Jesus promised that He would come and live in us through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit!
Jesus speaking: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you FOREVER, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [and taken complete possession of them].
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.
“Ihave many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth].
For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future]. He will glorify and honor Me, because He (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is Mine and will disclose it to you.
All things that the Father has are Mine. Because of this I said that He [the Spirit] will take from what is Mine and will reveal it to you.
The assignment and life mission that Jesus has given to each of us is to come to Him and learn of Him, and it is the Holy Spirit in us who is our instructor facilitator, who illuminates God’s Word to us and leads us in ALL Truth!
The Personality and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We talk and think about Jesus and God the Father quite a bit (as well we should), but we don’t really talk and think about the Holy Spirit nearly as much.
And in those rare times when we do talk about the Holy Spirit, we don’t quite talk about Him correctly.
It is common to hear adults, students, and kids refer to the Holy Spirit as “it” and speak of the Spirit as if “it” is some impersonal force akin to the “force” in the Star Wars saga.
But the Spirit is not an “it.” He is indeed a “He.” And He is fully God and just as important as the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit is a person…
The Personality of the Holy Spirit
When we say the “personality” of the Holy Spirit, we mean that the Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal object.
1) The Holy Spirit Possesses the Attributes of Personhood
The basic definition for personhood is the presence of intellect, emotion, and will. In other words, a person thinks, feels, and make decisions. The Holy Spirit passes this three-fold test.
- Intellect (Romans 8:27, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11)
- Emotion (Ephesians 4:30)
- Will (Acts 16:6-7, 1 Corinthians 12:11)
2) The Holy Spirit’s Works Confirm His Personality
We will discuss the works of the Holy Spirit more in depth in a minute, but for now notice that what He does reveals the attributes of personality. Impersonal objects do not do the following:
- He teaches requiring intellect (John 14:26)
- He testifies requiring intellect (John 15:26)
- He guides requiring intellect and will (John 16:13, Romans 8:14)
- He convicts requiring intellect (John 16:8)
- He regenerates requiring will (John 3:5)
- He intercedes requiring will (Romans 8:26-27)
- He commands requiring will (Acts 8:29; 13:4; 16:6)
3) The Holy Spirit’s Interaction with People Confirms His Personality
The ways the Holy Spirit interacts with people also reveals the attributes of personhood.
- We may grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30)
- We may resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51)
- We may lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4)
- We may obey the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19-21)
- We may blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31, Mark 3:29)
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Like the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit was involved in creating the universe. (Genesis 1:2, Psalm 33:6, Job 33:4)
2) Revelation and Inspiration of Scripture
The Holy Spirit overshadowed the writers of Scripture to ensure that they produced an inerrant Bible – the very Word of God. (2 Samuel 23:2-3, John 14:26, John 16:13-14, Acts 4:24-25, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21 cf: Acts 27:15,17)
3) Regenerating Believers
Regeneration means to give life. The Holy Spirit gives new life to believers. (John 3:5-7, Titus 3:5)
4) Baptizing of Believers
This occurs instantly and automatically at the point of conversion and has nothing to do with water baptism. This baptism is the joining together of all believers into union with one another and more importantly with Christ. (Romans 6:3-5, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27-28)
5) Sealing of Believers
Like baptism, this also occurs instantly and automatically at the point of conversion. The Spirit’s sealing guarantees one’s salvation and future hope of heaven. In one sense, the Spirit’s sealing marks us as a possession now belonging to God. Think of a king’s royal wax seal imprinted by his signet ring. In another sense, the Spirit’s sealing serves as a down payment or pledge that God is going to return for what is His. (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30)
6) Indwelling of Believers
Once again, the Spirit’s indwelling occurs instantly and automatically at the point of conversion. Now on this side of the cross, this indwelling presence of the Spirit is permanent. (John 7:37-39, John 14:16, Romans 8:9, Jude 19)
7) Filling of Believers
Unlike the baptism, sealing, and indwelling of the Spirit, the filling of the Spirit is conditional and not permanent (but it is repeatable). The filling is only for believers after the point of conversion and concerns the believer being controlled by the Spirit. The Bible no where commands Spirit baptism, sealing, or indwelling, but it does command filling. (Ephesians 5:18)
8) Interceding for Believers
Like Christ, the Holy Spirit is our advocate before God. (Romans 8:26)
9) Guiding Believers
One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is Paraclete which means “one called alongside to help.” The Spirit is given to help and guide believers – or to counsel them. (John 14:16)
10) Producing Fruit
This fruit – internal character that results in external God-glorifying behavior, is produced in the yielded believer by the Holy Spirit, not the believer himself or herself. That is why it is the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of the Christian. (Galatians 5:22-23)
(Gospel Project – Brian Dembowczyk)