Holy spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is, according to Christians, the eternal, active and personal presence of God. Major Christian beliefs describe God as a Trinity – three persons in one – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christianity teaches that the Holy Spirit is not a powerful force or a generalized supernatural presence, but a personal being who shares his essence with God the Father and with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is called the Lord and the Giver of Life, and is worshiped as God. (To see the Nicene Creed.) The New Testament uses the names – Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12.3), Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2.11) and Spirit of Christ (Romans 8.9) – interchangeably.

The Hebrew scriptures speak of the Spirit of God as the power of God extended in the world. The word “Spirit” in Hebrew is Ruah, which literally means breath or wind. The Spirit is seen from the first moments of creation when the Spirit of God was hovering over the world (Genesis 1:2). The Spirit anointed the Israelite kings (e.g. 1 Samuel 16.13) and filled the Israelite prophets (e.g. Micah 3.8), directing and empowering God’s people to do God’s will and stay in relationship with God (Psalm 51.11). In Hebrew thought, the Spirit was linked to the visible glory of God leading the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 14.19-20), descending on Mount Sinai at the giving of the Torah (Exodus 19.18) and dwelling in the Temple (1 Kings 8.10-11). In judgment for the unfaithfulness of the people, the glory of God left the Temple during the exile (Ezekiel 10), but in the vision of the prophet, the glory will one day return (Ezekiel 43.5).

The Gospels refer to the Holy Spirit in personal terms, as a counselor or helper who, like Jesus, came from God (John 14.16, 15.26). The Holy Spirit covered Mary, conceiving in her the Son of God, Jesus (Luke 1:35). The Spirit filled Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin and John the Baptist’s mother (Luke 1.41) and empowered Zechariah, John’s father, to prophesy about his calling (Luke 1.67). The Spirit was then active throughout Jesus’ ministry, from his baptism (Matthew 3:16-17) to his healing power (Luke 4:18). The Spirit gives new birth (John 3.8) and acts as a river of living water in the believer (John 7.38). In Jesus’ last conversations with his disciples before his crucifixion, he promised a permanent indwelling of the Spirit (John 14:16).

How does the Holy Spirit work?

The book of Acts, which is considered a second volume by the author of the Gospel of Luke, recounts the early days of the Church and shows a strong emphasis on the activity of the Spirit in forming the community. Christian. Acts 2 tells the story of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended visibly as fire and audibly as a strong wind upon all believers, empowering them to speak in different tongues (Acts 2.4), to preach with boldness (Acts 2:14-36), and to do many miracles (Acts 2:43).

The New Testament epistles also speak personally of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who believe. Paul wrote about the Holy Spirit as a source of life and peace, as a guide and helper, pleading for believers before God (Romans 8). He told the church in Corinth that the Spirit gives gifts to all believers that enable them to teach, preach, heal, prophesy, speak in tongues, and more (1 Corinthians 12:7-11 ). The apostle Peter taught that the scriptures were all inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit also appears in the last book of the Bible as the One who, together with the Church, calls Jesus back (Revelation 22:17).

You can find out more here on how Christians understand the Holy Spirit as a member of the Trinity.