Holy Spirit 101

Most Christians can tell you quite a bit about God the Father. These same Christians can explain the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But ask them who the Holy Spirit is, and what He does and many of these same people will be at a loss for words. There are many basic truths about the Holy Spirit that we need to know as the foundation of everything else we’ll learn about the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Is God

Sadly, for many people the Holy Spirit is seen as less than God. While few, if any, believers would clearly state that the Holy Spirit is Christianity’s version of The Force, their explanations, experiences, and expectations of the Holy Spirit reduce Him to just this. Part of what we need to know, and embrace is that the Holy Spirit is just as much God as The Father, and the Son. The Bible expresses this in several ways.

The Holy Spirit Is God In Us. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NKJV)

Another doesn’t mean different or lesser. It means another the same. If I leave my church another pastor will come. Jesus came to be God with us, and the Holy Spirit came to be God in us.

The Holy Spirit Is Eternal. “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,  how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:13-14 (NKJV)

He Was Present At The Beginning Of Time. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2 (NKJV)

He Will Be Present Until The End Of Time- “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17 (NKJV)

Just as Jesus didn’t come into existence one night in Bethlehem, The Holy Spirit didn’t come into being on the day of Pentecost.

We Are Baptized In The Name Of The Holy Spirit. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit Is Expressly Called God. “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.  And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?  While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”  Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. Acts 5:1-5 (NKJV)

In one sentence Peter says they lied to the Holy Spirit, then in the next he says they lied to God. Peter considered the Holy Spirit to be God.

The Holy Spirit Is The Author Of Scripture. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit Makes Us The Temple Of God. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJV)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)

What makes us the temple where God dwells? It’s that the Holy Spirit, who is God, lives within us.

The Holy Spirit is just as much God, and equal with, God the Father, and God the Son. Therefore God the Holy Spirit is just as worthy of worship, devotion, and honor as God the Father or God the Son.

The Holy Spirit Is A Person

What do I mean when I say that the Holy Spirit is a person? It doesn’t mean that He is a being with a physical body. Instead, by person I mean that the Holy Spirit has His own identity, and individuality. Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is repeatedly described, and treated as though He is a person. Never anything less.

Personhood Is Attributed To The Holy Spirit. In John 14-16 Jesus repeatedly mentions the Holy Spirit and without exception He refers to the Holy Spirit as though He was a person and not some sort of impersonal force.

The Holy Spirit Has Intellect. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit knows, and reveals, the mind and will of God.

The Holy Spirit Makes Choices. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:  for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NKJV) The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts and he chooses which ones to give us.

The Holy Spirit Has Emotions. He Can Be Grieved-  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 (NKJV)

He Can Be Insulted- “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29 (NKJV)

He Can Be Blasphemed-  “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matthew 12:31-32 (NKJV)

None of these statements would make any sense if the Holy Spirit was an impersonal force instead of a person.

The Holy Spirit Speaks.  “Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” Acts 8:29 (NKJV)

We Have A Relationship With The Holy Spirit. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV)

What the NKJ calls communion, other translations call fellowship. The implication is that just as we have a relationship to God the Father, and God the Son, we can have a relationship to God the Holy Spirit.


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