Tuesday: Biblical Hints

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There are various references to the Holy Spirit in the Bible that are interchangeable with references to God.

Read Isaiah 63:10-14 and compare it with Numbers 14:11 and Deuteronomy 32:12. To whom was the writer referring in these passages, and what does this tell us about the divinity of the Holy Spirit?

Compassionate consoling

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

In Isaiah 63:10, the people rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit. However, the parallel account, as found in Numbers 14:11, states, “The LORD said to Moses, ‘How long will this people spurn me?’ ” (NASB). And in Deuteronomy 32:12, we are told “The LORD alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him” (NASB). Obviously the biblical writers saw God and the Holy Spirit on par with each other.

In 2 Samuel 23:2, we read that “the Spirit of the LORD spoke by me” (NASB) whereas in the parallel statement in verse 3, it says: “The God of Israel said . . . to me” (NASB). Again, the conclusion from this biblical parallel is that the Holy Spirit is considered to be equal to God.

Compare 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 with 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and compare 1 Corinthians 12:11 with 1 Corinthians 12:28. How are the references to the Holy Spirit and to God used interchangeably in these passages? What is attributed to God and to the Holy Spirit alike?

In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul uses similar language as in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. For the apostle Paul, to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to be inhabited by God. By equating the expression “God’s temple” (NIV) with a temple “of the Holy Spirit” (NIV), Paul points out that the Holy Spirit is God.

In 1 Corinthians 12:11, Paul writes that it is the Holy Spirit who distributes the spiritual gifts to each believer. A few verses later in 1 Corinthians 12:28, we are told that it is God who is doing it. The basic message is clear: the Holy Spirit does the same action as God is doing, powerful evidence that the Holy Spirit is equal to God.

Read again Numbers 14:11. In what ways might this be applied to us today? Think about the miraculous ways God has worked in our church. Think about all the reasons He has given us to believe. How can we make sure we aren’t doing today what God’s people did thousands of years ago?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons