The Holy Spirit

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a Person of the Trinity. When Jesus ascended to the Father, He promised His disciples “another Helper,” the Holy Spirit (see John 14:16–17). In Greek, the word another means, “another of the same kind.” Jesus promised a supernatural Helper just like Him.

The Holy Spirit’s Preexistence

The word for God is elohim, which indicates three or more (referring to the Trinity). The Holy Spirit was active at the time of creation (see Genesis 1:1–2). When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), He was addressing the other two Persons of the Trinity.

The Person and Nature of the Holy Spirit

Some have wrongly thought of the Holy Spirit as more of an “it” than a “He,” but Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “He” (see John 16). The Holy Spirit has distinct functions in the lives of believers (see John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 2:10–12; Acts 5:3–4). In the original language, the Holy Spirit is called the paraclete, which literally means, “One called alongside to help.”

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the World

In John 16, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin (verses 8–9) and convinces the world of righteousness and judgment (verses 10–11). The Holy Spirit also restrains the sweeping spread of evil (see 2 Thessalonians 2:7). Before we were Christians, the Holy Spirit spoke to our hearts, showing us our need for salvation. He drew us to Christ and convicted us of sin (see John 16:7–11).

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. The Apostle Paul writes, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

The Holy Spirit regenerates us (see Titus 3:4–7; John 3:5; 6:63); indwells us (see 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19); seals us (see Ephesians 1:13–14); guides us (see John 16:13; Romans 8:14); teaches us (see John 14:26); helps us to pray (see Romans 8:26–27); and empowers us (see Acts 1:8).

(Also see: “What We Believe: the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”)

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Someone once referred to Niagara Falls as “the greatest unused power in the world.” Actually, the greatest unused power is the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Don’t neglect the power that God has given you—Himself—through the Holy Spirit.

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