What I Believe . . . Holy Spirit

I believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity (Matt. 28:19). Ontologically, the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and to the Son and is one is essence with them. Functionally the Holy Spirit is submitted to the Father and to the Son, bring glory to them (John 16:14) in his activity within the world and the life of the believer.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is personal, that he is not simply a force or a thing. The Holy Spirit is described by Jesus as our advocate (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7), one who is like Jesus (John 14:16). Paul closes his second letter to the Corinthian church with a salutation that includes a mention of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14), something that only a personal being can do.

I believe that the Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin and draws people to God (John 16:8-11). While I do believe that we freely chose or reject God’s offer of salvation, I also believe that the Holy Spirit is active in every life, and that without his activity we would not come to God. The Holy Spirit’s call is not irresistible, but it is essential.

I believe that the Holy Spirit was instrumental in writing the Bible and in our ability to understand it. Peter says that the prophets who predicted the suffering of Christ and his glories, did so by the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:10-12), while Paul says that all Scripture is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). Jesus himself teaches us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and remind us of what he had already told us (John 14:26). Who better to illuminate my mind regarding the Scriptures than the one who is responsible for their writing?

I believe that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer (2 Tim. 1:14) and empowers them (Acts 1:8) to live a sanctified life. The Holy Spirit’s presence within me enables me to know God in a personal fashion as well as to know his specific direction and will for my life. In addition to providing me with direction, he gives me the strength and resources to accomplish his will.

I believe that the Spirit’s presence will be evident in my life as I follow him. The Spirit, working within me, will be fruitful (Gal. 5:22-23), conforming me to the image of God (2 Cor. 3:17-18). The Holy Spirit will also lead me to put to death my old life and to live for Christ (Rom. 8:1-14).

I believe that the Holy Spirit gifts and equips believers for service within the church. This equipping is for the benefit of the church and is given as the Spirit chooses (1 Cor. 12:7). This spiritual gifting may include what are considered as natural talents as well as those given later in life. These gifts may also be for a specific time and place. Speaking in tongues is the exception to this (1 Cor. 14:4) and is a gift for the benefit of the individual and is not to be practiced in a public setting.

I believe that the Holy Spirit knows me better than I know myself and assists me in prayer. The Spirit will intercede with the Father on my behalf, making expression beyond what I am capable of (Rom. 8:26-27). The Spirit will also help me to understand the Father’s response to me. It is the Holy Spirit that enables me to have an intimate relationship with my Abba.

I believe that the presence of the Holy Spirit acts as a seal, giving me assurance of my salvation (Eph. 1:13-14). That hope he brings to my life will enable me to endure the trials and storms of this life without despair. It also serves to make the pleasures of this life fade in comparison to what is held in store for me. He is my rock, my stronghold, my mighty fortress.

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