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The Bible writers, in their efforts to give us a clearer understanding of the holy Spirit, often resort to the use of symbols in their writing. The symbols they use are things known and understood by us. From those known things, we draw, by association or extrapolation, opinions of the unknown, or lesser-known one.


  1. Wind     John 3:8
    What do you conclude about the Spirit from this symbol?
  2. A Dove     John 1:32
    What qualities do you think of when you think of a dove? Why this symbol rather than a crow or a falcon?
  3. Water     John 7:37-39
    Could there be life without water? What about without the Holy Spirit? How powerful is water? What are the affects of flowing water? Think of water and its affects on a dry, parched land.
  4. Oil     Matthew 25:1-4 , Zechariah 4:1-6
    Think of at least two salubrious affects of oil.
  5. A Guarantee     2 Corinthians 1:22
    What makes for a good guarantee? What does the Spirit guarantee?
  6. Light     John 1:9
    What does light do to darkness? How many candles would it take to drive the darkness from a room?
  7. Fire     Matthew 3:11
    What is fire used for in traditional cultures? Besides the Holy Spirit, what does fire illustrate in the Bible?


After reviewing all these symbols, what implications do you draw for our own lives? What is the Holy Spirit capable of doing for us, in us, and through us? What area(s) of your life would you like to have more open to the Holy Spirit?

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