The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God at work - create, speak, change, live in us, work in us. Although the Holy Spirit can do this without our knowledge, it is helpful and important for us to learn more about it.

The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit has the attributes of God, is equal to God and does things that only God does. Like God, the Holy Spirit is holy - so holy that it is just as sinful to insult the Holy Spirit as the Son of God (Hebrews 10,29). Blasphemy, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin (Matthew 12,32). This means that the spirit is holy by nature and, unlike in the temple, it has been said to be holy.

Like God, the Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9,14). Like God, the Holy Spirit is everywhere (Psalm 139,7: 9). Like God, the Holy Spirit is omniscient (1 Corinthians 2,10: 11-14,26; John). The Holy Spirit creates (Job 33,4; Psalm 104,30) and creates miracles (Matthew 12,28; Romans 15,18-19) and contributes to the work of God. Several passages designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as divine. In a discussion about spiritual gifts, Paul refers to the parallel constructions of the Spirit, Lord and God (1 Corinthians 12,4: 6). He ends his letter with a three-part prayer (2 Corinthians 13,14). Peter starts a letter in another three-part form (1 Peter 1,2). While these examples are not evidence of the unity of the Trinity, they support this idea.

The baptismal formula reinforces the sign of such unity: "Baptize it in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). The three have a name, which indicates being a being, when the Holy Spirit does something, God does it. When the Holy Spirit speaks, God speaks. When Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit, he lied to God (Acts 5: 3-4). Peter says that Ananias lied not to a representative of God, but to God himself. People are not lying to impersonal power.

In a passage Paul said that Christians are the temples of God (1 Corinthians 3,16), in another he says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6,19). We are a temple to worship a divine being and not an impersonal power. When Paul writes that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, he indicates that the Holy Spirit is God.

So the Holy Spirit and God are the same: "But when they served and fasted to the Lord, the Holy Spirit said: Separate me from Barnabas and Saul to the work to which I have called you" (Acts 13,2) , Here, the Holy Spirit uses personal pronouns just as God does. Similarly, the Holy Ghost says the Israelites tested and tried him and said, «I swore in my anger: you should not come to my rest» (Hebrews 3,7: 11). But the Holy Spirit is not just another name for God. The Holy Spirit is independent of the Father and Son, as was shown at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3,16: 17). The three are independent and yet one, the Holy Spirit does God's work in our lives. We are born through and from God (John 1:12), which is the same as being born of the Holy Spirit (John 3,5). The Holy Spirit is the means by which God lives in us (Ephesians 2:22; 1 John 3,24:4,13;). The Holy Spirit lives in us (Romans 8,11:1; 3,16 Corinthians) - and because the spirit lives in us, we can also say that God lives in us.

The Holy Spirit is personal

  • The Bible describes the Holy Spirit with human characteristics:
  • The spirit lives (Romans 8,11:1; 3,16 Corinthians)
  • The mind speaks (Acts 8,29; 10,19; 11,12; 21,11; 1 Timothy 4,1; Hebrews 3,7 etc.)
  • The mind sometimes uses the personal pronoun "I" (Acts 10,20; 13,2)
  • The mind can be addressed, tried, mourned, insulted and harassed (Acts 5,3: 9; 4,30; Ephesians 10,29:12,31; Hebrews; Matthew)
  • The mind guides, mediates, calls and instructs (Romans 8,14:26; 13,2; Acts 20,28;)

Romans 8,27 speaks of the head of the spirit. The Spirit makes decisions - the Holy Spirit has made a decision (Acts 15,28). The mind knows and works (1 Corinthians 2,11:12,11;). He is not an impersonal power; Jesus called the Holy Spirit Paraclet - translated as the Comforter, Counselor, or Defender.

"And I will ask the Father and he will give you another comforter that he will be with you forever: the spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive, because she does not see him and does not know him. You know him because he stays with you and will be in you » (John 14,16-17) .

The first counselor for the disciples was Jesus. As he teaches, testifies, condemns, directs and uncovers the truth (John 14,26:15,26; 16,8:13; 14;). All of these are personal roles. John uses the masculine form of the Greek word parakletos because it was not necessary to use the neutral form. In John 16,14 even the male personal pronoun “he” is used after the neutral word spirit has been used. It would have been easier to switch to the neutral personal pronoun, but Johannes doesn't. The mind is addressed with "he". However, the grammar is relatively unimportant. However, it is important that the Holy Spirit has personal qualities. He is not an impersonal power, but an intelligent and divine helper who lives in us.

The spirit of the Old Testament

The Bible contains no part entitled "The Holy Spirit". We learn a little from the Holy Spirit here and there when the biblical texts mention him. The Old Testament gives us only a few insights. The mind was present in the creation of life (Genesis 1: 1,2; Job 33,4: 34,14;,). The Spirit of God filled Bezalel with the ability to build the tabernacle (Genesis 2: 31,3-5). He fulfilled Moses and also came over the 70 elders (Genesis 4:11,25). He filled Joshua with wisdom as a leader, as did Samson with strength and the ability to fight (Deuteronomy 5; Richter [space]] 34,9; 6,34). The spirit of God was given to Saul and taken again (1 Sam 10,6; 16,14). The Spirit gave David the plans for the temple (1 Chr 28,12). The spirit inspired the prophets to speak (Numbers 4; 24,2 Sam 2; 23,2 Chr 1; 12,18 Chr 2; 15,1; Ezekiel 20,14; Zechariah 11,5; 7,12 Peter 2:1,21) .

In the New Testament, too, it was the Holy Spirit that made people like Elisabeth, Zacharias and Simeon speak (Luke 1,41; 67; 2,25-32). John the Baptist has been filled with the Holy Spirit since his birth (Luke 1,15). His most important work was to announce the arrival of Jesus Christ, who would baptize people not only with water but with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3,16).

The Holy Spirit and Jesus

The Holy Spirit was very present and involved in the life of Jesus. The spirit caused his conception (Matthew 1,20:3,16), lay down on him after his baptism (Matthew), led him into the desert (Lk4,1) and enabled him to preach the good news (Luke 4,18). Jesus cast out demons with the help of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12,28). Through the Holy Spirit, he offered himself as a sacrifice to the sin of humanity (Heb 9,14) and by the same spirit he was raised from the dead (Romans 8,11).

Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit spoke in times of persecution by his disciples (Matthew 10,19: 20). He told them to baptize the followers of Jesus in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28,19). And further that God gives the Holy Spirit to all people when they ask him for it (Luke 11,13). Some of the most important things that Jesus said about the Holy Spirit can be found in the Gospel of John. First, people should be born of water and spirit (John 3,5). People need spiritual renewal and it does not come from themselves, but is a gift from God. Even if the mind is not visible, it makes a difference in our lives (V.8).

Jesus also taught: "Whoever thirsts, come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture says, will have rivers of living water flowing from his body. But he said this about the spirit that those who believed in him should receive; for the spirit was not yet there; because Jesus was not yet glorified » (John 7,37: 39).

The Holy Spirit satisfies an inner thirst. It enables us to have the relationship with God for whom we are created by him. We receive the Spirit by coming to Jesus and the Holy Spirit fulfilling our lives.

John says «For the spirit was not yet there; because Jesus was not yet glorified » (V. 39) . The Spirit had already filled some men and women before Jesus' life, but it would soon come in a new powerful way - at Pentecost. The Spirit is now given to all who call on the name of the Lord (Acts 2,38: 39). Jesus promised his disciples that the spirit of truth that would live in them would be given to them (John 14,16: 18). This spirit of truth is the same as if Jesus himself came to his disciples (V. 18) because he is the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father - sent by Jesus and the Father (John 15,26). The Spirit enables Jesus to be accessible to everyone and his work to continue, and Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach the disciples and remind them of everything Jesus had taught them (John 14,26). The Spirit taught them things that they could not understand before the resurrection of Jesus (John 16,12: 13).

The spirit speaks about Jesus (John 15,26:16,24;). He does not advertise for himself, but leads people to Jesus Christ and the Father. He does not speak on his own, but only as the father wants (John 16,13). It is good that Jesus is no longer with us because the Spirit can be active in millions of people (John 16,7). The Spirit evangelizes and shows the world their sin and guilt and fulfills their need for justice and justice (Vv. 8-10). The Holy Spirit points people to Jesus as their solution to guilt and their source of justice.

The spirit and the church

John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1,8). This happened at Pentecost after his resurrection when the Spirit gave the disciples new strength (Acts 2). This includes speaking languages ​​that people of other nations understand (V. 6). Similar miracles also happened at other times when the Church was growing (Acts 10,44: 46-19,1; 6), however, it is not said that these miracles happen to all people who have found a new Christian faith.

Paul says that all believers in the Holy Spirit are formed into one body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12,13). The Holy Spirit is given to everyone who believes (Galatians 3,14). Regardless of whether miracles happened or not, all believers are baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is not necessary to seek and hope for a particular miracle to prove that you are baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The Bible does not require any believer to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Instead, every believer is encouraged to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5,18) so that one can respond to the instruction of the spirit. This relationship is ongoing and not a one-time event. Instead of looking for miracles, let's look for God and let him decide if and when miracles happen. Paul usually describes God's power not through physical miracles that happen, but through the change that happens in a person's life - hope, love, patience, service, understanding, suffering and courageous preaching (Romans 15,13:2; 12,9 Corinthians 3,7; Ephesians 16; 18-1,11; Colossians 28; 29-2; 1,7 Timothy 8). These miracles can also be called physical miracles because God changes people's lives. The Acts shows that the Spirit supported the growth of the church. The Spirit empowered people to report and testify about Jesus (Acts 1,8). He enabled the disciples to preach (Acts 4,8,31:6,10;). He gave instructions to Philip and later caught him (Acts 8,29:39;). The Spirit encouraged the Church and installed leaders (Acts 9,31:20,28;). He spoke to Peter and the Church of Antioch (Acts 10,19; 11,12; 13,2). He worked in Agabus when he saw the famine and led Paul to flee (Acts 11,28:13,9; 10). He led Paul and Barnabas on their way (Acts 13,4: 16,6; 7) and enabled the apostles' meeting in Jerusalem to make a decision (Acts 15,28). He sent Paul to Jerusalem and warned him about it (Acts 20,22: 23-21,11;). The Church existed and grew through the work of the Holy Spirit in the believers.

The spirit today

The Holy Spirit is also involved in the lives of today's believers:

  • It leads us to repentance and gives us new life (John 16,8; 3,5-6)
  • He lives in us, teaches us and guides us (1 Corinthians 2,10: 13-14,16; John 17,26: 8,14; Romans)
  • We meet him in the Bible, while praying and through other Christians. He is the spirit of wisdom and helps us to look at things with courage, love and self-control (Eph 1,17:2; 1,7 Timothy)
  • The spirit cuts our hearts, sanctifies and changes us (Romans 2,29; Ephesians 1,14)
  • The Spirit creates love and the fruit of justice in us (Rom.5,5; Ephesians 5,9; Galatians 5,22-23)
  • The Spirit puts us in the Church and helps us understand that we are God's children (1 Corinthians 12,13:8,14; Romans 16)

We should worship God in spirit (Phil3,3; 2 Corinthians 3,6; Romans 7,6; 8,4-5). We try to please him (Galatians 6,8). When we are led by the Holy Spirit, He gives us life and peace (Romans 8,6). Through him we have access to the father (Ephesians 2,18). He helps us in our weakness and stands up for us (Romans 8,26-27).

The Holy Spirit also gives us spiritual gifts. He gives leaders for the church (Ephesians 4,11), people who perform the basic functions of love service in the church (Romans 12,6: 8) and those with special skills for special tasks (1 Corinthians 12,4: 11). Nobody has every gift and not every gift is given to everyone (Vv. 28-30). All gifts, whether spiritual or not, should be used for the work as a whole - the entire Church (1 Corinthians 12,7:14,12;). Every gift is important (1 Corinthians 12,22: 26).

To date we have only received the first gift of the Spirit, which, however, promises us much more for the future (Romans 8,23; 2 Corinthians 1,22; 5,5; Ephesians 1,13-14).

The Holy Spirit is God in our lives. Everything that God does is done by the Holy Spirit. Paul therefore encourages us to live with and through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5,25; Ephesians 4,30; 1 Thess. 5,19). So let's listen to what the Holy Spirit says. Because when he speaks, God speaks.

by Michael Morrison

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