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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Identity of the Holy Spirit

Don Stewart :: Why Is It Important to Study the Subject of the Holy Spirit?

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Why Is It Important to Study the Subject of the Holy Spirit?

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Question 1

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is one of the most important subjects that a human being can study if they wish to know the major teachings of the Christian faith. Indeed, it is significant subject of study for the following reasons.

1. There Is Renewed Interest in the Subject by Believers

Until recently, believers have neglected the study of the Holy Spirit. However in modern times there has been a tremendous interest in His Person and work. Today, like never before, believers are talking about the Holy Spirit.

However, with all the interest in the subject of the Spirit of God, there have been a variety of different opinions concerning whom the Holy Spirit is and how He works. This has lead to confusion on the part of a number of believers. This makes it crucial to do a thorough biblical study on the subject.

2. There Is Still Too Much Ignorance of the Subject

Unfortunately there is still a great deal of ignorance with respect to the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. Many sincere Christians know little or nothing about Him. This ignorance has a number of practical implications.

For example, if we conceive of the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force or some mere influence then we will attempt to discover how we can use Him. However, if we understand that the Holy Spirit is actually a divine Person, then our desire will be to discover how He can use us. This makes a detailed study of the subject of God’s Spirit as something that is very important.

3. Belief about the Holy Spirit Has Caused Division among Christians

While Bible-believing Christians generally agree about the Person of God Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ, there is much division concerning certain aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit. Some people believe they belong to some superior order of Christians for their belief and practice of certain aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit. Opinions also vary as to the meaning and purpose of spiritual gifts. In fact, many churches have split over differing views of the Holy Spirit. This makes it important to have a proper biblical view of what the Holy Spirit does and what He does not do.

4. There Is False Doctrine Surrounding the Person of the Holy Spirit

There is much false doctrine that is taught with respect to the identity of the Holy Spirit. Many false teachers deny the personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an “it” or some impersonal “thing;” He is God Himself. Therefore, a complete, biblical picture of the Holy Spirit needs to be developed so this doctrine will not be distorted or denied.

5. the Subject of the Holy Spirit Is Part of Bible Doctrine

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is contained in Holy Scripture. Furthermore, believers are commanded to study the entire counsel of God’s Word because all of it is beneficial. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).

The fact that all Scripture is God-breathed, and the subject of the Holy Spirit is contained in Scripture gives us another reason to devote time to studying it.

Paul also wrote to Timothy.

Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT).

Therefore, a study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit is vital.

6. There Is a Large Amount of Space in Scripture Devoted to the Subject

Not only is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit taught in Scripture, a tremendous amount of space is devoted to this subject. From Genesis to Revelation, from the creation of the world to the new heavens and new earth, the Holy Spirit is seen at work in our world. The Holy Spirit is mentioned some 90 times in the Old Testament with at least 18 different titles assigned to Him.

He is also mentioned more than 260 times in the New Testament. Only two of the 27 books of the New Testament, 2 John and 3 John, do not mention the Holy Spirit. Each of the four gospels records that at the beginning of Jesus” ministry the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was promised. Hence, it is important for us to know as much as possible about who the Holy Spirit is and what He does.

7. It Is a Doctrine That Is Unique to the Christian Faith

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is unique to the Christian faith. There is no other religion that has a similar belief as this. Therefore, there is no comparison with any other religious system and no other frame of reference. Scripture alone must be the guide.

8. The Holy Spirit Is God

The Holy Spirit is God Almighty – the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. For this reason alone, the study of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit ought to be a priority when examining the Christian faith. If someone wants to know about the true God, then they need to know about the Holy Spirit.

9. The Holy Spirit Resides inside Believers

Since the Holy Spirit is the one member of the Trinity that lives inside each believer, it is imperative that we know as much about Him as we can. From a practical standpoint, the understanding of how the Holy Spirit works can better equip believers to serve the Lord.

If we wrongly think of the Holy Spirit as some impersonal power then we will attempt to find out how to get more of that power. However, if we see the Holy Spirit the way the Bible portrays Him, as God Himself, then we will attempt to find out how the Holy Spirit can get more of us.

10. The Holy Spirit Is the Unifier of Believers

The Holy Spirit is the one member of the Holy Trinity that unifies the body of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote.

Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:3-6 NRSV).

Since unity among believers is something to be desired, it is crucial to know about the One who preserves that unity. Hopefully, a study of the Holy Spirit will help unify believers.

11. The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Is Important for Worship

Since the Holy Spirit is God, He is worthy to receive our adoration and worship. Thus, it is important to understand the God we are worshipping. This can only occur by means of diligent study of this Third Person of the Trinity.

12. The Doctrine Is Important for a Balanced Christian Life

The study of the various workings of the Holy Spirit is not a mere academic exercise. Indeed, it is something that is immensely practical and personal. The proper conception of the Holy Spirit allows the believer to live a balanced Christian life. Understanding what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit will steer believers away from a dead formalism as well as a mystical or magical view of the work of God. This doctrine is vital to believers who want to know their God better and to serve Him honorably.

13. We Can Only Know God through the Work of the Holy Spirit

God wants us to know Him. The only one who can correctly explain God is God Himself. God the Son, Jesus Christ, is the one who reveals the Father. However, Christ is not present with us today. Thus, we need the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to explain who God is and what He wants from us. This is why the study of the Person of the Holy Spirit is of the utmost importance.

In sum, there are many vital reasons as to why we should study the subject of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should proceed with our study.

Summary – Question 1
Why Is It Important to Study the Subject of the Holy Spirit?

The subject of the Holy Spirit is indeed an important one for believers to study. There are a number of reasons for this.

To begin with, there is a tremendous amount of interest in the subject of the Spirit of God. People are taking the time to examine the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Yet there is still an enormous amount of ignorance on the subject. This is an important reason to give it serious study.

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit has been a source of division among believers. Understanding what the Scripture has to say on the subject should help end some of that division.

In addition, there is much false doctrine surrounding the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. A systematic study of the Spirit of God should clear up false teaching.

The subject of the Holy Spirit is dealt with in Scripture and since all Scripture is profitable it is profitable to investigate the subject of the Holy Spirit.

Add to this the amount of space the Scripture devotes to the study of the Spirit of God. This makes the subject all the more important to study.

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is unique – there is nothing like it in any other religion.

The Holy Spirit is almighty God and thus it is imperative that we know more about Him to know more about God.

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit lives inside each believer. Since He is our Teacher we should learn what we can about Him.

The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is the One who unifies believers. This makes the study of the Spirit of God essential.

Understanding the Holy Spirit is also imperative for worship. Indeed, He is the God whom we worship.

The study of the Holy Spirit is important for a balanced Christian life. Knowing about Him will keep us from being too legalistic on one hand and too mystical on the other.

Finally, and most important, God wants us to know Him. It was Jesus Christ the Son who revealed God the Father to humanity. Yet the Son is no longer with us. Today, to know who God is, and what He wants from us, we need to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Who Is The Spirit Of God? (Introduction) ← Prior Section
What Is the Proper Way to Approach the Subject of the Spirit of God? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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