The Holy Spirit? What is it?

When I write, I mention the Holy Spirit often.

Recently, it has come to my attention that some of my readers don't really know what I am referring to when I mention the Spirit. What is it? Who is it?

There have been volumes of books and systematic theologies. The main difference in views is whether the Spirit is a force, or a person. To answer this question, I choose to go to the earliest source available to see what the earliest sources say.  Of course, the earliest sources are found in the books of the Bible. This is what I find in the Bible:  The Bible itself doesn't directly tell us if the Spirit is a force or a person, but it does tell us that the Spirit interacts very closely with those who are seeking and following Christ's ways on earth, and the Spirit interacts with us in ways that can be personified. 

First of all, it was also common in New Testament times that believers did not know what the Holy Spirit was, and they had to learn about the Spirit from Paul and the disciples of Jesus. In Acts 19:1-6, Paul entered into Ephesus, and he saw some followers there, and he asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"  They replied, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!" Paul then goes on to explain more to them. (See Acts 19 for the rest of the account.)

So today, I feel led to examine and share some verses about who -- or what -- the Holy Spirit is and how the Holy Spirit interacts with us. This should give more clarity about who -- or what -- the Holy Spirit is and does.

1) The Holy Spirit is a gift that Christians receive from God. - Acts 2:38

2) The Holy Spirit is a helper to us -- and assists us with discerning truth from the lies of the world. - John 14:15-17

3) The Holy Spirit will pray for us and intercede for us, asking God for what is best for us, even though we may not know what the best is. We can ask the Holy Spirit to be constantly interceding for us in this way. - Romans 8:26

4) God will give the Holy Spirit to all who sincerely seek Him and ask Him to receive it. - Luke 11:13

5) The Holy Spirit is always with us, and always available when we request it -- forever.  - John 14:16

6) Even if a person is not a Christian, the Holy Spirit can inflence him or her. The Holy Spirit convicts non-Christians of the severity of their sin and their need for Christ. The Bible is very clear that it is not the actual preacher, nor the evangelist, nor the minister, nor the missionary who convince unbelievers to turn to Christ -- all believers are ultimately brought to the knowledge of Christ through the interceding work of the Holy Spirit. - John 16:7-9

7) The Spirit does not "take over" an unbeliever when it convicts him or her. The Holy Spirit can be resisted or denied. - Acts 7:51

8) The Holy Spirit gives Christians knowledge and wisdom that is not based on human wisdom. The  knowledge that is given to us by the Holy Spirit is based on spiritual wisdom and spiritual truths.  - 1 Corinthians 2:13

9) A person who does not have the Holy Spirit cannot understand these spiritual truths; it often sounds like silliness to them. - 1 Corinthians 2:14

10) The power that Jesus had to perform miracles and healings -- that power all came from the Holy Spirit.  - Acts 10:38

11) Those who have a strong, unshakeable faith and confidence in the truth of Christ have received that confidence from the Holy Spirit. - Matthew 10:20, Acts 4:31

12) God's love and peace is poured into us through the Holy Spirit. - Romans 5:5

13) The wind is used as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. You can experience the Holy Spirit, even though you cannot see it.  - John 3:8

Of course, there is much more that can be written about the Holy Spirit based, but these  biblical truths above lay the basic foundation for understanding who -- or what -- the Holy Spirit of God is; and how the Spirit is with us and greatly helps us.

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