It is vital for the believer to understand the Holy Spirit. To understand from beginning to end what it means for the Spirit of God to be upon you. John 16:13 NASB says: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
We have to start by understanding that the Holy Spirit is the eternal Spirit of God. God is essentially a spirit being. John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Spirit is not just an aspect or attribute of God, it is God. Two words come into play when looking at the root of “spirit” in the languages of scripture. The hebrew for “spirit” is “ruach” and the greek is “pneuma” which means “to breathe or breathe strongly.”
In Genesis 1:2 we see: “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” In Psalm 139:7-8 we read: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.”
The Spirit is the living, personal, presence of God himself. The Spirit of God manifests himself in an incredible way within people. The Divine Spirit is the presence of the infinite, eternal God always proceeding to make himself known and to act in his created universe in the exercise of his own sovereignty.
Psalm 104:30 “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.” John 15:26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,”
The Spirit of Truth proceeds from the Father. When we come to Jesus we see the personhood of God’s Spirit while still understanding that God is Spirit. God is one. Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”
Mark 12:28 “Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord;” One God, yet we see three things made clear concerning his person. In Genesis 1:26 it says: “let us make man in our image.” Isaiah 6:8 reads: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” God is speaking in plural about himself.
As Christians we hold to both the One-ness and the Three-ness of God. Seeing “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” while understanding that there is only “One Lord.” In the three-ness view Jesus prays to the Father to send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person with a personality. He is not just a force or power. Ephesians 4:30 warns believers not to grieve the Holy Spirit, inferring that the Holy Spirit has the ability to grieve. Even further, the New Testament makes a distinction between the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) and the Power of God.
Some people read the scripture as though the Holy Spirit is just a lifeless force that God uses, some arbitrary power display. Acts 10:38 speaks of Jesus being anointed with the Holy Spirit AND with power. And in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 we read: “for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” Again we see a distinction made between the Holy Spirit and the Power of God so we cannot just relegate “Holy Spirit” to a position of being merely a force or energy in the world.
Another important aspect in understanding the Holy Spirit is recognizing that God’s Spirit is called the “Holy” Spirit. This stands in contrast to an “evil” spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the God who is Love.