The Holy Spirit: What is it? Who is it? What is it Like? What does He do?

Introduction

One of my assignments in Graduate School was to write a Creed (or statement of belief) about the Holy Spirit. I thought that others may find this to be a useful article--or at least interesting! I hope you learn something that you didn't know before.

On the Holy Spirit…


I. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinitarian God. The Father is the source (John 5:26), Jesus is the channel of the source (Acts 2:22), and the Holy Spirit is the power that flows through that channel (Acts 1:8; 2:33). The Spirit is both Divine and a person as in He is not a force or power. The Holy Spirit does not promote His own agenda but He glorifies and testifies of Jesus (John 16:14; John 15:26). The Holy Spirit played a powerful role in the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:35), in the effecting of Jesus’ power to do the Father’s work, and in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Rom. 8:11). The Holy Spirit has many roles—teacher, comforter, and counselor are just a few. The Bible gives metaphors to tell what He is like, such as the water that brings life. The Holy Sprit also plays a major role in justification, sanctification, and empowering believers to live an obedient life. The Holy Spirit equips God’s children with spiritual gifts. There are those Christians that live by the Spirit, those called mature, who walk powerfully and intimately with the Holy Spirit in submission and obedience to God (Gal. 6:1; Phil. 3:12-15). There are those Christians that are led by their flesh, those called immature, who are led by their feelings and logic, want to follow God on their own terms, and very rarely experience the emotional, relational, and practical breakthrough of the powerful and abundant life of the Spirit (Eph. 4:22-24; 2 Cor. 3:17). A more detailed description with Scriptural references follows:


A. The Holy Spirit is a Person:

  1. Has an intellect (1 Cor.2:10; Rom.8:26-27; John 14:26)
  2. He has a will (1 Cor.12:11; Acts 20:28; Rev.2:7)
  3. He has emotions

- Love (Rom. 15:30)

- Grieved (Mark 3:5)

  1. Speak (Gal.4:6; Acts 13:2)
  2. He can be insulted (Heb.10:29)
  3. He can be lied to (Lev.19:11)
  4. He can be blasphemed (Matt.12:31, 32)
  5. He can be resisted by unbelievers (Acts 7:51)
  6. He can be quenched by believers (1 Thess. 5:19)

B. The Holy Spirit is Divine:

  1. Holy Sprit is God (Acts 5:3,4)
  2. Holy Spirit is Lord (2 Cor.3:17)
  3. Holy Spirit is Omnipresent (Ps. 139:7-10)
  4. Holy Spirit is Omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10)
  5. Holy Spirit is Omnipotent (Gen. 1:2)
  6. Holy Spirit is Eternal (Heb. 9:14)
  7. Titles that Relate to the Holy Spirit That Show His Divinity:

- The Spirit of God (1 Sam.10:10)

- The Spirit of the Lord (Is.59:19)

- My Spirit (Joel 2:28)

- The Spirit of the Living God (2 Cor. 3:3)

- The Power of the Highest (Luke 1:35)

- The Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:10-11)

- The Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19)

- The Spirit of His Son (Gal.4:6-7)

II. WHAT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?


A. Titles that Relate to the Work of the Holy Spirit

1. The Spirit of Adoption (John 1:12)

2. The Spirit of Glory (1 Peter 4:14)

3. The Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:28-29)

4. The Spirit of Grace and Supplication (Zech. 12:10)

5. The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding (Isa. 11:2)

6. The Spirit of Counsel and Might (Isa. 11:2)

7. The Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:2)

8. The Spirit of Life (John 6:63)

9. The Holy Spirit of Promise (Eph.1:13, 14)

10. The Spirit of Truth (John 14:17)

- Teach the truth about Jesus (John 14:17)

- Teach the truth about the Bible (John 16:13)

- Teach the truth about yourself (Ps. 19:12)

11. The Comforter (John 14:16)

12. The Eternal Spirit (Heb.9:14)

13. The Spirit (John 1:32)

B. Work of the Holy Spirit

  1. Conversion

- Convicts the world of sin (John 16:8,9)

- Convicts the world of Christ’s righteousness (1 Thess.1:5)

- Convicts the world of judgment (John 16:11)

  1. Justification (seals you for salvation (Eph. 1:13, 14…one-time experience)
  2. Sanctification—bringing our mind, will, and emotions under the rule of the Spirit (2 Thess.2:13)

- Imparts the character of God (2 Cor. 3:18)

- Holy Spirit helps us live by the Spirit and not the sinful nature/flesh (Gal. 5:16)

- Holy Spirit helps us to be taught by God (John 14:16-18)…apart from Him, you cannot know truth

- Empowers you for service (John 20:22, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31, Acts 19:1-5)

- Holy Spirit transforms you into a new person (Ezek. 36:26)

  1. The work of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

- Forms Christ’s character in you (Isaiah 11:2-5; Gal. 5:22-23)

- Clothes you with power to do the work of Christ (Isaiah 61:1-3; Heb 2:3,4)

- Builds up your faith (Jude 20)

- Helps you pray continually (1 Thess 5:17)

- Knows what to pray (Rom. 8:26,27)

- Receive spiritual gifts for common good (1 Cor. 12, 13, 14)

- Operate in specialized roles and functions (Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:27-31; Eph 4:11-13)

III. WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LIKE

A. Wind (Acts 2:2)

- wind of creation (fashioning universe from chaos; Gen. 1:2)

- wind of animation (giving Adam his physical and spiritual life; John 20:22)

- wind of sustenance (Psalm 104:29-30)

- wind of perception (allowing us to hear gentle breeze of His voice)

- wind of direction (guiding paths)

- wind of revitalization (quickening and giving strength)

B. Fire

- fire of cleansing (cleanse bloodstains by spirit of judgment and fire; Isa. 4:4)

- fire of baptism (Mat. 3:11)

- fire of Spirit living inside (I Thess. 5:19)

C. Water

- water of blessing (Isaiah 44:3)

- water of purity/sacrifice (1 John 5:8)

D. Dove

- like a dove…pure/innocent/lovely (Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22)

IV. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN LIFE OF BELIEVER


  1. The Holy Spirit regenerates us (John 3:6)
  2. The Holy Spirit sets the believer free (Rom. 8:1-4)
  3. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to walk with God (Ezek. 36:27)
  4. The Holy Spirit helps the believer to know God’s presence (Ezek. 39:29)
  5. The Holy Spirit teaches the believer to understand God’s Word (Prov. 1:23)
  6. The Holy Spirit will give you rest (Isa. 63:14)
  7. The Holy Spirit will bring excellence into your life (Dan. 6:3)
  8. The Holy Spirit brings life instead of death (John 3:5-6; John 6:63; Rom. 8:11; Rom. 8:5-6)
  9. The Holy Spirit is our seal and guarantee (Eph. 1:13)
  10. The Holy Spirit brings freedom (2 Cor. 3:17)
  11. The Holy Spirit brings renewal (Titus 3:5)
  12. The Holy Spirit brings hope (Rom. 5:3,4)
  13. The Holy Spirit brings comfort (John 14:16)
  14. The Holy Spirit gives us assurance (Gal. 4:1-6)
  15. The Holy Spirit reveals the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11)
  16. The Holy Spirit leads and guides (Rom. 8:14)
  17. The Holy Spirit brings you into God’s presence (Eph. 2:18)
  18. The Holy Spirit helps you in prayer (Eph. 6:18)
  19. The Holy Spirit helps us to worship (John 4:24; Phil. 3:3)
  20. The Holy Spirit leads us to give thanks (Eph. 5:2; 1 Thess. 2:13)
  21. The Holy Spirit gives us power (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8)
  22. The Holy Sprit gives us boldness (Acts 4:13)


V.THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT (all for the common good of the church)

  1. Word of wisdom (specific advice, supernatural—to alleviate problem; 1 Cor. 12:8)
  2. Word of knowledge (information about a person couldn’t know otherwise; 1 Cor. 12:8)
  3. Gift of faith ( supernatural faith from God; 1 Cor. 12; 9)
  4. Gift of healing (supernatural—mental, emotional, physical; 1 Cor. 12:9)
  5. Effecting of miracles (ordinary things done in extraordinary ways or supernatural; 1 Cor. 12:10; John 14:12; Heb. 2:4)
  6. Prophecy (hearing God’s voice for edification of body…to build, strengthen, encourage; 1 Cor. 12:10)
  7. Various kinds of tongues (edify self; prayer language; developed over time; 1 Cor. 12; 10)
  8. Interpretation of tongues (understanding; 1 Cor. 12:10)
  9. Distinguishing between spirits (what is of God’s will; 1 Cor. 12:10)
  10. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Gal. 5:22)


VI. THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS THE BELIEVER INERNALIZE REVELATION FROM GOD

  1. God speaks to your spirit (Eph 1:16-18)
  2. Your spirit receives revelation (1 Cor. 2:13)
  3. Your mind processes revelation (Psalm 77:5-7)
  4. Your will obeys revelation (John 14:21)
  5. Your emotions experience revelation (Psalm 16:11; John 15:11)


More by this Author


Comments 12 comments

zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Very informative and useful biblical quotes. Great information to memorize.


HOOWANTSTONO profile image

HOOWANTSTONO 5 years ago

Yep........... Holy Spirit is God


JinnyMarte 4 years ago

Dear Jenna:

This is a magnificent study and a wise guide for people like me who are just recently starting into Christianity. It is amazing the beautiful work and wisdom you have poured out for all of us here. There is no doubt about how blessed you are and what a special creature of His love you are. This is brilliant and so very appreciated.

Thank you so much for this wonderful pearl of His divine wisdom.

Love, J.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Seek: Holy Spirit is God Himself living with in you and supplying all of your needs and answering your questions.


calico Stark profile image

calico Stark 4 years ago from Earth for the time being

Very awesome article!I really got a lot out of this phrase "There are those Christians that live by the Spirit, those called mature, who walk powerfully and intimately with the Holy Spirit in submission and obedience to God (Gal. 6:1; Phil. 3:12-15). There are those Christians that are led by their flesh, those called immature, who are led by their feelings and logic, want to follow God on their own terms, and very rarely experience the emotional, relational, and practical breakthrough of the powerful and abundant life of the Spirit". I have read many teachings in my life time and yet have never heard such truth in a nutshell! Thanks for posting!


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi everyone...thanks for your comments! I'm glad this was useful to some. I really enjoyed writing it! :-)


Jim Daniel 4 years ago

You can take a closer look at the bible with http://www.VirtualHolyBible.com


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

i am now facing the screen, glued to your writings...upon reading your experiences in life, and knowing your true calling...

yes, i do always believe that the Holy Spirit is real...it's our Divine Guidance...the very voice that encourages us to go on with life...this is an astonishing hub...


www.lookseenow profile image

www.lookseenow 4 years ago

May the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace by your believing, Rom. 15:13

Believing builds hope, and that hope will not lead to disappointment. Those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power that you may abound like mounting up with wings like eagles. You’ll be flying instead of running and not grow weary.

I can use a power that God dispenses, but he is not dispensing himself, he is giving an active force for me to use. I’m empowered by an active force, and I use the force not a person. It does not come to me or anyone else who asks as a person.

God’s spirit can make up for human weaknesses, regardless of their nature. Holy spirit is God’s active force that strengthens whenever you feel weak and in need of help. Look at these three perks. Hope, power, and holy spirit the holy spirit supplies them all.

How can holy spirit be a person if it activates others? If holy spirit is a person, then millions of others who are filled with it would make up the one person?


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois Author

@ lookseenow: Thanks for your comment. When I say "person" I don't mean person in the same way that humans are a person. I mean person in the way that He is a "He" and not an "It" the way God is a "He" and not an "It." The characteristics that I mentioned refer to the characteristics of a "being" (though it be Spirit being) and not just a force. Because Holy Spirit is God, He can be in all places at once. He is also a force that empowers and energizes but He is also a counselor that gives wisdom and one that leads, etc.:

Has an intellect (1 Cor.2:10; Rom.8:26-27; John 14:26)

He has a will (1 Cor.12:11; Acts 20:28; Rev.2:7)

He has emotions

- Love (Rom. 15:30)

- Grieved (Mark 3:5)

Speak (Gal.4:6; Acts 13:2)

He can be insulted (Heb.10:29)

He can be lied to (Lev.19:11)

He can be blasphemed (Matt.12:31, 32)

He can be resisted by unbelievers (Acts 7:51)

He can be quenched by believers (1 Thess. 5:19)


eliserenee profile image

eliserenee 4 years ago from Chicago

You did a great job of describing an often enigmatic aspect of God. This was really interesting! Thanks for posting your work :)


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois Author

@Eliserenee: Thanks for the comment! It was fun to write it. :-)

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