Robert Morris — Is He A Person?
This week the title of the message is, "Is He a Person"? Now, let me tell you why this an extremely important question to answer. There are entire theological persuasions, I could name several, that do not believe the Holy Spirit is a person. They believe that He is a force, or a power. The reason it is important to understand that He is a person, and it is clear in Scripture... it is clear in Scripture, He is a person. We saw last weekend Jesus referring to Him, He. When He comes, He will. Okay?
So, it's no doubt He's a person. But, here's the reason it's important. If you don't see Him as a person, then you will never develop a personal relationship with Him. It's very important. See, if you don't see Him as a person, why would you ever talk to Him? You don't develop a personal relationship with a force, or a power. But what I realized when I thought about this is... this is going to shock you, but really, the Holy Spirit really isn't His name. It's really not His name, it's His description. It's His function in the Trinity. For instance, listen. God, the Father. So, His function in the Trinity is to be the Father. God, the Son, and God, the Spirit.
Okay, listen. His name is God. That's His name. His function is to be the Spirit that indwells us, and empowers us, and leads us, and guides us into all truth. So, he's a person. Now, how do we know? What distinguishes a person? You're a person, but you're sitting on a chair. Is the chair a person? No. So, what distinguishes a person? Well, some might say life. Well, a tree has life, but a tree's not a person, contrary to what some groups might tell you today. You can't have a conversation with a tree. You can talk, but you won't hear much, I promise you. So, a tree is not a person, but it's alive. A person exhibits the marks of a personality, and I could explain to you where we get the word personality, but you can see the root of it is person, all right?
Let me give you the theological definition of a person. A person has a soul. That's how you know. A person is not an inanimate object. A person has a soul. And according to Scripture, after all of the study for hundreds of years on the soul, a soul is made up of three parts, you've probably heard this - mind, will, and emotions. We think with our minds, we desire with our wills, and we feel with our emotions. Let me say it again. We think with our minds, we desire with our wills, and we feel with our emotions.
So, listen. Is it possible that the Holy Spirit is trying to help us think like God thinks, desire what God desires, and feel what God feels? And according to Scripture, He's living inside of you. So literally, if you want to know what God thinks about something, you have God living in you. And He can tell you what God thinks, because He is God. He can tell you how God feels about it, because He is God. He can tell you what God desires in that situation, because He is God. Are you following me?
So, the Holy Spirit is a person, and I want to explore each of these three points a little further, so here's number one. He has a mind. The Holy Spirit has a mind. John 16:13 says, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth". Okay. How could He guide you into all truth unless He knows all truth? And He knows it because He has knowledge. He is omniscient. Omniscience comes from two words - omni means all, science means knowledge. God has all knowledge. The Holy Spirit knows everything. He knows everything.
Okay, so here's what I want to bring it to. I'm not really trying to prove to you that the Holy Spirit's a person, because I think most of you already believe that. I'm trying to show you the benefits of Him being a person. So, here's one of the benefits of Him having a mind. Listen. You have someone living inside of you who knows everything about everything, and has committed Himself to be your teacher. He knows everything.
I remember one time I was looking at some Scripture, and I was trying to figure out what it meant. It was one of those difficult Scriptures. And I read all of the concordances on it, the lexicons, the commentaries. I went through everything I could go through, and I couldn't figure it out. And I'm sitting there with my computer now, with the highest Bible program that you can purchase, so I've got everything you can think of on there, and I've done about three hours trying to figure out this Scripture. Can't figure it out. All of the sudden, I felt like... I just had this feeling like the Holy Spirit was standing right beside me. And He said to me, "What are you doing"? I said, "I'm trying to figure out what this Scripture means, with no help from you, I might add".
And you know, you get these impressions. I felt like He said to me, "Do you think I know what it means? Do you think I know what that Scripture means"? I said, "Well, of course you know what it means". Listen to what He said. "Then why don't you just ask me"? Why don't you just ask? And so, I was like this... okay, and I was about to say, "What does it mean", and the answer was there like that, and Scripture from other places came to me just like that, that backed it up and showed what the Scripture meant. Now, I'm not saying that happens a lot. I'm simply saying, and I think it's good to study, obviously, and you like it that I study, but I am saying that the Holy Spirit can be your teacher, and He has a mind. We know He has the mind of God. He is God. "Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus". That's the Holy Spirit's mind. You have it.
So, He has a mind. Here's number two. He has a will. The Holy Spirit has a will. Acts 16:6, "Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden", I underlined that word, "forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word in Asia". Now, we know later they did go to Asia, but at this time, He forbade them. Do you know what the word forbidden means, or forbade? It means to exercise your will. Did you ever forbid your children to have some sweets before they eat? And then sometimes you even have to take them to the other room and forbade them? So, the Holy Spirit forbade. He exercised His will over them. He has a will.
Okay, so again, the obvious question is, since He has a will, and since obviously His will is the will of God, and you would like to know God's will for your life, why not get to know Him? Let me say it another way. If you would like to know God's will for your life, get to know God. You know, this is one of the number one questions that Christians have, and that is, how can I know God's will? Well, there are two ways that you can know God's will, okay? The general will of God and the specific will of God. The general will of God we know by His Word. The specific will of God we know by His voice.
Let me give you some examples. If you want to know how to be married, how to treat your spouse, if you want to know about marriage, it's in the Bible, the general will of God. But if you want to know whom to marry, it's not in there. If you want to know which job to take, if you want to know where to live, or what house to buy, that's not in there. But, how to operate your finances in a Scriptural way, how to operate your business in a Scriptural way, how to be a godly husband and father, that's in there. But to know specifically how to deal with the giftings of each child, that's not in there. How are you going to do that?
Listen, the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth. If you want to know how to pray, it's in there. They said, "Lord, teach us to pray". How to pray is in there. If you want to know what to pray, you have to know the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, I'm about to shock you. None of you know what to pray. And I'm going to show you a Scripture that says we do not know what to pray, only the Holy Spirit does. How many of you have ever heard of Romans 8:28? Have you ever heard of that Scripture? Let me show it to you to remind you. It says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to purpose". Okay, we all like that Scripture. But, look at the two verses right before it. Romans 8, this I asked you to turn here, Verse 26 and 27. "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray".
Do you see that? Let me ask you one more time. Did you see that? Did the Bible say we do not know what we should pray? Boy, I'm losing you. Are you there? Because some of you are thinking, I know what to pray. No, you don't, smarty. I just read the Bible to you. Don't argue with the Bible. You don't know what to pray without the Holy Spirit. If you do know what to pray, it's because He told you. It's the only reason any of us would know what to pray. We do not know what to pray. And He goes on, "For as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts" ...now, watch this. Point one was the mind, point two was the will. Watch carefully. "For He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is". That proves He has a mind too, by the way. "Because He makes intercession for the saints according to the" what? "Will of God".
So, the way that you're going to be able to know the mind of God and know the will of God is to know the person living in you who has the mind and who has the will of God. That's the only way. Did you know that there were times in history where only one person could hear God? I could show you, in Scripture, generations that lived on this earth, and only one person heard from God during that generation.
As a matter of fact, there was a time, for 400 years, in the Bible, that God did not speak to one person that we know of. That we know of, He did not speak to one person. And in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, and we're going to cover that in this series, Peter stands up and says, "This is what the prophet Joel was speaking about, that in the last days I'm going to pour out my spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy". How are you going to prophesy unless you can hear God? The Holy Spirit's speaking. He says, "Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams".
By the way, I'm still seeing visions. We're living in the greatest time, because God can speak to you, personally. Every person can hear God through the Holy Spirit, the person of the Holy Spirit. Can I say something? This is one of the most important things I'll ever tell you. I can hear God with you, but not for you. The whole reason Jesus came was to have a personal relationship with you. That's the whole reason He came. You can't have a personal relationship with someone through someone else. See, some will say, well, we have a relationship with the Father through the Son. Wait. Jesus is God. You have a relationship with God. Same with the Holy Spirit. Now, I do believe in seeking counsel, but you don't ask what God is saying, you ask, am I hearing God correctly and does this line up, when you ask for godly counsel. You don't ask others to hear God for you.
I remember one time a guy came up to me in church and said to me, "Pastor Robert, can you get a Word from God for me"? Can you get a Word from God for me? And I said to him, "Listen, if God tells me something, I'll tell you. But if He doesn't tell me anything, I can't tell you anything". And then the next day in my quiet time, I just happened to think of this and I was almost going to dismiss it, and then I thought, well, I might as well ask. So, I said, "Lord, do you have a Word for that guy"? And the Lord said, "Yes, tell him I want to talk to him personally". So, you can know the mind of God if you get to know the Holy Spirit. You can know the will of God by getting to know the Holy Spirit.
And here's number three, He has emotions. The Holy Spirit has emotions. Galatians 5... we'll get to Ephesians 4 in a moment. This is the famous passage of the fruit of the Spirit, but I want you to understand that all of these are characteristics of a person. Galatians 5:22-23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love". Okay, listen. A person loves. Trees don't love. A person loves. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy". Okay, a person has joy. "Peace", a person has peace. "Longsuffering", a person is longsuffering. Are you getting the gist of it? "Kindness", a person has kindness. "Goodness, faithfulness"... a person is faithful. "Gentleness", a person is gentle. "And self-control", a person has self-control. All of the fruits of the Spirit are characteristics of a person. The Holy Spirit's a person.
Okay, now look at Ephesians 4. Verse 30 says, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed for the day of redemption". Okay. Don't grieve the Holy Spirit. Listen, grief is an emotion, and it says that the Holy Spirit can be grieved. In other words, the Holy Spirit can have grief. And we read Ephesians, about joy. Okay, joy and grief are emotions, and both of those verses are describing the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has feelings. He has feelings. So, this says don't grieve the Holy Spirit.
Now remember, one of the best ways to find out the meaning of a passage is to see the context of the passage. So, we're going to read a few verses before and a few verses after, and see if we can figure out what grieves the Holy Spirit, because we're told not to do it. So if you're told not to do it, wouldn't you want to know what am I not supposed to do? I'm not supposed to grieve Him, but how do you grieve Him? All right? So, if you back up to Verse 25, Ephesians 4:25, it says, "Therefore put away lying". Okay. Listen, I'm just going to sum it up for you. Lying grieves the Holy Spirit. "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil".
That would grieve the Holy Spirit. "Let him who stole steal no longer". Stealing would grieve the Holy Spirit. "But rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has a need". Not giving would grieve the Holy Spirit. "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth". A corrupt word would grieve the Holy Spirit. "But what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness"... bitterness would grieve the Holy Spirit. "Wrath, clamor, and evil speaking"... all of that would grieve the Holy Spirit, "be put away from you, with all malice. Be kind to one another". Kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. "Tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you".
Okay, again let me sum it up. What grieves the Holy Spirit? Sin. When a believer walks in sin, it grieves the Holy Spirit. It makes the Holy Spirit sad. Why? Because the Holy Spirit loves you, and when you walk in sin, it's going to hurt you. So, He's sad. If you saw one of your children doing something that was going to hurt him or her, would you be sad? See, that's the way it is. That's the Holy Spirit. Okay, it says don't grieve.
Now, I want you to think just for a moment about this emotion, grief. Do you know what grief is? Grief is a sadness that you feel when you lose intimacy with a person. For instance, if a person that's a close family or friend dies, you grieve, right? Okay, you're grieving because you've lost intimacy. You're not going to be able to talk with that person anymore, or have conversations, or do stuff. Okay, there's a grieving. But if you know the Lord, you're going to see that person again one day, right? But you still grieve, because you don't have intimacy right now with the person.
Is everyone following? Okay, please catch this. That's the way the Holy Spirit feels when believers sin. He knows. See, you don't lose your salvation when you sin, you lose your intimacy. See, He knows He's going to see you again. You're going to go to heaven, because you go to heaven not by works, but by grace. Any other foundation than that is a horrible foundation to try to build your life on. So, He knows... yeah, yeah, we're going to have eternal fellowship together because this person's truly saved, but as long as this person walks in sin, we can't have intimacy. So, He's grieving because He's lost intimacy with you. Are you following what I'm saying?
After I got saved, a few months later was my birthday, and Debbie said to me, "What do you want for your birthday"? And I don't even remember what I said, I just remember the next morning, when I was meeting with the Lord, I felt like the Holy Spirit said to me, "What do you want from me for your birthday"? And I thought, well, I never even thought about asking you. He said, "I want you to ask me for a birthday gift every year". And so, every year, when my natural birthday comes around, I ask the Lord for something. Now, it's not like I ask for a Corvette, you know, or something like that. I ask for something in my life - to be able to be a better husband, be a father, to walk more freely in an area. Things like that, okay? All right.
So anyway, that was after I got saved. So, years later... let me go back. I was turning 30 years old, and Jesus began His ministry when He was 30, and you know, it was like a big deal to me, spiritually. And the Lord said, "What do you want for your 30th birthday"? And I thought about it for a while, and then I said, "I want to be able to hear you more clearly. I want to be able to hear you for my family, to minister to people. I want to be able to hear you".
So, that weekend - my birthday was on a Monday. That Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was speaking in a conference. There were three of us speaking in the conference. I spoke Friday night, and it was just amazing. I mean, it was amazing. I remember thinking I'm already getting my birthday wish from the Lord. I went back to the hotel room. I was by myself, traveling back then. I don't travel by myself anymore. But I was traveling alone, and I was flipping through the channels, and something came on that I shouldn't have watched. And you know I'm always very honest with you. Some of you this has happened to, and some of you, you know, have not fallen in this area, and some of you have. But, I watched something that I should not have watched. And the next night in the service, it was totally different from the night before.
Now, I knew I'd prayed, I'd asked for forgiveness. I'd confessed it to the Lord. I'd confessed it to Debbie, even. But, it was just something was different. What happened was, I had... listen. I had grieved the Holy Spirit. I lost intimacy, because He knew if I went back down that line that I came out of, that it would ruin my life and my family, and He was grieved. On Sunday morning, the speaker got up to speak, and he was an older man. Again, I was turning 30. I think the other guy ministering was about my age, and he was in his 70s. And he said, "I want to speak on something that's different than what I was going to speak on". He said, "I want to speak on grieving the Holy Spirit".
And he talked about how that we'll have a sin in our life that the Holy Spirit says to us, "Don't do that, don't do that", and we, in essence this is how we grieve Him, we stiff arm Him. But then, when we go to minister to people, we want Him to speak to us. But, when He's speaking to us about a sin, we say we don't want to listen to you now. But then we turn right around then and say, "Okay, now I'm teaching a small group or something, will you come now and speak to me"? Do you see what I'm saying? So, I'm sitting there on the front row as one of the speakers of the conference, and I'm thinking he's talking right to me. And then he said this. He said, "And the Lord told me to tell you, whatever that sin is, if you'll come to the altar today, He'll set you free".
And I thought, I need to go, but I'm one of the speakers of the conference. You know? And then I had this thought. I thought, well, you know what? They're not going to think, you know, that it's lust. They're not going to think that, because I'm one of the speakers. They're going to think probably that I don't pray enough or I don't read my Bible enough. And right when I thought that, this older man that was speaking said, "And I'm not talking about that you don't pray enough or you don't read your Bible enough. He said, "I'm talking about that you have a dirty, a shameful, rotten sin in your life".
And the Lord said to me, "Do you want to go now"? But that's what I felt like He said, "if you go now, I'll set you free". So, when he gave the invitation, I was the first one there. Now, listen to me. We're talking about the Holy Spirit, but the Lord led me to share this with you. Here's what the Lord told me to tell you. If you have a sin that's holding you in bondage, if you'll come today, He'll start the process of freedom in your life. You need to understand that freedom is a road. Bondage is a road also. See, people don't realize that. Bondage is a road. You don't fall the first day, you fall down the road. In the same way, freedom is when you turn around on the road and start going back to God.
Do you feel like that the Lord is pointing out something to you right now? I've felt that way many, many times. And it could be the main reason that you watched today, because there's something in your life that is hindering you from walking in the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit. And I want to encourage you that, if the Lord's pointing out something, it's not to make you feel bad. I promise you, it's to set you free. So right now, just repent, and that's not a bad word. In other words, just change your mind. That's what it means, to change your mind. Tell the Lord, Lord, I repent. I turn away from this sin and I turn my life back to you in this area.