As we look into the Word of God, may this letter bring out more understanding of the person of the Holy Spirit. The Personality of the Holy Spirit is manifested in the characteristics of Him as stated in the these scriptures:
- Romans 8:27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
- 1 Corinthians 12:11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
- Ephesians 4:30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
- Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit.That is why he became their enemy and fought against them. (As stated in the above scriptures we see He has mind, will and emotions –the characteristics of personality)
The Holy Spirit and His Personal activity on earth:
- (He strives with sinners) Genesis 6:3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years.”
- (He teaches) John 14:26 But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative—and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you.
- (He reproves, rebukes) John 15:26 But I will send you the Counselor—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.
- (He guides) John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
- (He comforts) Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Acts 9:31 The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it grew in strength and numbers. The believers were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
- (He helps and intercedes for the saints) Romans 8:26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
- (He searches the deep things of God) 1 Corinthians 2:10 But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God’s deep secrets.
- (He sanctifies, purifies and leads us to consecrate ourselves) Romans 15:16 a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News and offer you up as a fragrant sacrifice to God so that you might be pure and pleasing to him by the Holy Spirit.
- (He witnesses) Romans 8:16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.
- (He forbids-instructs) Acts 16:6-7 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had told them not to go into the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go.
- (He is subject to personal treatment. He can be lied to) Acts 5:3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.
- (He can be resisted) Acts 7:51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? But your ancestors did, and so do you!
- (He can be blasphemed) Matthew 12:31 – 32 “Every sin or blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven. Anyone who blasphemes against me, the Son of Man, can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.
- (He can be grieved) Ephesians 4:30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
- (He can be quenched) 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
Ministry of the Holy Spirit among believers…
- Regenerates…John 3:3,5
- Indwells…Rom 8:11
- Anoints…1 John 2:20,27
- Baptizes…Acts 2:17-41
- Guides…John 16:13
- Empowers…Mic.3: 8, Rom 15:16
- Sanctifies…Rom 15:16, 2 Thes 2:13
- Bears witness…Rom 8:16, Heb 10:15
- Helps…John 14:16-26
- Gives joy…Rom 14:17
- Gives discernment…1 Cor 2:10-16, 1 John 4:1-6
- Bears fruit…Gal 5:22-23
- Gives gifts…1 Cor 12:3-11
- Invites…Rev 22:17 John 14:16 (NKJV) “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever- “ He” is not an “it.”
He has a personality as we saw in the above scriptures…not merely a Presence…He is the Voice of God to us.
- John 16:13 (NKJV) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Some FACTS: Jesus speaking in:
- Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
- John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Jesus gives us the answer to this mystery above. Here we see God exists as an invisible Spirit without flesh or bones; and the Holy Spirit is a spirit, like God the Father, yet, the Holy Spirit as we see has the personality of a person. We cannot confine the Holy Spirit to a body; for He is omnipresence, but as we see from the scriptures in this letter He has the very characteristics of a person.
Mistakenly many Christians consider the Holy Spirit to be just a blessing, a feeling, or an influence. We as believers need to place a genuine faith in both our mind and heart of the existence of the Holy Spirit who Jesus said would take His place on earth, as our comforter, though invisible. He was to be and is a very personal companion, friend, teacher, and guide, as stated in:
- John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
The personality of the Holy Spirit was stated above as having a personality. Jesus referred to the Spirit as “He” and not “it.”
- The Holy Spirit has a mind (Rom. 8:27),
- a will (1 Cor. 12:11),
- and emotional feelings (Gal. 5:22-23).
God desires to build a relationship with us.
Throughout the Bible we can relate to various relationships that the Holy Spirit had with mankind. Let’s list a few:
Christs’ relationship to the Spirit: Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, lead and taught by the Holy Spirit; but it wasn’t until around thirty when He was baptized in the Holy Spirit, receiving an anointing from on high that began His Ministry that revolutionized the world.
Christ as our example did not move in His Public Ministry until he had received the Holy Spirit.
Notice, Christ was born of the Spirit but not until later was He baptized in the Spirit with a power from on high. This human nature…can truly see the success of God’s power working in one’s life after He has been empowered upon by the Holy Spirit being lead by the Holy Spirit.
Again, Jesus our prime example in life waited until He was anointed, or empowered from on high by the Holy Spirit, which at that time He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and he hath anointed me to preach.”
Let’s keep in mind also that the Lord’s ministry was not in the power of Himself, but in the power sent by God manifested or empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Disciples’ relationship to the Spirit:
- In Matthew 16:16, they confessed that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
- In Matthew 19:27, they had left all to follow Him.
- In John 15:3, He pronounced them clean with the exception of Judas.
- In Luke 10:20, He declared their names were written in heaven.
- In John 20:20, He breathed on them the Holy Spirit power after His resurrection, and yet they were commanded to tarry to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit as stated
- In Luke 24:49… for the Holy Spirit had not yet been sent from on high for all to receive.
With all this said and done, we can see a distinction between the baptism of the Spirit and rebirth; for the power of their glorified Lord came only after they were endued with the baptism of His Spirit. We can conclude in this statement that there is truly a difference between the initial rebirth experience and the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Both may come at the initial time of rebirth but there will definitely be a difference between the two.
- Paul’s relationship to the Holy Spirit: As stated in 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul acknowledged Jesus as His Lord and surrendered His Life completely to the Lord’s direction at the moment of His conversion. But it wasn’t until three days later when Ananias laid hands upon him that Paul received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Again we see a time span of three days between his conversion and his being filled with the Spirit.
The Ephesian Disciples’ relationship to the Spirit: In the 19th chapter of Acts
- (Acts 19:2) Paul spoke to the disciples at Ephesus, who had been baptized unto baptism of John (water) and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit since or when, they believed. This was asked in the past tense or an indication of action in past time. Thus, we conclude, that the Ephesian disciples were converted, then baptized in water, and then received the Holy Spirit.
The Converts on the day of Pentecost relationship to the Holy Spirit: Peter instructed the audience on the day of Pentecost to repent and be baptized. As we see from the scriptures, the Holy Spirit would prick their hearts, they would repent be baptized in water and following that received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with prophesying.
- Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NLT) “Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.” (literally, in one Spirit, in the virtue of His operation)
This scripture has been a controversial subject for many years in various denominations. This word “baptize” is a very unique word. The Bible speaks of four “baptisms”; in water, in the Spirit, in the Body of Christ, and in suffering. One of these is physical, water, which refers to that of a symbol, and the other three are spiritual which refers to a figure of speech.
A Minister baptizes in water, where as the Holy Spirit is the Agent (by/in) whom takes a person and baptizes, (buries, builds, engrafts) or places him in the Body of Christ.
When one sees the difference the infilling of the Holy Spirit was meant to bring to the individual after conversion and desire this impartation/ infilling, baptism, of the Holy Spirit; thus receive this Baptism of the Spirit, it would bring an inflow of the Spirit as to lift him to another level in which he has never been, nothing less than what God has planned by His promise of “the Holy Ghost and with fire”.
In the Bible there is a difference between the terms used for Salvation and Baptism which distinguishes them from each other as different experiences.
Referring to initial experience to Salvation:
- John 3:3 “Except a man be born again”
- Matthew 18:3 “Except ye be converted”
- Mark 16:16 ”He that believeth and is baptized (a cleansing) shall be saved”
- Revelation 3:20 “if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him”
Referring to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit after receiving Salvation: terms for the same experience…
- Acts 1:5 “ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost”
- Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost
- Acts 2:38 “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”
- Acts 10:44 “the Holy Ghost fell on all them “
- Acts 8:16 – 17 (For as yet the Holy Spirit was fallen upon none of them: only they were (water) baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
May I encourage you to continue in the faith and allow the Holy Spirit to have His freedom in and through you; becoming the vessel that God has planned for you to be.
Love in Christ Jesus,