Who is the Holy Spirit? Well to start with He is the third part of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God was around before the days of Jesus physically walking this earth but He was not with all people. In Genesis before the creation it says that the Spirit of God was hovering over the earth. (Genesis 1:2) The Holy Spirit had roles to play during the Old Testament. For instance, King Saul had the Spirit of God upon him when he was first anointed king (1 Samuel 10:10) but after disobeying God’s commands the Spirit of God was removed from him (1 Samuel 16:14). But after Jesus came, He promised us that the Holy Spirit would be with us and would live with us, that he would indwell with us. The Holy Spirit’s roles changed after Jesus came, lived a perfect Earthly life, died on a cross and rose again. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection fulfilled the laws of the Old Testament, that we could never measure up to, no matter how hard we tried. Because of what He did for us on the cross, when we accept Jesus as our Savior we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to be with us always.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:25-26
While Jesus walked the earth with His apostles, these men and all the people, men and women alike looked to Him for teaching and for instruction on how to live. But Jesus promised His apostles that when he would no longer be with them physically that they would have the Holy Spirit to guide them. In fact in that passage it calls Him “the Helper”. After the resurrection Jesus breathed on His Apostles and told them to receive the Holy Spirit.
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.’” John 20:21-22
Then in Acts chapter 2 we see where they were all FILLED with the Holy Spirit.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
I love this description of the apostles receiving the full power of the Holy Spirit.
When I first started studying this I was a little confused. If the Apostles received the Holy Spirit back in the book of John while Jesus was walking with them after the resurrection, why did they need to be filled with the Holy Spirit as described in the book of Acts. And what I thought about was this. When I became a Christian, I received the Holy Spirit. He moved in, He came to live inside of me and is with me always, essentially whether I listen to Him or not, or cultivate this relationship with Him or not. He is there, I believe that. I think He pursued me before I became a Christian and wooed me to Christ and I believe the moment I accepted Christ, I received Him. But I also believe that even though we don’t get the mighty rushing wind and the tongues of fire (that would probably scare us to death anyway), we become filled with the Holy Spirit as we cultivate our relationship with Him. The more I study and the more I live for Him the more my life is filled with the Holy Spirit. The more I hear Him, guiding me and teaching me, comforting me when trials come, loving me, the more aware I am of His presence in my life.
The Holy Spirit has many roles to play in the life of the believer. He seals us. Once He takes up residence in our hearts we belong to Christ and nothing can change that. He reveals truth to us as we study scripture, He helps us to understand what we are studying. He gives us gifts that are to be used for God’s glory. He comforts us in our trials and afflictions. He is our helper, our guide, our teacher, and he renews our minds! I am so grateful that He walks with me and I pray that as I meet with Him every morning that I will walk in step with Him every day.
Lord Jesus please don’t let me make a step without You, without the Holy Spirit directing my every move.