The Holy Spirit has garnered a few nicknames through the ages. Among the more appropriate and familiar:
- The Shy member of the Trinity
- The Forgotten member of the Trinity
When considering the person of the Holy Spirit, there are few things that are vital to remember:
- The Holy Spirit is a person, a “He” not an “It”.
- As the Third Person if the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is fully God, and equal with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) in glory, honor, and power; and equally worthy to receive worship.
The Holy Spirit functions in specific ways:
- Regeneration – giving life to those who are spiritually dead.
- Salvation (Justification) – the Holy Spirit grants both faith and repentance as gifts of grace. Through these, and these alone, is man justified.
- Sanctification – “For those whom God justifies he also sanctifies. ” In other words, there is no one who is “saved” who is not also “sanctified”. Sanctification is both definite and an ongoing process. In work of sanctification Believers are expected to “cooperate” with the Holy Spirit, employing the means of grace. These actions we engage in are not magical, nor automatic, as if anyone who does them will automatically grow in grace. But they are effective. The Holy Spirit works grace in us through these means. We normally see a corresponding maturity in those who regularly and rightly make use of the means of grace, while we see little to no change in those who are lax. But the one constant dynamic is that the Holy Spirit grants both faith and repentance to the believer for sanctification just as he does for justification. In other words, the Christian life consists of continual repentance and renewed belief in the gospel.
- The Holy Spirit cultivates the Fruit of the Spirit in believers.
- The Holy Spirit bestows Spiritual Gifts upon all who believe, for the use in participating and the building up of the local body – The Church – which together advances the Kingdom of God.
Here are some suggested readings to grow in our understanding of the Person & Work of the Holy Spirit: