ASSIST News Service

Here is a riddle for you. What has no physical mouth or ears yet speaks and hears? What has no physical eyes, yet comforts and guides? What convicts the world of sin, and knows the state I am in?

If you said the Holy Spirit, you are right! The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is divine, equal with the Father and Son. Though the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is God, many people are confused over the Holy Spirit’s person and work.

Holy Spirit2

The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a dove. PICTURE: Jarekst/www.freeimages.com.

 

"The wonderful thing is that if you are a believer in Jesus, the Spirit is working in your life, molding and shaping you into the person God desires you to be, producing fruit (Galatians 5: 22-23) and giving you gifts (Romans 12: 6-8, I Corinthians 12: 8-12) all the while helping you to love both God and man."

Why so much confusion regarding the Holy Spirit? The answer seems to lie in the fact that many in the church do not understand the Biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit. So to help you understand the person and the work of the Holy Spirit during this Pentecost week, I invite you to think through these Biblical truths:

• The Holy Spirit is a personal being, with characteristics of personhood. The Holy Spirit speaks (I Corinthians 2:13), He teaches (John 14:26), He guides (Romans 8:14), He calls (Revelation 22:17), He comforts (John 16:7), He works (I Corinthians 12:11), among many other qualities of personhood.

• The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is called God (Genesis 1:2), He is truth (John 16:13), He is called the Spirit of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1), He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), among others.

• The Holy Spirit has personality. The Holy Spirit has knowledge (I Corinthians 2:10), He has a will (I Corinthians 12:11), He has emotion (Ephesians 4:30), He intercedes (Romans 8:26-27), and His is grieved (Ephesians 4:30), among other qualities of personality.

• The Holy Spirit works. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment (See John 16). The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture, and illuminates the Bible in the hearts of believers (John 14:26).The Holy Spirit works in and through God’s people. He is “with” us, “in” us and “upon” us. (see through Acts). The Holy Spirit sanctifies the Church, shaping them into the image of Jesus (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit provides for the Church spiritual gifts and “fruit” of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:7-11; and Galatians 5). The Holy Spirit speaks the truth of God (see John 14). And, as Francis Hall states, “the Holy spirit is the efficient and perfecting cause of every eternal operation of God." Meaning the Holy Spirit has been active throughout all eternity. He was present at Creation (see Genesis 1), and has been present throughout all of history, using, filling, and accomplishing His will in the lives of people.

• The Holy Spirit inspires. Claude Beaufort Moss reminds us that “The Holy Spirit is shown to us in a rising scale: in nature, in man; in man redeemed; supremely, in the Incarnate Word". Moss continues, “The Holy Spirit is shown forth in the order and the beauty of the material world, for it was created through Him…We recognise the power of the Holy Spirit…wherever there is beauty, wherever there is order, wherever there is truth, it comes from Him. It is He who guides the statesman and the explorer, the surgeon and the chemist; there is no work or thought of man which is in any way good, true, or beautiful that is not His gift.”

The wonderful thing is that if you are a believer in Jesus, the Spirit is working in your life, molding and shaping you into the person God desires you to be, producing fruit (Galatians 5: 22-23) and giving you gifts (Romans 12: 6-8, I Corinthians 12: 8-12) all the while helping you to love both God and man.

During Pentecost week - also known as Whit Sunday, the time we celebrate and honor the person and work of the Holy Spirit - let’s be reminded of the prayer given in the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer:

“God, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who lived and reigned with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”