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Economic Trinity: The Spirit

We are dealing with the Economic Trinity, how the Godhead interacts and functions within itself.

We have encouraged the listener to try to contemplate how the Trinity is working in any given situation. For example, to whom are your praying, and why, and how?  This is actually a trinitarian work and if you think about that fact, then it can help you pray better and with more confidence.

It is good to know that the Father is to whom you pray.  It is even better to know that He receives your prayers because of the Son’s saving work. And it is all made more greater and encouraging to know that the Spirit is the one who empowers you in prayer, and even prays for you what you can’t pray.

This is an important topic to talk about because so much confusion regarding the Spirit.  We hope that each listener will come away with a greater appreciation for the Spirit. 

So we now consider the works of the Holy Spirit.

The One Who Gave Scripture

We are not going to focus on a complete doctrine of the Bible and inspiration.  We did that in other episodes. This is just a sampling of the many passages present in the bible.

2 Samuel 23:1-2 “Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, The man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel, ‘The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.’”

"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Pet. 1:20-21)

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;" (2 Tim. 3:15)

“Inspired” literally means that it was God-breathed.  The pneuma of God, the Spirit is how the Word came about. Therefore, without the Spirit there would be no bible.

The Spirit’s work in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ

His birth

Luke 1:27-35  The key part is “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy-- the Son of God”

The Holy Spirit was the agent in bringing together the divine and human natures in Mary.

Here again we have a sense of the Trinity -- the Father sending His Son to become man, and the Spirit making that happen.

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 'And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.'" (Matt. 1:18-21)

He empowered Jesus

 "And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,"

(Matt. 3:16)

Matthew 12:18-21 “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.  He will not quarrel, nor cry out; Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, And a smoldering wick He will not put out, Until He leads justice to victory.  And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”

The Spirit coming upon Jesus at the baptism was also a sign for John the Baptist: "And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' "

(John 1:33) (Trinitarian)

But it also was part of the prophecy in the Old Testament.

"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations." (Isaiah 42:1)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners.” (Isaiah  61:1)

As a result, Christ’s preaching was with authority --- Luke 4:18 is a quote of Isa 61:1

Christ had authority over the demons by the Spirit.---  "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matt. 12:28)

He led Christ to be tempted --- Luke 4

Christ offered Himself as a fit offering to the Father by the Spirit ---  "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14)

He was involved in the raising of Christ Jesus

"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."

(Rom. 8:11)

The point being made is the same Spirit involved in Christ’s resurrection dwells in us and therefore we should be confident of our resurrection.


We see from these passages that every aspect of Jesus’ earthly ministry was done in and by the Spirit. If Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, needed the power and presence of the Spirit, how much more do we!?

We also must see that though Christ was in the fullest manner possible, walking in and by the power of the Spirit, He still suffered; had problems, and was tempted.  Therefore, it is foolish for us to think that we ought to be immune to these things ourselves. In fact, this is a death blow to the lies of prosperity preaching and so much error in the Charismatic movement.

Lastly, Christ’s work in the eyes (and standards) of the world was not a success.  Therefore we ought not judge our value and purpose by the world. The Spirit will (and must) enable each of us to do God’s work.  And we must judge our work according to that standard rather than the world’s.

The Spirit’s work among man

--- He makes man, and is involved in creation.

"The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)

"The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life." (Job 33:4), note the parallel structure.

--- He regenerates us

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again." The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.'" (Jn. 3:1)

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." (Jn. 6:63)

No human is able to bring themselves into the state of regeneration.  The bible makes it clear that we are all born under the curse of sin. We are dead, and cannot make ourselves alive.

--- He teaches and guides the Twelve

The promise made to the Twelve: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

(Jn. 14:26)

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." (Jn. 16:13)

He is involved in the development and health of the Church

"And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'" (Acts 13:2)

--- He indwells it.

Eph. 2:21-22 “in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

"Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"

(1 Cor. 3:16)

--- Raises up elders

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

(Acts 20:28)

--- Gives spiritual gifts to the church

"But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;  to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,"

(1 Cor. 12:7-9)

--- He empowers the preaching

"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well,  let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-- by this name this man stands here before you in good health.'" (Acts 4:8-10)

"And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:4-5)

--- He empowers true worship in song

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;" (Eph. 5:18-19)

--- He brings unity to the Church

"with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;" (Eph. 4:2-4)


We didn’t really even scratch the surface of the Spirit’s work.  In fact, consider this brief listing of other things He does:

-- He seals us, guaranteeing us full redemption from sin.  

-- Empowers men to govern nations.  

-- Empowers them for military leadership.  

-- Through Him, people perform mighty feats of strength.

-- The Spirit enables people to do artistic workmanship, including literary and musical works.

-- He gives us moral and spiritual courage.

He is the least understood of the Trinity, and certainly the One we tend to take for granted.

At the same time He is always directing our attention to the Son and the Father. `You don’t ever see the Holy Spirit lifting Himself up. He is always working behind the scenes.  

Therefore, it’s possible to so over-emphasize His work that we fail to see the purpose of His work.

In fact it would not be wrong to say that when everyone is talking about the Spirit (and what He’s doing) that likely it’s not Him doing it at all.  His work is to point us back to the Son, who in turn points us back to the Father.


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