Holy Spirit: God, Person and Gift

When we think and talk about the Holy Spirit we often become confused and hesitant.  Our perceptions are that this is the crazy part of God that we can take or leave.  The reality is that the Holy Spirit is God, He is a gift by whom our Christian journey comes alive, who tells us about Jesus and takes us on the adventure that not only changes our lives but the lives of others too.

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Holy Spirit… isn’t just power, like electricity, but fully God.

Read [biblegateway passage=”Isaiah 59:21″ display=”Isaiah 59:21″] and [biblegateway passage=”2 Corinthians 3:17″ display=”2 Corinthians 3:17″].  What stands out for you here?

Key Point 1:

We can find it hard to understand the Holy Spirit.  It can be easier to picture God as Father or Jesus as God the Son, but much harder to picture or imagine the HS.  It can make us think that the HS is simply a power or an experience.  Yet these verses describe the HS as being fully god and coming from God.  The word Lord is a translation of the Hebrew word Yahweh, the holy and intimate name for God. So when Paul uses the term Lord to describe the HS he is using it knowing that this word can only be used for God.  The only way that calling the HS Lord makes sense is if the writers are saying he is fully God. This underlines the fact that the HS is not an add-on to God the Father and God the Son, but an equal and essential part of the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit, in other words, isn’t just power, like electricity, but fully God.

 

HOW DO WE DESCRIBE THE HOLY SPIRIT?

Read [biblegateway passage=”John 14:25-26″ display=”John 14:25-26″] and [biblegateway passage=”John 15:26″ display=”John 15:26″].  What stands out for you?

Key Point 2:

As we describe the HS we often refer to him as an ‘it’.  Yet this is not how Jesus describes the HS.  In both of these passages and throughout the bible, what we see is Jesus referring to the spirit as ‘He’.  This isn’t an issue of gender, but demonstrates that we should understand that the HS is a person and he acts personally towards us.  We think of the Holy Spirit being an impersonal force that acts on us a bit like gravity) and who make sus do crazy things like ‘The Force’ in Star Wars.  These passages (and lots of others) show that the HS is not a thing but a person.  This is important because it highlights that the HS is the same relational God who loves us, cares for us and helps us.

THE GIFT

Read [biblegateway passage=”Acts 2:38″ display=”Acts 2:38″].  What stands out for you?

Key Point 3:

The Holy Spirit is given as a gift from God.  He is given to those who believe in Jesus to help them live out their faith in Jesus.  He is not just an experience that we need to seek and not something that we have to work hard at or be perfect to earn.  Rather the Holy Spirit is a gift that Jesus gives us to help us believe, to help us turn away from our sin and who equips us to live life in a way that points to and honours Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is God – he has been around forever and is an essential part of the Trinity.  He is a person – he acts personally towards us, he is the same relational God who loves, cares and helps us.  He is a gift – there is nothing we can do to earn the Holy Spirit.  Through His grace, God gives us His Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead [biblegateway passage=”Romans 8:11″ display=”(Romans 8:11)”] and through whom you can do immeasurably more than you than we ask or imagine [biblegateway passage=”Ephesians 3:20″ display=”(Ephesians 3:20)”].  Jesus said, in [biblegateway passage=”John 14:12″ display=”John 14:12″], that whoever believes in him (and therefore has been given the Holy Spirit) will do even greater things than Jesus did.  How cool is that, the Holy Spirit will guide us to have life and have it to the full [biblegateway passage=”John 10:10″ display=”(John 10:10b)”]

 

Many thanks to Youthwork magazine, June 2014 vol 3 issue 02 for this resource.

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