The Holy Spirit: Who is He?
The Holy Spirit is perhaps the most misunderstood person of the Godhead. Some teach that He is more of a force or an influence than a person.
This study looks more closely at what the Bible actually says about the Holy Spirit (also called the Holy Ghost). It shows that the Holy Spirit is a divine person who speaks, comforts, has creatorial power and feelings.
Who and what is the Holy Spirit?
“God [is] a spirit; and they who worship him must worship [him] in spirit and truth.” John 4v24
“The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1v2). See also Psalm 148v4-5, Revelation 4v11 and Colossians 1v16)
“And the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove upon him; and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight.” (Luke 3v22)
“But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you.” (John 14v26)
“Go [therefore] and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;” (Matthew 28v19).
The Holy Spirit is one of the Trinity and equal in the Godhead.
“And whosoever shall have spoken a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming [one].” (Matthew 12v32) See also Mark 3v39.
The Holy Spirit is holy and a distinct person. He was upon the Lord Jesus, but the Lord still points out that there is a distinct glory and majesty attached to the Holy Spirit which would make a word spoken against Him a serious charge indeed. Meanwhile the Lord Himself says that a word spoken against the Son of man would be forgiven.
“And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13v2).
“They therefore, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia, and thence sailed away to Cyprus.” (Acts 13v4).
“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:” (Acts 15v28).
“And having passed through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia,” (Acts 16v6).
“And I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Write, Blessed the dead who die in [the] Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them.” (Revelation 14v13)
“Wherefore, even as says the Holy Spirit, To-day if ye will hear his voice (Hebrews 3v7)
This scripture shows that the Holy Spirit speaks.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which ye have been sealed for [the] day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4v30).
The Holy Spirit can be grieved, this is a personal feeling.
“And in like manner the Spirit joins also its help to our weakness; for we do not know what we should pray for as is fitting, but the Spirit itself makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered. But he who searches the hearts knows what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for saints according to God.” (Romans 8v26-27)
The Holy Spirit intercedes for us on our behalf as also does the Lord (see Romans 8v34 and Hebrews 7v25).
"Having come down to Mysia, they attempted to go to Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;" (Acts 16v7:).
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of [the] Lord [is, there is] liberty. But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3v17-18).
The Holy Spirit of God is the Lord’s Spirit. He gives us liberty and He is the power of our transformation to glory. The Spirit shows us the glories of the Lord.
See also Revelation 2 and 3: The Lord speaks but it says regularly to “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.”
The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son. These scriptures show that He has a voice, speaks, has divine feelings, has creatorial power and took an active part in empowering both the Lord’s ministry and the ministry of the apostles. These scriptures show the Holy Spirit is more than some sort of force, power or feeling. He is a divine person, distinct and yet one with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is God and God has revealed Himself as the Holy Spirit to empower the saints individually and the Church as a whole.
Why is He here?
“If therefore ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give [the] Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11v13)
“But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you.” (John 14v26).
“But because ye are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4v6).
The Holy Spirit has been sent by the Father and the Son. The Lord has ascended into heaven to sit as a man at the right hand of God (Colossians 3v1). He has sent the Holy Spirit to be a Comforter to us in His absence. The Father has sent the Spirit at the request of the Son. It is the Lord who asked the Father on our behalf that we might have the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit and the Bible
“For every one whosoever, who shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” (Romans 10v13).
“Brethren, it was necessary that the scripture should have been fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before, by the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who became guide to those who took Jesus” (Acts 1v16).
“For prophecy was not ever uttered by [the] will of man, but holy men of God spake under the power of [the] Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1v21).
When we read the scriptures, written by holy men, we should always remember that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired and indighted them (i.e. put them into words). Prophets wrote down the word of God as directed by the Spirit of God.
By what other titles is the Holy Spirit known?
“But when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak; and he will announce to you what is coming” (John 16v13) See also John 14v17, 15v26.
“But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you.” (John 14v26). See also John 14v16, John 16v17.
“Of how much worse punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and esteemed the blood of the covenant, whereby he has been sanctified, common, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10v29).
“In whom ye also [have trusted], having heard the word of the truth, the glad tidings of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, ye have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1v13).
“Marked out Son of God in power, according to [the] Spirit of holiness, by resurrection of [the] dead) Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1v4).
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which ye have been sealed for [the] day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4v30). See also Ephesians 1v13.
“Who is [the] earnest of our inheritance to the redemption of the acquired possession to [the] praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1v14).
How much rather shall the blood of the Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself spotless to God, purify your conscience from dead works to worship [the] living God?” (Hebrews 9v14).
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of [the] Lord [is, there is] liberty. But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3v17-18).
Having come down to Mysia, they attempted to go to Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;" (Acts 16v7).
“For ye are not the speakers, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you” Matthew 10v20.
“For ye have not received a spirit of bondage again for fear, but ye have received a spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8v15).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of promise, the Spirit of holiness, the Eternal Spirit, the Comforter, the Lord the Spirit and the Earnest of our inheritance. He leads us into all truth; he is the evidence of the magnitude of the grace shown to us (but also that grace in Himself); he was promised to us but also makes the promises of God more certain to us; we have been sealed with Him so He is also God’s seal on us as his work; He is the means by which we have access into the presence of the Father (Ephesians 2v18); He is Holy in His person marking out the perfection of the Son of God, but also ourselves (1 Peter 1v15). He is the earnest of our inheritance, marking out the seriousness and reality of God’s promises to us. He is God and therefore eternal, without beginning or end. He is our blessed Comforter in the absence of the Lord and thus we can speak with Him as the disciples would speak to the Lord. It is by Him and through Him we are led into the appreciation of divine things and persons. He is the Spirit of our adoption enabling us to enter the relationship of son with the Father and appreciate it in all its blessedness.