One of the most misunderstood doctrines found within the Bible is who, or what, the Holy Spirit is. Some churches, that you never want to step foot in again nor bring a friend to, think that the Holy Spirit even causes a person to roll around on the ground and bark like a dog or burst out in uncontrollable laughter for hours. Some even bust out flags and try to wave him around like he’s something they can control. Other than looking completely silly, unfortunately most of these churches have no idea what a Biblical concept of the Holy Spirit looks like and usually place an abnormal amount of attention focusing on the Spirt over the other parts of the Trinity (Jesus and God the Father).
So what exactly is the Holy Spirit? Is it a force that roams around the earth and just creeps people out or is he a full member and person of the Trinity? In theology, the study of the Spirit is known as Pneumatology. In short, the Holy Spirit is a person who is God, who’s primary work in the world is to show the active presence of God in the world, mostly through the church and in the lives of Christians.
Firstly, the Holy Spirit is God and is a a full member of the Trinity. He’s not a side show that makes people do weird stuff, but should be worshiped as God. He is also a person in nature; which is why such personal attributes describe him, such as one that can be grieved, resisted, quenched and outraged. He is found within the Bible as early as the first chapter of the Bible when the creation of the earth is being described, and typically was a sign of bringing blessing through out the Bible. He is also a promise or guarantee for Christians that they will one day persevere until the end and make it to heaven, because God himself is the one preserving them.
The third member of the Trinity is also called the HOLY Spirt for a reason, one of his works is that he purifies or makes holy. He convicts us of sin or wrong that we do, washes us ultimately of sin when we are converted and become a Christian, and day by day helps us become more like Christ as our sinful patterns are put to death through him.
The Spirt also empowers Christians through out their life, which is both seen in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. While Jesus was still on this earth, he told his disciples that it was good that he left (be crucified), because he would send the Holy Spirt to us, who would actually dwell inside of Christians and would make himself evident in their lives through the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). The most powerful outpouring of the Spirit is seen at Pentecost in Acts 2 when he is sent and falls on believers as they are praying with several thousand becoming believers later that day.
Finally, the Holy Spirt guides us just as he guided Jesus during his life, was the one filling and guiding the writers of the Bible as they penned their respective books, bears witness that we are God’s children, gives us words to speak and intercedes for us in prayer when we don’t know what to say, unifies the church through gifting and will one day raise up Christians in resurrected bodies once they die.
It is truly amazing how much God wants to be directly involved in our lives and have a relationship with us because of what Jesus did. He did not leave us alone in this life, but gave us fellow Christians to walk besides and his Spirit to guide us. Sometime today, thank God that he did not leave us alone in this world, but even gave us his very own Spirit to guide and direct us in our everyday lives.