The Person of the Spirit
Today, we are beginning a new message series “Living in the Spirit.” Last Sunday, we completed a message series about miracles called “Experience God’s Power.” As I was praying about the next series, the Spirit led me to the topic of “Living in the Spirit.” You see when you study miracles, some people get frustrated because they aren’t seeing them in their lives.
Miracles are not done by people, they are done by the Holy Spirit. So, He is one that we need to understand better and cooperate with more fully in order to see God move in your lives. So, in this series, we’re going to look at the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly the most misunderstood, unappreciated and controversial member of the Trinity.
Yet, the Spirit is the source of all the power and wisdom that you and I need to follow Jesus and carry out God’s purpose for our lives. So, in this series, “Living in the Spirit” we’re going to be talking about how the Holy Spirit can impact our lives each and every day. So, the same powerful Spirit that was the means through which Jesus created the world, the same Spirit who was poured out on Pentecost is the Spirit that now continues to move in powerful ways in our world today.
This morning, my message is entitled “The Person of the Spirit.” We’re going to seek to answer the question “Who is the Holy Spirit?” A lot of the ideas out there about the Spirit are wrong. Some people think of the Spirit as simply a force or impersonal power. Yet others think of Him as a scary ghost, because of the archaic translation in the King James which speaks of the Holy Ghost. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is a person that we can get to know.
John 14:16-17 (NIV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Here Jesus refers to the Spirit personally as him and he, not an it. The Spirit is another Counselor, another because Jesus was a counselor to the disciples while He was on earth. When Jesus left the earth, He would ask the Father to send the Spirit of truth.
The Spirit was with the disciples, but would indwell in them after Jesus left. The Spirit would guide and direct believers as a Counselor to them. So, let’s begin our study today on the person of the Spirit.
Understand the personality of the Spirit
So, if the Holy Spirit is a person, then He must have a personality. He must have and do the kinds of things that a person does. The more that you and I can think of and relate to the Spirit as a person, the closer we will be to Him and the more we will be filled by Him.
The Spirit has intellect
1 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV2011) For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Each of us has a spirit. That’s the internal part of us that relates directly to God. We’re going to talk a lot more in this series about the relationship of our spirit with the Holy Spirit. This verse says that our spirits know what our minds are thinking. You see your mind and your spirit and are not the same. Your mind is part of your soul, which is different from your spirit. Likewise, the Holy Spirit knows the mind or thoughts of God the Father. So, the Holy Spirit knows, has thoughts and communicates with God the Father.
The Spirit has feelings
Ephesians 4:30 (NIV2011) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
To be grieved is to be sorrowful and mourn. Our sin grieves the Spirit, it makes Him weep and mourn over our sin. Of course, that is not the only emotion that the Spirit has. If the Spirit can mourn, the Spirit can also rejoice. I think it would be far better to cause the Spirit to rejoice over us than to be grieved.
The Spirit has a will
1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV2011) All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
This passage speaks of the Spirit distributing spiritual gifts among the different members of the church. The Spirit’s distribution of His gifts is not done randomly, nor is it done according to what people desire. The Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts as He determines or decides will be best. So, the Spirit has a will and makes decisions.
The Spirit performs actions
Romans 8:26-27 (NIV2011) In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
In these very important verses, God’s Word tells us that the Spirit intercedes or prays for and through us as we pray in the Spirit. The beauty of the prayer of the Spirit is that is totally in line with the will of God. And when a prayer is prayed according to God’s will, it is always answered.
In a future message, we will look at what you must do in order for the Spirit to intercede through you. However, this is just one of many actions that the Spirit performs. He also speaks, teaches, convicts, reveals, guides, performs miracles, casts out demons, heals the sick, distributes spiritual gifts and the list could go on and on. Bottom line is the Holy Spirit has all the attributes of a person and we need to get to know Him better.
The Personality of the Spirit Application
Let’s think for a minute about the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit. Each person in the Trinity is wholly God, they are each separate and distinct and yet there is a unity in the Trinity that is hard to describe.
God the Father resides in heaven. Jesus the Son, now has a glorified body and also resides in heaven. At some point in the future, Jesus will return to this earth. So, which person of the Trinity is on the earth? It is only the Holy Spirit.
Oftentimes people speak of asking Jesus into their heart. Jesus is a man with a body, He can’t come directly into your heart. The way Jesus comes into your life is through the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Jesus. We experience God through our relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit. Not only must we better understand the personality of the Spirit, we must …
Believe in the divinity of the Spirit
We’ve just been talking about this, but the Holy Spirit is divine, He is just as much God as Jesus or the Father is. God Himself lives inside each and every believer through His Spirit. So what are some of the divine attributes of the Holy Spirit?
The Spirit is eternal
Hebrews 9:14 (NIV2011) How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Here the Spirit is referred to as the eternal Spirit, which means that He always has existed. As God, the Spirit has no beginning or end, He always was, is and will be. That’s what eternal means. So, the Spirit is eternal, just as Jesus and the Father are.
The Spirit is all-knowing
John 14:26 (NIV2011) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
In order for the Spirit to teach us all things and remind us of what Jesus has said, He must know all things. So, in theological terms, the Spirit is omniscient, He knows everything about everything. There is nothing that He doesn’t know. And in case you missed it, this verse is a promise that this all-knowing Spirit will teach you everything that you need to know in life to serve God.
The Spirit is all-powerful
Luke 1:35 (NIV2011) The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Here, in the conception of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is identified with the power of the Most High. We see that throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, the Spirit is associated with the power of God, the ability to do anything that God desires. The Spirit is omnipotent.
The Spirit is ever-present
Psalm 139:7-8 (NIV2011) Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
The Spirit is everywhere present at the same time, which is another attribute of God. Theologically, we say that the Spirit is omnipresent. God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent through His Spirit.
The divinity of the Spirit application
Now since the Spirit has these divine attributes, it means that He is infinitely more powerful than any other person. The most powerful enemy of God is Satan, who is a created spirit being. Satan is not omniscient, is not omnipotent and is not omnipresent. Satan is not eternal, he was created by God.
Therefore, since the Spirit of God lives inside of you, if you are a believer, than He is able to do incredible things in and through you. The Holy Spirit always seeks to lift up and exalt Jesus as Lord of Lords. So, how can a person ….
Experience the reality of the Spirit
Knowledge of the truth of God’s Word about the Spirit is a good thing, but it is not sufficient to change your life or make a difference in the world. It is one thing to know about a person, but quite another to know a person.
Each of us knows all about a lot of famous people that we don’t know in person at all. Knowing about a person does nothing for you. So God wants to move each one of us from knowing about the Holy Spirit to really knowing Him personally.
The Spirit indwells every believer
Romans 8:9 (NIV2011) You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
Here God’s Word tells us the defining attribute of a believer. Once a person has believed in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God lives in him. On the other hand, those who are not believers, do not have the Holy Spirit living in them. So, we need to be very clear here, every believer has the Spirit living in them. Yet, that is just a starting point, there is much more of the Spirit that we must experience in order to fulfill our purpose in life. Jesus taught that …
Ask for the gift of the Spirit
Luke 11:13 (NIV2011) If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Since the Spirit automatically indwells every believer when they put their faith in Christ, what is Jesus talking about here? Jesus is talking about the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is a separate experience after salvation.
You have to ask the Father to give you this gift of the Spirit, which is available for every believer. Why do you need this gift of the Spirit? You need it in order to …
Receive the Spirit’s power
Acts 1:8 (NIV2011) 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.”
Here Jesus states that when you are baptized in the Spirit, when the Holy Spirit comes on you in response to waiting on the Lord, you will receive power. This verse highlights the power to be Jesus’ witnesses, to have the boldness to share the Gospel with those around you. This power is intended for every believer. Every believer is to be a witness for Jesus through the Spirit’s power.
The Spirit’s power is not only for witness, but also for communicating with God through a prayer language and functioning in the gifts of the Spirit. We’ll be talking more about those experiences later in this series. God wants you to experience the reality of the Spirit in your life. Not just to mentally believe in the Spirit, but to relate to and experience His presence and power in your life.
The reality of the Spirit application
Let’s talk some more about experiencing the reality of the Spirit in your life. When you are saved, the Spirit comes to dwell within your Spirit. Yet, for many people, that’s where their experience with the Spirit stops. They do not have the power of the Spirit flowing through every aspect of their lives.
When a person receives the baptism in the Spirit, which we are going to talk about next Sunday, the Holy Spirit fills you and His power is released into every part of you. You are, as it were, baptized into the Holy Spirit, immersed in Him. This experience first happened on the day of Pentecost and from that time onward is available to every believer who asks the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This experiential reality of the Spirit is assumed for every believer, from Acts 2 on throughout the rest of the New Testament. If you have not been baptized in the Spirit, begin to pray and ask God to baptize you in the Spirit. The promise of the Spirit is for every believer of all time.
The Person of the Spirit Conclusion
God wants us to understand the personality of the Holy Spirit, so that we can relate to Him as a person. We must believe that the Holy Spirit is God Himself, so that we respect and submit ourselves to His will.
Finally, God wants you to have an earnest desire to experience more of the reality of the Spirit in your life. His promise is to each one of us is that if we hunger and thirst for more of God’s Spirit, He will fulfill His promise and fill us.