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Many remember the Father and Jesus but forget about the Holy Spirit. We neglect to talk about the Holy Spirit and his role in the godhead.
It’s understandable. Talking about the Holy Spirit, or the Trinity for that matter, gets confusing. It’s not a concept that’s easily understood in our finite minds.
In fact, there are many false doctrines concerning the Holy Spirit and who he is. This is a topic we need to be careful about approaching.
Let’s turn to scripture to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what he does.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
It’s important you know who the Holy Spirit is. So, according to scripture, who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit Is God
The Holy Spirit is a member of the trinity which is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This means the Holy Spirit is fully God.
This is demonstrated clearly in Acts 5. This passage reads,
“But a man named Annanias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God,” (Acts 5:1-4 ESV).
Not sure if you caught it, but Peter equates the Holy Spirit as being God. First, he tells Ananias that he’s lied to the Holy Spirit, then he later says Ananias has lied to God. This means the Holy Spirit is God.
The Holy Spirit Is a Person
Some suggest the Holy Spirit is an energy or force. This isn’t true, the Holy Spirit is a person.
In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is always referred to as “he” not “it” (e.g., 1 Corinthians 2:4, John 15:26, 16:7). This is the same in Greek (the original language of the New Testament).
The Holy Spirit also acts like a person, which strongly implies his personhood. He can be grieved (Isaiah 63:10), speaks (Acts 13:2), teaches (Luke 12:12), guides (Romans 8:14), etc.
The Holy Spirit Is a Helper
The words helper, comforter, counselor, and advocate are often used interchangeably to describe the Holy Spirit.
Jesus tells his disciples, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you,” (John 16:7 NIV).
The Greek word used here is paraklétos. According to Strong’s Concordance, paraklétos is often translated as an advocate, intercessor, counselor, comforter, and helper. It’s defined as being “called to one’s aid”.
What does the Holy Spirit do?
You know who the Holy Spirit is. Now, what does the Holy Spirit do?
Here are Bible verses that demonstrate what the Holy Spirit does.
The Holy Spirit teaches believers
The Holy Spirit teaches believers. He gives us an understanding of spiritual things, when we otherwise would’ve never understood.
Jesus told his disciples, “but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” (John 14:26 NASB).
The Holy Spirit guides believers
The Holy Spirit guides believers. This means the Holy Spirit can give warnings, give impressions, and lead us.
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness,” (Luke 4:1 NASB).
The Holy Spirit convicts the world
The Holy Spirit convicts the world. Conviction means “to expose, convict, [and] reprove”. You’re showing the persons’ guilt.
“When [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment,” (John 16:8 ESV).
The Holy Spirit dwells within believers
The Holy Spirit dwells within believers. When you believe in Christ and are saved, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within you to help you live out the Christian walk.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you,” (Romans 8:12 NASB).
The Holy Spirit seals believers
The Holy Spirit seals believers. This is sort of like your “insurance” that you’re saved. This is confirmation for you.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory,” (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV).
The Holy Spirit sanctifies believers
The Holy Spirit sanctifies believers. Sanctification is the process of being purified from sin and made more like Jesus.
“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth,” (2 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB).
The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers
The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers. When we need help in various areas of our lives, the Holy Spirit is there to intercede.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God,” (Romans 8:26-27 NIV).
The Holy Spirit empowers believers
The Holy Spirit empowers believers. The Holy Spirit has the power to help us do the things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. It’s only because of the Holy Spirit that we’re able to live God-honoring lives.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” (Acts 1:8 ESV).
Where is the Holy Spirit in the Bible?
Is the Holy Spirit a new phenomenon? Why isn’t the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Old Testament?
Well, as it turns out, the Holy Spirit is alluded to in the Old Testament. The doctrine of the Trinity is biblical. Here are some Old Testament scriptures that allude to the Holy Spirit:
- Psalm 143:10 – “Teach me to do your will, or you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” (ESV).
- Ezekiel 36:27 – “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules,” (ESV).
- 2 Samuel 23:2 – “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue,” (ESV).
- Ezekiel 2:2 – “And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me,” (ESV).
- Samuel 16:14 – “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him,” (ESV).
These are just a few examples of the Holy Spirit mentioned and/or working within people in the Old Testament. There are many other examples, but I hope you can see now that the Holy Spirit was and is mentioned all throughout the Bible.
This isn’t just a New Testament thing. The Holy Spirit has always been around. He is God and has always been there since the beginning (Genesis 1:2).
How do you know if you have the Holy Spirit?
Finally, how do you know if you have the Holy Spirit?
Well, the Bible teaches we receive the Holy Spirit at conversion.
In the book of Ephesians, it states, “In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the downpayment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory,” (1 Ephesians 1:13-14 CSB).
The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. So, if you believe in the gospel, you have the Holy Spirit.
I hope I’ve clarified this topic a little more! I know it’s a confusing topic, so if you have any questions, please comment below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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