bellevue blog

The Holy Spirit

I began biblical journaling many years ago. As I studied and prayed over God’s Word, I would journal the truths I was learning, but because I have a tendency to be lazy, (or as I prefer to describe it as a focus on efficiency), I abbreviate a lot. I specifically remember one abbreviation I used that the Lord convicted me over. When I wrote about the Holy Spirit, I would abbreviate His name as, “HS.” But the Holy Spirit is God and should not be treated so lightly in my thoughts and writings. I did not fully understand all that this meant at the time, but I did know that this is what the Lord spoke to my heart.

So, who is the Holy Spirit? It is important that we have a proper understanding of the Holy Spirit because what we think about God is the most important thing we can think. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force that guides Luke Skywalker or an object we can dispense from a vending machine any time we are in need. The Holy Spirit is God, a person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is equal in power and glory as God the Father and God the Son, Jesus, and has the exact same attributes that the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit serves a different role than the Father and Son but is God none the less.

In Acts 5:3–4 we read, “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.’”

We see the Holy Spirit is called God in this passage, but the Bible also reveals the Holy Spirit has the same attributes of God. The Holy Spirit is life (Romans 8:2), truth (John 16:13), holy (Ephesians 4:30), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7), and omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:11).

As stated earlier, the Holy Spirit is not a force, or a thing, or an it. The Holy Spirit is a person that has a mind (John 14:26), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and emotion. Throughout the New Testament the Holy Spirit is referred to by the personal pronoun, “He”. The Holy Spirit teaches and commands (Acts 16:6), knows and searches the mind (1 Corinthians 2:11), and even prays (Romans 8:26). These are all things that personal beings doing.

I would like to close this conversation out by talking about the work of the Holy Spirit. There are two areas we see Him working—in creation and in salvation.

The Holy Spirit was with the Father and Son at the beginning of Creation. Genesis 1:2 tells us, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Job tells us, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

In the work of salvation, we see the Holy Spirit convict unbelievers of sin (John 16:8). He regenerates those who are dead in their trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). He seals us until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). He enlightens us to God’s truth (Ephesians 1:17–18). He indwells all those who are true followers of Jesus Christ (John 14:16–17). The Holy Spirit is involved is other aspects of salvation, but these mentioned should give you first taste of some of His activities. Norm Geisler said this of the Holy Spirit, “The Holy Spirit applies the salvation the Father provided, and the Son achieved.”

So, when you talk of the Holy Spirit, don’t refer to Him as a force, a thing, an it, or even a power in the universe. The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity, that dwells in every true follower of Christ.

In the work of salvation, we see the Holy Spirit convict unbelievers of sin (John 16:8). He regenerates those who are dead in their trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). He seals us until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). He enlightens us to God’s truth (Ephesians 1:17–18). He indwells all those who are true followers of Jesus Christ (John 14:16–17). The Holy Spirit is involved is other aspects of salvation, but these mentioned should give you first taste of some of His activities. Norm Geisler said this of the Holy Spirit, “The Holy Spirit applies the salvation the Father provided, and the Son achieved.”

So, when you talk of the Holy Spirit, don’t refer to Him as a force, a thing, an it, or even a power in the universe. The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity, that dwells in every true follower of Christ.

X