Holy Spirit, Who Are You?
Today, the Holy Spirit is the most prominent Person of the
Godhead; should we not get to know Him better? This article is a humble effort
to answer the most basic questions about who He is, what He does, how He does
it and why He does it.
WHO IS HE?
He is God
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the triune Godhead. We can establish His deity from the fact that the Bible uses the names of God and Holy Spirit interchangeably and that He has the same attributes as God. He is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and eternal. He participated in the Creation and was responsible for miracles recorded in the Scriptures.
The Bible requires that we worship Him. He has a place and responsibility in the Trinity.
He works with Father and Son in attaining Kingdom goals. They work in a unified ministry as He brings the world under conviction of sin, righteousness and judgement. He conveys the truths He hears from Father and Son to believers. Father God and Jesus abide with us through the Holy Spirit. They accomplish their purposes through the Holy Spirit. One could say that He is "the hand of God.”
He is a Person
We can see specific attributes of personality such as intelligence, love, thought, knowledge, words and a will. Like a human person, one can lie to, tempt, resist, grieve, outrage and blasphemy against Him. The fruit that Spirit-filled believers carry further reveal His personal nature, such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
WHAT DOES HE DO?
In the Old Testament Holy Spirit was the energy of God in
creating the world, animals and man. He strove with fallen man and dwelt with
the people of God as a whole just as He was among them during the Exodus. He
came upon judges, prophets and warriors with charismatic power and for special
purposes. He was the agent for God's works of providence in the moral sphere,
areas of history and ethical relationships. God's Spirit also inspired holiness
in the Old Testament believer.
In New Testament times, Holy Spirit was most active in the
ministry of the Messiah. He inspired Jesus with wisdom, understanding, counsel,
might, knowledge, fear of God, righteousness and faithfulness. At the baptism
of Jesus, Holy Spirit was visibly present as a dove. Holy Spirit filled Jesus
as He led Him into the wilderness to be tempted. Jesus cast out demons and
performed other miracles by the power of Holy Spirit. At Pentecost Holy Spirit
was sent in Jesus' name to the disciples. The work, miracles and guidance of
the disciples and believers of the early church were all done through the power
of Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit's primary tasks are to illuminate the teachings of Jesus, to glorify His Person and to work in the life of the individual believer and the church. The Holy Spirit is the source of all desires toward God. He implants a new heart, a new spirit and provides a new life motivation and orientation.
It is Holy Spirit Who:
· reveals prophetic truth,
· teaches us what to pray for,
· silences our fears,
· bears witness to us that we are children of God,
· encourages us,
· turns our knowledge of doctrine into the spiritual nourishment,
· intercedes for us to God,
· convinces of sin,
· helps us in our infirmities,
· regenerates and sanctifies us,
· gives us wisdom, strength and liberty.
We can further see Holy Spirit's role today from some of His titles and names recorded in the Bible:
Counsellor (Jn 14:16,26; 15:26), and the Spirit of:
· Fear of the Lord (Isa 11:2)
· Knowledge (Isa 11:2)
· Understanding (Isa 11:2)
· Power (Isa 11:2)
· Truth (Jn 14:17; 15:26)
· Holiness (Ro 1:4)
· Glory (1Pe 4:14)
· Judgement (Isa 4:4; 28:6)
· Revelation (Eph 1:17)
· Wisdom (Isa 11:2; Eph 1:17)
· Sonship (Ro 8:15)
· Prophecy (Rev 19:10)
· Grace (Zec 12:10; Heb 10:29)
Without the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be blind to the
plainest evidence of our salvation, justification and redemption.
HOW DOES HE WORK?
We know who the Holy Spirit is and the work that He does. To try to understand how He works, we turned to the symbols and similarities used for Him in the Bible
Various translations and interpretations of "wind" means breath; air; strength; breeze; spirit; courage; temper and Spirit.
Wind represents direction. Whether we are at cross roads or need to take a major decision, He will give us the direction according to God's purposes for our lives.
The strength of wind varies, so too the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Depending on what God wants to achieve, it may be gentle and refreshing, strong and constant, extremely strong or a gale or tornado.
As wind dispels clouds, fog and pollution, so he clears our souls, minds and consciences from the clouds of ignorance, unbelief, sin, lust, trouble, etc.
He gives us the breath or words of our mouths to speak of excellent, right and truthful things.
Often, His work has the similar qualities of air i.e.
invisible and intangible.
The Holy Spirit is the river of God. It is full of the waters of life and salvation. It is abundant and given freely to all who thirst.
Water softens hard and barren earth. Believers waiting in
God's presence for extended periods, allow the Holy Spirit to change their
hearts, spirits, minds and attitudes.
Fertilization of seed into fruit requires ample water. He helps believers to bear the fruit that God expects from them.
Refreshing and life-sustaining water is essential during
heat and drought. Christian life is not easy and we frequently have to battle
things out in the wilderness. He sustains us during our struggles.
Water washes away dirt and grime. He cleanses us of unrighteous living and through the righteousness of Jesus presents us spotless to Father.
Insufficient water stunts life and growth. He nourishes
believers so that we may mature and prosper spiritually.
Fire is perhaps the fiercest and most feared element of the earth. However, we can easily garner its power as a source of energy, light and heat. Holy Spirit gives us motivation, inspiration and guidance to fulfil our purposes.
The Holy Spirit guided the Israelites with a pillar of fire as they travelled at night. He gives us light in dark times to guide us according to the mercies of God.
Fire purifies and refines. He removes impurities from our lives that prevent us from being efficient vessels or instruments for God.
He prompts us to search our hearts by the light of His fire that will reveal our intentions and attitudes.
Refined or unrefined, oil is God's "liquid gold.” It is
His endless love and grace, it is that "something extra" that we can
never earn. It fills our entire being with rich, priceless and indescribable
Work done for God will never be successful without the
consecrating anointing of Holy Spirit. He changes the work of our hands into a
consecrated product and gives it to God to use for His purposes.
Oil soothes our heartaches and calms our pain. Holy Spirit
provides a comforting release from guilt that heals a repented spirit. He
strokes, comforts and heals us in times of personal loss, hardships or
Anyone trying to read and understand the word of God without the illuminating light of Holy Spirit will fail dismally. All Scripture is "God-breathed.” The Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote it. Holy Spirit therefor sheds light on the Scriptures as we study it.
"The joy of the Lord is our strength!" This joy we
get from waiting in God's presence. The Holy Spirit dunks us in oil causing exuberant
joy - a joy that leaves us undefeated in a wicked world.
Rain and Dew
After a dry and dusty season, rain and dew are rejuvenating
A season, a time or even a day not spent in God's presence wilts our spirit. A wilted plant is susceptible to disease and we will be weak and open to attacks. The Holy Spirit urges us to seek His rain and dew for our own spiritual safety.
Blessings come from rain and dew. The Holy Spirit provides
enriching fertilization to help us bloom and prosper in righteousness.
We cannot see the forming of rain and dew. We become aware
of them only when we see the dew or rain. The Holy Spirit's work is usually not
visible either and we only experience the results of His work.
The dove symbolises harmlessness, gentleness, guilelessness,
peace and purity. Holy Spirit's work has the same qualities.
His work in us may be like a strong tornado or it may burn
away the dross in our lives. It will however, always be gentle and it will
never harm us.
The Holy Spirit, accompanied by the voice of God, came from
heaven and settled on Jesus when He was baptised. He equipped Jesus for His
ministry and He equips us to live according to our calling.
In Biblical times, people used doves in offerings, sacrifices and purification rites. The Holy Spirit enables us to accept the sacrificial death of Jesus on our behalf.
A voice teaches, guides, warns and admonishes. The Holy Spirit speaks into our spirits and through our consciences as we fulfil our God-given responsibilities.
We belong to God. We are His property and He gives us the Holy Spirit as a seal of authentication. Holy Spirit "marks" us as true children of God, children who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. He is the seal (visa stamp) in our passports that secures our entrance into the Kingdom of God. He is God's deposit in us, a guarantee of eternal life. He enables us to live righteously and to strive for our eternal crowns.
Summarizing the above, we can see that Holy Spirit cleanses,
heals, guides, equips and matures us. He is actively involved in the smallest
detail of our lives and circumstances though we cannot even perceive it. He is
this involved in every believer's life.
WHY DOES HE DO IT?
The Holy Spirit seems to be an extremely busy Person. Why
does this Person, from Whom all spiritual life and strength proceed, strive so
with all of us? Giving a religious answer to this question is easy, such as
"for God's glory" or "for the Kingdom.” Really, think about it.
Why? We can probably glean some answers from the results of His work.
Results of His Work
His work in a mature and fruit-bearing Christian would probably result in the believer having the following attributes:
o Holy Spirit provided the believer the power to obey God's word and produce fruits of righteousness.
o The believer has the Holy Spirit's power to work as missionary, evangelist, church planter, or any other calling or purpose.
o Unquestionable faith and trust enable the believer to understand his walk with God.
o The believer trusts the Holy Spirit as his Helper in all circumstances. He enables the believer to speak the truth boldly and to pray. He is strengthened, upheld and abounds in hope.
o Communion with Holy Spirit is a way of life.
o The fruit of the Spirit is a permanent feature of the believers' character.
o The believer obediently operates in the gifts of the Spirit as and when He bestows them upon him.
Looking at the above results of Holy Spirit's work, one might still think, "So What?” The "so what" is that:
o The Spirit of God alone knows how much God our Father loves us. Only He can reveal that love to the world. He is the power of God on earth and He puts the church and individual reborn Christians to service to spread a very simple and centuries-old message: God is love. Though He hates sin, He loves the sinner and does not want him to perish.
o The Holy Spirit is to bring unity before God among all the peoples of the earth. Before God there is no free or un-free, no social, racial, cultural or religious distinction. One unified Body of Christ must come before God, one Bride.
o God has given all His people the Holy Spirit to live in them. He gives us the Holy Spirit so that our lives may overflow with the fruit and gifts of Holy Spirit. These fruit and gifts are the answers to the materialistic world, to the battle between spirit and flesh.
The final and concluding answer to the questioning title of this article is a warning. He said that in latter days, some would depart from faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
So, put on your armour, Christian, for the sword of the Spirit, that is word of God, is our only offensive weapon against deception.
Become silent now dear readers and the Holy Spirit Himself will bear witness through your conscience about Whom He is for you.
The book, You Can Know God, explains more on what it means to get quiet and how to build your relationship with God.