Holy Spirit's Presence
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
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4. Holy Spirit's Presence

Martin Luther

Martin LutherMartin Luther (1483-1546 AD), the great German Professor of Theology and Reformer, wrote, "the Holy Spirit, who is one God with the Father and the Son." The Holy Spirit wants to "make us holy." We can understand what the word "Spirit" means, for there is a human spirit, an evil spirit, and the Holy Spirit. "Why is God called the 'Holy Spirit' here? Because he sanctifies or makes sacred or holy." In his "Sermons on the Catechism," Martin Luther added, "Therefore I believe in the Holy Spirit because he has sanctified me and still sanctifies me."

Qualities of God

OmnipresenceThe third person of the Trinity demands the same reverence as the Father and Jesus. The Holy Spirit embodies holiness. Like the Father and the resurrected Jesus, he is also omnipresent. The Trinity is everywhere or anywhere at any time. The Holy Spirit may choose to be in any place at any time. Omnipresence is one of the marks of his deity. Other attributes of God in Christianity are

  1. Aseity - One who exists in and of himself. Exodus 3.14 illustrates this, "God said to Moses, 'I am who I am' is what you are to say to the Israelites. 'I am sent me to you.'" You may translate "I am what I am"as "I will be what I will be."
  2. Eternity - One who exists forever. As in "Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same. All may change, but Jesus never."
  3. Graciousness - One who is merciful and compassionate.
  4. Holiness - One who is holy or worthy of complete devotion perfect in goodness and righteousness.
  5. Immanence - One who lives in and throughout the created world.
  6. Immutability - One who is not capable of or susceptible to change. Numbers 23.19 asserts, "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
  7. Impassibility - One who is incapable of being passed, traveled, crossed, or surmounted.
  8. Impeccability - One who is free from fault or blame.
  9. Incorporeality - One who has material form.
  10. Love - One who has a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.
  11. Mission - One who has a pre-established and often self-imposed objective or purpose.
  12. Omnibenevolence - One who has a disposition always to do good.
  13. Omnipotence - the all-powerful one.
  14. Omnipresence - One who is present everywhere.
  15. Omniscience - the all-knowing one.
  16. Oneness - One who has the quality or state or fact of being one.
  17. Providence - One who has the power to sustain and guide human destiny.
  18. Righteousness - One whose conduct conforms to an accepted standard of right and wrong.
  19. Simplicity - is the quality or state of having a form or structure of a few parts or elements.
  20. Transcendence - One who possesses the fact or state of being above others in rank or importance.
  21. Trinity - One who belongs to the group of three divine persons.
  22. Veracity - One who has a devotion to telling the truth.
  23. Wrath - One who has an intense emotional state of displeasure with someone or something.

Holy Spirit's Qualities

It is worth examining some of the lesser-known qualities of God. "Aseity" comes from the Latin "from" and "self." So God exists in and of himself. Immanence means to remain in the Latin "immanens." So God is living in and throughout the created world. Immutability meaning "not capable of or susceptible to change," comes from the Latin "immutare," meaning unable to change. Impassibility indicates that God is "not able to suffer or experience emotion." So in Christianity, while the created human nature of Christ is mutable and passable, the Godhead is not.

Divine Passion

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-c458 AD), an early Christian Bishop of Cyrrhus in Antioch, wrote in his "Demonstrations by Syllogism," "wild and blasphemous are they who ascribe passion to the divine nature." Theodoret was an influential theologian and Bible commentator. Theodoret's prosperous parents had been childless for many years, but his mother was cured of a severe eye complaint and was turned to a sober life by Peter the Galilean, an ascetic living nearby. Theodoret's birth was promised by a hermit named Macedonius the Barley-Eater on the condition of his dedication to God, hence the name "Theodoret," meaning "gift of God."


Incorporeality means having no material body or form and makes the incarnation of Jesus much more meaningful. Omnibenevolence represents "unlimited or infinite benevolence." So the children sing, "God is so good, he's so good to me." Providence means "divine care or guidance." The first known use of "providence" as "the power sustaining and guiding human destiny" was in the 14th century. Transcendence, apart from the science fiction movie with Johny Depp and Morgan Freeman by the same name means, "the fact or state of being above others in rank or importance" and comes from the Latin "trans," meaning "beyond," and the word "scandare," meaning "to climb." For transcendence, you go beyond ordinary limitations. Veracity means "conformity with truth, fact, or accuracy," which is the opposite of "fake news!" Jesus is God because he is the way, the truth, and the life!

The Psalmist's Omnipresence

The Psalmist is fully aware of God's omnipresence. He writes in Psalm 139.7-10, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." The Holy Spirit may be everywhere or anywhere at any time!

Holy Spirit Person

MistThe Holy Spirit leads and directs as Jesus instructs. Dr. Donald Coggan (1909-2000) writes, "The Spirit leaks things from God and makes Jesus our contemporary." The Holy Spirit is a person amongst us, just as Jesus and the Father are. Wikipedia defines personality, "a person is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility." The defining features of personhood and what makes a person count differ widely among cultures and contexts. Somebody that performs these personal things in a relationship — like God, angels, and human beings — is a person.

The Spirit's Gender

Almost every pronoun used of the Spirit, even though the Greek is the neuter word "pneuma," is usually the male "he." Occasionally the feminine "she" is used but never "it." Jesus says in John 15.26, "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father — he will testify about me." Also, in John 16.13-14, we read, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. The Spirit of truth will not speak on his own. He will only speak what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. The Spirit of truth will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you." There is equality in the Godhead, and all three members of the Trinity are persons. Just as something flashes in the corner of our eye and we automatically glance over, thinking someone is there, so the Holy Spirit's presence sparks in our lives. We sense his existence even though he is invisible.

Makes Jesus Contemporary

Archbishop Donald CogganLord Donald Coggan (1909-2000), the late Archbishop of Canterbury, commissioned me as an evangelist in the Church of England in 1975. He wrote in his little book, "The Christian Faith," that "The Holy Spirit has a way of annihilating the barriers of time and distance and making Jesus our great contemporary." The Holy Spirit's attributes shine a light on a person's personality. He empowers God's people as in Zechariah 4.6, "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." He also endues people with life according to Romans 8.2, "the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." Note that in the phrase "has set you free," the singular "you" is translated as "me" in some manuscripts. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is all-knowing, sees all our thoughts, and reveals the truth to Christians. In 1 Corinthians 2.10-11, we read, "these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except for their Spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."

The Advocate

Jesus instructs his disciples, describing the Holy Spirit as the "Advocate" or "one who stands alongside." In John 14.26, we read, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." The Holy Spirit's presence also instructs us about the mind of God. "The Holy Spirit leaks things from the mind of God." In the same vein, we read in Hebrews 9.14 about the Holy Spirit's role in the crucifixion. "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" "Acts that lead to death" may also be translated as "acts from useless rituals." ✞

Spirit Guide

PhilipThe Holy Spirit's presence gives us instructions from Jesus as he did during Saint Paul's missionary journeys in New Testament times. In the Early Church, the Holy Spirit speaks to the Apostles just as Jesus talks to them. The Holy Spirit guides Saint Philip to look for an Ethiopian official in a chariot. Luke records that the Spirit tells Philip in Acts 8.29, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." The Holy Spirit reveals to the disciple what to do and what not to do. Today, the Holy Spirit still guides and directs Christians who listen to him speak through the Word of God, the Bible. In John 16.7, Jesus tells his disciples, "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." Jesus saving work on the cross is necessary before the Holy Spirit in his fulness could come.

Mind of God

There are four things the Holy Spirit's presence produces in a Christian's life.

First, he guides us into all truth. During Saint Paul's missionary journeys, the Holy Spirit is also always there, directing him. In Acts 16.6-7, Luke records, "Paul and his companions traveled throughout Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia. Still, the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to."

Second, the Holy Spirit guides us away from sin. The Holy Spirit, also called "the Spirit of Jesus" does not permit certain things if he does not wish it in Christians today. Galatians 5.16 says, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."

Third, the Holy Spirit sends us out. In Luke 4.18, Jesus says, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free," Finally, the Holy Spirit guides us in the will of God. King David writes in Psalm 143.10, "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. May this be our prayer today, "may your good Spirit lead me on level ground."

Spirit Oversees

CardinalThe Holy Spirit's presence guides God's people and gives his directions for future growth. The Holy Spirit superintends the appointment of the leaders in the church who are called bishops, overseers, or elders in the New Testament. Someone once said, "A leader may fancy the idea that their church is a democratic institution, but it is not!" The Holy Spirit's presence guides the church and is responsible for appointing qualified persons for this task. The church is not a democracy but a theocracy. God rules!

Holy Spirit Appoints

Flock of SheepLuke writes in Acts 20.28 to the elders who had come from Ephesus, "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God." "Shepherds of the church of God" is translated in many manuscripts as "shepherds of the Lord." The phrase "which he bought with his blood" means "with the blood of his Son." The "elders" or "bishops" were called "overseers" and told to "pastor" or "shepherd" the flock.

Biblically Correct

The Holy Spirit continues to oversee and appoint those with the necessary qualities and characteristics to lead God's people. He does not select those who are not Biblically qualified. Many hold office in the Anglican and other North American Churches but are unqualified! There is a trend to appoint politically correct persons to church leadership, even though they may not be Biblically qualified for such positions. The church's job is to be guided by that unseen yet mighty hand and not do things of their choosing even if they may fit into society's norms! The phrase, "the blood of his own Son," may be a term of affection such as "the blood of his one and only," referring to God's son. Christ buys us at a very high price!

"Holy Spirit's Presence"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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