Who is the Holy Spirit?
– VJ from Nevada
The Person of the Holy Spirit (Part 1)
I’m glad your question asked “who” the Holy Spirit is and not “what” the Holy Spirit is. Over the years, I have heard him referred to as an “it” more than once. Many people seem to identify with and understand God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) better than God the Holy Spirit.
Yes, the Holy Spirit is fully and completely God, often called the third person of the Trinity. As Christians, we believe that there is ONE God and yet there are three distinct persons in one God and that is a big mystery. (For more information see Trinity: Is it true?)
We first see the Holy Spirit in the very second verse of the Bible. “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2b) We also see him referred to in Genesis 41:38 regarding Joseph. “And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?'”
A very good picture of the Holy Spirit occurs in the New Testament at Jesus’ baptism. As Jesus came up out of the water, “the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.” (Matthew 3:16) It is actually at this time that we see all three persons at once since the Father also spoke out of a cloud saying; “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am will pleased.” (Verse 17)
The closer Jesus got to the time of his death and ultimate return to heaven, the more he said about the Holy Spirit. He wanted his disciples to know that he was not leaving them without comfort and help. The real work of the Holy Spirit was to begin on Pentecost and continues to this day.
Next: What is the Holy Spirit up to now?
Function and move in the earth today (Part 2)
While at the baptism of Jesus the Holy Spirit represented himself as a dove, on Pentecost he came as wind and tongues of fire. (See Acts 2 for the full story.)What a fire he started too! Gentle as a dove and wild as a fire and sweeping as a wind – the Holy Spirit is all of those and more.
After the Holy Spirit had come upon them, the 120 disciples in the upper room were completely transformed. They were no longer afraid. They became bold and empowered for evangelism. What is more, they began to do the works of Jesus; signs and wonders were following them. People brought their sick out into the street hoping the shadow of Peter would fall on them and they would be healed.
Many people have mistakenly thought that the Holy Spirit slowed down as time went along and that all his gifts petered out. Why would that be? The Holy Spirit is as active today as he was in the first century. He still empowers God’s people for evangelism with power. Signs and wonders are still operational because the world is still in need. This will be true until Jesus comes back again.
The Holy Spirit pours out spiritual gifts on all believers and they are given for a purpose. 1 Peter 4:10 says; “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Besides gifts, the Holy Spirit also produces fruit in us as we continue the sanctification process which is the process of becoming holy like God. As we grow in the Holy Spirit there should be more and more evidence of; “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
It is the Holy Spirit who first convicts us of sin and produces a hunger in us to know God. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus to us. John 16:13 says; “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.”
Since the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer in Jesus Christ, we are always at home with our very best friend. We should be in dialog with him all the time; drawing support, wisdom, and grace for every need. We have no greater treasure than the Holy Spirit!