Summary: What is the Holy Spirit? What is it’s function and what do I need to know about it? Millions of peopel equate the Holy Spirit with the Force found in the Star Wars movies. Why is that? This message will eduate non-Christians and equip believers as to
How many of you are Star Wars fans? Josh is eight now and he loves the Star Wars movies. We have light sabers and lego fighters the Star Wars games on the Nintendo DS and all of the movies except episode #2 which Josh has been begging me to buy. Every night before bed we have an epic battle that may or may not determine the fate of the universe.
For years my concept of the Holy Spirit came right from the Star Wars movie. I grew up when the original Star Wars movies were coming out and I thought that the Holy Spirit was kind of like the Force that Luke tapped into for power. If you have watched the movies you can still hear OB1 Kanobi telling Luke to use the force in his fight against evil. Luke goes deep into thought then has the ability to combine his will with the force and ultimately overcome evil.
When George Lucas wrote the Star Wars movies he was heavy into Eastern religions, especially Buddhism. He grew up a Methodist but was so influenced by Buddhism that the concept of the force originated out of his belief system. I believe that his concept of the force has been embraced by untold millions around the world including myself for years and years. But the Bible doesn’t say that the Holy Spirit is a cosmic mystical force that we need to have special powers to tap into. So what is the Holy Spirit? What is its function? And how can this Holy Spirit work in my life?
This is the third message in my five part foundations series. Every week we have touched on the building blocks of our faith. In week we covered the concept of the trinity, in other words, three in one and one in three. Last week we talked about why Jesus had to die. The big theological term is “substitutionary atonement” which means that Jesus died for your sins and my sins in our place so that we don’t have too. Today we are going to explore the third part of the trinity, the Holy Spirit.
The King James Version translates Holy Spirit as Holy Ghost. This has really messed up peoples perceptions of God. I grew up a Lutheran and we didn’t talk about the Holy Spirit much. In fact, I don’t ever remember talking about it. Then while serving in the USAF in Germany I became a Christian at a little fundamental independent Baptist church where we used the KJV and they always talked about the Holy Ghost but never really talked about who or what it is and why I need it. Then I went to Crown College and learned that the Holy Spirit is a vital part of the Christian life.
In the OT God spoke to his people through primarily through prophets. People like Isaiah and Daniel and Jonah. He spoke to the prophet and the prophet spoke to the people. Then Jesus came and spoke face to face with people about the kingdom of God. When he walked this earth for 33 short years he was the voice of God. After his ascention into heaven he sent the Holy Spirit to continue his work. The Bible says:
“But the Counselor, 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 NIV
So who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is part of the triune God. The Holy Spirit is God. When I think of God the Father I get a picture of a loving father in my mind. I had a father and I can relate to the concept of a heavenly Father. The concept of a Father is one that I can see and understand. When I think of God the Son I imagine a loving son. Since I have been a son and now have a son, it’s pretty easy for me to grasp the concept of God the Son. My mind draws off of my experience to formulate my perception of God the Father and God the Son.
But when it comes to the Holy Spirit a picture does not immediately come to mind other than the concept of a Force like the Star Wars movie or a person with a white sheet draped over their head. The Good news is that the Holy Spirit is not the same as the Star Wars force and it’s not like Casper the friendly ghost. The Holy Spirit is God.
The Bible says:
“Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." Acts 5:3-4 NIV