"You might as well try to hear without ears or breathe without lungs, as try to live a Christian life without the Spirit of God in your heart." ― D. L. Moody
Ephesians 3:14-19 (HCSB)14 For this reason I kneel before the Father15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.16 ⌊I pray⌋ that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. ⌊I pray⌋ that you, being rooted and firmly established in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth ⌊of God’s love⌋,19 and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
This was Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians and should be our prayer for all Christians and ourselves. In this blog series we are going to talk about who the Holy Spirit is and how He reveals Himself in our lives and personalities.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
Most Christians believe that the is a person equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son. He is considered to be the third member of the Godhead or the Trinity.
I wrote briefly about the Trinity here! Hank Hanegraaff, “The Bible Answer Man” at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and the author of "The Complete Bible Answer Book" says;
“We as Christians believe in only one God.
Isaiah 45:5-6 (HCSB)5 I am Yahweh, and there is no other; there is no God but Me. I will strengthen you, though you do not know Me,6 so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is no one but Me. I am Yahweh, and there is no other.
The Bible is also clear in that it says that the Father is God, the Son (Jesus) is God, and the Holy Spirit is God and they are totally distinct; the Father doesn’t become the Son, the Son doesn’t become the Holy Spirit. So a way to explain it is there is one “What” and three “Whos”. The “Whos” have to do with persons or identity formed and completed on the bases of relationships within the Godhead; The Father sends the Son, the Son sends the Spirit, the Son prays to the Father so there are distinctions within the Godhead. Hank ends with this, “The God we serve is so immense and so unsearchable that we simply bow our knee before the God who has condescended to reveal Himself to us in scripture. If you can fully comprehend God then your god is far too small. The God that we serve is a God that is beyond us, He is unknowable, ineffable (too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words) but He has also made Himself known through the person and work of Jesus Christ.”
Another description of the Trinity is one by Dr. James White, author of "The Forgotten Trinity". "There is within the One being, that is God, three co-equal and co-eternal persons namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
A good friend says it this way “God has Three ways of revealing Godself to humanity.”
The way of redemption clearly showcases these ways.
The Father designed and organized how mankind would be redeemed
Galatians 4:4-5 (HCSB)4 When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
He set into motion a complex set of events, actions, and prophecies which culminated in the life and death of a Savior.
The Son carried out the plan
John 6:37-40 (HCSB)37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day.40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
He followed the Father's instructions to come to earth, even though that meant He would have to die.
The Holy Spirit sees to it that every person feels a call toward God's saving grace
John 14:26 (HCSB) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
John 16:5-11 (HCSB)5 “But now I am going away to Him who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you.8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me;10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me;11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
Furthermore, He transforms the lives and hearts of those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is a Person
The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is not a mystic “power” or “thing.” or an “it” as if the Spirit is a thing or force that we can control or use. A person is a living, intelligent being, with a mind, feelings, and emotions. The Holy Spirit has attributes that only a person could have. He has intelligence, feelings, a will, He prays, He can be insulted, He teaches and He directs.
He has intelligence
1 Corinthians 2:6-13 (HCSB)6 However, we do speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.7 On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory.8 None of the rulers of this age knew ⌊this⌋ wisdom, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.9 But as it is written: What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind— God prepared this for those who love Him.10 Now God has revealed ⌊these things⌋ to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who ⌊comes⌋ from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God.13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.k words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.
This wisdom Paul is talking about is wisdom taught by the Holy Spirit, who is the perfect Teacher.
He has feelings
Ephesians 4:30-32 (HCSB)30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice.32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
We can hurt the Holy Spirit’s feeling, or grieve Him. How? Through dependency on self, pride, selfishness, distrust, worry, fear, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred and similar self-centered, negative actions.
Although the Holy Spirit can be grieved he will never leave you because He is our seal, our guarantee.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (HCSB)13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
He has a will
1 Corinthians 12:11 (HCSB)11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.
Here Paul is talking about the spiritual gifts given to all who believe.
The Spirit gives the gifts whoever he decides to give them to so He has a will. The words “as He wills” indicates that He alone decides and that they are not the result of anybody deserving any gift.
He directs the activities of believers, according to His will, as He does Paul in this example.
Acts 16:6-10 (HCSB)6 They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia and were prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in Asia.7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.8 So, bypassing Mysia, they came down to Troas.9 During the night a vision appeared to Paul: A Macedonian man was standing and pleading with him, “Cross over to Macedonia and help us!”10 After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to evangelize them.
Romans 8:26 (HCSB) In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.
Likewise, the Spirit helps our weakness. The weakness referred to is our inability to analyze situations and pray intelligently about them. Sometimes we cannot pray because words cannot express the needs we feel. The Spirit's response of sighs too deep for words shows how God through his Spirit enters into our experiences.- The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
He can be insulted
Hebrews 10:26-29 (HCSB)26 For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.28 If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Deliberate sin is a rejection of the sacrifice of Jesus and to be honest a believer can’t be guilty of this because remember if your salvation was authentic then it is permanent. Deliberate sin The threefold charge follows: (1) contempt for Christ in the thought of trampling under foot; (2) rejecting the blood-bought covenant as worthless and unholy; (3) despising the person and work of the Holy Spirit. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
John 14:26 (HCSB)26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
The teaching that Jesus did before He was crucified presented a new way of living in accordance with the way God wanted man to relate to Him and to each other but it wasn’t complete. It was going to be completed by the coming of the Holy Spirit. His ministry to believers would be to teach.
John 16:5-12 (HCSB)5 “But now I am going away to Him who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you.
8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:
9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me;10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me;11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.
You Can Have a Personal Relationship with the Holy Spirit
Because the Holy Spirit is a person there is a personal relationship between Him and the believer.
John 14:17 (NLT)17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
This means that there is a personal relationship between the believer and the Holy Spirit but you can’t have that relationship apart from the Father and Son.
Romans 10:9-10 (HCSB)9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
Ephesians 1:13 (HCSB)13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
Do you want that relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which results in everlasting life, in the presence of God? Here’s how:
If you’re ready pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody. Leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.