Teach Them: Who the Holy Spirit Is


Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is the third member of our triune Godhead. His membership dwells on an equal plane in terms of deity and personhood. This identity equality is noted in Jesus’ baptismal formula, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19-20). The apostle Peter also proclaimed the deity of the Spirit, telling Ananias his lie to the Holy Spirit was really a lie to God (Acts 5:3-4). 

Though the Holy Spirit is fully and completely divine, and possesses all of the divine attributes, His personality is unique and so is His work. Jesus told his disciples a “Helper” would come after him that would encourage and comfort believers (John 14:16, 16:7). This personal nature of the Holy Spirit would create a comforting and edifying presence with a multitude of benefits for the believer. 

What does the Holy Spirit do for believers?

God’s presence is brought to God’s people by God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God works to apply the finished work of Christ and bring about the promises of the new covenant. 

  • The Holy Spirit  comforts believers (John 14:16, 26), and teaches them (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13). 
  • The Spirit speaks to believers (Acts 8:29; 13:2), and makes decisions (Acts 15:28). 
  • The Spirit grieves over sin (Ephesians 4:30), and overrules human actions (Acts 16:6-7). 
  • The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God and knows the thoughts of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). 
  • The Holy Spirit determines the distribution of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11).
  • The Holy Spirit interprets and brings human prayer before the throne of God (Romans 8:26-27). 
  • The Spirit assures believers of their adoption as children of God (Romans 8:16), and bears witness to and glorifies Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:14). 
  • The Holy Spirit produces fruit in the believer, and molds character (Galatians 5:22-23).  
  • The Holy Spirit authored Scripture (2 Peter 1:20-21), and also interprets Scripture for the believer (1 Corinthians 2:1, 14; Ephesians 1:17). 

What did the Holy Spirit do for Jesus?

The Holy Spirit brought about the incarnation of Christ (Luke 1:35), and then anointed Jesus for his public ministry at his baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21-22). Luke recounts how the Spirit filled Jesus himself (4:1), and then leads and empowers Him throughout his earthly life (Luke 4:14, 18). The Spirit also raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11), and was involved in the atoning work of Christ, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). 

How does the Holy Spirit glorify Christ? 

  • The Holy Spirit illuminates the Bible (Luke 24:27, 44-48). 
  • The Spirit empowers gospel preaching concerning Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). 
  • The Spirit brings regeneration, new life in Christ (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5). 
  • The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer, transforming them into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2). 

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). 






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