Who & What Is the Holy Spirit?

 




Week 10: Who & What Is the Holy Spirit?

Some of us are only familiar with the work of the Holy Spirit when it comes to the outward display of supernatural power, things like witnessing someone speak in tongues or perhaps prophesying. But the work of the Holy Spirit doesn’t just stop there and certainly isn’t limited to just what can be physically seen with the naked eye, let’s take a closer look at the Holy spirit in God’s word to gain understanding.

First let’s define the Holy spirit. Simply put the Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of God and He is God.

In John 3:1-21 Jesus is speaking with one of the religious leaders named Nicodemus when Yahusha (Jesus) tells him that in order to see the kingdom of God one must be born again.

“Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (member of the Sanhedrin) among the Jews, 2 who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), we know [without any doubt] that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs [these wonders, these attesting miracles] that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh [the physical is merely physical], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Jesus wanted Him to understand that anyone desiring to be a part of God’s Kingdom would need to be indwelled with the Holy Spirit and while water baptism was a part of the process that the baptism of the Holy spirit was essential because flesh is unable to inherit the kingdom.

1 Corinthians 15:50: Now I say this, believers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit nor be part of the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (mortal) inherit the imperishable (immortal).

All human beings have a body (flesh), soul and a spirit, as a matter of fact we are actually spiritual beings first and once we have been reborn or born again with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we begin the process of dying to our flesh as our sinful flesh is corrupted and we then began to live through the spirit. This is what is called sanctification, Oxford Dictionary defines sanctification as the action of declaring something (someone) Holy, being freed from sin (purified) and morally right or acceptable. Only the Holy Spirit working within us is able to perform this process.

Everyone who accepts Yahusha (Jesus) as their Lord and Savior and declares that He is the son of God and was sent to sacrifice his life for the sins of the world and who also confesses that he died, was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven to sit on the right hand of the Father has been initiated to the family of God and is therefore given the gift of salvation with the baptism of the Holy Spirit being the prerequisite of this but as believers how do we know if we have the Holy Spirit?

Some of the signs that may be most commonly mentioned is that of speaking in tongues and prophesying however there are many others, let’s examine a few instances in the scriptures where these signs are highlighted.

 

 

1 Corinthians 12:1-4 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

Here we see already that it takes revelation by way of the Holy Spirit for a person to even confess that Yahusha (Jesus) is Lord, this is just one piece of evidence. Paul goes on to add…

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works [e]all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by [f]the same Spirit, 10 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. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Here Paul highlights 11 gifts that can provide evidence that The Holy Spirit is dwelling in and working within us. As you read through these I suggest you do a self-examination to see which of these gifts you believe you possess, also pray and ask God to confirm which of these gifts you have been given as we all have different callings and our gifts will align with our calling.

  • The Gift of Wisdom - the gift to make choices and give leadership that is according to God's will. 
  • The Gift of Knowledge - the gift to comprehensively understand a spiritual issue or circumstance. 
  • The Gift of Faith - the gift to trust God and inspire others to trust God, no matter the conditions. 
  • The Gift of Healing - the wondrous gift to use God's healing power to cure a person who is ill, wounded or suffering. 
  • The Gift of Miracles - the gift to display signs and miracles that give credibility to God's Word and the Gospel message. 
  • The Gift of Prophecy - the gift to declare a message from God. 
  • The Gift of Discerning Spirits - the gift to recognize whether or not something is truly from God or in accordance with righteousness. 
  • The Gift of Tongues - the gift to communicate in a foreign language you do not have experience with, to converse with those who speak that language. 
  • The Gift of Interpreting Tongues - the gift to interpret the speech and writings of a different language and translate it back to others in your own. 
  • The Gift of Administration - the gift to keep things ordered and in agreement with God's principles. 
  • The Gift of Help - the gift of a desire and capacity to always help others and do whatever it takes to achieve a task.

Lastly I would like to quickly look at one of the most definitive ways to know that you have The Holy Spirit working within you and in your life, let’s look at Galatians 5:22-23

22 “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

When The Holy Spirit is active in your life you will notice a difference in yourself, your habits and behaviors will begin to change and you will take on the characteristics of holiness.  Do not be discouraged if you have not manifested any one particular trait or particular gift, this does not at all mean you don’t have the Holy Spirit. Please remember that there are many gifts and we will not possess them all, take any concerns to God in pray and he will give you revelation.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.

In our next study we will take a closer look at the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

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