The Holy Spirit – He is a Person

First, a little pre-prayer meditation.  (This is actually a good practice to do every day before morning prayers.)

  “Be still and know that I am God. 

I will be exalted among the nations;

I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

AND

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to You.”  James 4:8

Father, thank You are more evident to me, when I turn my full attention to You.  I acknowledge I come only on the basis of Jesus’ perfect blood sacrifice and nothing I  do could ever earn my redemption.  I am nothing without Jesus’ mercy and grace extended to me.  Strip away my self-sufficiency. I have only filthy rags and sawdust to lay before You Lord, but I offer You my life and will.  Fill me, this moment, Father, with Your blessed Holy Spirit.  Guide me, teach me, give me a spirit of adjustment to Your truth as You reveal it to me. In Jesus’ name I pray these things to His glory, Amen.

 
The pursuit of the Spirit-filled life begins by accepting that yes, there is such a life.  We can and were meant to experience it as believers in Christ; and yes, the Spirit Who indwells has the power and desire to bring about great change in a person’s character and perspective on life.

Getting to this point of acceptance requires a change in our old understanding.  In Romans 12:2, we are told “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is. . . .”  Only when we can accept what God says is true, can we then act upon it.  Faith follows truth and does not try to create truth.   An understanding of what God puts forth in His Word as truth is the first step in getting to the place of the Spirit-filled life.  Only then can it be put into practice.

  1. The Spirit is a Person

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, along with the Father and the Son.  The concept of the Trinity is mind-boggling even for the best of theologians.  Three-yet-One.  Three separate Personalities and overall roles to fulfill, but still One God.

I have a friend who came up with an analogy for the Trinity that a modern-day believer can easily grasp.  She states that the Trinity is rather like those shampoo/conditioner/body wash products that are on the market.  A three-in-one.  It supposedly will accomplish each of the functions it says it will, when applied in the right places.  Each Person of the Trinity accomplishes His very definite roles and functions within the universe and beyond, yet Each is of the same Essence. A simplistic way for us to remember the functionality of the Persons of God perhaps, but memorable.

Is it hard for you to think of the Holy Spirit as a real Person, instead of an impersonal “it”?  In my own upbringing, I heard preaching and teaching that described the Holy Spirit in this way.  I think this probably because the KJV often translates verses that relate to the Holy Spirit as “it.”  The New Age supporters have picked up on this reference and talk about the Holy Spirit in a similar way, as if He is some sort of divine energy source that indwells all of humankind. This distorted view leads them to believe that each person’s greatest responsibility is to develop the spirit within and move to a greater understanding of personal deity and oneness with all people.  Hogwash.

The Holy Spirit as “it” is in opposition to what God’s Word says, however.  An examination of cursory New Testament verses in a newer translation will debunk the untruth of the Holy Spirit as an impersonal entity.  One example of a verse is John 16:13 where it says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”  The “He” cannot be translated as “it”—going back to the original Greek word makes it impossible to do so.

Moreover, the Spirit is also correctly referred to with a masculine pronoun “He,” and never “She.”  God is always, always referred to as “He” in the original languages of Aramaic and Greek. This is not a chauvinistic contrivance.  This was God’s choice to describe Himself this way, as He always chooses His own names for Himself and has His own reasons for doing so.  We are reminded in Is. 55:9 that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  We have to accept that God’s names for Himself are perfect and altogether right, just as He is perfect in all things.

Charles Stanley, the well-known pastor and Bible teacher, says that the Bible not only refers to the Holy Spirit as “He” but has all the distinctives of personality.  He says “The Holy Spirit is described as having 1) knowledge; 2) will; and 3) emotion.”  In the case of the Holy Spirit possessing knowledge, he quotes the apostle Paul:

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him?  Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not one spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.

–I Cor. 2:11-12

Paraphrased, the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God and He imparts this knowledge to believers.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit’s will is described in another of Paul’s writings in I Corinthians:

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

–I Cor. 12:11

Stanley says, “The Holy Spirit makes decisions.  He is not a power to be harnessed and manipulated.  He has a mind and will of His own.  To tap into the Holy Spirit is not to enhance one’s ability to carry out one’s will. . . On the contrary, the power of the Holy Spirit is available only to those whose intention is to carry out His Will.”

Lastly, the Holy Spirit embodies emotions.  “He has feelings,” says Stanley.  Paul wrote the believers in Ephesus not to “grieve” the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).  In Romans 15:30 Paul also referred to the “love of the Spirit.”  Grief and love are certainly terms associated with emotion.  With all these three aspects of personality in mind, it makes sense to think of the Holy Spirit as a Person.

Next time, we will examine the Holy Spirit in His Eternality and His Omnipotence.  Before leaving today’s truths, let’s thank God for His Word and confess our wrong ideas regarding the Holy Spirit.

Father, thank You for Your blessed Holy Spirit, Who is a Person and in equal standing with You and with Jesus.  Forgive me for the times where I’ve only thought or spoken about Him as an impersonal “it,” Lord.  I know He is a Person Who deserves my highest respect and acknowledgement for His authority in my life.  Thank You again for the continued scriptural truths which You will make evident to me and permeate my thinking with, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name only I come to You, Amen.

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn/Acts 2:28

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