Who is the Holy Spirit?

Who is the Holy Spirit?


Published on 26 January 2021

John Herbert

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There are many amazing things that Jesus did while He walked the earth: He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and demonstrated authority over nature. He went to the cross and gave His life as a perfect sacrifice, once and for all, so that everyone who called on the Name of the Lord could be saved.

After His resurrection, Jesus ascended to Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of His Father.

“Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

This leaves us with a very important question. If Jesus is with the Father in Heaven right now, what happens to us on Earth? How can we possibly do what Jesus did, and even greater works, if we don’t have Jesus walking with us every day? The answer is simple, yet profound; Jesus left the Earth well aware of our dilemma. He knew that we could not do it alone yet He didn’t hesitate in departing. He did this because He knew that the Holy Spirit would be sent in His place.

I can only imagine the turmoil and sadness that the disciples experienced when they heard Jesus tell them that He was about to leave them— claiming that this would be for their own good. Though He reassured them that He would one day return for them, they were yet to understand what He already knew—that it was better to walk through life with the Holy Spirit by your side.

It’s intriguing, to say the least, that Jesus would claim that when someone we love and depend on leaves us, it could be for our benefit. And yet, He was right.

Our Advantage

What the disciples didn’t realise (and many still do not realise today) was that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, alongside the Father and His Son Jesus. Unspeakably powerful and of equal standing with the Father and Son, Holy Spirit —God Himself— was headed to Earth to remain by our side forever. This was VERY GOOD NEWS!

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

While walking the Earth, Jesus was limited by time and space— traveling by foot and ministering within a specific geographical area. This is part of the incredible story of His great love for humanity.

The Bible tells us that He ‘emptied Himself’ to take on the form of a man:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.

Though He was God, Jesus made the choice to ‘empty Himself’ of His position of ultimate power to take on the form of a man (lower even than the angels). His identity as God remained unchanged, yet He relinquished His position at the right hand of the Father in order to accomplish the plan of redemption out of obedience to His Father and love for mankind. When he completed His mission, He returned to the Father and now awaits the moment when He will come once again to take God’s children to Heaven for all eternity.

In His condition as a human being, Jesus Himself required the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to perform miracles. He received the Holy Spirit at the moment of His water baptism which began His three-year ministry. He not only understood exactly what it meant to be human, but how completely dependent on the Holy Spirit we would be daily, in walking out our faith and living in victory!

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Unlike Jesus during His time on Earth, Holy Spirit is NOT limited by time or space. He is with us all, anywhere in the world and all at the same time. The Holy Spirit came to rest upon us, fill us and flood us with His Presence and power. He is ready to help us in every moment of life, empowering us to live for Jesus. What an advantage!

Many people approach the Holy Spirit from an Old Testament perspective. Let me explain.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is seen on special occasions. He would temporarily come upon an exclusive group of people— mainly prophets, priests, judges and kings— to empower them for a specific task. In the New Testament, however, the Holy Spirit’s Presence became permanent and for ALL believers.

God Himself is with us, in us and upon us in the form of Holy Spirit. We have direct access to Him. We are a part of a generation that is privileged to live daily in the Presence of God. Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, knowing first-hand that His miraculous work on Earth was only possible because Holy Spirit was working THROUGH Him. This same Holy Spirit desires to work through us today!

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you

The Person of the Holy Spirit

Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit as a person, not a thing. Our passionate pursuit for more of Holy Spirit leads us to encounter Him in ways that are truly supernatural. When He responds to our faith and hunger, and begins to move, we can experience Him in many different ways. We might feel warmth all over our bodies or shed tears. We might feel overwhelming joy and gratitude that makes us laugh and dance before Him. We may experience physical healing, see visions or sense His Presence tangibly around us. We may feel convicted of our sin and urgently want to repent and make things right with God. These are just a few common reactions to the Holy Spirit. There are many more! His Presence can be so real and so overwhelming that you can forget where you are and get lost in an intimate moment of encounter with Him. These experiences should be a natural part of the everyday lives of believers as they journey with the Holy Spirit.

I recall a time when the power of the Holy Spirit surged through my body. I could only describe it like electricity, yet I wasn’t harmed. It was hard to explain but the encounter still remains as a profound memory and marked my life in one moment.

Many people have experienced supernatural encounters with the Holy Spirit. We know that Jesus Himself experienced Holy Spirit’s power at work through Him and we should expect the same.

You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

However, we should always remember that the Holy Spirit is not just a source of power. He is a person and desires to have an intimate relationship with us.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you.

Wow! Holy Spirit wants to talk to us. Not IT will but HE will speak to us, telling us about the future, guiding us and revealing to us the things He revealed to Jesus. We can receive everything that Jesus received through the Holy Spirit at work in our lives!

Just as the electricity in our homes is transferred from a power station via a network of transformers and cables into our homes for light, heat etc., so too power flows from Heaven via the Holy Spirit and into our lives. He is the link between Heaven and Earth, providing us with guidance, comfort, strength and wisdom to make the right decisions. He is the ultimate Helper—willing and available at any time to supply the power that is necessary to live a victorious life as God’s children!

Why not ask Holy Spirit for help today? He is ready to respond and bring the resource of Heaven into your world. You can talk to Him any time. This journey of knowing God will become the most exciting adventure you’ve ever experienced.

Who do you represent?

When David went to the battlefield and fought Goliath, King Saul asked him an interesting question: “Whose son are you young man?” (1 Samuel 17:58—NIV)

After one of the most famous victories in history, Saul wanted to know who David represented. As ambassadors of Christ, we represent God in our world. Ultimately, it’s all about Him and not about us. This attitude can be seen in the nature of the Holy Spirit. He never talks about Himself or focuses on Himself, but always points to Jesus, represents Jesus and takes every opportunity to make Jesus famous on the earth. Holy Spirit understands the principle of honour, giving weight to the person of Jesus in everything He does. Jesus demonstrated the same attitude of honour by always pointing to his Father.

Another amazing part of Holy Spirit’s mandate is to breathe on what God has already declared in His Word. He empowers God’s Word, making it come alive when we need it’s power to be activated in a specific situation. He brings things into focus, helping us remember the truth of God’s Word when we need it the most, and shifts things from the background to the foreground of our lives in order to give things the weight and attention they deserve in a particular moment in time. Jesus said:

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.

The Holy Spirit always brings glory to Jesus. He seeks no accolades but comes only to serve.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit

Jesus promised that He would not leave us alone like orphans, but instead, gave us direct access to the One who is the conduit of power and favour between Heaven and Earth. This leads us to living a Holy Spirit-empowered life.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The book of Acts shows us what life looks like when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Some call the book of Acts the acts of the Holy Spirit or the acts of the Apostles. I would suggest it’s both. We see the Holy Spirit empowering the disciples to change their world. God never sends us on assignment without providing the power and ability to achieve it. Holy Spirit brings God's divine ability, strength, efficiency and might into our lives to accomplish His purposes. When Holy Spirit works THROUGH us—in partnership WITH us— we have the power to change the world for the glory of God!

This divine partnership between the Holy Spirit and each one of us is the key. As we learn to depend on and seek His help, we step into the flow of the supernatural and see amazing things happen. Holy Spirit is Heaven's representative, ready to serve us with God’s best. We simply need to humble ourselves and ask for His help.

This partnership between Holy Spirit and man is seen throughout the book of Acts and is the blueprint for God’s church today. For example, we see Him at work helping the early church to appoint the right leaders:

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

We also see Him at work supplying the wisdom required to activate the explosive church growth that greatly accelerated the spread of the Gospel:

“It is my judgement, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God”
“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements…”

These great church leaders of the day— many who had walked with Jesus—could have relied on their abilities, past experience or position to guide them in running the fledgling church. However, the moment came when they could no longer solve the complex issues around them and they turned the Holy Spirit for wisdom. They partnered with Heaven to bring change on Earth. Holy Spirit EMPOWERED them to operate with great wisdom and excellence and He desires to do the same for us today.

In life, we face many challenges. We may have a job that requires the ability to lead or administrate. We may be entrepreneurial, creative or work in hospitality. Whatever our vocation and calling, the empowerment of Holy Spirit is available for us (see 1 Corinthians 12:28, Romans 12:8, Exodus 35:30-34 and 1 Peter 4:10).

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual gifts are given to each of us by the Holy Spirit:

To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

A gift is never intended to be merely appreciated, left in its packaging and stored away. Imagine the reaction of the giver, having carefully chosen the gift with the intention of bringing delight to its recipient, only to find it left untouched, hidden away and wasted. The same applies to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are as follows:
  • Wisdom
  • Word of Knowledge
  • Faith
  • Healing
  • Miracles
  • Prophesy
  • Discernment of spirits
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation

  • Every one of these gifts are amazing and helpful in helping others to discover God and live a life of victory. God intended that every one of these gifts be in operation amongst the family of God—especially in His church— through the work of the Holy Spirit. EVERY one of these gifts should be used to their full potential to serve God.

    So why not bring your gifts to God TODAY and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to use them. Ask Him daily to empower you to live this incredible, supernatural life that cost Jesus everything to provide for us.

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