Who is the Holy Spirit? Why does God send Him? What does He do?

No one can fully understand God, unless God reveals Himself and His nature to us. Throughout Scripture (from the very first chapter of Genesis!), God’s revelation about Himself often includes ‘The Spirit of God’. We know that the Holy Spirit was part of God even before the creation of the world, so he cannot be just an ‘angel’, which is a created finite being.

So what has God shown us about His Spirit?

Pray that God will reveal to us the truth about His Spirit. In this study, we will look at 3 passages from the Scriptures:

The Holy Spirit is our Helper

Let’s begin with John 14. Jesus promised His followers that He would send the Spirit to help them. This Spirit is one of truth and is from God. He would live with and in Jesus’ followers forever. And this Spirit would remind them of the things they had been taught about God.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17).
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:25-26).

The same is true today. God gives us the same Spirit He gave to the disciples. The Spirit of God is present with us forever. He helps us to live in a way that honors God. He reminds us of the things God has taught us in His Word. He shapes our hearts to desire God and to be sensitive to our own sins. He brings a genuine change in our lives that draws us closer and closer to God each day.

The Holy Spirit fulfilled God’s promises in our lives

Now, let’s read Acts 2:1-41. We learn that the promised Holy Spirit came. And when He came, great miracles happened. People suddenly began to speak in languages they had never spoken before. The crowds who heard them were able to clearly understand them because they could hear the Gospel in their own languages. Everyone was amazed. The Good News of God’s salvation spread and people’s hearts are changed.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were God-fearing Jews from every nation staying in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” (Acts 2:1-8).

Because of this amazing miracle, Jesus’ followers were able to speak and tell everyone about all the things He had done for them. Peter spoke to the crowd and told them about Jesus. He reminded them that the Prophets had told them God would send His Spirit, and that this promise had come true!

‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy”
(Acts 2:14-18, quoting Book of Joel from the Old Testament).

This same Holy Spirit can work in amazing ways in our lives, too. Still today, people report that they have been given visions and dreams from God, or that they have experienced miracles. Others speak of the mighty ways in which God has transformed their lives.

The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 explains how the Holy Spirit guides our thoughts and opens our eyes to the truth about God. In this passage, we learn that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to understand the teachings of God. Only the Spirit of God can reveal the truth about God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn more about God and His Will every day.

“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13).

Your Response: Listen and pray to God...

1. According to the three passages, when the Holy Spirit comes, what relationship will He have with God's people? And what roles will He play in their lives?

2. What are the signs that the Holy Spirit is working in your life?

If you haven’t yet, are you willing to pray to God and ask God to send you the Holy Spirit?

3. Who will you share this message with?

Beware of false teachings about the Holy Spirit

The devil loves to bring confusion and distortion especially when it comes to the supernatural.

God gives us wisdom and discernment by revealing Himself clearly in Scripture as He's the one who inspired Scripture. The more you're familiar with the genuine, the more easily you can spot the counterfeit.

Throughout the whole Bible,
  • The Holy Spirit always magnifies and points us to Jesus, not to himself. His role is to empower us to bear witness to Jesus.
  • Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to us. We receive the Holy Spirit from Jesus when we've become Jesus' disciples. Scripture never teaches us to summon the Holy Spirit by skipping Jesus.
  • The Holy Spirit is a great communicator. He speaks in specific and comprehensible ways and works through making God's messages clearer and more intelligible to the hearers (to reverse the Tower of Babel).
  • Although the Holy Spirit can work through human emotions, He often guides us in ways contrary to our emotions and instincts. He is not anyone's feelings.
  • Supernatural experiences and miracles are not necessarily the works of the Holy Spirit because the enemy can do the same. Do not believe in every spirit. Test the spirit by confirming whether the spirit confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (as commanded in 1 John 4: 1-3).

Watch out for false teachings that encourage you to pursue a spirit that is inconsistent to the Holy Spirit in the Bible!