Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
–1 Corinthians 2:11
Who is the Holy Spirit? If the answer to our longing for a richer Christian life is the power of the Holy Spirit, then we need to understand who the Holy Spirit is.
First of all, the Holy Spirit is God. He is not inferior to God the Father or Jesus Christ the Son; He is equal to the Father and the Son. That is what the Bible teaches. For example, Genesis 1:2 reminds us that the Holy Spirit was involved in creation: “The earth was formless and void, . . . and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” In Matthew 28:19, Jesus instructed His followers to baptize “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” And in Acts 5:3-4, Peter confronted a sinful man in the church and said, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? . . . You have not lied to men but to God.”
The Holy Spirit is God. So what? What does that mean to you and me? Think about this: the same power that flung billions of galaxies into existence with a single word, the same power that changed five loaves and two fish into enough food to feed twenty-five thousand people, the same power that lifted Jesus Christ out of the grave is in you right now if you are a Christian. The power of God resides in you. Isn’t that a terrific thought? The Holy Spirit is God. He is in you.
Second, the Holy Spirit is not only God; He is also a person. Think about what distinguishes you from the furniture you are sitting on. As a person, you have an intellect, a will, and emotions–that is, you have thoughts, you make decisions, and you feel things. Like you, the Holy Spirit has an intellect. He thinks. He comprehends the thoughts of God. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:11, “Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”
The Holy Spirit also possesses a will. He makes decisions. For example, it is the Holy Spirit who decides what spiritual gifts you receive, according to 1 Corinthians 12:11: “One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”
Finally, the Holy Spirit has emotions. When you sin, the Holy Spirit feels deep sorrow. In fact, if the Holy Spirit is in you, then you are taking Him with you to be a part of that sin. That is why Ephesians 4:30 says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” The next time you are tempted to sin, ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable making God a partner with me in this sin?” The Holy Spirit is God, and He is also a person.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “You’re Richer Than You Think” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.