Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the Holy Spirit’s primary role in the universe? Has the Holy Spirit always existed? How are we supposed to relate to the Holy Spirit as Christians? Let’s begin with some true-false questions, and then we’ll answer them in the lesson.
Before we get into all that, let’s first understand who the Holy Spirit is not.
- When referring to the Holy Spirit, we should say “It” because that’s what the Bible says.
- The Holy Spirit won’t be in eternity since we won’t be sinners and Jesus will be ruling.
- The Holy Spirit’s primary role is to point the world to God the Son, Jesus Christ.
When thinking about these questions, I’m convinced that John 15:26-27 is one of the most important passages of Scripture in all the Bible teaching on the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” This is the role of the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force or an “It.” The Holy Spirit is not merely the force or the arm of God. The Holy Spirit is a Person; therefore, we should refer to Him as “He.”
The Holy Spirit is not the Wal-Mart bouncing smiley face. Many people view the Holy Spirit’s role as to merely make God’s people happy and nice. But there is so much more to Him.
The Holy Spirit is not God’s energy drink in you. I’ve heard many accounts of so-called “Holy Spirit Revivals” where people are “slain in the Spirit,” filled with the Spirit for Holy laughter and vomiting (its true!), and crawling around on all fours wearing a dog collar to picture submission.
The Holy Spirit is not weak or selfish. If the Holy Spirit does indwell a person, that person’s life will be changed. The Holy Spirit doesn’t indwell a person’s life for His own glory, but for the glory of Jesus Christ! Notice how Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit meaning the Spirit submits to the Son. And when the Holy Spirit came, He didn’t point to Himself, but the Spirit came to bear witness of Christ. That is the primary role of the Holy Spirit!
Let’s get into Who the Holy Spirit really is. The Holy Spirit is a member of the Triune God which means He is His own Person yet He is also a full part of the Divine Godhead. He has eternally existed, and he was involved in the beginning at the creation of the universe (Gen 1:2). The Holy Spirit was, is, and always will be the sign of the Kingdom of Christ. Let me explain. In the OT, He anointed the prophets, kings, and specifically chosen people of God to accomplish God’s specific will. His final anointing was on Jesus (Christ = Anointed One, Messiah) making Him the King of the cosmos. Through Christ, we too as the church are anointed with the Holy Spirit (filling the church together as the temple of God). The Holy Spirit does not seek to be worshipped, rather He leads everything into worship of the Son. The Holy Spirit fills everything. He also gives and sustains life in the eternal Kingdom of the New Creation (Ezekiel 47, Revelation 22). Therefore the Holy Spirit convicts to point the world to the Son of God (John 16:8-11), fills believers to transform them into Christ’s image (2 Cor 3:18), and assists us in bringing glory to the Father. That is why He is called the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9, 1 Pet 1:11).
So from saying all of that, how can we live in the Spirit. As Christians, we can live in the Spirit in three primary ways. First, the Holy Spirit gives the people of God wisdom. I’m afraid that Christian pop-culture today encourages us to “wait on God” rather than use wisdom. If God intended for us to pray and wait, He would not have needed to give us His Word so that we can study in order to gain wisdom and make wise, godly decisions. Second, the Holy Spirit gives the people of God power (not weakness). The Holy Spirit does not just enable us to live for Christ, but He also empowers us to want to live for Christ so that we live in righteousness (Phil 2:13). Lastly, the Holy Spirit gives the people of God the ability to be Christ-like. The Holy Spirit is constantly working to transform us into Christ’s glorious and perfect image (Rom 8:28-29).