God's Holy Spirit

Dear Brethren,

Are you truly led by God? Do you seek to do God’s will in every thought and action you perform? Have you given yourself over to Jesus Christ and His way of life so completely that you actually belong to Him? A Christian is one who is led by God’s Holy Spirit. If we do not have the Spirit of Christ, we do not belong to Him (Romans 8:9,14). From these verses, we can see how important it is to find and recognize all the facts that God has made known about His Holy Spirit.

God’s Spirit is the one Spirit that the Father and Jesus Christ share with each other and with us.* With so many people holding misconceptions about God's Holy Spirit, how can we hope to have a handle on its true characteristics?

The people of this world are deceived. God’s Holy Spirit is not a dove, ghost, fire, third person of a Trinity, or any of the other commonly misunderstood concepts about God. The Bible tells us that man does not naturally comprehend God or His ways. We know of the physical world through our five senses – touch, sight, hearing, etc., but how do we learn about the spiritual realm?

“As it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

So we see that through the Holy Spirit, the profound and mysterious things of God are revealed to Christians who have God’s Spirit. What can we know about this non-physical term that the Bible calls, “spirit?” The Scriptures speak of God and angels as being spirits, and of demons as being unclean spirits. It means that they are not of this physical, temporal realm in which man exists.

“Spirit” is not restricted nor constrained by the physical laws of nature and the universe. “Spiritual” is much more real and enduring than the temporary physical existence we are a part of. Jesus said that “spirit” is eternal and invisible – like the boundless wind (John 3:8). “Whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:26)

A physical man has life, vitality and breath. In the Greek of the New Testament we find these three terms. Physical life is “psuche.” We find Jesus using this word the same way that we do. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25) When Jesus died for us, it was His “psuche” life that He gave for us. “As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:15) Physical vitality is “zoe, zao.” It means to be lively, animated, alive and living (Luke 1:75). “Zoe” is also used with eternal and everlasting life as well.

The third term, “breath,” takes on a great deal of significance in the Holy Text. In the Greek it is “pneuma.” God builds on the concept of “breath” to help us grasp the meaning of “spirit.” The term,“pneuma,” the breath in man, is interchangeable with and corresponds to Spirit in reference to God. It is only by the context of the verse that we are able to determine if a Scripture is speaking of breath or spirit. For example, when we read, “God is pneuma,” we realize that He is more than mere breath, and interpret the verse as, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). Notice the ease in which Paul alternated between the Spirit of God and our spirit using the exact same word – “pneuma”:

“The Spirit [‘pneuma’] itself bears witness with our spirit [‘pneuma’], that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16) Even the Scriptures themselves are God-breathed, “theo-pneustos,” that is, inspired by God’s Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).

God's Holy Spirit is the Life, Mind, Love, and Power of God the Father and Jesus Christ. That Holy Spirit is what a Christian has been baptized into (Matthew 28:19). Besides our human life that we received from our father and mother, we have been conceived with the Spiritual Life of God the Father and Jesus Christ. (Being born into the Kingdom of God with eternal Spiritual God Life will come at the resurrection – if we endure until the end.) (Matthew 24:13)

God’s Spirit is every divine attribute and means of God. It is the very essence of who and what God is. God’s Spirit is the motivating action of God at work. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

In the same way that breath is necessary for human life, God’s Spirit in us is essential for our future eternal life. When speaking of God’s Spirit, it is appropriate to add “hagios” [holy] – Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, “hagios pneuma,” represents the Life and Spirit of God. “Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Corinthians 2:16)

Both the Old and New Testaments speak of the “spirit of Man.” In the New Testament Greek, the phrase is: “pneuma anthropos.” The animals have breath too, but because of the God-created spirit of Man, only man is knowing, rational, and capable of conscious reasoning to guide his intellect.

When our breath ceases – we die! The breathing of air is necessary to sustain natural life, conscious thinking, and the “spirit in man.” “For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God... But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:11, 14)

It is God’s Holy Spirit that transforms a Christian into the Life and realm of God, making him a partaker of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Man begins to make the transition from his physical existence to growing in Spirit toward the perfection of Christ when he receives the first token of God’s Spirit at his baptism and the laying on of hands. “You were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) Being begotten (fathered) by God makes us His children with His Spirit. This is the earnest and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. “He who establishes us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

Why do we need God’s Holy Spirit? Because without it, we lack the strength and ability to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His...

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the Children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:7-17)

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body… and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

“…stand fast in one Spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)

“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)

“He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)

“There is one body, and one Spirit...” (Ephesians 4:4)

Sermon:  "God's Holy Spirit"