The Holy Spirit: The Least Understood Divine Person in the Godhead

The Holy Spirit is probably the least known divine Person in the Godhead. Many knew for a fact that He is Holy and He is called the Spirit of God. But many times, believers are at a lost in defining who He really is in the Scripture and what His role in the life of a believer.

A few years back, a long time female Christian leader approach me asking for help because her eight year-old son is reading some Watch Tower magazines published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The literatures came from her grandmother who’s an avid reader of such publication. When I knew about it, I asked if she is grounded in the Trinity doctrine because she needs to explain this to her son. I later learned that her knowledge of the Holy Spirit is not orthodox. She admits her shallow understanding of the Holy Spirit led her to embrace an impersonal Spirit that cannot be worship and prayed to.

This is not an isolated case. In fact, there are some books that were authored by Francis Chan and Robert Morris titled Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit and The God I Never Knew respectively. These books only proved that the present generation of believers today have superficial knowledge of the Holy Spirit. A student of the Bible will surely be surprise to know that the word “Spirit” (Gk. pneuma) which means breath or air is in the neuter Greek language. Since pneuma is in the neutral language, it is but grammatically correct to use the word “it” in presenting the Holy Spirit. But despite this grammatical fact the Lord led the apostle John to use the pronoun him in order to show the world that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person distinct from the Father and the Son.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. – John 14:16-17, ESV

Although God by nature had no gender, the Holy Spirit still chose to reveal Himself in the masculine gender. It is not an accident that God chose this word because of every human beings need for air to breathe in order to live. That only shows our full dependency on the Holy Spirit in order to exist. And since the Holy Spirit is a distinct divine Person, He can be worship, adored, glorified, magnified, exalted, and be prayed to because He also shares the divine name Yahweh given to the Father and the Son. The Hebrew name Yahweh means the self-existent one.

  1. The Holy Spirit gives life. – 2 Cor. 3:6
  2. The Holy Spirit communicates with a believer. – Acts 13:2
  3. The Holy Spirit grieves when a believer sins. – Eph. 4:3
  4. The Holy Spirit directs a believer. – Acts 13:2
  5. The Holy Spirit regenerates a spiritually dead person. – Jn. 3:6
  6. The Holy Spirit sanctifies a believer. – 2 Thess. 2:13
  7. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit in every believer. – Gal. 5:22-23

Who do you think gives life? Who has the power to communicates with millions of believer around the world? Who is offended when a believer transgresses? Who guides us in every decision making? Who transforms an individual? Who sets apart a believer for a divine purpose? And who produces the fruit changing character in a believer’s life? Isn’t it God? Only a personal God who has intellect, emotional, and will can do all these things. It not right to close our eyes about the real identity of the Holy Spirit despite these glaring truth. In addition, the Holy Spirit leads us, guides us, teaches us, and reminds us of God’s word. In defense of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ said,

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matt. 12:31-32, ESV

Although, there are varying interpretation for these passages, I am convinced that if such people like the Pharisees who opted to believe the human nature alone of Jesus Christ resisting His deity then they chose to blaspheme Him. In this situation, they can still be forgiven because their thinking says He was only human. And for a human to blaspheme another human can still be forgiven. But to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to blaspheme God Himself because they are degrading the very person and attribute of Yahweh. Every unbeliever is attacking the very nature of God a reason why they fall under this category. If they remain in such position then there is no forgiveness for this rebellious action. The Holy Spirit must not be ignored nor to be disobeyed.

As the famed and respected evangelist Billy Graham shared,

“Over 100 years ago, two young men were talking in Ireland. One said, ‘The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him.’ The other man meditated on that thought for weeks. It so gripped him that one day he exclaimed, ‘By the Holy Spirit in me I’ll be that man.’ Historians now say that he touched two continents for Christ. His name was Dwight L. Moody.  

“This can happen again, as we open our lives to the recreating power of the Holy Spirit. No person can seek sincerely the cleansing and blessing of the Holy Spirit, and remain the same afterward. No nation can experience the touch awakening in its midst, and remain the same afterward.” Billy Graham, “The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power In Your Life,” 295.  

Let us always remember that we as believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit towards redemption, baptize in the Holy Spirit for gifts’ manifestation, and filled with the Holy Spirit for sanctification.

Cross References: John 14:26; 16:13; Eph. 1:13; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 5:18

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