Who is the Holy Spirit?

by Nick Lotter on June 1, 2012

The Holy SpiritThere are thousands of books, study guides and sermon series’ dedicated solely to explaining the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, who He is and what His work is. Not one of them comes close to being sufficient. Even if all of mankind’s books and studies compiled throughout the centuries were combined, the sum total of them all would not be able to scratch the surface of knowledge of the fullness of God.

This article is no exception.

There is only one book in which God reveals His Spirit to us in absolute truth – the Bible. This article is written with the intention of giving you an introduction to who the Holy Spirit is according to the Bible, and to give you a glimpse into His work as the Comforter, who Jesus promised would come (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7).

First, before we can understand who the Holy Spirit is, we need to understand something about the nature of God.

1. The Bible tells us that God is One, and there is only One True God

See Deuteronomy 6:4, 4:39, Isaiah 43:10 and 45:18

 2. God is a Trinity.

The word Trinity comes from the Latin word “trinitas”, meaning threefold or three in one. The Bible teaches us that God exists as a Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are three distinct persons distinguishable one from the other, and yet they share the same divine nature or essence and relate to each other in unbroken fellowship.

  • The Father

The Father is referred to as God in 1 Corinthians 8:6

  • The Son

The Son is referred to as God in John 1:1, 1:14, 20:28, Philippians 2:6, Titus 2:13, Romans 9:5, Colossians 1:15, 2:9, Hebrews 1:8

  • The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is referred to as God in Acts 5:3-4 (Peter tells Ananias he lied to God), 1 Corinthians 3:16 (your body is the temple of God) and 6:19 (your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit). In Romans 8:9 the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit (He is a real person, distinct from the Father and the Son), as the Spirit of God (the Father and the Holy Spirit are one), and as the Spirit of Christ (the Son and the Holy Spirit are one).

As Christians, we openly admit that the Trinity is a mystery which is beyond our human comprehension, but we cannot deny the Trinity because it is taught in the Scriptures

3. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit carry out distinct functions

Although they exist in perfect unity, they carry out distinct functions and manifest themselves in different ways.

  • The Father is the invisible God that nobody has ever seen (John 1:18)
  • The Son is God made flesh and the perfect revelation of the Father (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18, 14:9)
  • The Holy Spirit is God living in the Christian (Romans 8:9, John 14:16-17, 23)

The Person of the Holy Spirit

Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is revealed as a person with an individuality all His own (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 1:2). He is a divine person like the Father and the Son. Therefore, we may never think of the Holy Spirit as a mere influence or power or active force. He has personal characteristics: He thinks (Romans 8:27), He feels (Romans 15:30) and He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11). He was sent by the Father to bring Believers into the intimate presence and fellowship of Jesus (John 14:16-18, 26).

The Work of the Holy Spirit

1.       Revelation in the Old Testament

The Holy Spirit was active in communicating God’s message to His people in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit instructed the Israelites in the wilderness (Nehemiah 9:20). The psalmists sang their songs by the Holy Spirit (2 Samuel 23:2, Acts 1:16, 20). The prophets were inspired by the Holy Spirit to declare God’s word to the people (Numbers 11:19, 1 Samuel 10:5-6, 10, 2 Chronicles 20:14, 24:19-20, Nehemiah 9:30, Isaiah 61:1-3, Micah 3:8, Zechariah 7:12, 2 Peter 1:20-21).

2.       The Holy Spirit is the Agent of Salvation

The Holy Spirit convicts us of guilt (John 16:7-8), reveals to us the truth about Jesus (John 14:16,26), gives us new birth (John 3:3-6) and incorporates us into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). At conversion we receive the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-6, 20:22) and become participants in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

3.       The Holy Spirit is the Agent of Sanctification

At conversion believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and come under His sanctifying influence (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19). He sanctifies us, i.e. cleanses, leads and motivates us into holy lives, delivering us from sin’s bondage (Romans 8:2-4, Galatians 5:16-17, 2 Thessalonians 2:13). He tells us that we are children of God (Romans 8:16), helps us in our worship of God (Acts 10:46) and in our prayer lives, and intercedes for us when we cry out to God (Romans 8:26-27). He produces Christ-like graces of character that glorify Christ (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Peter 1:2). He is our divine teacher, guiding us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16), disclosing Jesus to us and guiding us into close fellowship with Jesus (John 14:16-18, 16:14). He continually imparts God’s love to us (Romans 5:5) and gives us joy, comfort and help (John 14:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:6).

4.       The Holy Spirit is the Agent of Service

The Holy Spirit empowers believers for service and witness. This work of the Holy Spirit is related to baptism in the Holy Spirit. When we are baptised in the Spirit, we receive power to witness for Christ and work effectively within the church and before the world (Acts 1:8). We receive the same Spirit that descended on Jesus Christ (John 1:32-33) and on the disciples (Acts 2:4), enabling us to proclaim God’s Word (Acts 1:8, 4:31). Throughout the church age, it is God’s intended purpose that all Christians experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39). In the area of service, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to individual members of the church to edify or strengthen the church (1 Corinthians 12-14). These gifts are the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through individuals by which Christ’s presence , love, truth and righteous standards are made real to the fellowship of believers for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

5.       The Holy Spirit is the Agent Who Incorporates Believers into the One Body of Christ

The Holy Spirit incorporates believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), lives in the church (1 Corinthians 3:16), builds the church (Ephesians 2:22), inspires her worship (Philippians 3:3), directs her mission (Acts 13:2,4), appoints her workers (Acts 20:28), gives gifts to the church (1 Corinthians 12:1-11), anoints her preachers (Acts 2:4, 1 Corinthians 2:4), guards the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:14), and promotes her righteousness (John 16:8, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:18-20)

The various activities of the Holy Spirit are complimentary and not contradictory. At the same time, these facets of the Holy Spirit’s work are interlocked and cannot be fully separated. We cannot experience (A) the fullness of the new life in Christ, (B) righteousness as a way of living, (C) the power to witness for Jesus Christ, or (D) fellowship in His body without becoming involved in all four. For example, baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be maintained independently of the Spirit’s work of producing righteousness within us and leading us into the knowledge of and commitment to Biblical truth.

Incoming search terms:

  • holy spirit wallpaper (23)
  • salib wallpaper (21)
  • holy spirit background (17)

Previous post:

Next post: