by Rex Rouis
In the fourteenth through sixteenth chapters of John’s Gospel, Jesus goes out of His way to introduce the Holy Spirit as a Person – as a ‘He.’ Look at this excerpt:
“When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father–He will testify about Me. John 15:26
Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away because if I don’t go away, the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you. John 16:7
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is Mine. This is why I told you that He takes from what is Mine and will declare it to you. John 16:13 – 15
There is a tendency among Christians to think of the Holy Spirit as an “it,” as a power emanating from God. However, in scripture, the Spirit is clearly presented as a Person – the Third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is not the power of God; He is God. He is a Person like Jesus is a Person.
Even though we today have not seen Jesus with our physical eyes, it is not so hard to visualize Him as a Person. He had a physical body, and He walked and talked on earth. He had human emotions, and He showed them freely. It is not difficult to relate to Him as a Person. He is Jesus the Incarnate Son of God, born of a virgin, fully God and fully Man.
Relating to the Holy Spirit is not as easy. He never had a physical body and never actually walked on this earth. However, He is just as much a Person. He is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, sent by God the Father and God the Son to be our Helper. He is God on the earth today, howbeit without a physical body. To miss the Holy Spirit today is like living in the time of Jesus in the Gospels and missing Him. Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit speaks to all who will listen, but He speaks only to hearts.
The more we realize that the Holy Spirit is a Person, the more we will treat Him as a Person, and the more we will do that the more He will respond to us as a Person. This new relationship is crucial. While Jesus was on earth, His disciples went to Him freely for help. Now we are commanded to boldly approach the Father in Jesus Name. This direct access to the Father is accomplished only through the Person of the Holy Spirit. It is the only way.
In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 16:23, 24
In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. John 16:26, 27
Jesus clearly states that we are not to go to Him but rather directly to the Father through the Holy Spirit, in His Name. He is emphatic. He will not go to the Father on our behalf. Let that sink in. Our relationship is now solely through the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God in the world today. Learn about Him, go to Him, talk to Him, and develop a deep relationship with Him.
The following are traits of the Holy Spirit, study them and learn about Him:
The Spirit glorifies and bears witness to Christ
But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me. John 15:26
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:16
He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:14
The Spirit speaks, teaches, and give orders
The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’ Acts 8:29
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. Acts 13:2
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
We impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. I Corinthians 2:13
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Acts 16:6-7
The Spirit searches everything and comprehends God’s thoughts
The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. . . . no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. I Corinthians 2:10-11
The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts and has a will
It is the one and only Spirit Who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. I Corinthians 12:11
The Spirit can be lied to, grieved, and outraged
Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? You have not lied to men but to God. Acts 5:3, 4
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has outraged the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:29
The Bible is a progressive revelation of how the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) is/are developing an ever closer relationship with mankind:
1. In the Old Testament, God dwelt in a physical tabernacle, located within the Nation of Israel.
2. Jesus became a human to be the “Immanuel” – “God with us.”
3. Now God manifests Himself as the Holy Spirit “within us.”
4. And someday soon we shall all live in Heaven as a single family – us in Him and Him in us
God is a Person and He is drawing each one of us closer and closer to Him. Let’s do everything we can to respond to Him and relate to Him. In today’s world, “Him” means the Holy Spirit.