Who is the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit)?

The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead (Mark 1:10-11; John 15:26).  He shares the same attributes, characteristics, and motivations of God the Father and God the Son but is His entity (as an example, omnipresence – Ps 139:7-10).  He has a mind, will, and emotions (Luke 12:12; Rom 8:27; Eph 4:30).  The most common phrase you find in the Bible to identify Him is “the Spirit of God.”  He is involved in creating all we see (Gen 1:2; Prov 8:22-31; Ps 33:6; Is 40:12, 13) and is the giver (Gen 2:7; Job 33:4) sustainer (Psalm 104:10-14, 30) and taker of life (Is. 40:7; Psalm 104:29; Job 34:14-15).

The Old Testament

In the Old Testament, we find that the Holy Spirit is relational.  The Holy Spirit is involved in giving wisdom and guiding us to make the right choices (Psalm 143:10; Prov. 8; Isaiah 4:4, 11:1-3).

We also see that the Holy Spirit works supernaturally.  The Holy Spirit worked by speaking to and through prophets (1 Sam. 10:6; 2 Sam. 23:23; Ezekiel 11:5, 24); interpreting dreams (Gen. 41:38, Dan. 5:11) and performing miracles (Exodus 7-12, 16, 17; 2 Kings 4, 5, 13; Daniel 3, 6).

The Holy Spirit also enables supernatural leadership.  He gives people the ability to lead large groups of people (Judges 6:34; 1 Sam 16:13). He empowers certain people for particular positions: some as prophets, some kings, some priests, as well as other assignments: (Gen 41:38; Ex 31:3, Judges 6:4; 1 Sam 16:13; 2 Sam 23:23; 2 Chron 15:1-2; Dan 5:11; Jeremiah 1:9; Ezekiel 2:2).

In the Old Testament, God promised a future time where everyone who placed their faith in Him would experience the Holy Spirit.  Firstly, by indwelling – by coming to live within believers to change them from the inside out (Ezekiel 11:19), and secondly by empowering – by flowing out of believers supernaturally as a witness to who He is (Joel 2:28-29, 32).

The New Testament

We start the New Testament with the Spirit calling John as a prophet as a baby (Luke 1:41).  We then see that the Holy Spirit is involved in Mary’s conception and the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:20).

Jesus receives the Holy Spirit before He starts His ministry.  The Holy Spirit descends upon Him, fills Him and flows through Him. He travels, people are healed, miracles performed, and people to turn to God (Luke 3:21-22, 4:1,14). Jesus promises His disciples: the indwelling Holy Spirit (Mt 10:19-26; John 14:17, 26; John 20:21-22) that connects us to God and the empowering Holy Spirit to help them spread the good news of Jesus. (Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:15-18; John 14:17, 16:7, 20:22).

Later we read that the disciples receive the indwelling Spirit of God coming to live in them (John 20:21-22) and the empowering Spirit that comes to baptize the disciples as they ask and wait for Him (Acts 2:1-8).  As followers of Jesus, we are promised the same experience the disciples had (Acts 2:38-39).

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