Have you ever met someone who claimed not to be interested in church or in Jesus, but still claimed to be “spiritual”? Being “spiritual” is not a unique characteristic for any person. We are all spiritual beings! We are not humans who sometimes choose to have a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings that are having a human experience. The only thing permanent about us is the immaterial aspects of ourselves. The question is: are you having an experience with good spirits or with bad spirits?
God’s character is unchanging, and He has already paved the way to relationship with Him.
In our arrogance, people can claim to have their own “god” with rules that apply to them and rules and characteristics that only they understand (or rules and characteristics that are different for everybody). But God’s character is unchanging, and He has already paved the way to relationship with Him, so if anyone claims to have other means of spirituality, it is likely that s/he is having an experience with lying spirits who lead people to believe they are giving love and acceptance, but are really out to destroy people and keep them separated from the one true God.
In today’s passage from Acts 2, Jews are gathering in Jerusalem from all over the world for Pentecost, a holiday in which they would celebrate the beginning of the harvest season by giving the first fruits of their harvests as an offering to the Lord – an act of honor and trust in God that He would provide more good harvest to come.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Acts 2:1-6
During this celebration, the Holy Spirit came upon the sharers of the Gospel so that each person would hear the message in his own language. God brought the world to hear the Gospel so that the hearers could take the Gospel to the world.
So who is the Holy Spirit and how does He work?
1. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity.
What does personhood mean to us? Personhood is not necessarily about physical characteristics, for if someone is missing legs or cannot see, she is no less a person than a woman who has legs and sight. Rather, personhood has to do with our souls and our ability to have relationship. Personhood allows us to communicate with one another, forgive, design, interact, and create. (By the way, we can do some of these things with animals, but not all. For example, animals have limited to no facial expression, where as humans have 53 muscles in face with which to make thousands of unique expressions.) The reason for this is that we were made in the image of God to copy Him, the ideal Person. A human is a person with a body, but your personhood is not your body. Your personhood has to do with your internal and eternal qualities. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is a person who has these characteristics:
Personhood of the Holy Spirit
- Like an Invisible Man, is a ‘He’ - John 16:7-14
- Lives in you - John 14:17
- Speaks - John 16:13, Romans 8:27
- Knows the mind of God and searches the deep things of God - 1 Corinthians 2:9-13
- Has a will - 1 Corinthians 12:11
- Can be grieved - Ephesians 4:30-32
- Loves you - Romans 15:30
Imagine this person, the Holy Spirit, standing next to you all the time. He knows everything, is all-powerful, and is everywhere at once, and yet He is available to us in our lives and wants to help us! Why wouldn’t we want Him as our best friend?
Deity of the Holy Spirit
- He is Omnipresent - Psalm 139:7-10
- Omniscient - 2 Corinthians 2:10-12
- Omnipotent - Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4
- Eternal - Hebrews 9:14
- He is called the Spirit of God - 1 John 4:2, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 2:10
- Spirit of Christ - 1 Peter 1:11
- The Holy Spirit – Hagios - Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Corinthians 13:14
- Spirit of truth - John 14:16-17
- Helper/Comforter - John 14:16-17
2. The Holy Spirit was sent to fulfill the plan of salvation in our lives. Acts 1:8, Ephesians 2:10
The Holy Spirit comes first and foremost to transform us, purify our hearts, fill us with power, and show us who we are, as He is the only One who knows us completely and still loves us! This transformation is a life-long process. The Holy Spirit’s job is to execute the plan of salvation in our lives and empower us to have impact for the kingdom of God.
3. Holy Spirit was sent to empower us to minister to the world. Acts 1:8, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 5:8
Just as our bodies can be properly hydrated with water, filling up and pouring out while cleansing our bodies constantly, our spirits need to be properly hydrated with the Holy Spirit. We must be constantly filling up with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to cleanse our hearts and minds and give us patience, vision, guidance, and direction. When we are full of the Spirit, we can overflow to others.
In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit filled these people from all over the world and so that when they returned home, they could spread His love and His message across the world. They were able to offer something that they had never experienced before: a relationship with God. Don’t you want to be filled to that level of overflowing so that you can impact the world with His love?