For Knowing the Holy Spirit More
What is the Holy Spirit? Discover the Holy Spirit today!
What is the Holy Spirit? Some abstract force or a loving person? The Bible shows us clearly what the Holy Spirit is. He is not some impersonal power, energy. The Holy Spirit speaks, He has emotions, He makes choices, He interacts with people, He gives love, wisdom and power, He guides us and teaches us, and so on. The Holy Spirit is a real person, the heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
The following scriptures show you what the Holy Spirit is, in all His diversity
He is in fact the very best Friend you can ever imagine. He was sent by the Father to help you become a true child of God and know God as a reality, in your daily life.
Without the Holy Spirit our christian life is a religion: we know a lot of information, but it’s no reality for us. The Holy Spirit is the One who makes our life with Jesus Christ real, alive, full of true love and power. He is God in us and God with us.
The more we live with the Holy Spirit, the more He will be able to reveal Jesus Christ and the Father to us.
The Holy Spirit is your Helper, your Friend, your Guide, your Teacher, and so much more…
The Holy Spirit is the One who brings the Father and the Son very close to you. He reveals the kingdom of heaven to you and clothes you with the power of God to make you a witness of Jesus Christ. He is the One who transforms you from the inside out.
What is the Holy Spirit? Discover it in the Bible!
Read these scriptures listed below, which reveal one by one what the Holy Spirit is and what He wants to do for you. He is far more than you can ever imagine. When you truly hunger for Him and open your heart to him – without holding back – He will amaze you, again and again.
The Holy Spirit is far more important than we all realize
The very first words of the Bible begin with the Spirit of God. And the very last words of the Bible are about the Holy Spirit. This shows us how important the Spirit is.
‘And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.’ (Genesis 1:2)
‘And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” (Revelation 22:17)
We live in the ministry of the Spirit
The Bible teaches that we live in a time that is indicated as ‘the ministry of the Spirit’. Everything in the christian life is about the working and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not the law.
‘…so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not the oldness of the letter.’ (Romans 7:6)
‘…who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (…) how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?’ (2 Corinthians 3: 6, 8)
We become children of God through the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit causes the second birth and the Spirit of God also confirms in our hearts that we are children of God.
‘you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8: 15)
‘because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4: 6)
‘unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3: 6)
‘according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,’ (Titus 3: 5)
We live as children of God, through the Holy Spirit
The true life of a christian is only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. He changes us from the inside out, so that the love of God becomes visible in our life.
‘we do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (…) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.’ (Romans 8:4, 14)
‘Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (…) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’
(Galatians 5:16, 26)
The Holy Spirit speaks to us and guides us
When we submit to the Holy Spirit, he will guide our path. He can drive us gently in a certain direction, and he can speak to us in may ways to reveal his will.
‘Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing.’
‘As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
‘So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia’.
‘And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.’
The Holy Spirit gives revelation and wisdom
The Word of God is spiritual matter and we need revelation from the Holy Spirit to understand it. The Holy Spirit is our teacher who gives un insight in the depths of God.
‘I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.’
‘as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.’
‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.’
‘But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.’
(1 Corinthians 2: 10)
The Holy Spirit gives us the power of God
A well known attribute of the Holy Spirit is that he gives us the power of God. This can be enormous physical strength (Samson) or amazing spiritual power with Peter whose shadow healed sick people. Jesus Christ said we needed to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to effectively spread the gospel, with miracles following.
‘to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man’
‘For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.’
(1 Corinthians 4:20)
‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.’
‘that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’
‘in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God.’
‘my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’
(1 Corinthians 2:4)
The Holy Spirit inspires prayer
The purpose of our life with God is to grow in an intimate relationship with him. This happens mostly through prayer. The Bible distinguishes two types of prayer: praying with your mind (in your mother tongue) and praying with your spirit (praying in tongues).
‘building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.’
‘praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.’
‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’
‘I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.’
(1 Corinthians 14:15)
The fire of the Holy Spirit
A remarkable aspect of God is that the Bible often refers to him as ‘fire’. John the Baptist said Jesus Christ would baptise us with Holy Spirit and with fire.
‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’
‘Do not quench the (fire of the) Spirit.’
(1 Tessalonians 5:19)
‘Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.’
The gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Lord gives us powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit, to build us up, make is strong and healthy and to help us grow to maturity in Jesus Christ.
‘There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.’
(1 Corinthians 12)
‘by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love…’
(2 Corinthians 6:6)
‘Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.’
(2 Timothy 1:6)
‘Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.’
The fruit of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit transforms our carnal, selfish character and makes us God: full of love, peace, joy and patience.
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.’
Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
Although Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he was still dependent on the Holy Spirit. Jesus was begotten by the Spirit, he was being led by the Holy Spirit, he received his power from the Spirit of God and he offered up himself through the Holy Spirit.
‘Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.’
‘Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.’
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me.’
‘and he saw the Spirit of God descending a dove and alighting upon Jesus.’
‘I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.’
‘But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.’
‘who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.’
‘For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.’
‘how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.’
Conclusion: what is the Holy Spirit?
So what is the Holy Spirit? He is too much for words. He is fire, anointing, power, love, peace, joy, adoption, wisdom, guidance, healing miracles, and so much more.
If we realize how extremely powerful the Holy Spirit is, we can understand why there is so much resistance against him in many churches. Many christians are filled with an aggressive fear against the Spirit of God.I believe this fear is inspired by satan and his armies of evil spirits, who are terrified of the Holy Spirit. Satan is not afraid of religion, as a matter of fact he is the most religious spirit you can imagine, who loves to invent religions as a hobby. He is also not afraid of man-made christian religion.
But satan is terrified of the Holy Spirit because he is able to unmask and destroy the works of satan.
I encourage you to lay aside all fear and surrender yourself to the Holy Spirit more than you have ever done
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.’
Christian wall art about the Holy Spirit
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This unique Christian wall art helps you know that the Spirit of God is always available for you. Order this Christian wall decor to encourage yourself and inspire others with the glorious outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
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More about the Holy Spirit
Click these links to discover more about what the Holy Spirit is and how you can experience Him in your life. Don’t let anything hinder you from becoming completely filled with the wonderful Spirit of God. Without Him, your christian life just isn’t what it could be…
How to receive the Holy Spirit >
The gifts of the Holy Spirit >
Manifestations of the Holy Spirit >
Speaking in tongues >
Knowing Jesus: The Holy Spirit
Download a PDF of the whole Bible study, including questions.
IN YOUR CONSTANTLY OVER-DEMANDING LIFE in the Capitol, I am sure there are times when you think and feel dry and depleted. It is during these times of drought that Satan tempts us in our weakest areas and we are apt to sin.
May I encourage you to find your strength in God and His Word today and all throughout this week.
There is but one remedy for a parched spirit and that is to drink from the well of the Word and to find your solace in Him.
In that the Capitol culture creates much autonomy; if you need a confidant and/or some encouragement feel free to reach out to me. I too struggle just you at times and hopefully I can relate to your needs.
President & Founder
The Holy Spirit is God. The Bible identifies Him as one of three Persons existing as one God, that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In this lesson, we will study who the Holy Spirit is and His presence and ministry in the believer’s life.
A. RECOGNIZED AS A PERSON
Personal pronouns “He” or “Him” are used to refer to the Holy Spirit rather than “it.” List the number of times “He” or “Him” is used in John 14:17 to refer to the Holy Spirit:
That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
B. ATTRIBUTES OF PERSONALITY
1. Intellect. He possesses the ability to know and understand reality.
a. Romans 8:27:
And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The Holy Spirit has a . . . .
b. 1Corinthians 2:10:
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
The Holy Spirit searches . . . .
c. 1Corinthians 2:11:
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit knows . . . .
2. Emotion. He possesses the ability to experience emotion.
Record the emotion attributed to the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4:30:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
3. Volition. He possesses the ability to determine or act decisively. List the decision or judgment in which the Holy Spirit demonstrates His attribute of volition:
a. 1Corinthians 12:7,11:
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
b. Acts 13:2:
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.
c. Acts 15:28-29:
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.
B. STATEMENTS OF DEITY
Write the key statement that shows that the Holy Spirit is God (2Corinthians 3:17):
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
According to Acts 5:3-4, lying to the Holy Spirit is the same thing as lying to
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.
A. According to Psalm 104:30, the Holy Spirit is active in
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.
B. 2Peter 1:20-21 tells us that the Holy Spirit was also active in
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.
V. THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN SALVATION
One of the most important areas of the Spirit’s work is with respect to God’s plan of salvation.
A. What special work does the Holy Spirit do (John 16:7-8)?
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.
B. By whom are sinners born into God’s kingdom (John 3:5-8)?
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 be amazed 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.
C. What work does the Spirit do when a person is saved?
1. Titus 3:5-6:
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior
2. 1Corinthians 12:13:
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
D. How does the Holy Spirit guarantee a believer’s salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14)?
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
An explanation about the sealing of the Holy Spirit is in order.
A seal was an ancient device, usually a signet ring or cylinder seal engraved with the owner’s name or with a particular design, used to seal goods, demonstrate ownership, attest to a document’s authenticity, or to physically impress upon something an early form of a trademark.
The seal indicated ownership and security. Here in Ephesians it represents the guarantee of future blessings. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is God’s promise of our inheritance in the future! What a wonderful assurance.
A. What is the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the believer (Romans 8:9)?
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
C. What is another ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer (1Corinthians 2:12-13)?
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
D. What exhortation is given to all believers in regard to the Spirit?
1. Ephesians 4:30:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
2. 1Thessalonians 5:19:
Do not quench the Spirit.
3. Ephesians 5:18:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.
E. In Colossians 3:16 the same attributes as are listed in Ephesians 5:18 appear. What however is the command in this passage?
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Accordingly, is being filled with the Spirit and letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly the same concept?
F. How does a Christian keep from sinning (Galatians 5:16)?
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
G. When a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, he will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. Examine Galatians 5:22-23 and list these qualities below:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Are you exhibiting those qualities in your own life?
Read 1Corinthians 6:19-20:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
B. What do you need to do to glorify God in your body?
May God bless your study of His Word this week. Develop the habit; it is the most important one in all of life. — rkd
6 Ways We Experience the Holy Spirit
When it comes to the Holy Spirit, most evangelicals fall into one of two extremes. Some seem obsessed, relating to him in strange, mystical ways.
Their experiences with the Spirit always seem to coincide with an emotionally ecstatic moment created by the swell of music in a worship service or a weird confluence of events: “I was praying about whether to ask Rachel out, and suddenly I saw a billboard whose background was the same color as her eyes, and I got goose bumps—I knew it was the Holy Spirit!”
Other Christians neglect his ministry altogether. They believe in the Holy Spirit, but they relate to him the same way I relate to my pituitary gland: I’m really grateful it’s in there; I know it’s essential for something; I would never want to lose it . . . but I don’t really interact with it. For these Christians, the Holy Spirit is not a moving, dynamic person. He’s more of a theory.
Yet Jesus made his disciples the most astounding promise about the Holy Spirit, one so astounding I think many of us do not really take it seriously: it was to their advantage, he said, that he return to heaven if it meant they receive the Spirit (John 16:7). If you ask Christians whether they would rather have Jesus beside them or the Spirit inside them, which do you think most would choose?
Doesn’t that show how far apart we are from grasping what Jesus was offering to us?
The Holy Spirit appears 59 times in the book of Acts, and in 36 of those appearances he is speaking. “But wait,” some say, “we can’t use Acts as a pattern for our time! The apostles were a unique group.” And I understand that Acts represents a special epoch of apostolic history.But you cannot convince me that the only book God gave us with examples of how the church walks with the Spirit is filled with stories that have nothing in common with our own.
As John Newton put it, “Is it really true that that which the early church so depended on—the leadership of the Spirit—is irrelevant to us today?”
How We Experience His Presence
How then do we experience his presence? We certainly have seen this question greatly abused. As I noted, many equate his movements with emotional flurries, irrational impressions, or random confluences of events.
As I study Scripture, I see six ways we experience his presence: in the gospel, through the Word of God, through the community of the church, in our various spiritual giftings, in our spirit by communion with him in prayer, and through his sovereign control over our circumstances.
1. In the Gospel
One of the most surprising discoveries I had while writing Jesus, Continued . . . (Zondervan, 2014) was how often Paul equates fullness of the Spirit with going deeper in the gospel.
For example, in Ephesians 3:14–18, the apostle prays that the Ephesians would have the strength to comprehend the love of Christ—its breadth and length and height and depth—so that they may be “filled with all the fullness of God.
” According to Paul, those two things—knowing the love of Christ in the gospel and being filled with “all the fullness of God”—are synonymous.
Puritan Thomas Goodwin compared this experience to that of a toddler son when his father swoops him up into his arms, spins him around, and tells him, “You are my son and I love you!” In that moment, the boy has become no more his father’s son, legally speaking, than he was the moment before. But being caught up in his father’s arms he feels his sonship more intimately. When God’s Spirit fills us, he sheds abroad God’s love in our heart, making our spirit rise up to say, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 5:5, 8:15).
2. Through the Word of God
The Spirit’s primary vehicle for moving and speaking in our lives is the Scriptures. The Spirit works in us to shape us into being the kind of people God wants us to be, because then we will do the things God wants us to do.
Almost every time we see the phrase “will of God” in the Bible it refers to shaping our moral character in response to the gospel. I’m not sure this is the kind of thing you can put a percentage on, but I’d say that about 99.4 percent of God’s direction for us can be found in the Bible. The Spirit conforms us to Christ’s character (Rom.8:29; 12:1–2) and helps us walk the paths of wisdom (Prov. 2:20–22). As we do, we accomplish the will of God.
3. Through the Church
The most common way the Spirit speaks in the book of Acts (other than in and through Scripture) is through the church. For instance, Acts 13:2 records, “While [the church was] worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
’” God gave the church specific insight into what Saul and Barnabas were to do. Throughout his life Paul received instructions about where to go and what to do through members of the church, and he gave similar words of instruction to Timothy.
I find nothing that indicates that God has stopped speaking this way—to his children through the church.
4. In Our Giftings
Paul tells us “each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). This becomes a primary vehicle for his guidance in our lives. There is a scene in C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in which Father Christmas gives each of the Pevensie children a mysterious gift.
They don’t realize it at the time, but these gifts prove essential in their coming battle with the White Witch. Peter suddenly sees that his sword was given to lead an assault; Lucy recognizes that her gift—a healing ointment—was given to bind up the wounded in battle.
Lewis’s imagery mirrors Paul’s claim in 1 Corinthians: we perceive what God wants by looking at the gifts he has placed within us.
5. In Our Spirit
Throughout Scripture we see that God guides his people in mission by putting special burdens into their spirits. When Nehemiah left for Jerusalem to rebuild its walls, he didn’t have a command from God. He simply said that God had “put it into his heart” to do it (Neh. 2:12).
When Paul came to Athens, Luke records his spirit was “provoked” within him about the idolatry in Athens (Acts 17:16). He evidently took this provocation as a direction to stay and preach the gospel there.Later in his ministry he would identify a holy “ambition” that God had put in his heart to preach Christ only where he had never been named (Rom. 15:20). Up until then, his ministry had been broad—debate the gospel, build up the churches everywhere—but the Spirit later narrowed the focus of his ministry.
Throughout our lives we (at times) experience a “holy discontent” about a particular situation or the pressing in of a specific promise of God to our context. This is often the Spirit’s invitation to pursue a particular ministry.
6. Through Our Circumstances
Throughout Paul’s life we see him interpret open and closed doors as evidence of the Spirit’s leadership.
In his first letter to the Corinthians he explains he will stay in Ephesus to preach because a “wide door for effective work” has been opened, which he evidently took as the Spirit’s leadership (1 Cor. 16:8).
Again, no special prophetic word, no handwriting in the sky, no Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich—just an open door.
This one can be tricky, because an open door doesn’t always mean something is God’s will. Jonah happened on a ship to Tarshish, but God’s will for him was 180 degrees the opposite direction.
wise, a closed door doesn’t always mean something is not God’s will. In Paul’s explanation to the Corinthians of why he would stay in Ephesus (mentioned above), he notes many difficulties lay ahead of him.
He didn’t interpret these difficulties as evidence God wanted him to leave, but to stay.
Hold Them All Loosely
More havoc has been wreaked in the church and world following the words “God just told me to ________” than perhaps any other phrase. So we must hold our various senses of the Spirit’s movement in tension with each other and always in submission to the Scriptures. They are the final record of what he says.
Except for the gospel and the Scriptures, then, the key with all of these points is to hold our interpretations loosely. We must submit what we sense the Spirit is doing in our hearts or how we’re reading our circumstances to the Scriptures and the counsel of the church.
Paul tells us we are to “test” the prophecies given to us in the church. This isn’t an exact science or a formula, and as much as that might disappoint us, it shouldn’t surprise us.Jesus said, after all, that experiencing the Spirit is something a mysterious encounter with the wind (John 3:8).
God, the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. The Bible teaches that He is active in our lives, a distinct person, and fully God.
Today is May the 4th, a day on which many people greet each other by saying “May the fourth be with you” as a clever play on words to the popular movie quote, “May the force be with you,” from Disney’s Star Wars movies. But un the impersonal force represented in Star Wars, the Holy Spirit is God Himself, who lives inside of and educates, strengthens, enlightens, and encourages Christians.
Prepare to learn far more about God and the nature of Jesus than you thought was possible, and find the answers to your own life's questions. Examine fundamental assumptions about God, human nature, origins, morality, and faith in these revealing books.
My brother Dave was the area supervisor of several gas stations. Every day he visited each of his stores. One morning he left early and started for the farthest store on his route. Dave was feeling depressed, and with no one in the car with him, he had few distractions from his feelings. The emptiness of his life troubled him. The road trip was getting miserable.
Then suddenly, Dave said he heard a voice, an audible voice! Someone in that car said, “Jesus loves you!” In shock, my brother turned to his right. He saw no one. Who was that? Was it God? “Forgive me!” Dave cried out. Then something happened in his heart. God gave him the assurance right then that he was a new creature in Christ.
Discovering that he no longer wanted the cigarettes in his front pocket, Dave threw them onto the car floor to be thrown away when he reached his destination.
When he got home that night, he poured out the alcohol from the bar in his basement. He gathered his family around the dining room table and told them that things would be different in their home. And they were.
That was over twenty years ago, and my brother is still a strong Christian.
Now my question is: who spoke to my brother going down the highway? Was it an angel? Was it Jesus? Was it Dave’s imagination? I believe the voice Dave heard that morning was the voice of the Holy Spirit. Why does He speak? He speaks (though usually not audibly) because He is a Person, because He is God, and because His work is to bring each of us into a delightful, personal relationship with Jesus.
The Holy Spirit Is a Person
The Holy Spirit can speak (Acts 8:29, 11:12, 13:2)—though some people don’t think the Holy Spirit can speak because they think of the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force, or simply a presence. For instance, a Jehovah’s Witness might say something this:
“The holy spirit is not a person and it is not a part of a Trinity. The holy spirit is God’s active force that he uses to accomplish his will. . . . To a certain extent, it can be ned to electricity.”1
The Jehovah’s Witness sees the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force. Maybe you, too, have trouble thinking of the Holy Spirit as a real person. After all, He doesn’t have a physical body Jesus does. But He is a person who has eternally lived in an intimate relationship with God the Father and God the Son. And now He invites each of us to participate in that dynamic relationship of love.
Biblical Proof That the Holy Spirit Is a Person
A real person has the attributes of personality, which include mind, will, and emotions. Does the Holy Spirit have a will? He distributes spiritual gifts to Christians “as He wills.”2 Does the Holy Spirit have a mind? He “searches . . .
the deep things of God” and knows them.3 Does the Holy Spirit have emotions? We are told to “grieve not the Holy Spirit.”4 If the Holy Spirit can be grieved, then He has emotions.
Because the Holy Spirit has a mind, a will, and emotions, we know that He is a Person.5A real person also has the capacity to have relationships with others. That’s the primary reason we have mind, will, and emotions. According to Philippians 2:1, the Spirit is able to have fellowship with us.
6 According to 2 Corinthians 13:14, the Holy Spirit can have communion with us.7 One who is able to commune and to have fellowship is capable of personal relationships. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is a person.
What This Means for You
The Holy Spirit is a real Person, not just a force or a presence or a power.
Understand that the Holy Spirit is a real Person, not just a force or a presence or a power. You must recognize Him as a Person. He can speak.8 He is praying for you, just as Christ is praying for you.9 He will teach you what you need to know.
He will guide you in your decisions. He tells you that you are a child of God.10 He will personally clean up the “rooms” of your innermost being when you let Him. You can submit to His voice or reject His voice. If you disobey His voice, He will be grieved.
Respecting the Holy Spirit as a person is necessary for your relationship with Him.
Listening to the Spirit
Take time to listen for the Spirit. Don’t wait for an audible voice, but listen as He speaks through the Word. Learn to understand what many call “the prompts” and “the checks” of the Spirit. You can experience these because the Spirit, as a divine Person, has taken a personal interest in you. Have you ever thanked Him for that?
The Holy Spirit Is God
The Holy Spirit is the all-knowing, all-seeing, everywhere-present God. Acts 5:3–4 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is God.
Remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira? Before Ananias was struck dead, Peter told him, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? . . . You have not lied to men; but to God.
” From this event we can see that lying to the Holy Spirit is the same as lying to God; therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.
There is more Scriptural evidence that the Holy Spirit is God. We see from the Bible that:
- The words of God are the words the Holy Spirit inspired.11
- We are the temple of God because the Spirit indwells us.12
- The one born of the Spirit is said to be born of God.13
The Holy Spirit is God Himself, the third Person of the divine Trinity.
Why is it so important to believe in the deity and personhood of the Holy Spirit? It is crucial because you cannot give Him the honor and respect that He deserves if you don’t consider Him a divine Person.
In fact, I find it doubtful that someone can be saved while he denies the personhood and deity of the One who tries to draw him to salvation.14
The Holy Spirit Is Distinct from the Father and the Son
One person I talked to declared, “The Holy Spirit is Jesus.” Some people think that the Holy Spirit is actually the same Person as the Father and the Son. But the Scriptures clearly teach a distinction between the Persons of the Trinity.
For example, again and again in John 14–16, Jesus referred to a Helper (“Comforter” in the KJV) that He would send when He went back to the Father.15 This Helper would guide the disciples and teach them.
16 If Jesus and the Holy Spirit were one and the same Person, Jesus’s reference to the Holy Spirit as another Helper would not make sense. Jesus must have been referring to another Person distinct from Himself.
The Holy Spirit has lived in a loving relationship with the Father and Son from all eternity.
Look at the account of Jesus’s baptism.17 Here the Son is baptized; a voice from Heaven says, “This is my beloved Son”; and the Holy Spirit, a dove, rests upon Jesus. All of this occurs simultaneously. All three of the members of the Trinity are seen here at the same time, obviously distinct from one another.
As a distinct person, the Holy Spirit has lived in a loving relationship with the Father and Son from all eternity. God created us to participate in that love relationship. God wants us to enjoy fellowship with Him,18 as each member of the Trinity has enjoyed fellowship with each other from before the beginning of time.19
The Spirit Is at Work in the World and in Your Heart Today
The Holy Spirit speaks to us because He is the third Person of the Trinity, sent by the Father and the Son to work in our hearts.20 The Holy Spirit was active in creation.21 He inspired the Holy Scriptures.22 So, what does He do today? He convicts the world of sin.23 He regenerates the repentant believer24 and gives assurance to those of us who are saved.25 He sanctifies us.
26 He fills us with His presence.27 He gives us power to live holy lives28 and to be witnesses for God.29 He helps us understand the Bible.30 He enables us to exhibit the “fruit of the Spirit.”31 He gives gifts to each member of the church so that each of us in the “body” can contribute as the Spirit desires.
32 He “seals” us for the day of redemption, guaranteeing our inheritance in heaven.33
Are you allowing God the Holy Spirit to work in your life? Are you letting Him sanctify you? Has He given you power to be an effective witness? Are you manifesting the “fruit of the Spirit?” Have you discovered the spiritual gifts that the Spirit has given you? Are you letting Him use you in the body of Christ?
The Holy Spirit wants to take up personal residence inside us. We can have a joyful life filled with the presence of the Spirit. We should listen carefully for the Spirit, for He loves to encourage and empower those who are willing to obey His voice as they study Scripture.