“I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7
The past twelve days I’ve posted some of my thoughts about the fruit of the Spirit. Many have told me that you look forward to reading them so I thought I would continue by sharing some of my thoughts about the Holy Spirit. But first I need to admit that I am not an expert on the Holy Spirit. I’m a pastor who has, as part of his ministry, been asked questions and in the journey I’ve taken looking for answers I feel that I’ve been blessed. This post and those that follow are my attempt to share those blessings with you.
The first question is: Who is the Holy Spirit? And “who,” not “what,” is the correct interrogative. In the New Testament there are more than 200 references to the Holy Spirit and in them the Holy Spirit is never referred to as an “it” Instead, the Holy Spirit is, with unswerving consistency, referred to as a “he” and when an interrogative is used a “who.” After days of closely examining each passage I am convinced that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James and Jude all understood the Holy Spirit to be nothing less than a divine person.
One may ask, “What does it matter if the Holy Spirit is a person or a thing?” And this brings us to perhaps the greatest blessing found in my study on the Holy Spirit.
God’s enacting of the plan of salvation has revealed that his love is unsurpassable. The apostle Paul says it this way, in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ, the Messiah, the incarnate Son of God, is given as a gift to humanity so that we could be saved.
And the Holy Spirit is no less magnificent a gift. He’s no mere extension or appendage of God. He’s not an energy or force sent from the throne. The Holy Spirit is yet another member of the Divine Godhead given, as a gift, to man.
Can there be any doubt that God loves you? To give the Son is proof enough but heaven bestows the Holy Spirit as well. Believe it. Know it. God loves you.