One of the main reasons to ask, is the Holy Spirit, is the seemingly ethereal nature of the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Son are more concrete ideas that we can think of. However, the Holy Spirit is more elusive, especially if you, like me, grew up in a church where He was called the Holy Ghost. That name both intrigued and confused me as a child.
The good news is that the Bible is clear about the nature of the Holy Spirit. A defining passage is found in the gospel of John:
“If you love me, keep your promise to me. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it does not see Him and does not know Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you and will abide in you. The Father will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. ” John 14:15-18
Is the Holy Spirit God?
Here are three truths we need to be clear about the person of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Spirit Is A Person
Many people think that the Holy Spirit is some kind of spiritual force rather than a person. They seem to borrow ideas from Star Wars or other sci-fi movies! However, Jesus calls Him “another Advocate” in the passage above. When Jesus called Him an Advocate or Counselor, He considered Him a person, not a force. And when He called Him “another Advocate,” He meant, “You will be an Advocate like me.” The Holy Ghost is an Advocate like Jesus—He is a man.
In John 14:17, Jesus said, “But you know Him, for He lives with you and will abide in you.” Then, in John 14:25, He said, “All these things I said while still with you.” Jesus identified the Spirit with Himself. “I am with you and will be in you” is the same as saying, “I am with you and the Spirit will be in you. Now you know I am the Son of God in the flesh. You will soon know me through the Spirit, Who will be given to you.’ Therefore, the Holy Spirit is a person who is not inferior to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the Teacher
The Holy Spirit is described not merely as the teaching voice of God but as a teacher in His own right. John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I have said to you.” And in John 15:26, He is a witness in His own right. “When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify of Me himself.”
In the event that we think that the Holy Spirit is merely the extended teaching activity of the Father and the Son, John 16:13 says that the Holy Spirit hears first and then teaches. “But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will lead you into all truth. He will not speak for himself; He will only say what He has heard, and He will tell you what will happen.”
It will make a huge difference in your life when you know that you are being led and purified not by impersonal forces from a distant God, but by someone else. whose core is the love of God.
The Holy Spirit and the baptism of Jesus
The Holy Spirit is present throughout Scripture and fulfills functions unique to God’s plan of creation. One of the most helpful examples of this is at Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:16-17.
After being baptized, Jesus came out of the water,
“…he saw the Spirit of God descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son; With him, I am very satisfied.
Here we see all three members of the Holy Trinity coming together to participate in the baptism of Jesus. It is a powerful picture of unity and cooperation and emphasizes the importance of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus to accomplish His earthly mission.
The Holy Spirit Is God
The Holy Spirit is truly God. He is an equal member of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit having the same divine nature. It is good to know that the Holy Spirit, who reigns, guides and purifies, is none other than God himself. The Spirit is “of God” not because God created Him, but because He shares the nature of God and is rooted in the eternal God.
If the Son of God is equally eternal with the Father, as John 1:1-3 makes clear, the Holy Spirit is equally eternal with both of them, for the Spirit of Christ is one and one with the Father. Spirit of God, according to Romans 8:9-11. If this were not the case, we would picture a time when both the Son and the Father lacked the Holy Spirit.
From time immemorial, between the Father and the Son, there has been an infinitely loving and joyful Holy Spirit. As a result, in John 17:26, when Jesus prayed for the church, He asked the Father for the Holy Ghost. He said, “I have made known your name to them, and I will show it to them, so that the love that you have for me may abide in them and I in them.”
When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, He comes not only as the Spirit of the Son, nor as the Spirit of the Father. He comes as the Spirit of the boundless love between the Father and the Son. We can now be united in the love of the Father and the Son.
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