So far in this series called The Basics: A Readable Review of Christian Faith, we’ve covered five important categories. We looked at the nature of God, the nature of humanity, the Bible, Jesus, and Salvation. Our next section dives into the third person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit.
There is always a bit of mystery around the Holy Spirit. We can relate to Jesus in His humanness. Read His words in the Gospel accounts, see His actions and responses, and connect with His stories. Through Jesus, we also connect with God the Father in ways not possible in the previous age. But the Spirit, while present seems different. And yet, the Bible reveals the Spirit as a person with the same attributes as God the Father and God the Son.
The Holy Spirit is vital to our faith. He is the revealer which called to us long before we accepted Christ. And He testifies to us that we are Christ’s (Romans 8:16). In both testaments, it is the Spirit which moves and inspires folks in action and prophecy. “When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.” (1 Samuel 10:10, NASB95)
The first recorded human interaction with the Holy Spirit was during the construction of the wilderness tabernacle (Exodus 35:30-35). Bezalel and Oholiab were empowered of the Spirit with craftsmanship and hearts to teach others to implement God’s plan, which was delivered to Moses. In a sense, the Spirit allowed them to proclaim God through the craftsmanship of wood carving, metalwork, engraving, embroidery, and others. Each piece of the tabernacle revealing and praising God in some way.
There are many ways the Holy Spirit moves folks to see and praise God. But the keenest revelation is what each person can experience if they hear His call. The Book of Hebrews says, “And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”” (Hebrews 10:15–17, NASB95) It is the Spirit which reveals God to us.
It is perhaps easy to see this aspect of the Holy Spirit as being like our conscience. And there does seem to be some overlap between that little voice which warns us of danger and the work of the Holy Spirit. And yet, there is a depth which is greater than our conscience. While the conscience warns and steers us, the Spirit changes our hearts and rewrites the rules our conscience follows.
The Holy Spirit is working in everyone to reveal God. For the unbeliever to see and accept. For the believer to see all God has for them. The Holy Spirit is working whether we don’t believe, relegate Him to a small part of our faith practice, or embrace “Holy Spirit goosebumps.” Even those who are open to the work of the Spirit limit Him at times. The Spirit works both in the quiet changes of heart and in ecstatic prophetic utterances. He’s there whether we notice Him or not, revealing God to our hearts.
When we say that the Holy Spirit only works a certain way, only reveals through pre-ordained methods, we aren’t limiting Him, but we are limiting ourselves. That nudge of the Spirit may come from a misty mountain morning, a verse from the Bible which seizes our hearts, an unconnected phrase which takes on a new meaning, that little voice of conscience, the prayers and encouraging words of others, through craftsmanship of every kind, by the actions of others, and through our emotions. (I’m sure I left some things out). The Holy Spirit is revealing God in languages and means so that all may hear and be drawn to Jesus and God.