Who is the Holy Spirit?

The God we worship is the Supreme Being in the Universe. He is greater than anything or anyone else. He is Spirit (John 4:24) and in the Old Testament he was regarded as great and mighty, but most of the time, as far away from people.

 Even though the word Trinity is never used in the Bible, in many places in the Old Testament we get hints that God is not one, completely on his own. He is, within Himself, three persons, but at the same time those three are a unity. It is difficult to understand, but if you think of the 3 sides which make up one triangle, you may find it easier. We hear God saying in Genesis 1:26: "and now we will make ..." and in many places we read of God's Spirit.

 The three persons in the Trinity are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God the Father is all-powerful and has everything under his control. God the Son is the one who took on a human body and became a man in Jesus who lived nearly 2000 years ago in Palestine. He was God's special messenger whose coming was prophesied many times in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 52:13 - 53; Malachi 3:1; Acts 3:18-24).

 Jesus was a man for just a short time and we read of all He did in the 4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He gathered followers around him so they could teach people after He went away, but His main purpose in coming was to die. There had to be someone who was perfect - sinless, who could take the punishment for the sins of the whole world. As perfect man and as God He died in our place. But he could not remain in the grave, because He was God, and so He rose again from the dead, gave further instructions to His disciples and then ascended to heaven.

 Before He died He promised His disciples that He would send another Helper to them, to be with them, to teach them and to help them live as He wanted them to live. This is the Holy Spirit (John 15:26).

 The Holy Spirit was recognized in the Old Testament, but possibly thought of more as a power than a person (1 Samuel 16:13-14; Isaiah 63:11-13). The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that the Spirit would later come to many more people than the few special ones we read about earlier (Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Zechariah 12:10).

 When we come to the New Testament, we are told of one person who would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth: John the Baptist (Luke 1:15-17). He was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus (God the Son). When Jesus came to John for baptism, the Holy Spirit had been with Him all His life already, but came to Him in a new way, anointing Him with power for the unique work He had come to do (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10 and Luke 3:22). After His baptism He was led by the Spirit to the desert to be tempted (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1-2). Then He began His ministry in the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:14).

 Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to all who believe in Him and follow Him (Mark 13:11; John 14:15-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15). It was this gift of the Holy Spirit who was given to the believers after Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 2:4 and 38-39; 8:14-17; 9:17; 10:44; 11:17). As various groups of people came to repentance of their sins and faith in the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit came to them.

 The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict people of their sinfulness (John 16:8-9) and to bring them into a new relationship with God. This is expressed in various ways. Through the Spirit we are:

 put right with God 1 Corinthians 6:11
given eternal life Titus 3:6-7
given new birth John 3:3-8
given new spiritual life John 6:63

 Because God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit are so completely bound up in each other, none of these things can happen without the death of Jesus the Son, who gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin which is demanded by a Holy God (1￿20Timothy 1:15; 2:5-6).

 When we believe in Him and repent of our sin, we receive the gift of salvation. This salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in our new life, is received by us through faith (Galations 3:14). It may seem difficult to understand, but when our faith is exercised and we believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit then gives us understanding and teaches us more about God and the Bible.

 One day representatives of every nation will gather around His throne to praise Him, because they have become children of God (Revelation 7:9-10). Make sure that you are not left behind!