Who is the Holy Spirit?

Many people think of the Holy Spirit as a power of God, an “it.” However, the Bible’s language is really clear that he is a Person.

Jesus in John 14, 15, and 16 makes three separate predictions about the Holy Spirit’s coming from him after he returns to the Father. His language is unmistakable that he would send “another Counselor” or “Comforter” to his followers then. His words are meant to comfort his disciples since he has told them that he was leaving them.


An artist’s conception of the “dove” (Holy Spirit) landing on the twelve disciples of Jesus on Pentecost Sunday

In Acts chapter two, the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus’ closest followers to enable them to be witnesses to people about what they had experienced during the three years when they had been with Jesus. He doesn’t come at that time in the form of a dove, as he has earlier when John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus. But a loud sound of wind and flames of fire on their heads symbolize the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Later, the persecutor Saul experiences a dramatic change to become preacher Paul when he meets the risen Jesus in a blinding light. Then, after the Holy Spirit uses him to establish many churches around the Mediterranean Sea, he writes to the church in Ephesus and all Christians that we shouldn’t “grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” A power cannot grieve at all. He is a divine Person with the Father and the risen Jesus as one God.

What’s really spectacular, though often very quiet, is that the Holy Spirit directly creates the new birth in all believers when they first believe in Jesus to begin the process of spiritual change toward their resurrection perfection when Jesus returns.

One final, mind-boggling truth from the Bible is that he as a divine Person lives in every believer all over the world. Always remember that the one God is everywhere in his created universe. Therefore, since the Holy Spirit is one Person of God, he is also everywhere. I look forward to your comments on this blog.

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