I Believe in the Holy Spirit
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When it comes the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the least talked about Person of the Trinity. A Father and Son is an easy picture for us to grasp, but a Spirit can be difficult to comprehend.
Let me address two questions:
- Who is the Holy Spirit?
- What does the Holy Spirit do?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is God. He is God because the Bible says He's God.
Acts 5:3-4 3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
This passage clearly tells us that a man named Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. He lied to God by keeping part of the money for himself and only telling his wife about it. Ananias had the right to keep all the proceeds from the land since the land and money were theirs, but he did not have a right to lie to God, the Holy Spirit.
There are other passages in the Bible that give us the trinity formula of 1 God and 3 Persons (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinithians 13:14).
The Holy Spirit is a Person.
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force like we talk about in Star Wars. The Holy Spirit is personal. The Holy Spirit does what a person does.
He speaks, He guides in truth, He intercedes for us, He distributes spiritual gifts to His people, He can be lied to, and He can grieve (see John 16:5-15; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Romans 15:30).
Because the Holy Spirit is God, and He is a person, that gives Christians great encouragement that we have a God who is personal. He is not only with us, but we can have a deep relationship with Him.
What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
The Holy Spirit Convicts Us.
The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin by showing us where we are guilty. He reveals to us how helpless we are apart from Christ, and He shows us our destiny if we don't have faith in Jesus (see John 16:8-11).
Have you ever felt really convicted of something you've done? More that likely that was the Holy Spirit showing you where you are wrong.
Kevin DeYoung describes it this way:
“The Holy Spirit acts like a giant searchlight, exposing the world’s wickedness and calling people everywhere to repentance. It’s as if the world is having a nice romantic candlelight dinner, thinking everything is all sirloin and roses, and voila! The Spirit flips on the lights to expose cockroaches scurrying up the walls and garbage strewn above the floor. We are not as good as we imagine, and the Spirit can prove it to us (The Holy Spirit).”
The Holy Spirit Changes Us.
When it comes to salvation, the Holy Spirit calls us, He changes our hearts, and He transforms us (see Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18). He helps us to say no to sin, and He points us to Jesus.
JI Packer says:
“The Spirit’s message to us is…to look at (Jesus), and see His glory; listen to Him, and hear His word; go to Him, and have life; get to know Him, and taste His gift of joy and peace (Affirming the Apostles' Creed).”
The Holy Spirit Counsels Us.
In John 16:13 says,
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
The Holy Spirit is truth, and He guides us in all truth. Apart from Him, we do not and cannot understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Without the Spirit, we are blind at bats.
Bats are blind physically. They can't look at the sun. When the sun is shining, they hang by their feet from the roof of the cave where they hide out during the day. They can only see when they come out at night.
Like bats, we are blind from the truth. The Holy Spirit is like a lamp that illumines the Scriptures as we read them. When we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit shines His light so we can begin to comprehend God's ways. We receive great counsel from His Word through the Spirit (see Ephesians 1:17).
The Holy Spirit Comforts Us.
Jesus tells His disciples in John 14:16:
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever...
The word Helper in Greek is paraclete. This means helper, counselor, advocate, comforter.
Have you ever read the Bible and thought, "Wow, that is exactly what I needed to hear"? Have you ever listened to a sermon and thought the pastor was only talking to you? Often times, this is how the Holy Spirit works. He comforts us through His Word and through the encouragement of others. He fills us with His peace.
Charles Spurgeon said it this way:
"The Holy Spirit helps us to bear the infirmity of our body and of our mind; He helps us to bear our cross, whether it be physical pain, or mental depression, or spiritual conflict, or slander, or poverty, or persecution…with a helper so divinely strong, we need not fear for the result. God’s grace will be sufficient for us; His strength will be made perfect in weakness."
Our Great God, the Holy Spirit, convicts, changes, counsels, and comforts us.
I believe in the Holy Spirit. I hope you do too!