The Holy Spirit is a mystery to many Christians. They are confused about who He is and about how He works in our lives. But the Bible is extremely clear on the identity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the divine, eternal third person of the Godhead. He is just as much part of the heavenly trio as the Father and the Son (see Matt. 28:19, 20; Eph. 2:18; 2 Cor. 13:14). In this lesson we will discover three symbols of the Holy Spirit that are used throughout the Bible.
1. What symbol of the Holy Spirit did Jesus share with His disciples?
“‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive” (John 7:37-39).
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is symbolized as rivers of ______________ _______________
2. Why did Jesus choose water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit? What spiritual lessons can we find in this symbol?
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring” (Isa. 44:3).
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols” (Eze. 36:25).
Water satisfies our ___________________ and cleanses us from our _________________.
Nothing satisfies a thirsty individual like water. Water quenches that inner, raging thirst. As the Holy Spirit enters our lives, revealing Jesus’ love and truth, He satisfies our deepest longings and quiets our restless anxieties. The Holy Spirit quenches our thirst for the eternal.
Water also cleanses. When the Holy Spirit fills our life, He begins a process of cleansing us from our rebellious attitudes. Habits that defile our lives are cleansed through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Water also brings growth. When the showers of God’s Spirit fall upon us, we are filled with spiritual life and grow daily in Jesus’ grace (see Ps. 1:3).
3. What symbol of the mighty working of the Holy Spirit did Jesus use in His night visit with Nicodemus?
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is like the __________________________________________
Wind is powerful. In this passage it represents the life-changing power of God through the Holy Spirit that is beyond our finite comprehension. His divine working is miraculous. In Ezekiel’s vision of the “valley of dry bones” (Eze. 37), when the Holy Spirit breathed new life into dead bones they came to life. Through the Holy Spirit we become alive to spiritual life in Christ.
4. Oil is used throughout the Bible as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. What aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work does it represent?
“And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests. And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘This shall be holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations’” (Ex. 30:30, 31).
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38).
Oil was used to _________________ Aaron and his sons for service in the earthly sanctuary.
God the Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, empowering Him to do _________________
and __________________________________________ those oppressed by the devil.
Oil represents the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It sets us apart as consecrated servants of Christ. Just as oil was used to consecrate the priests and the earthly sanctuary for God’s service, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us to witness for our Lord.
5. What was the great lack of the foolish virgins in Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins? What significance does this have for God’s end-time church?
“And the foolish [virgins] said to the wise [virgins], ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves’” (Matt. 25:8, 9).
The foolish virgins were unprepared for the Bridegroom’s delay and ran out of ______________.
6. How did Jesus identify the spiritual problem of these foolish virgins?
“But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt. 25:12, 13).
The foolish virgins didn’t know the ____________________________ of their Lord’s return,
and they were __________________________________________ when it happened.
The oil of the Holy Spirit sets apart, it consecrates, it sanctifies, it heals. The foolish virgins accepted a superficial religious experience. They didn’t have an abiding, intimate experience with Jesus. That’s why Jesus said, “I do not know you.”
These symbols of the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts today. The symbol of water calls us to an inner cleansing of anything that may clog the channels of the mind to keep us from knowing Jesus intimately. The symbolism of wind invites us to open our minds to the breath of God to receive new life. And the symbolism of oil appeals to us to live lives of consecrated, intimate communion with God.