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Who is The Holy Spirit?

As we’ve seen the past couple weeks through our Knowing God series, God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is fully God. This week, we will look at God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it.” Scripture speaks of Him in personal terms, Comforter, Helper, Advocate. He has personal qualities and functions such as hearing, speaking, teaching, praying, forbidding, comforting, guiding, revealing, and calling. He can be grieved and resisted. He can be sinned against and lied to. He is holy and has all the attributes of God: omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We see the work of the Holy Spirit in:


The Holy Spirit has always been at work. Genesis 1:2 says, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” Jesus said it was for our benefit that He go away because we would then receive the Holy Spirit, who will “convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment” (Jn. 16:7-8). The Holy Spirit causes people to realize they are lost and in need of a Savior. He does not simply convict and leave people alone, but He does say He will not always strive with men (Gen. 6:3). If you are under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, don’t harden your heart. Don’t become callous or you will become numb and past feeling.


The Holy Spirit awakens us of our need. We were dead in trespasses and sins. By himself man can never turn to God. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:14). The Spirit gives life. It is called regeneration. He gives us the desire and faith to believe. In John 3, “Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’… Jesus answered, ‘Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (v. 3, 5).


There are 33 things the Holy Spirit does for us at the point of salvation. I do not have the space here to tell you all of them, but here are a few. He indwells believers. Our bodies become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). If you do not have the Spirit, you are not God’s child (Ro. 8:9). Without the Holy Spirit, the church would not exist. He calls, creates fellowship, worship, and equips us for ministry. He also seals us. Second Corinthians 1:22 says He “set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Kings pressed their identity in a wax seal as sign of ownership. He baptizes believers (1 Cor. 12:13). It is the one act that puts us into the body of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without the gift of the Holy Spirit. All believers have been baptized but not all have been filled. He also fills believers (Eph. 5:18). When a person is intoxicated, they are under the control of alcohol. We are to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. Does it last? No. This command is continuous action. We have to daily be filled with the Holy Spirit. He is conforming us to the image of Christ and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5). He also assures believers (Rom. 8:16). We do not have to wonder if we are God’s children or not. John said he wrote so that we would know we have eternal life (1 Jn. 5:13).


In the church, the Holy Spirit also holds a significant function. He brings unity (Eph. 4:3), worship (Jn. 4:24), gifts (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4), power (Acts 1:8, 2 Tim. 1:7), guidance (2 Pet. 1:21, Jn. 16:13), prayer (Rom. 8:26), freedom (2 Cor. 3:17), and more. Jesus said that our experience with the Holy Spirit would be something like experiencing the wind. Like the Holy Spirit, the wind is unseen, unpredictable, powerful, and refreshing. We can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. He operates in unexpected ways.

Practically speaking, how does who the Holy Spirit lives affect our lives? If you are a believer, we have to constantly put off the old man and put on the new (Eph. 4:22-24). The Holy Spirit helps us do that. Our bodies, our lives, are holy to the Lord. He indwells us and will never leave us. We should make sure to daily be filled with Him and daily give Him ourselves. If you need to come to God, Revelation 22:17 tells us, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” In Acts 2, “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (v. 38-39). So many treat the Holy Spirit as if He does not exist. May we believe what the Bible says and walk in obedience to Him. May we not quench or grieve Him.

Works Consulted:

Systematic Theology, Garrett

Systematic Theology, Grudem

Lectures in Systematic Theology, Thiessen

Christian Doctrine for Everyman, Millikin

God the Trinity, Cobble

Chris Hodges, Grow Conference

Elemental Theology, Bancroft Song

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