Do you believe the Holy Spirit exists? Do you believe the Holy Spirit is active and moving in our world? As we continue to come to God’s Word, Scripture points us to the reality of God’s Spirit, or the Holy Spirit, who exists and is at work in our world and in our lives.
The Holy Spirit is not an inanimate power, but rather the third person of the trinity, God Himself. Not an “it,” but the Spirit of our God who reveals Himself to us and is intimately present with us.
In contrast with our understanding of God the Father and God the Son, it can be harder to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what the Holy Spirit does. Although the Holy Spirit is wrapped in mystery, Scripture helps us understand the Holy Spirit. For example, the Bible gives the Holy Spirit the title of Helper or Advocate (John 14:16, 26 NIV). The Spirit is one who helps us in our weaknesses and intercedes for us. And Scripture uses a vivid image to describe the activity of the Holy Spirit: wind. The wind blows where it wants to blow; in like manner, the Holy Spirit moves in a way we cannot control or dictate.
The Presence of the Holy Spirit from the Beginning
From the very beginning, we see the Holy Spirit present and active in our world. Genesis 1:1–2 says, “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.” As we see in creation, the Spirit of God is the giver of life.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
The presence of the Holy Spirit continues throughout the Old Testament; we see the Holy Spirit coming over certain individuals for certain tasks. People like Gideon and David were empowered by the Holy Spirit. But the prophets looked forward to a new day when God would pour out His Spirit. The prophet Joel spoke for God, saying, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28 NIV).
In the book of Acts, on the day of Pentecost, all the believers were together when what looked like tongues of fire settled over each believer, and they all began to speak in other languages. Peter stood up to explain what was going on, and he quoted those very words from the prophet Joel. All of this was taking place because the Holy Spirit had come, and as a result God’s people are now filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is incredibly good news. As we follow Jesus, God’s own Spirit dwells inside us.