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Who is the Holy Spirit?

Updated on February 23, 2015

The Divine Attributes of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a coequal member of the trinity (Matt. 28:19) proceeding from the Father and the Son (John 15:26). He is fully divine and does the work of the Father at His bidding (John 14:26).

The Personality of the Holy Spirit

  • Attributes

The Holy Spirit is a personal being Who can be both grieved (Eph. 4:30). He is a spirit and cannot be seen with human eyes (John 3:8), but is active in believers lives though at times beyond their consciousness (Rom. 8:26).

  • Works

The Holy Spirit empowers believers to believe in Jesus Christ for Salvation (I Cor. 12:3), convicts believers of their sin (John 16:8), sanctifies them (I Peter 1:2), indwells and seals them (John 14:17) and prays for them (Rom. 8:26).

The Roles of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments

  • The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was active in creation (Gen. 1:2). He revealed God’s words to people through prophets (II Peter 1:21) and anointed certain individuals so that they were able to accomplish tasks ordained for them by God (I Chr. 12:18).

  • The Holy Spirit in the New Testament

In the New Testament the Holy Spirit was active in Christ’s ministry on earth (Matt. 1:18). He gave revelation to the apostles (Eph. 3:5) and validated their ministries with miracles (Acts 15:12). He continues to be active in the church today:

  • The Offices Ordained by the Spirit for the building up of the Church

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers (Eph. 4:11-12).

  • Motivational Gifts Ordained by the Spirit for the building up of the Church

Prophecy, ministry, teaching, giving, exhortation, ruling, mercy (Rom. 12:6-8).

  • The Manifestations of the Spirit

Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, *divers tongues, interpretation of tongues (I Cor. 12).

*Tongues

I believe the tongues referenced in Scripture are to be differentiated from the “prayer languages” some believers claim to utilize today which may well be valid but are mentioned nowhere in Scripture. Scriptural “tongues” are meant for making the Gospel clear in other known languages, not for speaking directly to God while bypassing the Holy Spirit.

Application:

My beliefs about the Holy Spirit are not extreme and this influences my choice of church greatly as I will embrace believers with differing believes but would prefer to attend a church that shares my beliefs. Though I personally do not adhere to the Pentecostal practices of speaking in tongues for the purpose of self-edification, what I believe does not in any way cause me to not acknowledge the good that the charismatic movement has done for the American church in the 20th and 21st centuries. My beliefs about the Holy Spirit affect my walk with God deeply because I trust the Lord to sanctify my by His Spirit daily. I recognize this process as being the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. Though I personally do not speak in a prayer language I do not condemn those who do. My understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit causes me to rely more on Him because I am conscious of the fact that when I do not know what to pray, He will pray for me. This give me great comfort in my times of need because I know that I am cared for by the Comforter Christ has sent. I am open to His work of sanctification in my life and would not oppose His temporary filling for the purpose of being a useful tool in bringing others to Christ.

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