The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. They have eternally existed as three distinct persons who are each fully God. Although the idea of three persons and only one God is difficult to understand fully, the teaching of this doctrine is clear throughout the Bible. It is our responsibility as Christians to reconcile with it. So the question today would be, do we know the Holy Spirit? Not just about him but rather to know him as a person. Just as we have built a relationship with God the Father and Son, do we have a personal relationship with the Spirit? And how do we build this relationship with him?
What is the Spirit’s role in Christians lives?
Well, to start, we need to know about the Holy Spirit. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ was not lesser than God the Father, neither is the Holy Spirit is lesser than them. They have different roles; for example, in creation, God the Father spoke the earth into being (Genesis 1:9-10). The Son carried out those words: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3) And the spirit was sustaining and manifesting God’s presence in creation. (Genesis 1:2) Yet, it is important to stress they are one, as there is only one God. They share the same attributes and characteristics; all of them are omniscient, loving, righteous, etc.
Let’s go to John 14:26 and Isaiah 11:2 to read what Jesus and Isaiah have to say about the role of the Holy Spirit.
“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord”Isaiah 11:2
“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 14:26
Let’s highlight some keywords here. The Spirit of “wisdom” and “understanding” will “teach” and “remind”. In short, the Spirit is here to make the blind see. We who were spiritually blind have been given sight to acknowledge the spiritual realities we live in and recognize that we have sinned and are in need of a saviour, which is Christ. It doesn’t end there. After our eyes are opened, we can learn, and the Spirit’s role is to “teach” and “remind”, guiding us to gain a greater and deeper understanding of the truth of the bible growing us in our faith.
So just as in creation, the spirit sustains and manifests God’s presence in creation; the Spirit is doing the same thing in our lives, sustaining and manifesting God’s presence in us so that we can be more like him. It is important to emphasize that having the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that we get immediate and perfect understanding; the words “teach” and “remind” indicate that it is a process. And that process is commonly called sanctification, where we grow in our faith through reading our bibles, praying and growing in our love and understanding of God by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
How to know it is from the Spirit of God?
So now this is the most important question, how do we know it from the Spirit of God? We are often guided emotionally to do this and that and make decisions, but how do we know it is from the Spirit of God? Do we know just because it felt like it? Let’s see what Galatians 5:22-23 and 1 John 4:1have to say about it.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”Galatians 5:22-23
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because may false prophets have gone out into the world.”1 John 4:1
We test it! As stated in Galatians 5:22-23, we can distinguish it by looking at the fruits of the action. Does it result in love, joy, peace … and self-control? If not, it is not from the Spirit of God; remember, the Spirit shares the same characteristic as the Father and the Son. Anything contradictory to his characteristics will never be from the Spirit of God.
So, the more you know God, the more capable you are of distinguishing the Spirit of God. God has revealed himself to us through his Holy Scripture. Hence by fear and trembling, may we want to know him more and may the Holy Spirit bless us so that we may be fruitful and grow in our faith.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2