Do you believe in ghosts?
Get that Ghostbusters theme out of your head right now.
Okay, maybe not ghosts in the horror-movie sense. But how about the most famous spirit of all time? The spirit of God?
So what exactly IS a holy…ghost or spirit? And what would said ghost or spirit do?
One thing this ghost/spirit doesn’t do is hang out in old, abandoned houses and float around like Casper.
Most Christians believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even though the name conjures up ghostly images, this particular spirit is just a tad bit different.
More than just a force to be reckoned with, this spirit can speak. Acts 8:27–30 & Mark 13.11. If the Spirit of God was only a force, would it be able to carry on a conversation with another person? I think not.
And this particular spirit certainly has a will of his own. 1 Corinthians 12:8–12, which would certainly suggest it also has an identity of its own.
The Holy Spirit is capable of love. Romans 15:29–31. And, likewise, it’s possible for us to make the Holy Spirit sad. Eph. 4:30. Emotions that deep are only expressed by beings with intelligence. I don’t know about you, but I seriously doubt a disembodied force could experience these emotions.
Jesus called this ghost/spirit a Comforter and Counselor sent to help us. But the Counselor, 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. ~John 14.26.
He also helps us when we’re weak. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. ~ Romans 8:26–27
All things someone would do when interacting on a personal level with others. How could something that was just a force intercede on our behalf with God? And how could something that was a separate force know the will of God…unless it was God?
And, evidently, sometimes the Holy Spirit is content just to hang out and hover.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~Genesis 1:1–2
I can totally understand why there’s so much confusion over who or what this spirit is. After all, the Holy Spirit is depicted most commonly as either a dove…or fire. Items that really don’t go together very well. Sometimes the dove is holding an olive branch, symbolizing peace.
I’ve only scratched the surface with verses that display the personality of the Holy Spirit. There are so many references in the old and new testaments, that it’s hard to not believe we’re talking about a person.…a very important, divine person.
But whatever form this particular entity chooses to display, it just reinforces the fact that God simply refuses to be put in a box!