Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do?

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Image of a man holding a Bible with a text overlay saying

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is by far the most misunderstood member of the Trinity. We hear lots of teachings on God the father and God the son, but very few about the divine nature and attributes of the Holy Spirit.

So I thought I would share with you a Bible study on who is the Holy Spirit and what He does.

The Holy Spirit is not just a "person" but He is "divine" person. He is also not just a person unto Himself, but He is part and parcel of the Trinity where the 3 are one.

In Matthew's gospel chapter 28, Jesus Himself tells the disciples to baptize new believers in the "name" singular, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

If the Holy Spirit was a separate entity then He would have used the plural form rather than the singular form.

Again we see this relationship and association with the Father and Son in 2 Corinthians 13:14.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

So let's take a look at how the Holy Spirit has the same divine attributes and nature as God.

The Divine Attributes Of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is Eternal

Hebrews 9:14
Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

The Holy Spirit is not just something that God thought up to replace Jesus as His representative here on earth after Jesus ascended to heaven. The Holy Spirit has been around since the beginning.

Image of a drawing of the Holy Spirit

In Genesis 1:26 God says "let us make man in our image." If God was just a singular being, then why does He say the word "our?"

Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit were part of God since the beginning.

Image of art with the Holy Spirit and fire

The Holy Spirit Is Omniscient (All Knowing)

Not only is the Holy Spirit eternal, but the Holy Spirit is all knowing. Jesus said that our Heavenly Father would send the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things and remind us of everything that Jesus has taught. (John 16:12-13) In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about the Holy Spirit knowing the mind of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12

But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us

Since we know that God is all knowing, and since the Holy Spirit knows God's own thoughts, then the Holy Spirit must be all knowing as well.

The Holy Spirit Is Omnipotent (All Powerful)

A very powerful example of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit is in the birth of Jesus. When the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and caused her to conceive Jesus, this proved the Holy Spirit is all powerful.

Luke 1:35
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

Image of a dove descending into outstretched hands

This same Holy Spirit is the one who raised Jesus from the dead. The ability to raise someone from the dead is a sign of being all powerful.

Romans 8:11
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Image of the Holy Spirit dove descending

The Holy Spirit Is Omnipresent (Everywhere At Once)

Psalm 139:7-10

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.

The Psalmist David expresses so beautifully this fact. The Holy Spirit is everywhere at once. There is nowhere we can go that will hide us from His presence.

So once again we see that the Holy Spirit has divine attributes just like God.

The Divine Works Of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit was At Work In Creation

Genesis 1:2

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Here we see that The Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of all things. Only God is the creator, thus the Holy Spirit must be God.

Image of the Holy Spirit dove
Image of art saying come Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Works In Regeneration

Not only was the Spirit of God at work in the creation of our world and of humankind in general, but He is at work in the regeneration of man as well. In John's gospel we have the famous passage telling us that we have to be born again. In this passage it states that the Holy Spirit is the one that gives us that new birth.

John 3:5-6

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.

Jesus beautifully ties the Spirit's work in creation with the Spirit's work in regeneration in a later passage in John. Let me show you both passages so you can see how beautifully He ties both together.

Genesis 2:7
Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

John 20:22
Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Just as God breathed physical life into man, so Jesus breathed spiritual life into the disciples by giving them the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Was At Work In Giving Us The Bible

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Image of a dove descending onto the Bible

The King James version states that all scripture is "God-breathed". The actual greek word means that it is expired or breathed out.

Again we have the concept of God breathing life into something. The Bible is a product of the breath of God. It is the result of the activity of the wind of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is At Work In The Raising Of The Dead

As we saw earlier, it is the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead. It is also the Holy Spirit that will raise us from the dead on that resurrection morning when Jesus returns.

It is also the Holy Spirit that is daily giving us the life of God in our mortal bodies. He is the agent that is transferring that power. The new life you are experiencing in Christ is because of the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Gives Us The Power To Be Supernatural Witnesses Of Jesus

Finally, it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to walk in supernatural power and ability in order that we may be witnesses of the reality and truthfulness of what Jesus has done for us.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Image of the Holy Spirit represented by fire

A witness not only tells people about an event, but a witness has also experienced that event. In order to share that experience, they need to be able to recreate or demonstrate that experience.

The Holy Spirit is the one that empowers us to not only tell people about the resurrection power of Jesus, and that it is real, but to show them by example and even supernatural ability that it is real. So the Holy Spirit is the one at work in giving us that ability.

I hope that now you have just a little bit clearer understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does and that if you did have misunderstandings about who and what the Holy Spirit is that they have been cleared up.

Let's no longer let the Holy Spirit be the most misunderstood member of the Trinity.

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About the Author Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.

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