Summary: The Holy Spirit is not a force or an "it." He is a person.
(NOTE: This series is based on the book Living in the Spirit by Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God).
John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
The actions and gifts of the Holy Spirit have been in the news a lot lately. I don’t mean the latest Christian TV advertisement or program but the actual news.
Megan Fox, most famous for her role in the blockbuster movie The Transformers, recently talked about her Pentecostal upbringing. She told Esquire Magazine how she often speaks in tongues. She told them about being raised Pentecostal and how speaking in tongues were a normal part of life. Fox told the magazine of how she was baptized in the Holy Spirit at the age of 8.
There was also a recent interview with pop music phenomenon Katy Perry. She was asked by Katie Curic about her Pentecostal upbringing and whether she ever spoke in tongues. Perry answered in the affirmative and talked about it being a way that God speaks through ordinary people.
Neither of these young ladies are role models for whom I would want my children to get their theology. Their public life is not demonstrative of a life that is being led by the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, we can see from the buzz these interviews caused that people are interested in gifts of the Holy Spirit. I think these interviews stir up a deep need in individuals to connect to something greater than the stars who are talking.
Unfortunately, when most people hear about the Holy Spirit it is usually in the context of speaking in tongues. This is unfortunate because it takes away from the fact that the Holy Spirit is a person. God is One: God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(TRANSITION) The Holy Spirit is a person who guides us, teaches us, empowers us, convicts us of sin, and most importantly, continually points us toward becoming more like Jesus Christ. Sure, when we are baptized we will speak with new tongues, but that is only one aspect of the bigger picture of the person of the Holy Spirit. So, before we get to the actions of the Holy Spirit let’s get to know the PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. The Holy Spirit Is Not A Force (Impersonal)
To better understand the Holy Spirit as a person we must come to the understanding of what He is not.
When we speak of the Holy Spirit we must remember that we are not speaking about a force like gravity. Gravity is impersonal. It is a law of nature that works to keep things and people fixed to the ground. Gravity is that force that makes some of us angry at the bathroom scales – but it is an impersonal force (whether you believe that or not).