15. The Holy Spirit: Who He Is
By now you have read about the Holy Spirit more than once. Let us learn more about Him. We are about to discover one of the greatest blessings that God gives a believer.
The one, living God reveals Himself to us in the Bible as the Trinity (Three-unity).
The Holy Spirit is God, and therefore eternal, without beginning or end. In the Bible we first read of the Holy Spirit in the second verse (Genesis 1:2) and we last read of Him in the fourth last verse (Revelation 22:17). Throughout the whole Bible we read of His work in the hearts and minds of the believers. Because He is Spirit, He can be everywhere at all times and even live within all believers to guide and teach them.
Read John 14:15-17.
The Muslim reader will immediately see that Jesus speaks here of a) a Spirit and not a prophet, and b) that this Spirit would live in the disciples.
It is therefore impossible that this reference could be to Muhammad, as some people seem to suggest.
The Names of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is called by several names in the Bible:
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Although the Holy Spirit is always present everywhere we often read in the Old Testament that He filled a certain person in order to enable him to do a special task (e.g. Exodus 31:3; Numbers 11:17; 24:2; 1 Samuel 10:6; 1 Chronicles 28:12; Nehemiah 9:30; Isaiah 42:1; Ezekiel 11:5; etc.).
In the New Testament, however, you read that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to live in every believer. This began on the day of Pentecost when the Christians were together and “all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). This happened again and again, as we read in Acts 4:31 and 10:44-46.
The Holy Spirit also comes to live in every individual believer, as He came to Saul (Paul) at his conversion (Acts 9:17-19). The Bible says,
“. . . if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” (Romans 8:9.)
This special working of the Holy Spirit has been foretold in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 36:26:27). And when Paul writes to the believers in Corinth, he has to remind them,
“Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16.)
However, it is possible to have the Holy Spirit living in you without being filled with the Holy Spirit. As long as a believer tries to control his own life, he cannot be filled with the Spirit. The Spirit will only fill the believer when he comes to a complete surrender to God (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 5:18).
How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit
1. Believe in the crucified and resurrected Christ (Galatians 3:1-5).
2. Obey God (Acts 5:32).
3. Ask God (Luke 11:13).
4. Trust God to fulfill his promises (1 John 5:14-15).
In our next lesson we will learn what the Holy Spirit does in the believer.
Test Yourself No. 15
Answer the following questions, and compare your answers to the correct ones.
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