Who is the Holy Spirit? Why does God send Him? What does He do? These are common questions for anyone new to learning about the Christian faith. There is a lot of confusion about who He is.
No one can fully understand God, unless God reveals Himself and His nature to us. Throughout Scriptures (from the very first chapter of Genesis!), God’s revelation about Himself often includes ‘The Spirit of God’. We know that the Holy Spirit was part of God even before the creation of the world, so he cannot be just an ‘angel’, which is a created finite being.
So what has God shown us about His Spirit?
Pray that God will reveal to us the truth about His Spirit. In this study, we will look at 3 passages from the Scriptures: John 14:16-26, Acts 2:1-41, and 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.
The Holy Spirit is our Helper
Let’s begin with John 14. Jesus promised His followers that He would send the Spirit to help them. This Spirit is one of truth and is from God. He would live with and in Jesus’ followers forever. And this Spirit would remind them of the things they had been taught about God.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and 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.” (John 14:16-17).
“All this I have spoken while still with you. 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” (John 14:25-26).
The same is true today. God gives us the same Spirit He gave to the disciples. The Spirit of God is present with us forever. He helps us to live in a way that honors God. He reminds us of the things God has taught us in His Word. He shapes our hearts to desire God and to be sensitive to our own sin. He brings genuine change in our lives that draws us closer and closer to God each day.
The Holy Spirit fulfilled God’s promises in our lives
Now, let’s read Acts 2:1-41. We learn that the promised Holy Spirit came. And when He came, great miracles happened. People suddenly began to speak in languages they had never spoken before. The crowds who heard them were able to clearly understand them because they could hear the words in their own languages. Everyone was amazed. The Good News of God’s salvation spread and people’s hearts are changed.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were God-fearing Jews from every nation staying in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” (Acts 2:1-8).
Because of this amazing miracle, Jesus’ followers were able to speak and tell everyone about all the things He had done for them. Peter spoke to the crowd and told them about Jesus. He reminded them that the Prophets had told them God would send His Spirit. He told the people that this promise spoken by the Prophets had come true.
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:14-18, quoting Joel 2:28-32 from the Old Testament).
This same Holy Spirit can work in amazing ways in our lives, too. Still today, people report that they have been given visions and dreams from God, or that they have witnessed miracles. Others speak of the mighty ways God has worked in their lives.
The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 explains how the Holy Spirit guides our thoughts and opens our eyes to the truth about God. In this passage, we learn that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to understand the teachings of God. Only the Spirit of God can reveal the truth about God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn more about God and His Will every day.
“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13).
Your Response: Listen and pray to God...
1. Do you ever worry that you will not be able to honor God?
Or have you ever struggled to understand the teachings of God?
What do you do?
2. What did you learn today about the Holy Spirit from the three passages?
3. What are the signs that the Holy Spirit is working in your life?
If you haven’t yet, are you willing to pray to God and ask God to send you the Holy Spirit?
4. Who will you share this message with?