Who is God the Holy Spirit?

Question: “Who is God the Holy Spirit and what function does He fulfill as a member of the Trinity?”

Bible Answers

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and the least understood member, but He resides in each Christian to lead, teach, encourage, and help.  Holy Spirit is a title, and not a name. The Bible does not give us a name for the Holy Spirit.

Christians can identify with God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ, but most have a hard time identifying with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seems distant to many people, but lives inside all Christians and will guide us in our walk of life if we will listen.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own ... (1 Corinthians 6:19).

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is referred to as Spirit, Spirit of God and Spirit of the Lord.  In the New Testament, He is called the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Truth.  He is first mentioned in Genesis 1:2, at the very beginning of the Bible.

The Holy Spirit promotes God the Father's plan of salvation. He participated in creation, gave the prophets the Word of God, and assisted Jesus and the apostles. He caused the Virgin Mary to conceive (Matthew 1:20), descended on Jesus like a dove at Jesus’ baptism, and on the Day of Pentecost rested like tongues of fire on the apostles. He will guides the church and instructs believers in their walk with Christ today if they will listen.

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to strengthen the body of Christ. He represents God on earth and provides counseling, encouragement and direction as Christians battle Satan.  He is teacher, comforter, and inspiration. He reveals the meaning of Scripture, convicts us of sin and is our intercessor in prayer.

The Holy Spirit is perfectly holy, free of any sin or darkness. Like the Father and Jesus He is omniscience, omnipotent, and eternal. And He is all loving, forgiving, merciful and just. The Holy Spirit both dwells in heaven and in each Christian on earth.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

Receiving the Holy Spirit

Just before the time Jesus ascended into heaven, He said, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you (Acts 1:8).

When a person repents and is saved, he receives the Holy Spirit. Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). In this verse, the “gift” is singular and refers to the giving of the Holy Spirit, versus the “gifts” that the Holy Spirit gives.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

The Holy Spirit is our seal of God within us and we have His promise, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Heb 13:5).

Being Filled by the Holy Spirit

Standards of the Christian life are impossible to achieve on our own, but with the Holy Spirit and trusting in God, we are drawn to living a Christ life.

Being filled by the Holy Spirit is accomplished when we are completely yielded to Him, permitting the Spirit freedom to guide our lives.  But we are also told, do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30), and that His activity within us can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Just praying does not allow the Holy Spirit freedom to operate in us, but obedience to God's commands allows the Spirit freedom to work within us.

Many want to do great works for the Lord, but it often comes from pride rather than obedience.  The greatest service we can provide the Lord is obedience.  Obedience is much more crucial than service.

What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? (1 Samuel 15:22).

Attributes of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has a mind (Romans 8:27), has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), has emotions (Ephesians 4:30), gives joy (Luke 10: 21), He lives in us forever (John 14:16), He teaches us (1 Corinthians 2:13a), He gives us power (Acts 1:8a), He gives guidance (Luke 4:1a), He gives love (Romans 5:5), He gives righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 5:5).

Characteristics of the Holy Spirit

He teaches all things (John 14:26), He Testifies of Christ (John 15:26), He convicts of guilt (John 16:8), He leads (Romans 8:14), He reveals all truth (John 16:13), He strengthens and encourages (Acts 9:31), He comforts (John 14:16), He helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26), He searches the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:11), He sanctifies (Romans 15:16), He bears witness that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16), He forbids/directs (Acts 16:6-7), He can be lied to (Acts 5:3), He can be resisted (Acts 7:51), He can be blasphemed (Matthew 12:31-32), He can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Jesus performed no miracles for 30 years, until He was first baptized in water and the Holy Spirit.  Everything Jesus did in life and ministry, he did as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit, through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and not as God.  Just as Christ needed the Holy Spirit in His life, we also need the Holy Spirit in our life.  The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the power from on high, that Jesus operated in, is available for all Christians who ask.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49).

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