The Holy Spirit Is Personal
Many people speak of the Holy Spirit as it and think of Him more as a power or force that extends from God rather than as a conscious person. Yet, in the passages cited above, we have already seen that the Spirit speaks, can be tested, does works, gets angry, etc., , which are all inherently personal qualities. Weve likewise read that the Holy Spirit can be lied to . One cannot lie to an impersonal force like gravity or electricity, nor to some God-given inner motivation or enthusiasm. You dont lie to an it, you lie to a who. Thus, many of the same texts that show us that the Holy Spirit is the one true God also make clear that the Holy Spirit is a person. Other texts confirm this, such as Jesus discussion of the Holy Spirit as our helper sent to teach us , or places where the Holy Spirit is said to experience personal emotions like grief .
How To Know And Understand The Holy Spirit
If you want to understand who God is, you need to understand all of who God is. Getting your head around the difference between God the Father and Jesus is one thing. But many struggle to grasp who the Holy Spirit is in a way they could explain clearly to someone else.
God is one God, but three persons. Thats not a simple idea to get to grips with.
When theologians speak of the three-in-oneness of God, they refer to Him as the Trinity. The Trinity is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Understanding who the Holy Spirit is, the place He holds within the Holy Trinity and the role He plays in individual lives is vital to anyone exploring what it means to become a Christian and anyone trying to follow Jesus.
Knowing the Holy Spirit will radically change your life because He is the way you will experience the life of God within you.
So lets take a deep dive into this topic and see how He can transform you.
He Helps Us Understand The Bible
The relationship of the Holy Spirit with the Bible is twofold.
He inspired the writing of the Bible and helps us to understand the Bible .
When it comes to understanding a passage from Scripture, the Holy Spirit will help you to understand what it means and how it changes your life.
The Holy Spirit will work through your personal reading of the Bible, family and friends, and especially through the proclamation of the gospel and the Bible .
So ask for the Holy Spirit to help you understand the Bible as you read and study its message.
Also, if youâre in a position of teaching the Bible to your family, friends, small group, or church, itâs a good idea to ask for the Holy Spirit to help your listeners understand the passage you are sharing.
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The Holy Spirit Gifts You For Ministry
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.
The Holy Spirit imparts to believers gifts that are needed in the Church. Nobody receives all gifts but they are distributed among the Body of Christ, each person receiving different gifts. The gift that you receive will empower you for the calling God has placed on your life. Embrace what God has put inside of you and be His instrument for Kingdom purpose!
The Holy Spirit Uses You For Evangelism
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth, Acts 1:8.
Telling others about Jesus and making disciples is our most important role on this earth. Its literally the last thing Jesus said before he ascended into heaven!
Having the Holy Spirit with us means having power to be a witness. To tell people about what Jesus did for them on the cross and how he conquered death and reigns victoriously! Dont shy away from being an advocate for Christ its what you are called to do. Allow the Spirit to empower you for the Kingdom purpose of making disciples!
Brittany Rust has a passion is to give encouragement to the world-weary believer through her writing, speaking, and podcasting. She is the author of Untouchable: Unraveling the Myth That You’re Too Faithful to Fall, founder of For the Mama Heart, and hosts the Epic Fails podcast. Brittany, her husband Ryan, and their son Roman make their home in the Rocky Mountains, pursuing outdoor adventures, great food, and memorable stories together. Learn more at www.brittanyrust.com.
This article is part of our larger resource library of terms important to the Christian faith. From heaven and hell, to communion and baptism, we want to provide easy to read and understand articles that answer your questions about theological terms and their meaning.
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What Is The Holy Spirit
It is interesting that throughout Scripture the Holy Spirit is not given a personal name such as Yahweh or Emmanuel, but is described only in terms of His work. Perhaps that omission has led some to think of the Holy Spirit as a force, a power, or an inuencesome entity less than a person.
The Holy Spirit does not have a physical body, but rather describes qualities, characteristics, and actions. Heres what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit
He intercedes for us He helps to make our weaknesses become empowered strengths He can be lied to , insulted , grieved , and resisted .
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit comes to us in person to glorify Christ in every believer as He works to create Gods family on the earththat is, the Church as Gods household. He is called the Spirit of truth and our Advocate . When He indwells the life of the believer, He takes the truth of the words of Christ, and reveals their depth of meaning to that individual.
Who Is The Holy Ghost
Until a few decades ago, both Catholic and Protestant churches used the title Holy Ghost. The King James Version of the Bible, first published in 1611, uses the term Holy Ghost, but every modern translation, including the New King James Version, uses Holy Spirit. Some Pentecostal denominations which use the KJV still speak of the Holy Ghost.
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He Helps You To Do The Fathers Will
Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go up and join this chariot,” Acts 8:29.
Throughout the New Testament we see the Holy Spirit direct people to do the will of God. He helps us tune into the voice of the Father and, in faith, do what we believe He is calling us to. Ask the Spirit to show you what the Fathers will would be for you today and ask Him to empower you to carry it out!
The Holy Spirit Is The Seal Of Gods Promises
Lastly, the Holy Spirit dwells with us now as a sign and seal of the promise of the Triune God to dwell with us more fully in the age to come. He serves as the pledge of Gods future promises. Our communion with the Holy Spirit now as a precious proof and foretaste of what is to come. Paul writes:
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving 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 Gods own possession, to the praise of His glory, .
He echoes this later in the same letter:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption, .
Paul likewise wrote to the Corinthians:
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge, .
Elaborating on these promises, he wrote:
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, .
And then noted:
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge, .
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Ii The Deity Of The Holy Spirit
The doctrine of the deity of the Holy Spirit has an intimate logical relation to the doctrine of the personality of the Spirit. It is clear that if the Holy Spirit is God, He is also a person. In like manner, if His Person be accepted, we are driven inevitably to the conclusion that He is God by the work He performs. Accordingly Hodge states, Since the fourth century his true divinity has never been denied by those who admit his personality.5 In the fourth century Arius held originally according to Watson6 that the Spirit was created and hence affirmed in part His personality without affirming His deity. The inconsistency of this position drove Arius and his followers finally to renounce completely the personality of the Spirit, and, as Hodge points out, no further attempt in this direction has been made since. The proof of the deity of the Holy Spirit is extensive to the point where it is impossible to display all the possible ramifications of the argument. Every aspect of the truth regarding the Holy Spirit speaks in eloquent terms of His deity. Hence, it is possible to indicate merely the broad outlines of the argument for His deity.
1. Identification of Jehovah and the Holy Spirit.
2. Identification of God and the Holy Spirit.
3. Association of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son on Equal Terms.
4. The Eternal Procession of the Spirit.
5. The Attributes of the Holy Spirit.
6. The Works of the Holy Spirit.
How Does The Holy Spirit Work
First, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin.
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment . He uses a mothers prayers, or a tragic experience, or a pastors sermon, or some other experience to convict us of sin and of our need to give our lives to Jesus Christ. He points to us and says, You are a sinner. You need to repent.
We dont like to hear that, but without conviction, we could never have our sins forgiven, we could never be saved and we could never go to Heaven.
Second, the Holy Spirit gives new life. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins . Our spirit within us, made in the image of God, is dead toward God. Mankind needs life. Yet, we have all sinned and, therefore, are dead toward God.
The Holy Spirit, however, gives us new life in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, No one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again .
But how is someone born again? What does that mean? The Holy Spirit is the one who makes you born again it is a supernatural act. It isnt the good things weve done, but Gods mercy through the Holy Spirit that saves us . All we have to do is accept the free gift of salvation by accepting Christ.
Third, the Holy Spirit lives in us. As you read this, you may realize that you are spiritually dead, but God says, I will put my Spirit in you. I will come to live in you.
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Prayer Of The Righteous
Prayer is a Love Communication Between God the Father and His Adopted Children
As we serve in ministry, we need an open line of communication with God. Thankfully He has provided one for us in prayer. Prayer is how we talk to God it is how we give Him praise and give Him glory. However, it is also how we ask Him for what we need to do the ministry work that He has called us to in this life.
Prayer is not a matter of obedience prayer is a matter of love. Prayer is a communication with God, our Father, who we love, who loves us. It is an open dialogue that we can have with our Creator, who has made us, has crafted every day of our life, has given us hope in His Son Jesus Christ, and has sent us out to do His work in the world by sharing the good news of salvation.
He wants to hear from us. He wants us to bring our needs to Him every day. The same way a father would want to hear from his children, so God wants to hear from us.
When we are pursuing obedience, studying the Scriptures, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and growing spiritually in a love for God, we desire to be in constant communication with Him. We desire to talk with Him and hear from Him constantly.
Source Of Revelation Wisdom And Power
These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a persons thoughts except for their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God .
God gives His followers the Holy Spirit so we may know Him better. Since the Holy Spirit is Gods Spirit, it knows the thoughts of God and reveals those thoughts to believers. The Holy Spirit opens believers eyes to the hope of salvation and their inheritance in Christ.
Jesus knew that his disciples would need the power to carry out their mission to be witnesses to the entire world.
Jesus told his disciples, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Christians have access to power, revelation, and wisdom from the Holy Spirit, just as the Apostle Paul wrote to believers in Ephesus,
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Personal Characteristics Of The Holy Spirit
As the third member of the Trinity, the holy spirit is a person and is also personal.
We see this in a few different ways.
First, in the Old and New Testament books the Holy Spirit is referred to as âhe,â and throughout the New Testament, heâs referred to as a person . What weâll see in the references below, the Holy Spirit can be grieved, resisted, and even insulted. An impersonal force cannot do these things. Only a person can.
Second, before ascending to heaven, Jesus said he was going to send the Holy Spirit to be a counselor like him . The Holy Spirit is also capable of teaching . Unlike gravityâan impersonal forceâthat can neither counsel nor teach people, the Holy Spirit can do both.
In these two ways, we can see that the Holy Spirit is WAY more than a forceâheâs the third member of the Trinity.
To place a nice bow on this topic, here are multiple references to the characteristics of the holy spirit:
At this point, youâre probably thinking:
âThis is great and all, but what in the world does the Holy Spirit do today?â
Thatâs a great question, and Iâm glad you asked.
The Holy Spirit Is God
The Holy Spirit is one Person of the triune God, besides God the Father and God the Son. He is not just an impersonal force, but a fully divine Person.
One text showing that the Holy Spirit is just as much God as the Father and the Son, is Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Other texts show that the Holy Spirit has divine attributes indeed:
- He is omnipresent
- He is omniscient, meaning that He knows everything
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