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The Pastor's Blog

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The Holy Spirit

As the calendar flips from twenty to twenty-one, let’s explore some Biblical truths about the third person of the Holy Trinity. Let’s start by considering His name.

The Bible introduced Him in its opening lines. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1–2, ESV). These verses teach us that the “Spirit of God” was an active participant in creation. We also see His care for creation as He, like a hen caring for the young in her nest, “was hovering over” creation.

Elsewhere in the Old Testament, God referred to Him as “My Spirit” (Genesis 6:3). He’s also called “the Spirit of the Lord God” (Isaiah 61:1) and the “Holy Spirit” (Psalm 51:11).

In the New Testament, He is referred to as the “Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4, ESV), or in the Elizabethan English of the King James Version, the “Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:4, KJV).

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He made an extraordinary promise to the Apostles: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16–18, ESV). In the original Greek language, Jesus promised the “Paraclete” (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7). The English Standard translates the name as “Helper.” The Christian Standard translates it as “Counselor” while the New International interprets it as “Advocate” and the King James as “Comforter.” Wonderfully, incredibly, beautifully, the Spirit of the Living God is all of these!

Paul wrote to the church in Rome: “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:9–11, ESV). In just three short verses, Paul speaks of the “Spirit”, the “Spirit of God”, “the Spirit of Christ”, “the Spirit of life”, the “Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead”, and the “Spirit who dwells in you”. Each of these descriptive names refers to the third person of the Trinity.

He is the “Spirit of glory” (1 Peter 4:14), the “Spirit of holiness” (Romans 1:4), the “eternal Spirit” (Hebrews 9:14) and the “Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29).

So, here’s the good news! “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts” (Galatians 4:6, ESV). We can “walk by the Spirit” ... be “led by the Spirit” ... and “live by the Spirit”(Galatians 5:16-25, ESV).

Would you resolve to be filled daily with the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit and actively live under His gracious guidance in 2021?


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