Who is the Holy Spirit? And What Are Your Spiritual Gifts?


Who is the Holy Spirit?

I spent years in Baptist churches with no real introduction to the Holy Spirit. I don't remember ever hearing a sermon on the subject. We knew to trust in Jesus and worship his Father, but I had no idea how to relate to the Spirit. Or even if I should. 

I suspect that many of us have a similar story.

So, let’s begin with some introductions: 

  • The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal neuter, an "it." 

  • He is more than a "presence." 

  • He is not a "ghost," holy or otherwise (the King James Version notwithstanding). 

Rather, the Spirit is a Person who works personally. He possesses the three distinctive characteristics of personality: 

  1. Knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:10–11)

  2. Will (1 Corinthians 12:11)

  3. Feeling or emotion (Romans 15:30) 

He performs acts only a person can perform. He: 

  • searches (1 Corinthians 2:10)

  • speaks (Revelation 2:7)

  • cries (Galatians 4:6)

  • prays (Romans 8:26)

  • testifies (John 15:26)

  • teaches (John 14:26)

  • leads Christians (Romans 8:24)

  • and commands people (Acts 16:6, 7).

He is treated in Scripture as only a person can be treated. He is: 

  • grieved and rebelled against (Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30)

  • insulted (Hebrews 10:29)

  • and blasphemed (Matthew 12:31, 32).

But is he God?

Why is the Spirit “Holy”?

The Holy Spirit is God for five reasons.

1. The Holy Spirit possesses the four distinctly divine attributes:

  • eternity (Hebrews 9:14)

  • omnipresence (Psalm 139:7–10)

  • omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11)

  • and omnipotence (Luke 1:35). 

2. The Holy Spirit performs each of the three distinctively divine works: 

  • creation (Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30; Genesis 1:1–3)

  • impartation of life (John 6:63; Genesis 2:7)

  • and authorship of prophecy (2 Peter 1:21).

3. Old Testament statements about God are applied to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (see Exodus 16:7 and Hebrews 3:7–9). 

4. The name of the Holy Spirit is often coupled with that of God (1 Corinthians 12:4–6; Matthew 28:19–20; 2 Corinthians 13:14). 

5. The Holy Spirit is called God. 

Peter asked Ananias, "How is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?" (Acts 5:3). Then the apostle warns, "You have not lied to men but to God" (v. 5).

If you’re still unsure, survey the names given to the Spirit in Psalm 104:30, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Isaiah 11:2 and 61:1–3, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Romans 8:9, Philippians 1:19, Acts 16:6, 7, and Galatians 4:6.

The Holy Spirit is God.

Consequently, he matters a great deal.