughout the following paragraphs. List the characteristics on the chalkboard as they are mentioned. Begin by asking a student to read Psalm 90:2 and Hebrews 9:14.)
- God is eternal. He has always lived. He lives now, and He will always live.
- (Read Psalm 147:5 and Hebrews 4:13.) God is omniscient. He knows everything—past, present and future.
- (Read Psalm 139:7–8.) God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time.
- (Read Jeremiah 32:17 and Matthew 19:26.) God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful. He can do anything.
The characteristics we just listed are true of God. Because the Holy Spirit is God, He has these characteristics just as God the Father and God the Son do.
The Trinity Explained
Ask: “Who is God?” (Allow responses. Draw a triangle on the chalkboard.)
God is not one Person but three Persons. He is God the Father. (Write Father on one line of the triangle.) He is God the Son, whom we usually refer to as Jesus. (Write Son on another line of the triangle.) He is also God the Holy Spirit. (Write Holy Spirit on the remaining line of the triangle.)
Because God is three Persons in one, we say He is a triune God. We call this the Trinity—three different Persons, but only one God.
Present at Jesus’ Baptism
The Bible makes many references to the three Persons of God. One of these times was when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in water. God the Son (Jesus), who was on earth as a man, was being baptized. When Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit rested on Him in the form of a dove. Then a voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). As the voice called Jesus “Son,” the voice was God the Father talking. All three Persons of the Trinity were present at Jesus’ baptism.
Example of Three–In–One
How can we think of three as being one God? One way is to compare the idea of the Trinity to an element present on earth that is three–in–one. Water can be in three different forms—ice, liquid, and steam. All three are water, yet the three forms are different. Ice is different from steam and has a different purpose. Yet ice and steam are both forms of water.
In the same way, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate, yet they are all one. The Holy Spirit is a Person, just as God the Father and God the Son are Persons. This is sometimes harder to understand because the words “father” and “son” imply distinct beings. However, to many people the word “spirit” means something other than a real person.
In the King James Version of the Bible, the Holy Spirit is often called the “Holy Ghost.” In 1611, when that translation was being written, spirit and ghost meant the same thing. Today, we sometimes think of a ghost as a mysterious white being that floats around in the air. But God the Holy Spirit is not like that. He is God, and He is with all Christians at the same time; He does not float in the air over just one believer at a time.
When the Bible talks about the Holy Spirit, it sometimes uses terms familiar to us. Some of these terms are wind, water, oil, and fire. These figures of speech help us understand a little more about what the Holy Spirit is like and the work He does. The appearance of fire in the Old Testament was a sign of God’s presence, such as the burning bush Moses saw in the desert and the pillar of fire that hovered over the tabernacle at night after the Israelites escaped from Egypt. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit’s presence was shown by tongues of fire. These appeared on the Day of Pentecost when God the Holy Spirit came to live with man as Jesus promised He would. (Ask a student to read Acts 2:3.)
Oil is used to symbolize the holiness, dedication, healing, and supporting work of the Holy Spirit. (Have a student read Luke 4:18.) The Bible also describes the Holy Spirit as living water. (See John 7:38, 39.) This represents the eternal life and cleansing power of God the Holy Spirit. Another term—wind—describes the Holy Spirit’s presence. (Ask a student to read John 3:8.) God used the sound of wind to let people know an important event was taking place when the Holy Spirit came.
When Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit, He compared Him to wind. We do not always understand where wind comes from or where it is going, but we feel it and can see what it does. We may not understand everything about the Holy Spirit, but we know He is with us, and we receive help from Him.
Personal Qualities of the Holy Spirit
The Bible also describes the Holy Spirit by showing that He has a personality.
Intellect – Romans 8:27, John 16:13, John 14:26
Will – 2 Peter 1:20–21, 1 Corinthians 12:8–11, Acts 13:2
Emotions – Romans 5:5, Ephesians 4:30
Jesus told the disciples to baptize believers “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). This indicates that the three Persons of the Trinity are equally God.
The Holy Spirit Draws us to God
The Holy Spirit is the member of the Trinity who brings us to Jesus and the Father. Our memory verse tells us “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). We can know about the love of God because the Holy Spirit makes it real to us. (Repeat the memory verse several times with the students.)
Remember, the Holy Spirit cannot be seen, but He is present everywhere. He knows all things, and He can do all things. Perhaps there have been times when you felt bad about wrong things you have done. That was the Holy Spirit speaking to you and convicting you of sin. He knows when we have something in our hearts that will keep us from having the right relationship with God. He wants us to realize we need forgiveness for that sin. How wonderful to have Someone with us constantly to help us every day of our lives!
Accepting God’s Word
Remind the students that the Holy Spirit wants to draw every person to God. The first step in drawing close to God is to be sorry for our sins and ask Jesus to forgive us. Explain the plan of salvation, and then pray individually with each student who wants to accept Jesus as Saviour. Instruct them to read the Bible and pray daily, obey God, and be faithful in coming to church as a way to learn more about the Holy Spirit and the other Persons of the Trinity. Encourage the youth who accepted Christ to share with someone this week about their decision for Jesus.
“Wild animals and strong houses characterized our early forefathers,” exclaimed my guide. As he gave me a brief tour of a Machinga village, I learned what he meant.
The first Machinga moving into Tanzania built log houses with web-like wooden doors to protect themselves from wild animals in the area. The houses were distinctly different from other tribal groups who built mud houses with grass roofs.
Today Machinga villagers build their homes with cement blocks and a zinc roof or mud blocks and a grass roof. Fewer animals are near the village, although a small log house built on stilts is used for sheltering goats and sheep from hyenas at night.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Machinga Youth
1. Machinga youth to develop good work habits,
2. Youth to take advantage of educational opportunities,
3. Youth's quest for truth to lead them to a born-again believer.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
Remember: WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Memory verse: Romans 5:5
“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (I’m leaving this for you to decide how you want it. My reference still gives “God’s love has been poured out….”
1. I believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. I open my heart and mind to the Holy Spirit.
3.I believe the Holy Spirit will help me in my walk with the Lord.
Pray for Machinga youth.
Study 2 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach