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Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 1: The Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit *
Introduction: The nature of God is a major subject of the Bible. What
separated the followers of the Living God from the rest of the world
was their belief in a single living God, and not a large number of
gods. Even today, observant Jews wonder how Christians could get "off
the track" with their belief in three, not one God. Why do we
believe that the Holy Spirit is one part of the Trinity that is God?
Who is the Holy Spirit? What is His nature? Our study this quarter
takes us into these questions about the Holy Spirit. Let's begin by
plunging into our study right now!
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- Read Genesis 1:1-3. At what point in the Bible are we
introduced to the Spirit of God? (The very beginning.)
- Read Psalms 104:30. Does this text, and Genesis 1, suggest
that the Spirit of God created us? (Yes.)
- Read John 1:1-3. Who does this text say created us? (The
- Who is the Word? (Read John 1:14. This chapter in
John makes clear that Jesus is the Word.)
- Do these texts contradict each other? Some texts say the
Spirit of God created us, others say that Jesus created
us. How do you explain this? (Read Genesis 1:26. God uses
the plural when He says that He is going to make humans in
His image. In the very beginning of the Bible we are
introduced to this idea of the "plural" nature of our one
- Read Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8. Do you wonder why
when praising God the heavenly beings repeat "Holy" three
times? (This also implies a Trinity of three.)
- Read Matthew 28:18-19. After Jesus' resurrection from the
dead He gives this instruction to His disciples. When
Jesus directs us to "baptize them in the name," what is He
saying? (The new converts are to enter into a new
relationship with their God. They acknowledge their
allegiance to their new God.)
- Who is the God whom they now serve? (In Matthew 28:18
Jesus announces that now that He has defeated Satan,
all authority has been returned to Him. He re-enters
His rightful place as one of the three facets of God:
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)
- For the purposes of this lesson, we are most
interested in the Holy Spirit. What authority does
the Holy Spirit possess? (It is fully part of the
Trinity. When we are baptized we accept the Holy
Spirit as God every bit as much as we accept the
Father and Jesus as our God.)
- Read Matthew 12:22-23. When the people see Jesus perform
this great miracle, what thought comes into their minds?
(That He could be the promised Messiah, the "Son of
- Read Matthew 12:24. What alternative answer do the
Pharisees suggest to what the people are thinking? (That
Jesus is using the power of Satan to do miracles. He is
not simply a man, he is a man who uses evil power.)
- Read Matthew 12:25-27. How does Jesus answer the
accusation of the Pharisees? What logic does He use?
(What common sense is there in Satan driving out His own
forces? Why would Satan do that? If it is true that Satan
is willing to drive out his own forces, then when the
Pharisees drive out demons they might be relying on Satan
- Read Matthew 12:28. What does this verse teach us about
the Holy Spirit? (1. That He is stronger than Satan. 2.
That He is willing to work with humans to overcome Satan.
3. His work is proof of the presence of the Kingdom of
- Read Matthew 12:29. Is Jesus telling us that He and the
Holy Spirit are robbers?
- If so, what is being taken by the robbers? (Sinners!
Those captive to sin. I was going to skip over this
text until I realized the importance of what Jesus is
saying: We cannot defeat Satan without the power of
the Holy Spirit. We cannot convert sinners without
Satan being first bound by the Holy Spirit.)
- Read Matthew 12:30. What is it to "gather?" (Help convert
- Why can't we be neutral? Why is the absence of
- When I took a course in logic in (a Christian)
college, my professor pointed to a similar statement
by Jesus as being an example of the "Black/white" or
"Division" fallacy. My view then, as now, was that
the sayings of Jesus could not be a logical fallacy.
So, how do you understand Jesus' statement? (In many
situations of life we can be neutral. Thus, the
logical fallacy is accurate. But here the context is
very important. Jesus tells us that a "strong man" is
at work who already has "possessions." We don't
start out neutral. We start out as fallen humans,
sinners, who are the possessions of Satan. When it
comes to spiritual matters, there are no neutral
- Read Matthew 12:31-32. Can you blaspheme someone who is
not God? (No. This is further proof of the divinity of the
- Is this proof that Jesus is not divine, since
speaking against Him can be forgiven? (No. The
assumption in Jesus' statement is that speaking
against Him is blasphemy too. It can, however, be
- What, exactly, is the blasphemy against the Holy
Spirit here? (Go back to the story of the healing of
the demon possessed man. Attributing to Satan the
power of the Holy Spirit is the blasphemy.)
- How can we avoid blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in
the future? (I recall articles in religious (non-charismatic) publications which pretty directly
called certain faith healing the product of the power
of Satan. This kind of statement is very dangerous.
You need to be 100% sure before you make any
statement like that. Calling the work of another
Christian the work of Satan is a dangerous thing.)
- Read Mark 3:28-29, another account of Jesus' statement.
Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit the unpardonable
sin? Standing alone, these two verses in Mark would
contradict each other. Obviously, Jesus does not consider
them to contradict each other. How do you reconcile these
two texts? (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments has an explanation, part of which I
like. It looks at Mark 3:28 and concludes "There is no sin
whatever, it seems, of which it may be said. 'That is not
a pardonable sin.'" Thus, verse 29 explains verse 28, it
does not contradict it. There is nothing in the nature of
any sin in itself that would make it unpardonable.)
- Then what is it about this sin that makes it
unpardonable? (Read John 16:8-11. This is a text
about the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy
Spirit which brings conviction of sin and salvation.
If you reject the power of the Holy Spirit in your
life, if you attribute the Spirit's work to Satan,
then by necessity you will never confess sin or
accept God's gift of salvation. It is not that any
sin is unforgivable, it is simply that if your sin is
rejecting the power that convicts you of sin, you
will never be convicted of your sin!)
- Is rejecting the Holy Spirit a "one time" thing,
or a slow process of the life? (It must be slow
because John 16:8 says that the Spirit "will
convict the world of guilt." I don't think you
need to accept the Holy Spirit to be convicted
of sin. It is by steadily rejecting the Spirit's
efforts that you direct your path to eternal
- Friend, accepting the Holy Spirit as fully God is
essential to becoming a Christian. Accepting the work of
the Holy Spirit in your life is essential to living the
Christian life. Will you invite the Holy Spirit into your
- Next week: Holy Spirit Symbolized in Scripture.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.