The Spirit


Abbreviations Used

General Subjects
  John 14-16
  1 Corinthians
  2 Corinthians
  1 & 2 Thess.
  1 & 2 Timothy
  1 & 2 Peter
  1 John
Gifts of the Spirit
Inter-Ecclesial Offices
Word Studies
Epilogue Acknowledgements
Exposition of The Spirit in Luke

Luke 1:15
"and he (John) will be filled with the Holy Spirit"

John the Baptist was a prophet (Luke 1:76; 7:28) who exercised the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy to such an extent that all Judea and Jerusalem came out to hear him.

Luke 1:17
"And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah..."

This was a partial fulfillment of Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6.

Luke 1:80
"And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit"

If we compare this to the similar words of 2:40 we see that this refers to the gift of wisdom. (cf. 1:15).

Luke 2:27
"And he (Simeon) came in the Spirit into the temple".

Verse 25 says the Holy Spirit was upon him and v.26 says that he had received a revelation. Probably Simeon received another revelation, which enabled him to be in the temple at the time Mary entered with the child Jesus. He then utters prophetic words about Christ indicating that the revelations came to him by the gift of prophecy.

Luke 2:40
"And the Child continued to grow and became strong (in spiritÜ AV), increasing in wisdom"

See notes on 1:80 where similar words are used about John. It seems clear that God imparted an increasing amount of the gift of wisdom (1 Cor. 12) to him. The word translated "filled" (AV, RSV, MARS) is pleroo and is a cognate of the word used in 1:15, 41, 67 and especially in Acts to describe baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 9:55
"Ye know not what manner of spiritÜ ye are of"

These words are not found in the following Greek manuscripts: Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Ephraemi, Regius, Sangallensis. Tichendorf, Tregelles. RV, RSV, NASB and NEST also omit.

If retained, the meaning is the same as in 1 John 4:1-6 i.e. persons who had the Spirit. The disciples did not understand the use to which the Spirit was to be put at that particular phase of the work. It was to be used to offer salvation, not to execute judgement on unbelievers.

Ü All the Critical Texts agree in omitting 9 occurrences (or substituting another reading): Luke 2:40; 9:55; Acts 18:5; Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph. 5:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 5:7, and in adding 3: Acts 4:25; Phil. 4:23; Rev. 22:6. This evidence is not necessarily conclusive because most if not all of these are not based on the Textus Receptus.
Luke 10:21
"At that very time He (Jesus) rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit"

(cf. Matt. 11:25). Exposition here is difficult because it appears that editors have tinkered with the text. The Expositors Greek Testament text does not have "the Holy" in it and agrees with the AV and RV. Several manuscripts appear to have added these words and modern editors accept them.

Jesus was rejoicing that the gospel was revealed to babes (childlike in attitude) rather than the "wise". "In Spirit" could mean "mind".

Luke 11:13
"How much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit1 to those who ask Him?"
This passage is cited as proof that all we need to do today is ask and we will be given the Holy Spirit.
    1. Christ was talking to his disciples (cf. v.1) who already had utilized the Holy Spirit (cf. ch. 10:17) even if only in a limited way.

    2. There is no need to see this as a prophecy of a bestowal of the Spirit after Pentecost on all believers. This concept does not fit the context.

    3. "Giving the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him" is the briefest way to cover all that God does for His children (cf. James 1:17,18) whether it be:
      (1) food, shelter, clothing.
      (2) forgiveness of sins.
      (3) spiritual growth by providing the written (or spoken) Word.
      (4) putting on the divine nature in the possession of a Spirit body like to Jesus at the judgement seat.

  1. What we ask for must be in accordance with the will of God. "If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us" (1 John 5:14). To ask for the Holy Spirit is to ask for something that is not available, so God will not give it to us.

  2. Simon, a baptized believer, asked for the Holy Spirit2 but was refused because "his heart" was not right in the sight of God. This example demonstrates that a quotation of this verse without qualification as to its real meaning is not reasonable!

  3. There are many examples of things in the Bible that are not timeless.
    1. Fasting3. The first century disciples made a habit of fasting but present day ones do not.

    2. Wine. "New wine must be put into new bottles4" but this advice only applied when wine bottles were made of skin.

    3. Payment of temple tax. Christ instructed Peter to pay the temple tax5 but Christ does not pay temple tax now and neither does Peter!

    4. Slavery was common in the first century and there are Biblical laws that the slave was required to obey6. We are not required to keep this law because we are not slaves to an earthy master.

    5. We are not required to offer animal sacrifices because Christ "offered one sacrifice for sins for ever7."

    6. Anointing with oil8. This practice is not used today because it had application only to that dispensation.

  4. In John 6:63, Eph. 6:17 and 1 John 5:6 the Holy Spirit is identified as the words of Jesus, the Word of God and the Truth. In that sense the Holy Spirit is available today.9

  5. In the parable immediately preceding these words, Jesus speaks of a friend who asked for bread. Godís greatest gift is the "Bread of Life".

1A That this applies to us must be shown by the one who affirms. If he applies this to us, then he is a hypocrite if he possesses more than one coat and has not sold all that he has and given to the poor.

B Matt. 7:11 (the parallel passage) reads: ". . . give good things to them that ask Him", but what better thing is there than to be brought into harmony with the spirit of God, so as to reflect His Mind rather than the mind of the flesh, and have an understanding of His ways and the end He prepares for those who love Him? To receive the Holy Spirit does not necessarily mean to be infused with power which enables men to speak with tongues; nor is it to have an inner guidance or illumination. It is to receive the communication of Godís Mind by whatever means He chooses, and the essential means for us is His Word.

C cf. notes on John 4:10 and especially 7:37-39.
2 Simon had been baptized by Philip (Acts 8:13), but he had not received the Gift of the Spirit (v. 15-16). When Simon (who previously practiced magic, Acts 8:9-11) saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the Apostles' [in this case Peter and John] hands he offered them money so he could give people the Spirit:-- "Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:19).
3 "The days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them and then shall they fast in those days". (Luke 5:35).
4 Luke 5:38
5 cf. Matt. 17:24-27.
6 cf. Titus 2:9
7 Heb. 10:12
8 James 5:14. See notes on this verse.
9 By this statement we are not saying that the Holy Spirit is not exercised on our behalf. It is, but indirectly through the Angels.

Luke 13:11
"And behold, a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years..."

It seems clear that this woman had been "bound" by sin (Satan) (v.16). In other words this physical infirmity had been the result of the action of the spirit gift of miracles of judgement1. Because it had been inflicted by the Spirit it is termed "a spirit of infirmity". Christ removed this curse by a reversal of the infirmity through a similar gift. The authority to inflict disease and death or release from this was Christís, and he carried out this binding and loosing after his ascension either directly as on Paul (2 Cor. 12:7) or through the Apostles on others.2

1 See Section D - Miracles.
2 See Acts 5:1-10; 1 Cor. 5:3-5.