Who or What is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is one of the most mysterious and misunderstood aspects of the Christian faith. Many people have questions about who the Holy Spirit is, what the Holy Spirit does, and how the Holy Spirit relates to us. In this article, we will explore some of these questions from the perspective of Vineyard theology and kingdom theology, two frameworks that emphasize the centrality of the kingdom of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in biblical thought and practice.
The Holy Spirit is God
The first and most important thing to know about the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is not a force, a feeling, or an impersonal entity. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit shares all the attributes of God, such as holiness, love, wisdom, power, and sovereignty.
The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2), the inspiration of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21), the conception of Jesus (Luke 1:35), and the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 8:11). The Holy Spirit also bears witness to Jesus (John 15:26), convicts the world of sin (John 16:8), regenerates and sanctifies believers (Titus 3:5), guides and teaches believers (John 16:13), empowers and gifts believers for ministry (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11), and intercedes for believers (Romans 8:26-27).
The Holy Spirit is not a separate or lesser God than the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is one with them in essence, purpose, and will. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus (John 16:14) and reveals the Father's heart to us (Romans 8:15-16). The Holy Spirit is God with us and in us.
The Holy Spirit is the Presence and Power of the Kingdom
The second thing to know about the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit is the presence and power of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the dynamic realm where God reigns over all things in righteousness, justice, and peace. The kingdom of God is both a present reality and a future hope. It was inaugurated by Jesus in his life, death, and resurrection, but it will be consummated when he returns in glory.
The Holy Spirit is the agent of the kingdom of God who brings it into our lives and into our world. The Holy Spirit enables us to enter the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus (John 3:5-6), to experience the kingdom of God by grace through Jesus (Romans 14:17), and to extend the kingdom of God by love for Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Holy Spirit manifests the kingdom of God through signs and wonders that demonstrate God's rule over nature, sickness, demons, and death. The Holy Spirit also manifests the kingdom of God through fruits and gifts that display God's character and compassion. The Holy Spirit equips us to be witnesses of Jesus and his kingdom to all people groups and nations.
The Holy Spirit is not a passive or optional part of our Christian life. The Holy Spirit is essential and active in advancing God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Friend
The third thing to know about the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit is our helper and friend. The Holy Spirit is not distant or impersonal. The Holy Spirit is intimate and personal. The Holy Spirit wants to have a relationship with us as our counselor, comforter, advocate, teacher, guide, leader, companion, and friend.
The Bible reveals that we can have various kinds of interactions with the Holy Spirit. We can grieve the Holy Spirit by sinning against him (Ephesians 4:30), quench the Holy Spirit by resisting him (1 Thessalonians 5:19), blaspheme the Holy Spirit by rejecting him (Matthew 12:31-32), lie to the Holy Spirit by deceiving him (Acts 5:3), insult the Holy Spirit by spurning him (Hebrews 10:29), and resist the Holy Spirit by disobeying him (Acts 7:51). On the other hand, we can also please the Holy Spirit by obeying him (Galatians 5:16), be filled with the Holy Spirit by yielding to him (Ephesians 5:18), walk by the Holy Spirit by following him (Galatians 5:25), pray in the Holy Spirit by relying on him (Jude 20), worship in the Holy Spirit by honoring him (Philippians 3:3), and fellowship with the Holy Spirit by loving him (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Holy Spirit is not a force to be manipulated or a tool to be used. The Holy Spirit is a person to be respected and a friend to be cherished. The Holy Spirit wants to have a close and constant relationship with us as our helper and friend.
The Holy Spirit is God, the presence and power of the kingdom, and our helper and friend. The Holy Spirit is essential for our salvation, transformation, and mission. The Holy Spirit is the best gift that God has given us through Jesus. The Holy Spirit invites us to know him, experience him, and partner with him in advancing God�s kingdom on earth. May we respond to his invitation with faith, obedience, and love.
If you want to learn more about the Holy Spirit, visit Vineyard Trailblazers Church of State College, a community of believers who are passionate about pursuing God�s presence and power in our lives and in our world. If you want to learn more about the Holy Spirit and how he can change your life, we invite you to join us for our Sunday services or our weekly small groups. We would love to welcome you into our family and journey with you in discovering more of God�s love and purpose for you.