The Holy Spirit is an oft-neglected and misunderstood part of religious faith. In this article, we hope to clear up any misconceptions and expand your knowledge of the Holy Spirit, its power and importance.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
– Genesis 1:1-2
From the very beginning of the Bible, we are told of the spirit of God, or Holy Spirit, and its creative power.
The concept of the Trinity is the idea that God is a triune entity where three separate parts also comprise the same whole (God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit (also called the Holy Ghost).
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
– John 4:23-24
Jesus points out two very clear points. First, God is spirit. By that admission, we acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is God’s spirit and therefore God.
The biblical scholar Benson points out that this verse points out that, as spirit, God is “incorporeal, immaterial, invisible, and incorruptible.” Benson adds: “If God were not a Spirit, he could not be perfect, nor infinite, nor eternal, nor independent, nor the Father of spirits.”
What the Holy Spirit brings
Because God is spirit, as the Bible tells us, he brings the attributes of his Holy Spirit. When we worship God, His spirit can dwell within us, and that influences our own.
The Bible tells us in many verses what the attributes of the Holy Spirit are.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
There is no sin in the above attributes, and as humans, this is the nature we must strive for to develop within ourselves.
Jesus tells us that by studying God’s word, having faith and keeping God’s commandments – God’s Holy Spirit will dwell within us.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
– John 14:15-17
You’ll note in the preceding verse that Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as The Helper. Several verses in the Bible refer to the Holy Spirit by this name.
Some versus also translate this as the comforter, advocate, intercessor or counselor. They all refer to the Holy Spirit.
“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 14:26
Jesus’ teaching in John 14 follows his comments in the preceding chapter that spoke of the two greatest commandments and his allusion to his forthcoming crucifixion. Jesus point in the above verse is that, even though Jesus was to ascend to heaven until his second coming, he still remains with us through the Holy Spirit.
Blasphemy is when someone speaks interests or evil of God.
Jesus taught that all sins, even murder, can be forgiven. However, there is one sin that will not be forgiven by God.
“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
– Matthew 12:31-32
This means there can be no repentance or forgiveness.
According to Cambridge, the conclusion drawn is that if you are knowingly and willfully on the side of Satan against God, this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and an unpardonable sin.