Who Is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a distinct member of the “Godhead” (Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4), and He is distinct from the Father and the Son (John 14:26; Acts 10:38). He was active in creation (Genesis 1:2, 26-27; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30). He was given to the apostles to reveal “all truth” so that they could preach the gospel or “shew you things to come” (John 16:13). When people believed this preaching, they obeyed and were then saved: “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles included the ability to work miraculous gifts, such as speaking in tongues in Acts 2:5-12 (cp. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 for a list of spiritual gifts). These gifts could only be transferred through the laying on of the apostles’ hands (Acts 8:18). Paul stated that these gifts would cease in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. No one today possesses gifts such as healing or speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit was given to confirm the word of God (Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:1-4). After the word was “once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3), the gifts were no longer needed.

The Holy Spirit also indwells in us. He does not do it by physically entering our body, helping us to make decisions or “steering” us in the right direction. The Holy Spirit is in us like God is in us (1 John 4:15) and Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27). As long as you and I live by the Holy Spirit’s law (the Bible), He will dwell within us, and we will be guided by His wonderful precepts. At that point, we will “walk in the Spirit” and produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:16, 22-23). Conversely, if we do not obey, we will “grieve” the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Let the word dwell in you and faithfully adhere to it.

Kyle Campbell