Everybody loves a mystery! A mystery is exactly what the Holy Spirit is to many people. As is the case with any supposed mystery, there is a great deal of uncertainty, speculation, misperception and confusion about the Holy Spirit. But much of the problem has to do with a lack of careful study on the part most people.
While the Bible does not give as much specific information about the Holy Spirit as we might like, it does tell us a great deal. If we study carefully and perceptively, and don’t let our imaginations run wild, we can arrive at a good, satisfying understanding of the Holy Spirit. Over the next few months, we’ll attempt to clear away many of the cobwebs and dispel much of the fog of confusion as we dig deep into scripture and study what it reveals about the Holy Spirit.
A logical place to begin is to understand the true identity of the Holy Spirit. Many people refer to the Holy Spirit as an it. Such a reference is absolutely wrong! The Holy Spirit is a living being. He is not a thing, He is not an it, He is a person and should be referred to as such.
A big reason many people think of the Holy Spirit as a thing is probably due to the KJV rendering “Holy Ghost.” It is an understandable, though rather unfortunate, translation. Based on the Old English culture at the time the KJV was translated, their concept of a spirit was likely one of a ghostly kind of entity. “Holy Spirit” is a more accurate understanding. When thought of from the perspective of Jesus’ statement “God is Spirit…” (Jn. 4:24), we come to correctly recognize the Holy Spirit on a plane with God.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit is God! He is God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, and should be thought of in conjunction with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is not a God. He is not some kind of junior God. He is not a creation of God. The Holy Spirit is God. Numerous texts in scripture identify together all three persons of the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Rev. 4:3, 5; 5:6; Jn. 14:16-17; Jn. 15:26; Rom. 8:9-11; Matt. 28:19).
Unfortunately, many people seem to relegate their concept of the Holy Spirit to the realm of the miraculous. When they hear the name “Holy Spirit,” they think of some kind of miracle, usually a mistaken concept of speaking in tongues. That is a narrow view of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was there with both God the Father and God the Son creating the universe and everything therein (Gen. 1:1-2). All scripture is from God (2 Tim. 3:16), but the Holy Spirit is the One Who guided the writers to write what they wrote (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We need to hold in our mind all of the same respect for the Holy Spirit as we hold for God the Father and God the Son. They are together, they are “one” (Deut. 6:4). The Holy Spirit is just as much God as is God the Father and God the Son…
Gary L. Hutchens