Who is the Holy Spirit?
BY PASTOR BRANDON YOUNG
I have started preaching a series of message on the person, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit. I have thoroughly enjoyed the topic, and it has been so beneficial in my relationship with Christ. I want to share some of this information in the column over the next weeks. It is so important to understand more about the Holy Spirit and its impact on our lives as Christians. Genesis 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. From the very beginning of creation, we see the effects of the Holy Spirit. As God began to create and speak the earth into existence, the Holy Spirit began to move over the face of the waters. So who is the Holy Spirit? John MacArthur said, “The Holy Spirit is the most forgotten, the most misrepresented, the most dishonored, the most grieved, the most abused and I might say the most blasphemed of the members of the Trinity.” I would have to add to this statement that the Holy Spirit is also the lesser known and misunderstood member of the Trinity.
Billy Graham said, “The Holy Spirit is God himself as he is at work in the world and in our lives. Just as Jesus who was God in the human flesh, once walked among the people of his day, so the Holy Spirit — who is God — now lives among us. We are not alone because God is with us by His Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is a person, and that person moves into each of us the moment we commit our life to Christ. He is God within us! The Bibleproject.org says, “The Spirit is a person and not merely a force. But, when we start on page one of the Bible, before creation ever even began, we see a depiction of the spirit of God hovering over the dark, disordered waters of the earth, ready to begin spreading goodness and creation. In the Bible, any time we see a description of the spirit of God, such as what is depicted in the first few verses of the Bible, the Hebrew word “ruakh” is used. Ruakh can describe an invisible, powerful force, and necessary for life, making “The Spirit” a fitting description for the Spirit of God.” He is equal in nature and attributes to the Father and the Son. He is not diminished in any sense. He is fully God in the same way the Father and the Son are.
Billy Graham also said, “The Holy Spirit is God Himself. (This, incidentally, is why we should always refer to the Holy Spirit as “He” and not as an impersonal “it.”) As such, He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and He loves us with an everlasting love. He also convicts us of sin and shows us the truth about Christ; He helps us when we pray and works within us to change our lives.” It was the Holy Spirit that began to convict us of our sins before our conversion. Without the conviction of the Holy Spirit drawing us and inviting us to know Christ, we cannot be saved. I am grateful for the person of the Holy Spirit, and I am honored and relieved that I do not face life alone. This powerful person lives inside of me leading, guiding, and directing me throughout the course of my life. I am not alone! A human being is a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. The mind of a person is the realm of the soul. A person has a will to determine or to take action, an intellect to understand and perceive emotions, and emotions to express feelings. Like a human person, the Holy Spirit has all three: a will, intellect, and emotions. The Holy Ghost is omni present. He can be in different places at the same time doing different things without diminishing in quality or personality. This means He can be fully present in one place and fully present in another all at the same time. It is this attribute that makes it possible for Him to be in you and with you at the same time. Can you see why the Holy Spirit is actual a person and not a thing? We have made Him a mystery, but he is truly God!
Jesus said in John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Jesus called the Spirit the Comforter which also means helper, counselor, and friend. The Lord mentions two points: the Holy Spirit was already real and He was about to come. At that time, the Spirit dwelled with the disciples, but they lacked having Him in them. If the Spirit of God was so important to the life of Jesus, how much more so for the lives of the believers! Kelly Bingham gave this analogy using the well-known story of Pinocchio. Geppetto creates a boy out of wood and names him Pinocchio. Now Pinocchio was no ordinary puppet, no one was pulling his strings or controlling what he did. Pinocchio was able to make his own decisions.
Pinocchio didn’t want to be just a puppet; he wanted to become a real boy. He wanted to go to school, play with friends, go out into the real world, and live with his father.
Geppetto decided to let Pinocchio go out into the world, but he knew that there were a lot of influences that would try and get Pinocchio to make wrong choices or even hurt Pinocchio. He knew Pinocchio would need a guide to help him make good choices. So Geppetto sent Jiminy Cricket to go along with Pinocchio wherever he went. Jiminy Cricket would follow Pinocchio and let tell him when he was doing good things, or if he was about to do something bad. Sometimes Pinocchio listened to Jiminy and choose to do what he said. Sometimes he disobeyed Jiminy and got into a lot of trouble.
One of these times was when a bunch of boys talked Pinocchio into skipping school and go with them to Pleasure Island. Pinocchio knew it was wrong, but it sounded like so much fun that he ignored Jiminy’s advice and went anyway. Pleasure Island seemed like fun at first, but then he got into more and more trouble and then something really bad happened and he got lost. He couldn’t find his way back home again. He was sorry for what he did, apologized to Jiminy and promised to listen to him from then on. Jiminy was able to help Pinocchio find his way back to his father, and because of his obedience he eventually became a real boy. Just like Pinocchio, we don’t have strings and people controlling us. We have the ability to make our own decisions. Our Heavenly Father has given us our own Jiminy Cricket to help us through life when he gave us the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we choose to listen, the Holy Ghost will help guide us so we too can live with our Father in Heaven and become the real boys and girls He wants us to be. My prayer is that we all become more aware and familiar with the Holy Spirit.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton)
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