Sunday, January 10, 2016

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is the third member of what theologians call the “Trinity” which is made up of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. They are three distinct personalities, yet they are still one God. The Spirit has been a vital member of the Godhead since before creation. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Right now, God’s primary interaction with humans on earth is through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was on the earth for a season of thirty-three years, but once he returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit became God’s representative among humans. John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the Spirit when he said, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). 

Jesus promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16‑17). As you can see from this verse, the Spirit lives with us and lives in us. 

The Spirit is the source of living water for all those who are spiritually thirsty. Jesus said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37‑39).

After Jesus rose from the dead, he commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the arrival of the Spirit. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4‑5) and again Jesus said, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). 

One hundred and twenty disciples gathered together in an upper room to pray for the coming of the Spirit. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1‑4). 

This mighty outpouring of the Spirit fulfilled the prophecy of Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28‑29). The gift of the Spirit was for all flesh. The old and the young, the men and the woman, the fathers and the sons were all filled with the Spirit that day. 

Immediately, Peter began preaching and over 3,000 people were saved that day (Acts 2:41). The Spirit worked so mightily in the church that soon another 5,000 souls were saved (Acts 4:4). Thereafter, saints were added to the church daily (Acts 2:47).

This is an excerpt from Daniel King's book, "Welcome to the Kingdom." Over 600,000 copies are in print. Get your copy by clicking HERE.