The Holy Spirit

104the holy spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the deity and goes eternally from the Father through the Son. He is the Comforter promised by Jesus Christ whom God sent to all believers. The Holy Spirit lives in us, unites us with the Father and the Son, and transforms us through repentance and sanctification, and by constant renewal conforms to the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the source of inspiration and prophecy in the Bible and the source of unity and communion in the Church. He gives spiritual gifts for the work of the gospel and is a constant guide to the truth of the Christian. (John 14,16, 15,26, Acts 2,4.17-19.38, Matthew 28,19, John 14,17-26, 1.Petrus 1,2, Titus 3,5, 2, Peter 1,21, 1, Corinthians 12,13, 2, Corinthians 13,13, 1, Corinthians 12,1-11, Acts of the Apostles 20,28, John 16,13)

The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit, that is God at work - creating, speaking, transforming, living in us, acting in us. Although the Holy Ghost can do this work without our knowledge, it is helpful to know more.

The Holy Spirit has the attributes of God, is equated with God and does works that only God does. Like God, the Spirit is sacred - so sacred that an insult to the Holy Spirit is as serious a sin as if one were trampling on God's Son (Hebr 10,29). The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is one of the unforgivable sins (Mt 12,31). This indicates that the mind is essentially sacred, not just in possession of a sanctity granted, as was the case with the temple.

Like God, the Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebr 9,14). Like God, the Holy Spirit is omnipresent (Ps 139,7-10). Like God, the Holy Spirit is omniscient (1Kor 2,10-11, Joh 14,26). The Holy Spirit creates (Hi 33,4, Ps 104,30) and makes miracles possible (Mt 12,28, Rom 15, 18-19) by doing the work of God in His service. In several Bible passages father, son and Holy Spirit are equally called divine. In a passage about "the gifts of the Spirit," Paul places the "one" spirit, the "one" Lord and the "one" God side by side (1Kor. 12,4-6). He closes a letter with a three-part prayer formula (2Kor. 13,13). And Peter initiates a letter with another three-part formula (1Pt 1,2). These are not proofs of unity, but they support them.

The unity in the baptismal formula expresses itself even more strongly: "[baptize it] in the name of [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28,19). The three have a single name, an indication of an entity, a being.

When the Holy Ghost does something, God does it. When the Holy Spirit speaks, then God speaks. When Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit, he lied to God (Act 5,3-4). As Peter says, Ananias lied not only to God's representative, but to God himself. You can not "lie to" an impersonal force.

At one point, Paul says that Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Ko 6,19), in another place, that we are God's temple (1Kor 3,16). A temple serves the worship of a divine being, not an impersonal force. When Paul writes of the "Temple of the Holy Spirit," he indirectly says, "The Holy Spirit is God."

Also in Acts 13,2, the Holy Spirit is equated with God: "But when they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Sing to me from Barnabas and Saul to the work to which I have called them." Here speaks the Holy Ghost as god. Similarly, he says that the Israelites "tried and tested him" and that "I swore in my wrath: they should not come to my rest" (Hebr 3,7-11).

Nevertheless - the Holy Spirit is not just an alternative name for God. The Holy Spirit is something different from the Father and the Son. B. at Jesus' baptism showed (Mt 3,16-17). The three are different, but one.

The Holy Spirit is doing the work of God in our lives. We are "God's children," that is, born of God (Joh 1,12), which is synonymous with "born of the Spirit" (Joh 3,5-6). The Holy Spirit is the medium through which God lives in us (Eph 2,22; 1Joh 3,24; 4,13). The Holy Spirit dwells in us (Rom 8,11, 1Kor 3,16) - and because the Spirit dwells in us, we can say that God dwells in us.

The spirit is personal

The Bible attributes personal qualities to the Holy Spirit.

  • The spirit lives (Rom 8,11; 1Kor 3,16)
  • The ghost speaks (Apg 8,29, 10,19, 11,12, 21,11, 1T in 4,1, Hebr 3,7, etc.).
  • The mind sometimes uses the personal forword "I" (Apg 10,20; 13,2).
  • The mind can be addressed, tempted, grieved, reviled, blasphemed (Apg 5, 3, 9, Eph 4,30;
    Hebr 10,29; Mt12,31).
  • The Spirit guides, represents, invokes, employs (Rom 8,14, 26, Act 13,2, 20,28).

Roman 8,27 speaks of a "sense of the mind". He thinks and judges - a decision can "please" him (Act 15,28). The mind "knows", the mind "shares" (1Kor 2,11, 12,11). This is not an impersonal power.

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit - in the Greek language of the New Testament - parakletos - that is, comforter, lawyer, counselor. "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever: the Spirit of Truth ..." (Jn 14,16-17). Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the first comforter of the disciples, teaches, bears witness, opens his eyes, guides and reveals truth (Joh 14,26, 15,26, 16,8, and 13-14). These are personal roles.

John uses the male form parakletos; there was no need to put the word in the neuter. Masculine personal pronouns ("he") are also used in Greek in John 16,14, in connection with the actual neuter word "spirit". It would have been easy to switch to neuter pronouns ("it"), but John does not. The mind may be male ("he"). Of course, the grammar here is relatively unimportant; what matters is that the Holy Spirit has personal qualities. He is not a neutral power, but the intelligent and divine helper who lives in us.

The spirit in the Old Testament

The Bible has no chapter or book of its own entitled "The Holy Spirit." We learn a little about the spirit here, a little, wherever the scriptures speak of his work. In the Old Testament is comparatively little to find.

The Spirit has been involved in the creation of life and has contributed to its preservation (1, Mo 1,2, 33,4, 34,14). The Spirit of God filled Bezazel with "all propriety" for the construction of the tabernacle (2Mo 31,3-5). He filled Moses and came over the seventy elders (4Mo 11,25). He filled Joshua with wisdom and gave Simson and other leaders the power or ability to fight (5Mo 34,9, Ri 6,34, 14,6).

God's Spirit was given to Saul and later taken away (1Sam 10,6, 16,14). The Spirit gave David plans for the temple (1Chr 28,12). The Spirit inspired prophets to talk about (4Mo 24,2; 2Sam 23,2; 1Chr 12,19; 2Chr 15,1; 20,14; Hes 11,5; Property 7,12; 2Pt 1,21).

Even in the New Testament, the Spirit empowered people to talk, such as Elisabeth, Zacharias and Simeon (Lk 1,41, 67, 2,25-32). John the Baptist was filled with spirit even from birth (Lk 1,15). His most important act was the announcement of the coming of Jesus, who should no longer baptize people only with water, but "with the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Lk 3,16).

The spirit and Jesus

The Holy Spirit has always played a significant role in Jesus' life, everywhere. He caused Jesus' conception (Mt 1,20), came down on him at his baptism (Mt 3,16), led Jesus into the wilderness (Lk 4,1) and anointed him to be the Gospel Herald (Lk 4,18). Through "the Spirit of God" Jesus cast out evil spirits (Mt 12,28). Through the Spirit, he presented himself as a sin offering (Hebr 9,14), and by the same Spirit he was raised from the dead (Rom 8,11).

Jesus taught that in times of persecution, the Spirit will speak through the disciples (Mt 10,19-20). He taught them to baptize new disciples "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28,19). God, he promised, will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask him (Lk
11,13).

Jesus' most important teachings on the Holy Spirit are found in John's Gospel. First, man must be "born of water and the Spirit" (Joh 3,5). He needs a spiritual new birth, and that can not come from Himself: it is a gift of God. Although the Spirit is invisible, the Holy Spirit causes a clear difference in our lives (v. 8).

Further, Jesus teaches, "Who thirsts, come to me and drink! He who believes in me, as the Scripture says, from whose womb rivers of living water will flow "(Jn 7, 37-38). John immediately follows the interpretation: "But he said this of the Spirit, whom those who believed in him should receive ..." (v. 39). The Holy Spirit quenches an inner thirst. He gives us the relationship with God to whom we are created. By coming to Jesus, we receive the Spirit, and the Spirit can fill our lives.

Until that time, John tells us, the spirit had not yet been poured out in general: the spirit "was not there yet; for Jesus was not yet glorified "(v. 39). Even before Jesus, the Spirit had fulfilled individual men and women, but now he was soon to come in a new, more powerful way - on Pentecost. The mind is no longer poured out only in individual cases, but collectively. He who is "called" by God and baptized receives him (Act 2,38-39).

Jesus promised that His disciples would receive the Spirit of Truth and that Spirit would live in them (Joh 14,16-18). This is synonymous with Jesus coming to his disciples (v. 18), because it is Jesus' Spirit as well as the Spirit of the Father - sent forth by Jesus as well as by the Father (John 15,26). The Spirit makes Jesus accessible to everyone and continues his work.

According to Jesus' word, the Spirit should "teach the disciples all things" and "remember all that I have told you" (Jn 14,26). The Spirit taught them things they could not understand before Jesus' resurrection (Joh 16,12-13).

The Spirit bears witness to Jesus (Joh 15,26, 16,14). He does not propagate himself, but leads people to Jesus Christ and the Father. He does not speak "of himself", but only as the Father wants (Joh 16,13). And because the Spirit can live in millions of people, it's a benefit for us that Jesus ascended to heaven and sent us the Spirit (Joh 16, 7).

The Spirit is at work in evangelization; He clarifies the world about their sin, their guilt, their need for justice, and the safe coming of the judgment (V. 8-10). The Holy Spirit directs people to Jesus as the one who removes all guilt and is the source of righteousness.

The spirit and the church

John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus would baptize people "with the Holy Spirit" (Mk 1,8). This happened after his resurrection on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit miraculously gave new power to the disciples (Act 2). It was also a miracle that people heard the disciples speaking in foreign languages ​​(v. 6). Similar miracles happened several times as the church grew and spread (Act 10,44-46, 19,1-6). As a historian, Luke reports both on the unusual and on more typical happenings. There is no evidence that these miracles have befallen all new believers.

Paul says that all believers are baptized into one body by the Holy Spirit - the Church (1Kor 12,13). To anyone who believes, the Holy Spirit is given (Rom 10,13, Gal 3,14). Whether with or without accompanying miracle: All believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit. After a miracle as a special, obvious proof for that one does not need to look out. The Bible does not require that every believer ask for baptism by the Holy Spirit. Rather, it calls on every believer to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5,18) - willingly follow the guidance of the Spirit. This is a continuing duty, not a one-time event.

Instead of looking for a miracle, we should seek God and leave it to God to decide whether or not a miracle will happen. Paul often describes God's power not in terms of miracles but in those expressing inner strength: hope, love, patience and patience, willingness to serve, understanding, suffering and courage in proclaiming (Rom 15,13, 2Kor 12,9, Eph 3,7, etc.). 16-17; Kol 1,11 and 28-29; 2T in 1,7-8).

The book of Acts shows that the Spirit was the power behind the growth of the Church. The Spirit gave the disciples strength to testify of Jesus (Acts 1,8). He gave them great persuasiveness in their sermon (Acts 4,8 and 31; 6,10). He gave his instructions to Philip, and later he removed him (Acts 8,29 and 39).

It was the Spirit that encouraged the church and appointed people to guide it (Acts 9,31;
20,28). He spoke to Peter and to the community of Antioch (Act 10,19, 11,12, 13,2). He told Agabus to predict a famine, and Paul to pronounce a curse (Act 11,28, 13,9-11). He led Paul and Barnabas on their journeys (Act 13,4, 16,6-7) and helped the Jerusalem Apostles' Assembly pass resolutions (Acts 15,28). He sent Paul to Jerusalem and prophesied what would happen there (Act 20,22-23, 21,11). The Church existed and grew only because the Spirit was at work in the faithful.

The spirit and the believers today

God the Holy Spirit is deeply involved in the lives of today's believers.

  • He brings us to repentance and gives us new life (Joh 16,8; 3,5-6).
  • He lives in us, teaches us, guides us (1Kor 2,10-13, Joh 14,16-17 and 26, Rom 8,14). He leads us through the Scriptures, through prayer and through other Christians.
  • He is the Spirit of Wisdom, helping us to think through upcoming decisions with confidence, love and discretion (Eph 1,17; 2T in 1,7).
  • The Spirit "cuts" our hearts, seals and sanctifies us, and sets us apart for God's purpose (Rom 2,29, Eph 1,14).
  • He brings forth in us love and the fruit of righteousness (Rom 5,5, Eph 5,9, Gal 5,22-23).
  • He puts us in the church and helps us to realize that we are God's children (1 Kor 12,13, Rom 8,14-16).

We should worship God "in the Spirit of God" by focusing our minds on what the Spirit wants (Phil 3,3, 2Kor 3,6, Rom 7,6, 8,4-5). We strive to live up to what he wants (Gal 6,8). When guided by the Spirit, it gives us life and peace (Rom 8,6). He gives us access to the Father (Eph 2,18). He stands by us in our weakness, he "represents" us, that is, he joins us for the Father (Rom 8,26-27).

Furthermore, he gives spiritual gifts, those that enable ecclesiastical leadership positions (Eph 4,11), to various offices (Rom 12,6-8), and some talents for extraordinary tasks (1Kor 12,4-11). No one has all the gifts at the same time, and no gift is given indiscriminately to anyone (V. 28-30). All gifts, whether spiritual or "natural," should be for the common good and serve the entire Church (1Kor 12,7; 14,12). Every gift is important (1Kor 12,22-26).

We still have only the "first fruits" of the mind, a first pledge that promises us much more in the future (Rom 8,23, 2Kor 1,22, 5,5, Eph 1,13-14).

The Holy Spirit is God at work in our lives. Everything God does is done by the Spirit. Therefore, Paul calls us: "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit ... do not grieve the Holy Spirit ... the Spirit does not quench" (Gal 5,25, Eph 4,30, 1Th. 5,19). So we want to listen carefully to what the mind says. When he speaks, God speaks.

Michael Morrison


pdfThe Holy Spirit