Summary: The Holy Spirit is what? How to define him, how to see him clearer. This preliminary sermon offers people the opportunity to answer these and other question. This is 1 of 5 sermons in this series. Someone can read scripture in another language.
What is it, Person or not? Origins of in words, ect…
The word Pneumatology comes from the words pneuma(wind/spirit) and ology(study of) and refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. An example is “Pneumatic” as in “Air” tools. In Christian systematic theology, Pneumatology is the branch of study that investigates what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit.
Who/What Is the Holy Spirit?: The Person of the Holy Spirit has been subject to a lot of discussion and debate throughout the history of the church. The Bible mentions the Holy Spirit synonymously with God… and Jesus commands His followers to be baptized in the name [singularity] of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Scholars point out that these and other teachings help us understand that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Triune Godhead; the Trinity…3 in 1.
So, number one is then, according to scripture[this one scripture alone solidifies it for me], that the Holy Spirit is a person, it has an identity and is equal to and in accordance with the Father and the Son’s will respectively.
>>>What is the most familiar gift associated with the filling of The Holy Spirit?
Speaking in tongues, right? The formal name for it is called “Glossolalia”. I do want to cover it, just briefly though, since it is not the Holy Spirit per say, simply an affect of having Him/it upon you.
Speaking in tongues is described in scripture and there are different beliefs on how it affects people and what it sounds like. However all who believe in it call it miraculous and a Spiritual gift from God.
What I have read and understand about tongues is that God gives insight to people to utterences that elude to things like: things to come/things happening now to those around them/prophetic warnings and Spiritual blessings. Tongues can be both real unlearned languages like Latin or Russian or Chinese OR they can be what is called “language of the Spirit” or “Heavenly language” or “The Language of Angels”.
What I will do, before moving on, is give you some scriptures to look up and decide for yourselves what the Bible says on it and who gets it and the type of language it is.
1 Corinthians 12-14 AND for an OT example…
Whether or not you advocate for it or you are a cessationist in what it is now versus in the 1st century, there is no doubt that speaking in tongues is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps personal study will better define it in your heart.
We have seen in scripture that the Holy Spirit is a person, so I will refer to the Holy Spirit as a “Him”, although “Ruach” in reference to the Holy Spirit is feminine, either way the personhood remains. In keeping with this idea, some refer to Him as “God’s active force” in the world, but with this there is what we must steer clear of. What I’m referring to is “Gnosticism”, meaning some hidden knowledge aside from scripture is gained through the work of the Holy Spirit. That cannot be, the Holy Spirit would never offer man anything other or apart from scripture; the Holy Spirit is by nature one with the Father and son, therefore nothing different can come from him that would come from the other two of the trinity. A great example is the way certain groups claimed to have secret knowledge of God was in some early communities of faith. Some early communities of faith thought that Salvation came through spiritual knowledge, apart from the obedience that such spiritual knowledge should produce. The apostle John considered their error so great that he wrote in his letter about it. It’s in 1 John 4:3 where he says
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that doesn’t is not from Him.”
This brings me to a very important aspect of what we define as the Holy Spirit; I’ve already briefly notated it, but it lies in what scripture says about Him, not what our nature says about him. The Holy Spirit is not the “god” within us which we possess, nor is he some amorphous [without a clear defined shape] “feeling” or “active force”. These views denigrate who he is and we have to steer clear of it and reject it.
His personhood has one other evidence today. Jesus said he would send “another” in his place [John 14:16]. The word he used was “Allosin” [Greek] and it refers to another just like Jesus. We can surmise that since Jesus was clearly a person, the Holy Spirit is just as much one. Jesus also refered to the Holy Spirit as a “Parakletos”, [defined as “enabler, encourager, comforter, ect…]. This requires him to be a person since the functions of a “Parakletos” are personal/ Jesus was a “Parakletos” to the disciples.