Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

The Holy Spirit is probably the most mysterious Person in the Trinity.  (As we talked about the Spirit recently, my son Elijah, age 6, was completely perplexed on how He is a Person.  I guess God the Father and God the Son gives him a mental image to fall back on, but He doesn’t have a picture of what God the Spirit is like.)  It seems that the Spirit is always just thought of as “the other” part of the Trinity, and even Scripture indicates that He is under the authority and direction of the Father and the Son (and has no role of authority over Them).  But there is no doubt that He is real, and His work is amazing.  That’s why over the next few weeks I’m excited to give a review of what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit.

First of all, let’s look at what the Old Testament says about the Holy Spirit.  It’s only in the context of the OT that we can fully appreciate how He appears in the New Testament and in our lives today.  These thoughts come from “Big Truths for Young Hearts” (pp. 149-154).  In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit’s work was:

  1. Selective.  He came only on a few people.
  2. Task-oriented.  He granted supernatural power in order to fulfill a specific calling or task from God.
  3. For a limited duration.  When the task was done, the Spirit would leave.

However, the OT promises that one day the Spirit would:

  1. Be for all, not for a few.
  2. Work for transformational (life-change) purposes, not merely to accomplish tasks.
  3. Fill a follower of God forever, not for a limited time.

Check back next week for the introduction of how the Spirit worked in the New Testament times. 

--  Joey Espinosa

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