Who is the Holy Spirit?

Question: “Who is the Holy Spirit and what function does He fulfill?”

Bible Answers

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He resides in each Christian to lead, teach, encourage, and help.  Holy Spirit is a title, and not a name.

The Holy Spirit did not live within believers during the Old Testament times, but did perform much of the same functions. After Jesus’s crucifixion, Jesus sent Him to live within each Christian.

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).

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. Today, He guides the church and instruct believers in their walk with Christ, 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.

It is our obedience to God’s commandments that allow the Holy Spirit freedom to operate in us and accomplish His purpose. 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).

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. For 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).  He leads us in all the fruits (Gal. 5:22-23), He gives His Holy gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-10),including speaking in tongues. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; Mark 16:17.

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 Jesus 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).

Next Section - When do we receive the Holy Spirit?

White Dove Representing The Holy Spirit

Spirit Section

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