Who or what is the Holy Spirit?

by Matt Slick

The Holy Spirit is almost the forgotten member of the Trinity.  Christians know that He is a member of the Godhead.  But, too many Christians know very little about Him? is the Holy Spirit a force like radar?  Is He alive?  Or, is He a person like the Father and Son?  Though many think they know, a lot do not.  The Jehovah's Witnesses and the Christadelphians teach that He is a force like radar.  They are wrong.  The Mormons teach that He is a male personage of flesh and bones.  Actually, the Mormons teach that the Holy GHOST is a god, the male personage, and the Holy SPIRIT is the presence of God the Father.  They also are wrong.

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity.  The Trinity is the doctrine that there is only one God in all creation, all time, and all places.  This one God exists as three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each person is not the same person as the other, yet there are not three gods--but one.  The Holy Spirit is just as much God as is the Father and the Son.  But remember, there are not three gods--but One.

The bible has many references to the Holy Spirit and a quick examination of them reveals many interesting characteristics about Him.

  • The Holy Spirit is mentioned on equal level with God--Matt. 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
  • The Holy Spirit is referred to as a person by scripture--Rom. 8:11, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."
    The Holy Spirit grieves--Isaiah 63:10, "But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit.  Therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them." And, Eph. 4:30, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
  • The Holy Spirit loves--Rom. 15:30, "Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me."
  • The Holy Spirit has a mind--Rom. 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 speaks--Acts 8:29, "And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot." And, Acts 13:2, "And 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.'"

It should be very obvious that the Holy Spirit has self-identity, is aware, and is not merely a force because a force doesn't speak, love, grieve, and have a mind.  But the cults tend to ignore these verses and tell us that the Spirit is nothing more than some presence or power.  Sure, the Spirit is a presence and a power; but that is not all He is.  He is the third person in the Trinity.  He is the one who applies the redemptive work of Christ to the believer.  He is the one who convicts the world of sin (John 16:8), who teaches (John 14:26; 15:26), and who anoints (1 John 2:27).

But, the Holy Spirit is also humble because He points to Jesus (John 15:26).  Therefore, anyone who is truly indwelt by the Holy Spirit will likewise bear witness of Jesus.

Okay, so what is the devotional aspect here?  Simple, the Holy Spirit indwells you and convicts of righteousness and sin.  The Holy Spirit is very active in working in your lives as Christians to bring you into a closer relationship with Jesus.  We should know more about the One who makes so much possible with our Savior.

 

 

 

 
 
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