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The Holy Spirit of Promise


Text: Ephesians 1:13-15

We need to look at this passage of Paul’s first chapter to the Ephesians very carefully, and in these few verses, quite a few important questions confront us. Questions like, Who is the Holy Spirit? Why is He the Spirit of ‘promise?’ What does it mean to be ‘sealed?’ When does this ‘sealing’ occur? What does Paul mean by the ‘Earnest of our inheritance? What is this ‘purchased possession, and how was that ‘possession’ purchased? Whose glory is Paul speaking about? In this lesson we will look at that most basic question, “Who is the Holy Spirit of Promise?”

1 The Holy Spirit is a PERSON. God is three distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in One God. We call this the Trinity. And that brings us to our first statement about the divinity of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is a PERSON, not an inanimate force. A HE and not an IT! If you read the AV THOUGH, in Romans 8, you may see this, Romans 8:26  The Scrivener TR Greek Text reads, αυτο το πνευμα – the words translated ‘itself’ is auto – it simply indicates the ability to work independently, (think of our words ‘automatic’ or automobile’) to work without outside aid – so the Amp: “but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time]” The fact that the holy spirit himself examines our hearts, knows our needs, at exactly the right time, when those needs are troubling us, and knows how to express those needs in intercession before God, better than we can express them ourselves is not the only indication of his personhood. He fulfils the criteria for personhood in many different ways, and we see these in Scripture:

  • He is a TEACHER. Warning his disciples about the dangers of persecution, Jesus comforted them with Luke12:11-12 
  • He SPEAKS. Acts 13:2 
  • He PRAYS. As we have already seen, in. Romans 8:26 
  • He can be GRIEVED. Ephesians 4:30 

So, the Holy Spirit is a PERSON. Now, we need to add that the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Godhead. So-

2 The Holy Spirit is GOD. There are ample biblical examples of the deity of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus taught his disciples the baptismal formula in Matthew 28:19, they were to baptise in the NAME (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, all co-equal within the Godhead. In Genesis 1:2, the Holy Spirit, together with the father and the Son are active in Creation. Genesis 1:1-2 When Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit about their money, they equally were lying to God. Acts 5:3-4 And when Paul teaches us that God indwells the believer, he equates that with the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 3:16
So, because the Holy Spirit is God he is …
Everywhere! There is nowhere that we can go, that the Holy Spirit is not there! – When the spirit descended upon Jesus at his baptism, it was not a dove that descended, it was the Holy Spirit, in the FORM of a dove – the disciples of John who witnessed this couldn’t describe what they saw in any other words. The Holy Spirit is a SPIRIT. We cannot see him – but he is with us, within us, around us. The psalmist describes this in Psalm 139:7-10, He is…
Eternal. Hebrews refers to him as the ‘eternal spirit’ in Hebrews 9:14 1 John 5:7

3. The Holy Spirit was PROMISED to us.
Let’s get back to Paul’s description of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 1. He is “The Holy Spirit of Promise.” Let’s take a moment to see that promise and its fulfilment,

  • The OT promise. There are many promises of the Holy Spirit in the OT, but probably the best known of these is found in Joel 2:28-29
  • The NT promise. Jesus promised that after he went away he would send another comforter, the Holy Spirit, John 14:16-26  
  • The fulfilment of the promise. After the ascension of Christ, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were gathered together in an upper room, when the promised Holy Spirit was given to the church. Acts 2:1-4 

Now the promise of the Holy Spirit is to YOU and to me and to everyone who belongs to Christ. Acts 2:39 At regeneration, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer, just as he dwells among God’s people, the church.

So, now that we have established some very simple and basic truths about who the Holy Spirit is, we can proceed in our next lesson, to see how the Holy Spirit seals those who belong to Christ, guaranteeing them of their inheritance in heaven, and how we, as believers in Christ, benefit from his work

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