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It is a pretty basic question.

  • Who is the Holy Spirit?
  • What would our answer be?
  • I know there are times I would have struggled with a decent answer.

Since I am not a theologian, I will defer to someone who is a great one.

Check this out from Wayne Grudem. Wayne is a New Testament scholar turned theologian seminary professor, and author. He co-founded the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and served as the general editor of the ESV Study Bible. He is the author of multiple books, including Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, which advocates a Calvinistic soteriology, the verbal plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, believer’s baptism, a plural-elder form of church government, and the complementarian view of gender relationships. Systematic Theology is a highly influential theology textbook that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

“We may define the work of the Holy Spirit as follows: the work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest the active presence of God in the world, and especially in the church. This definition indicates that the Holy Spirit is the member of the Trinity whom the Scripture most often represents as being present to do God’s work in the world. Although this is true to some extent throughout the Bible, it is particularly true in the new covenant age. In the Old Testament, the presence of God was many times manifested in the glory of God and in theophanies, and in the Gospels Jesus himself manifested the presence of God among men. But after Jesus ascended into heaven, and continuing through the entire church age, the Holy Spirit is now the primary manifestation of the presence of the Trinity among us. He is the one who is most prominently present with us now.

“From the very beginning of creation we have an indication that the Holy Spirit’s work is to complete and sustain what God the Father has planned and what God the Son has begun, for in Genesis 1:2, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” And at Pentecost, with the beginning of the new creation in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to grant power to the church (Acts 10:38; 2:4, 17–18). Because the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity through whom God particularly manifests his presence in the new covenant age, it is appropriate that Paul should call the Holy Spirit the “firstfruits” (Rom. 8:23) and the “guarantee” (or “down payment,” 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5) of the full manifestation of God’s presence that we will know in the new heavens and new earth (cf. Rev. 21:3–4).”

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Second Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2020), 778–779.

Here is his summary:

In what specific ways does the Holy Spirit bring God’s blessing? We may distinguish four aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit to bring evidence of God’s presence and to bless: (1) the Holy Spirit purifies; (2) the Holy Spirit unifies; (3) the Holy Spirit reveals; (4) the Holy Spirit empowers. We will examine each of these four activities below.

Finally, we must recognize that these activities of the Holy Spirit are not to be taken for granted, and they do not just happen automatically among God’s people. Rather, the Holy Spirit reflects the pleasure or displeasure of God with the faith and obedience—or unbelief and disobedience—of God’s people. Because of this, we need to look at a fifth aspect of the Holy Spirit’s activity: (5) the Holy Spirit shows stronger or weaker evidence of the presence and blessing of God, according to our response to him.”

I am so thankful for being immersed and filled with the power of God through the Holy Spirit. What a great gift from Jesus.

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