How do you define the Holy Spirit?

Jan 23, 2017Tom Ellsworth

Yesterday we talked about the Holy Spirit and how he works in our lives. We asked folks here on Wednesday evening to give us a word or description of the Holy Spirit and I was encouraged by what I read. There were several, great one-word applications; words that are very descriptive of the Bible’s image of him.  But there were also some very thoughtful phrases to describe his work. 

  • A guiding inner voice.
  • A moral compass.
  • God’s gift to touch us inside on a daily basis.
  • God’s influence, motivator, energizer and faith builder.
  • God residing in us.  He has complete control.  I surrender to his will.
  • A personal GPS guiding my path in life.  

Even our kids and youth participated:

  • Listens to our prayers
  • Looks like a dove
  • Lives inside our hearts
  • Catches bushes on fire and makes them talk
  • Loves us when we make bad decisions.

Most of all, I want to know what Jesus believes about the role of the Holy Spirit.  They worked together on creation; the Bible opens with these words:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3 (NIV)

It cannot be coincidental that in the first three verses of Scripture we are introduced to the three distinct personalities or manifestations of God – God the Creator, God the Spirit and God the Word.  I know what some of you are thinking – “I don’t see Jesus anywhere in that text.”  I understand that, but consider this:  John’s gospel doesn’t begin with the Christmas story, he goes back to the beginning.  This is an incredibly important passage to hold onto. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-5, 14 (NIV)