A few Sundays ago, we worked through part of John 14 and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Here are some of the verses from this message:
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
One of my great convictions about the Holy Spirit is that for fear of being misunderstood or just plain old neglect, we don’t really talk much about Him. So, lets answer two basic questions: Who is the Holy Spirit and what does He do?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
- He is fully God. The Holy Spirit has always been, is and will always be God! The Holy Spirit isn’t a figure that just shows up in Acts 2, he has existed eternally. Genesis 1:1-3 reinforces this idea when it tells us that “the Spirit of God” is hovering over the waters.
- He is a person, not an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit has also always been a person in the Trinity. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so this dispels the notion that the Spirit has ever been just a force God uses for special tasks. No, the Holy Spirit actually IS a member of the Trinity and as such deserves worship, praise and adoration. He is a person not a impersonal force like you’d find in Star Wars.
What does the Holy Spirit do?
Two images in the New Testament help us understand what the Holy Spirit does.
- Water. Upon our repentance of sin and faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit takes the grace of Christ and washes us clean of our sins. Like a shower of grace, the Holy Spirit is the one who applies grace to not only our spiritual accounts that effects our standing before God, but also to our actual souls. Once become Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within us and never leaves us or forsakes us, uniting us to Christ.
- Wind. Like a powerful gush of wind, the Holy Spirit is a power unleashed in the life of a believer that enables us to do what God commands. Not only does He help us do what God commands, but also He helps us WANT to do what God commands. Only in the Spirit can we obey and only in the Spirit do we want to obey.
So, let’s give thanks for and to the Holy Spirit for His incredible work in our lives.