The Personality of the Spirit
Lesson 82

“Another Comforter”! What could the Master mean? Could anyone take the Master’s place? Could there be “another” who would be to the disciples all that the Master had been? Yet, in that upper room meeting Jesus told them of Someone to follow Him who was to fill the place in their lives that He had filed, Someone empowered to act in His stead.


A patient became apprehensive when he learned that his doctor would be away for six months. “But you will be in good hands,” the doctor said with assurance. “My brother and I went to medical college together, we have practiced together for twenty years, and we have often counseled together about your case. He knows as much about you as I do. You need not worry. My brother will be to you as my second self.”


In sending this, other Comforter Jesus in reality sent His “second self.” Of this Comforter Jesus said, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:17. The disciples had only dimly understood how Jesus as Emmanuel had been God with them, but now He spoke of “another” that was to dwell in them. This was too difficult for them to grasp as yet. Indeed, they would have to experience it in order to understand.


In these words, Jesus prepared the way for His successor. He wanted His disciples to receive the Comforter as they would receive Him. And who was this Person of whom he spoke? None other than the Third Person of the Godhead! Only another member of the Godhead could ever be to them all that He had been to them.


Many had been deceived into equating the Spirit of God with an abstraction. They speak of the Holy Spirit as merely an influence. However, while the Spirit has influence, He is much more than an influence-He is a Person, a divine Person. To be sure, the Holy Spirit has power, “the power of the Highest.” (Luke 1:35), yet the Spirit is not power in any abstract sense like gravity or electricity.


In announcing His personal representative and successor, Jesus did not mean to withdraw His affections from His disciples. Jesus would be closer to them by His Spirit that if He had remained with them limited by their flesh. The love of God would still be shed abroad in their hearts. Indeed, the Spirit would be to them as Christ’s personal presence. Having His Spirit within them, His disciples would feel as He felt, see things as He saw them, love sinners as He loved them, and become more like Him that would have been possible if Jesus had remained with them. In dwelt by the Spirit of Christ, they would be privileged to know the real Christ. They would have in them the same Spirit that had indwelt their Master. Thus they would know the “inside” Christ because the inside Christ can be known only as the Hoy Spirit reveals Him. (1 Corinthians 12:3.)


The baptismal formula given by Jesus makes plain the deity of the Holy Spirit. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19. The apostolic benediction states this truth somewhat differently” “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:14.


The Three Persons of the Godhead are one in essence, one in purpose, and one in motive. The interrelationships of the Holy Three can never be grasped by finite minds. But we do know Jesus, and He said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9.  So, to the extent that we are acquainted with the Son we are also acquainted with the Father. Moreover, to the same extent we will be acquainted with the Holy Spirit.


The members of the Godhead resemble a chain of three links. The two outer links represent the Father and the Son. The center link, the one that binds the two outer links together, represents the Holy Spirit. In one Scripture, reference Paul called the Third Person of the Godhead “the Spirit of Christ” and “the Spirit of God.” (Romans 8:9.) In other words, the Spirit belongs to the Son as much as He does to the Father. He is the middle link.


The Holy Spirit as a divine Person exercises all the prerogatives of Deity.  He had an important part in man’s creation, and His role in the work of recreation or regeneration is just as prominent. (Titus 3:5.) He is present everywhere (psalm 139:7-10) and is not subject to death, for He is called the “eternal Spirit.” (Hebrews 9:14).


Since the Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts ‘to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:11), He must possess personality, for the “will” is an essential attribute of personality. The Scriptures speak of “the mind of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:27.) And they declare that He knows what God knows: “The things of God knoweth… the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11.  Moreover, bible writers describe the Spirit as a teacher (1 Corinthians 2:13), a witness (Romans 8:26), a guide (John 16:13), an administrator (Acts 20:28), and one with whom we are to enjoy fellowship (Philippians 2:1). These functions indicate personality.


Emotions also are associated with personality. An impersonal influence cannot impart love. But “the love of God is shed abroad (implanted) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 5:5.) Can anyone carry on a conversation with vapor or mist? Can he lie to the darkness? These do not have personality. But Ananias and Sapphira died because they lied to the Holy Spirit. They had “not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:3,4.)


In those precious last moments that He had with His disciples, Jesus explained as much to His followers could possibly understand about the One who was to take His place. In spite of the fact that the word spirit in the Greek is neuter and takes the pronoun “it,” Christ used the masculine pronoun “He” or “Him” twenty-four times when referring to the Holy Spirit during this talk with them. (John 14-16.) The Master wanted His disciples to see the Spirit not as something mystic, ethereal, or nebulous, but as a real person. Those today that understand this will be led by impressions, phobias, quirks, hunches, imaginings, and such. Impressions may be, and very often are, of our fallen nature. Satan can give impressions. However, the honest-hearted will know the leadings of the Holy Spirit because He never leads anyone contrary to a “Thus saith the Lord.”

Memory Verse:

Psalm 139: 7-10. “Whether shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.


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