We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son and is of the same essence. Yet He is also distinct from them.
Scripture describes the Holy Spirit in personal terms, not as an impersonal force, when it says that He teaches, guides, comforts and intercedes. He possesses emotions, intellect and will. The Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and gave counsel to the church at Jerusalem. He was sinned against and lied to.
The Scriptures also attest to the deity of the Holy Spirit. He is spoken of as God and is identified with the title of Jehovah. The Christian who is indwelt by the Spirit is indwelt by God. The Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity, such as omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and eternality. He does works only God can do, such as creating, regenerating and sanctifying. He is equally associated with the other members of the Trinity.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament differed somewhat from His work in the New Testament. The possession of the Holy Spirit by the believer was not permanent in every case. The Spirit had a ministry of restraining sin and in the creation of the world.
The Holy Spirit today plays a major role in the application of salvation to the individual. It is the Spirit who brings conviction to the unbeliever and causes him to see the truth of the gospel in a clear light. Those who respond to this conviction and place their faith in Jesus Christ receive eternal life and a new nature. The Holy Spirit unites the believer with Christ and places him in the body of Christ, the church. He also unites the believer with Christ in His death, enabling him to live victoriously over sin. The Holy Spirit controls the believer who yields to God and submits himself to God’s Word. When these conditions are met, the believer lives in the power of the Spirit and produces the fruit of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit indwells the believer permanently. While the child of God may sin and grieve the Spirit, the Spirit will never leave the true believer. Absence of the Holy Spirit is the mark of the unsaved. The Holy Spirit seals the believer. This ministry guarantees the security of the believer “until the day of redemption.”
The Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts or abilities for service to every believer. Although His restraint of evil in the world today will cease with the rapture, He will continue to be present in the earth. In the tribulation period the Spirit will be involved in salvation and filling. In the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will be in God’s people and the Spirit will be upon the King.
How does the Holy Spirit work?
First, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8, NKJV). He uses a mother’s prayers, or a tragic experience, or a pastor’s sermon, or some other experience to convict us of sin and of our need to give our lives to Jesus Christ. He points to us and says, “You are a sinner. You need to repent.”
We don’t like to hear that, but without conviction, we could never have our sins forgiven, we could never be saved and we could never go to Heaven.
Second, the Holy Spirit gives new life. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). Our spirit within us, made in the image of God, is dead toward God. Mankind needs life. Yet, we have all sinned and, therefore, are dead toward God. The Holy Spirit, however, gives us new life in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again”(John 3:3).
But how is someone born again? What does that mean? The Holy Spirit is the one who makes you born again; it is a supernatural act. It isn’t the good things we’ve done, but God’s mercy through the Holy Spirit that saves us (Titus 3:5). All we have to do is accept the free gift of salvation by accepting Christ.
Third, the Holy Spirit lives in us. As you read this, you may realize that you are spiritually dead, but God says, “I will put my Spirit in you. I will come to live in you.” That’s the reason we should never take anything unclean into our bodies. That’s the reason we should discipline our bodies. God loves your body. He doesn’t want it polluted by fleshly lusts or harmful substances. The Bible says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Fourth, The Holy Spirit gives you power to serve Christ. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Christ is coming back again, and He is ready to come into your heart by the Holy Spirit and make you a new person. Will you accept Christ as your Savior?