D74 - The Holy Spirit is God
In John 3:5, Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that to be born of God is to be born ‘of the Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit is his own person.
When we lied to the Holy Spirit, we lied to God. That was what happened in the case of Ananias, who declared that he had released all the money he got from the sale of the land when he actually held back a portion of it (Acts 5:3-4). Peter equated the holy Spirit with God.
The significance of the Holy Spirit is found in Rom 8:9 which says,
‘If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him (Jesus).’
In the doxology, all three members of the Godhead are mentioned. 2 Cor 13:14 says it as such, ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’
D75 - The Holy Spirit is a person
Just like God the Father (D10, God is a person), and Jesus (D63, Jesus demonstrated a range of emotions), the Holy Spirit is a person with a personality.
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray and intercedes for us (Rom 8:26-27).
And the Holy Spirit can grieve within us (Eph 4:30).
The Holy Spirit is a person and not a force.
D76 - Believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit
In John 14:17, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit
‘abides with us and will be in us.’
Hence, when we become believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us.
1 Cor 6:19 says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
In Eph 1:13, stronger words are used to describe our relationship with the Holy Spirit – believers are ‘sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise.’
The Greek word for ‘seal’ is sphargizo and it is indeed translated appropriately as seal/ set a seal upon.
The concept of how a believer can be ‘unsealed’ is something which is beyond the scope of explanation here. Please also see the following:
- S139 – Continuous sinning deliberately and wilfully even after knowing Jesus,
- S140 – Sell off our birthrights by disassociating with Jesus permanently,
- S141- Take on the mark of the beast (666).
D77 - The Holy Spirit has many names
The Holy Spirit has many names and they indicate his roles.
D78 - The Holy Spirit never imposes
In all four gospels, they spoke about the experience of Jesus – as he was coming out of the water after being baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on him in a bodily form like a dove and rested on him.
The Holy Spirit is often described as a dove. Doves are used as a symbol of love, peace and harmony. They are pure, white, and harmless. They are gentle, faithful (they mate for life) and friendly. They raise their young ones with great care.
Because of the gentle nature of the Holy Spirit, just like Jesus, he will never impose. The Apostle Paul, for example, was told through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem (Acts:20:22-23; Acts 21:4). Yet, he insisted. The Holy Spirit may direct but we decide the final move.
In addition, the Holy Spirit can be grieved (Eph 4:30) – the Greek word for ‘grieve’ is lupeo – that is, he can be pained/ grieved/ hurt/ made severely sorrowful. And it will affect the Holy Spirit’s ability to speak to us as well as to flow through us.
How can we grieve the Holy Spirit? Eph 4:17-31 provided us ways in which we can grieve the Holy Spirit – like
- practicing ‘impurity’,
- lying, and falsehood
- having uncontrollable anger,
- stealing, and
- having corrupt conversation.
Basically, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we choose to sin.
D79 - The Holy Spirit is our ultimate teacher
John 14:26 says, ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.’
- It is the Holy Spirit that directs our path and teaches us.
- It is the Holy Spirit that brings into remembrance regarding the lessons taught in the Scripture.
- It is the Holy Spirit that helps to shape the way we think and respond as long as we allow the Holy Spirit to operate freely and not grieve him through our sinful lives
See D78, The Holy Spirit never imposes, for some information.
We learn by being sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
D80 - The Holy Spirit speaks directly to us
In Acts 13:2, while the church was fasting and praying to the Lord, the Holy Spirit said to them to separate Barnabas and Saul (now Paul) for the works of the Kingdom.
Then, in Acts 20:23, the Holy Spirit warned Paul ‘that imprisonment and afflictions await him’ in Jerusalem.
The Bible used the words,
‘The Holy Spirit said.’
There is not much explanation as to how does the Holy Spirit speak to us in the Bible but it is probably an inner witness within our spirit or possibly through the Word of God. It could be a combination of things, including dreams and prophecies.
But if we seek the Lord, he does speak to us – sometimes through coincidences like the case of Peter and the household of Cornelius. (Acts 10:9-19).
See also B244 to B252 under Decision-Making.
D81 - The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus
John 15:26 says that
‘the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness (testify) about Jesus.’
John 16:14 reiterates that the Holy Spirit
‘will glorify me (Jesus) for he will take what is mine (Jesus) and declare it to you.’
Jesus said in Matt 12:30,
‘Whoever is not with me is against me.’
The Holy Spirit will never contradict Jesus but will recognize Jesus as God.
D82 - The Holy Spirit guides us
It was the Holy Spirit who guided Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil – Matt 4:1. We will never completely understand the rationale for it but this is in the Bible and it is part of God’s sovereign plan. Jesus had to pass that test.
See D84 – The Holy Spirit can lead us to be tested.
The Holy Spirit will ‘guide you (us) into all the truth’ – John 16:13
In Mark 13:11, Jesus provided assurance to believers that should we be arrested and had to stand trial because of our beliefs, we are to
‘say what God tells you (us) at that time, for it is not you (us) who will be speaking but the Holy Spirit.’
Which means in difficult times, the Holy Spirit takes over and guides us.
Throughout our lives, the Holy Spirit guides us. The key to our Christian living is the ability to discover the voice of the Holy Spirit and to obey that voice.
D83 - The Holy Spirit is God's powerful presence
Jesus promised in Matt 28:20 that ‘surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.’ That promise is found in the provision of the Holy Spirit.
In John 14:18, Jesus promised,
‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.’
It is the Holy Spirit that
‘convict(s) the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement’ (John 16:7-8).
Jesus’ presence is now in the form of the Holy Spirit.
D84 - The Holy Spirit can lead us to be tested
In D82 – The Holy Spirit guides us, it was mentioned that the Holy Spirit guided Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil – Matt 4:1.
‘We will never completely understand the rationale for it but this is in the Bible and it is part of God’s sovereign plan. Jesus had to pass that test.’
If the Holy Spirit led Jesus to be tested, surely he can lead us to be tested too. In fact, to be examined by God is part and parcel of being a Christian.
Jesus tested his disciples constantly.
‘He was asking this to test him.’
In his newly resurrected body, Jesus chose to walk alongside with Cleopas and Simon, who did not recognize him and he got them talking by asking
‘What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?’ (Luke 24:17).
He already knew that they were talking about the unbelievable resurrection of Jesus but he wanted to hear it from them directly.
Trials are part of learning about the other person as much as allowing the other person to learn about himself/ herself.
In manufacturing, quality checks are carried out as part of a normal process in order to ensure that customers are getting quality products. So, it appears to be the same with God.
Even the great matriarch, Abraham, was tested to find his level of trust in God when he was asked to sacrifice his son of promise, Isaac, on Mt Moriah (Gen 22:1-12).
For more information, please see D128 – Believers will be tested by the Lord.