The Holy Spirit is not some impersonal force or energy. He is as truly personal and divine as the Father and the Son. We find him described in Scripture in terms which are appropriate only to a thinking, feeling, acting person. And we read of him doing the kinds of things which only God is able to do. So he was involved in the creation of the universe, in the giving of inspired Scripture and in the support of Jesus in his mission on Earth.
This powerful, personal Spirit is absolutely vital for Christian conversion and discipleship. He is the one who brings about the miracle of the new birth, and he indwells all believers from the very beginning of their Christian lives and for ever. The focus of his ministry is not on himself, but on Jesus Christ. Jesus promised that the Spirit would testify to him. The Spirit has come to show us the glory and relevance of Jesus as he is described in the Scriptures, and to make us want to follow him.
The Holy Spirit works to change us in sanctification, the process by which we become holy, learning to hate sin and to become more like Jesus Christ. We are involved in this as the Spirit helps us to learn from God’s Word, to pray, to grow through experience and through fellowship with other Christians. He gives us assurance of our faith, enabling us to know that we really are God’s children.
The Spirit also equips us for service in the Church and in the world. Every Christian has gifts which come from the Spirit and we are to use our gifts for the benefit of others. He is the one who can give us the strength we need for witness. We depend on his ministry for success in this because he alone can illumine the minds and convict the hearts of those to whom we speak.
How do these verses show that the Spirit is personal?
Acts 13: 2; Ephesians 4: 30; 1 Corinthians 12: 11
How do these verses show that he is divine?
Job 33: 4; Acts 5: 3-4; 1 Corinthians 3: 16; Hebrews 9: 14
What did Jesus tell his disciples about the Spirit’s ministry?
John 14: 16-17, 26; 15: 26; 16: 14
What is the Spirit moulding Christians to be?
Galatians 5: 16-26
How can we know that we are Christians?
Romans 8: 14-16; 1 John 1: 8-10; 3: 13-15; 5: 1-5
In what ways are different Christians gifted for service?
Romans 12: 3-8; 1 Peter 4: 10-11
Why is the Spirit indispensable for witness and mission?
Acts 1:8; John 16:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14