The spectrum of beliefs and confusion regarding the work and wonder of the Holy Spirit is as broad as the oceans. Who, what, why, how, when, etc., have all commenced questions commonly asked when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, these questions have divided the body of Christ more than most theological issues. But let me simply lay out an idea that I believe resolves many of the questions that you or I may have.
The Holy Spirit is a Person.
Seeing the Invisible
We believe in the Holy Spirit that He is active and alive in our world and our hearts. We baptize in His name as part of a triune person of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Wrapping our minds around the Father or Son as a person seems easier. The Father to Son relationship is one common to our human interactions and embedded through the gospel message. After all, the Son actually walked the Earth as a person, like Jesus.
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The Spirit, He’s invisible. And generally, we humans don’t grasp so well the things we cannot see.
Yet, the Holy Spirit is not as invisible as He may seem. We see more of His actions, His works, throughout the entire Bible than we know of Jesus’ ministry. For example, the Holy Spirit is the one who hovered over the waters at the very beginning of time (Gen 1:1-2) and acted on behalf of God through God’s people throughout the Old Testament (Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the prophets.) The Holy Spirit enabled Mary, a virgin, to conceive, and He enabled Jesus to walk in obedience to His mission. Above all, the Spirit has now been given to us to enable our obedience.
Our Relationship with the Holy Spirit
The crutch of Christianity is enjoying a relationship with God. However, we often separate out the trinity to help us understand how this is possible. We seek to crawl up into the lap of the Father, praise and adore the Son, and then… How do we engage in a relationship with the Spirit?
Remember, the Spirit is just as much God as the Father or Son. They are one! Just as we can run from or toward the Father, so we can run from or toward the Holy Spirit.
From scripture, we learn that the Spirit can be lied to (Acts 5:3), resisted (Acts 7:51), and grieved (Ephesians 4:30). Perhaps the “personhood” of the Spirit is strongest felt in his comforting care, encouraging empowerment and supernatural guidance.
In Scripture, we see the Holy Spirit acting to establish the church by appointing leaders (Acts 20:28), distributing gifts to confirm the reality of the gospel (Hebrews 2:4), and establishing community and fellowship among the believers (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Relationships are built through communication, and the Holy Spirit forms the pathway by which we communicate with the Father moment by moment. The Spirit reminds us of the Father’s love through scripture, song, and sometimes a simple feeling. Joy flows through our fellowship with the Spirit. His presence brings us peace.
Pursuing a Friendship with the Spirit
Is there someone in your life who brings your comfort, joy, and peace by talking with them? Your husband or wife, your mom, maybe your kids who are away at college, or your lifelong friend? We pursue those relationships that bring us life through encouragement and unfiltered affection. Part of our pursuit includes communicating regularly, enjoying shared experiences, and giving of ourselves sacrificially to them.
Similarly, this is true of our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is capable of infusing us with perfect peace, enduring encouragement, and lavish love that far exceeds that which we could receive from another human. The Holy Spirit connects us directly to the origin of all things good – to God himself.
So, don’t run from the Holy Spirit. Pursue His presence, His Word, and His guidance. He lives inside of you as part of the united personhood of Almighty God.