MENU

Where the world comes to study the Bible

Who Is The Holy Spirit?

Adapted from an article written by Sid Litke, Th.M., accessed at www.bible.org

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the triune Godhead (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

He Is Personal

The Spirit is not an impersonal “it” or simply an influence but a personal being just as the Father and the Son. He has intelligence (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), and a will (1 Corinthians 2:11). He teaches (John 14:26), commands (Acts 8:29), and intercedes for us in prayer (Romans 8:26).

His Role In The Old Testament

Prior to the Church Age, the Holy Spirit took part in creation (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30). He guided and protected Israel (Isaiah 63:10-14). He spoke through prophets to produce Scripture (1 Peter 1:11: 2 Peter 1:20-21). He selectively and temporarily indwelt certain people in the Old Testament, specifically enabling each to do a particular task (Joseph, Genesis 41:38; Joshua, Numbers 27:18; Saul, 1 Samuel 10:9,10; and David, 1 Samuel 16:13).

His Role In Salvation

In the Church Age, the Spirit is central in salvation. He directs and enables evangelistic efforts (Philip/Ethiopian, Acts 8:26,29; Great Commission, Acts 1:8). He convicts the unbeliever of sin (John 16:8-11) and regenerates (saves) the person. He cleanses the person from sin and gives him the new nature (Titus 3:5). As He performs this spiritual “new birth,” the person enters “the kingdom of God” gaining eternal life (John 3:3-7,16). The Spirit seals (eternally secures) the person. The presence of the Holy Spirit is the “seal” or guarantee that a person is saved and will remain saved (Ephesians 1:13). And, the Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers, graciously enabling all believers to serve in spiritual ministry.

The Baptism Of The Spirit

The Holy Spirit baptizes (places) the person into the body of Christ. It is the Spirit’s work of uniting us with Christ – spiritually identifying us with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). It is the Spirit’s work to incorporate us into the universal church, the “body of Christ” made up of all church age believers (1 Corinthians 12:13). This baptism of the Spirit occurs once and for all at the salvation of each believer (1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-28).

The Indwelling Of The Spirit

The Spirit indwells all believers permanently in this age (Romans 5:5; 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; John 14:16). The Spirit’s indwelling is the basis for His other ministries in believers’ lives. He teaches and illumines us about scripture (John 16:13). He aids in prayer (Romans 8:26). He assures us of our salvation (Romans 8:16) and enables us to grow (Ephesians 5:18).

The Filling Of The Spirit

The Holy Spirit “fills” believers. The “filling of the Spirit” describes the crucial work of God enabling the believer to live a transformed life. The only way we grow spiritually is by the empowering work of God (1 Peter 1:3). It is specifically the ministry of the Holy Spirit that gives a Christian the capability of change and growth in righteousness (Rom.8:13; describes the crucial work of God enabling the believer to live a transformed life. The only way we grow spiritually is by the empowering work of God (1 Peter 1:3). It is specifically the ministry of the Holy Spirit that gives a Christian the capability of change and growth in righteousness (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:22-23). We are either controlled by our self-centered flesh, or we are controlled by the Holy Spirit who indwells us (Romans “filling” of the Spirit. “Filling” is a metaphor (picture) of control. We can be filled/controlled by fleshly desires (like alcohol) or be filled/controlled by the Spirit. Although it’s the Spirit’s power that is at work, the believer must choose to be controlled/empowered by the Spirit. It is a command to “Be filled” and likewise to “Walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). The Spirit’s presence is permanent (indwelling), but we must repeatedly choose to yield to God to experience the Spirit’s transforming power to change and grow us. In actual experience, “walking in the Spirit” or “being filled with the Spirit” means living the Christian life (facing temptations, making decisions, etc.) with a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. He is the one who enables us – producing godly “fruits” (Galatians 5:22-23).