My daughter asked me one day, “What is The Holy Spirit?” Without any will to explain her at that moment I only reply, Holy Spirit is not a thing, he is a person, so the right question is, Who is the Holy Spirit?
I got around the daughter’s question but I still owe her the answer. Bellow is my explanation, which I want to share also with you, my dear reader.
What is the Holy Spirit – a mystical force, an impersonal power ….?
For many decades, there have a rose numerous questions and many misconceptions about the identity of the Holy Spirit. Some view the Holy Spirit as a mystical force. Others understand the Holy Spirit as the impersonal power that God makes available to followers and believers of Jesus Christ.
By constant studies of the Scriptures and Fathers of the Church, we have to realize the Holy Spirit is a real person who came to reside within true followers of Jesus after He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.
Jesus told His apostles:
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter), that He abide with you forever;. I will not leave you Comfortless; I will return to you shortly.
What does the Bible say about the person and the identity of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Book declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches us that the Holy Spirit is a divine being with:
- A mind
- An Emotion and
- A will
The Holy Spirit is God in itself and this fact has been shown clearly severally in numerous Scriptures, including Acts 5:3-4
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? And when it was sold, was it not still under your control? Why did you contrive this deed? You have lied not to human beings, but to God.”
In this passage of the Bible, Peter confronts Ananias about why he lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him that he had “not lied to none but to God.” It is a clearly shows that lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God Himself.
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is God because He possesses the full characteristics of God. For example,
- He is omnipresent- As seen in Psalm 139:7-8
Where can I go from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee? If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, there you are.
- He is omniscience- Also in the book of 1st Corinthians 2:10-11 , we also see the characteristic of the omniscience in the Holy Spirit.
“This God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Among human beings, who knows what pertains to a person except the spirit of the person that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God”
It is also important to know that the Holy Spirit is a divine personality that possesses a mind, emotions, and a will as mentioned earlier.
- The Holy Spirit thinks and knows as shown In the Book of 1 Corinthians 2:10- “this God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God:
- The Holy Spirit can be grieved as shown in the Holy book of Ephesians 4:30- “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption”
- The Spirit intercedes for us (see the book of Romans 8:26-27)
“In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groaning. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will”
He makes decisions according to His will
This can be found in the book of 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 –
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit;to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
The Holy Spirit is God Himself, the third Person of the Trinity.
As God, the Holy Spirit totally functions as the Comforter and Counselor that was promised to Christians- Jesus is the Comforter. Look at the book of John 14:16, 26, 15:26
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always”
“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you”
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me”
Having said this, it’s important to note that the Holy Spirit is not an obscure, vague, enigmatic being, nor an impersonal force. He is one that can be felt and related with. He is equal in every understanding with God the Father and God the Son. He is considered to be the third functional member of the Godhead. This was confirmed by Jesus to His disciples.
NOTE- Gоd іѕ Fаthеr, Sоn аnd Holy Sріrіt. And all the dіvіnе аttrіbutеѕ аѕсrіbеd to thе Fаthеr аnd the Son are еԛuаllу аѕсrіbеd to thе Holy Sріrіt. Whеn a реrѕоn becomes bоrn again bу bеlіеvіng аnd rесеіvіng Jesus Chrіѕt, Gоd resides іn that реrѕоn thrоugh the Hоlу Spirit.
Major attributes of the Holy Spirit
- A Teacher– the Holy Spirit, whom the Father promised to send to His Followers, will teach Us all things, and bring to our remembrance all that He said to Us.
- A helper
- A Judge-The Holy Spirit convicts people’s minds of God’s truth concerning how sinful and corrupt they are — needing God’s forgiveness; how Holy and righteous Jesus is — He died for our sins; and God’s imminent judgment of the world and those who hate Him
- An Advocate
- A Comforter and
To summarize, some facts about the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit thinks (Possess a Mind)
- The Holy Spirit Knows
- He can be grieved
- He makes decisions
- The Holy Spirit Is the Third person of the Trinity
… and last but not least let us pray together to the Holy Spirit:
Do you agree with my answer to my daughter’s question, What is the Holy Spirit? Drop your comment below.