Today we’re doing the second part of a four part series on the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at the characteristics of the Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit is a Person
John 16:13 – “…when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”
The Bible very clearly tells us that the Holy Spirit is a person; a person that hears, speaks, instructs, and guides. The Holy Spirit shows all of the characteristics of being a person. The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of God, of the Trinity. Someone once told me to think of it like the three parts of an egg: the eggshell, the egg whites, and the egg yolk. All three make up the single egg. Or similarly in a marriage, the husband and wife make up the single marital unit and become one. But they are still two distinct people. Also, notice we can speak to and hear from the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit is Intelligent
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 – “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
As one of the three persons of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is just as omnipotent (He can do anything, He’s all-powerful), omnipresent (He is everywhere), and omniscient (He knows everything) as God the Father and God the Son.
Holy Spirit has His Own Will
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 – “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Again, as a Person of the Trinity of God, the Holy Spirit acts with God the Father and God the Son to do His will in our lives. He has His own will and does what He wishes.
Paul tells us here that it’s the Holy Spirit that decides which believers receive which spiritual gifts – “distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Holy Spirit has Emotion
Romans 15:30 – “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.”
Love is an emotion that only people can have so this is simply another indication that the Holy Spirit is a person.
Holy Spirit Speaks to Us
Acts 13:2 – “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ ”
Again as we mentioned in John 16:13, the Holy Spirit speaks to us. I’ve heard the Spirit speak to me through Bible teaching from others and through my own Bible study, I’ve heard Him speak in times of worship at church and in a song on the radio, I’ve heard Him speak in times I’ve been praying in a group and in praying at home with my family. Sometimes it’s conviction, others times He calls me to take action, and on still other occasions He wants me to keep my mouth shut or do nothing. (:-)
Holy Spirit Intercedes for Us
Romans 8:26 – “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
We are weak and so very limited in our knowledge. God is all-knowing. God knows exactly what we need. The Holy Spirit jumps in on our behalf and pleads our case before God (makes intercession for us).
Holy Spirit Teaches Us
John 14:26 – “But 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 things that I said to you.”
In the Holy Spirit we have the best teacher, instructor, and guide you can possibly imagine! He guides us and directs our hearts and minds as we study His word and as we teach it to others. He wants to draw us closer to Him by the study of God’s word (He will “bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”)
I had one teacher in school that made me want to learn. I can’t even tell you what she did differently than the others, but she made learning in her class enjoyable for me. It wasn’t work. That’s what the Holy Spirit wants to do in you and for you when it comes to reading and studying the ways of God. God wants us to enjoy and look forward to studying His word, not to have to work at it.
As we grow in our faith and study the Bible, it really does become enjoyable and our hearts long to spend MORE time there.
Holy Spirit Communes with Us
2 Corinthians 13:14 – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”
‘Communion’ isn’t just what we call the taking of bread and wine to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us, though it is certainly that. It can also be defined as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” When we ‘commune’ with the Holy Spirit, it’s a way of talking to and hearing from the Holy Spirit about things of God. It’s the two-way conversation we have with God.
Holy Spirit Can be Lied to
Acts 5:1-3 – “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?’ ”
Sometimes we sin not even thinking about it much, and then we are convicted of our sin later and we need to go back and ask forgiveness from the other person and ask forgiveness from God.
Other times, we sin with intention. We know it’s sin, we think about it, we know the consequences, and we choose to sin anyway. It is a much more deliberate, sinful act.
Isn’t it amazing that this man Ananias thought that He could hide some money from God? Yet, we do this all the time when we think we can hide our sins from the Lord. It’s that time when you feel the conviction of God’s spirit on your heart, and you choose to sin anyway. That’s when we lie to God’s Holy Spirit. We think about it, we plan and strategize how to do it, and act on it – all the while thinking we can hide it rom God or we can avoid the consequences.
Holy Spirit Can be Blasphemed
Mark 3:28-29 – ““Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”
There is only one “unforgivable” sin and that is to say “no” to God when we hear Him calling us to be His child. To turn our backs from the free gift of eternal life and from the sacrifice that Jesus made for us is “eternal condemnation”. He became our sacrifice for sin on the cross, and we can choose to accept the eternal life He offers, or we can decline the offer. It’s our choice to make, and it’s really not at all complicated. Once we leave this earth and die, it’s too late to decide. Someone once told me that the act of making no decision is a decision in itself – you’re choosing “no”. That’s absolutely true.
Holy Spirit Leads Us
Romans 8:14 – “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
As we saw in John 16 above, the Holy Spirit will give us guidance and direction in His time. “He will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”
But to be “led” can also mean to be prompted to action and to be moved forward by someone else in front of us. When I think of guidance I think of pointing someone in the right direction and showing them the way. Leading is different. When I lead kids walking down the hall in Sunday School, I’m in the front and the kids are following me. Leaders lead. So when I think of being “led by the Spirit of God”, I envision Him paving the path and clearing the way forward. He goes before me, and He prompts me to follow.
Holy Spirit Convicts Us of Sin
John 16:8 – “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”
In this verse Jesus was describing for them what the Holy Spirit would do once He was given to believers after Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead. We feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and we have a choice to make. The conviction may come before we sin at the point of temptation, as mentioned earlier, or the conviction may come after we’ve sinned, and now we need to repent.
Holy Spirit Seals Us
Ephesians 1:13 – “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
Once we have made the choice to believe in Jesus and accept the free gift of eternal life, we are sealed by Jesus blood forever. Nothing we do or that the world does can change the fact that we are now children of God. We are sealed in Jesus by God’s Holy Spirit.
John 10:29 “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
Romans 8:37-39 “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”