When asked to do an art project in my grade 8 religion class, I recall drawing a picture of a big ghost hovering over the earth.
On top of the ghost was a caption that read: “Holy Ghost” lool.
As a 13 year old, this was my initial interpretation of the Holy Spirit.
A big ghost that watches and hovers over the Earth.
But who exactly is the Holy Spirit?
1. Holy Spirit = Spirit of God
The first thing to take notice is the interchangeability between the terms “Holy Spirit” and “Spirit of God”
We can see this by looking at the narrative in Isaiah 63:10-14.
Isaiah uses the term “Holy Spirit” in verse 10, then refers back to Him as “the Spirit of the LORD” in verse 14.
LORD (in all capitals) translates to YHWH or Jehovah, which both refer to names of God.
From this we may then conclude:
“Holy Spirit” = “Spirit of God”
2. Present since the Beginning of Time
Now let’s take in the first occurrence of the Holy Spirit in scripture:
2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters
Genesis 1:2 ESV
At a younger age, I thought the Holy Spirit was originally a new “character” introduced in the New Testament of the Bible. The scripture above clearly disproved my theory.
The Spirit of God has always been present, since creation, to the days of Moses, all throughout the New Testament and to this day .
3. The Breath of God
Now getting to the actual personhood of the Holy Spirit, i.e answering the “Who is He?” question.
Looking back at the text in Genesis 1:2 (above), the original Hebrew translation of the word “Spirit” is ruach which translates to “wind, or breath”.
To put into simpler terms, you can look at this literally translation and consider Him to be the very breath of God.
….think about that for a second.
Breathing is the very thing everyone needs to do in order to survive.
From a scientific point of view, the very reason why we breathe is so that we may acquire enough oxygen to convert glucose into energy through a process called cellular respiration.
The energy that is required of me to just type out this blog post would not be possible without it.
This signifies the necessity of God’s Spirit bringing life to the believer!
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
John 6:63-64 ESV
4. A Helper
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you
It’s one thing for God to forgive us of our sins through the blood of Christ.
Its another thing for Him to provide us with a helper in the Holy Spirit.
Kinda like how the Warriors added Kevin Durant after having a 73-9 NBA record.
Not what exactly does he help us with?
A: Teaching us all things; in other words giving us understanding for everything in Scripture
B: Helps us in remembering the teachings of Christ (also in scripture)
All in all to say, our greatest source of help when studying, memorizing and applying scripture is the Holy Spirit. We don’t walk this walk alone
Its a peaceful thought to know that God is fighting with us for our righteousness.
5. The Spirit of Truth
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
John 16:13 ESV
Similar to point #4 but just wanting to emphasize on the point that He is a truthful Spirit.
In other words, the Holy Spirit is not a separate entity who speaks on His own terms. He is rather an advocate of God who affirms truths from scripture. He is not beyond the word of God but operates according to the truth.
The reason why I emphasize on His truthfulness is because people at times may be carried away in committing sinful actions whiles validating the act due to the “moving” of the Holy Spirit
So next time you hear a phrase like
“The Spirit of God convinced me to lie to my boss so I can attend church on Sunday.” or
“I was convicted by the Spirit of God to slap Billy across the face for stepping on my Js”
There are a lot beautiful truths concerning the personhood of the Holy Spirit, but these 5 are what personally stood out to me. But if you forget everything, just remember this,
He is a gift from God promised to those who believe in Christ, to fight for you in fulfilling His purpose.
Soli Deo Gloria