We speak a lot about a ‘Trinitarian Faith’, but few understand this and even less put such faith into reality. While most people are familiar with the talk of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but few understand their relationship and most of all, the Holy Spirit is left out in the cold.
When we speak of the Father, many would imagine an old man dressed in white robes, with long flowing white hair and a beard. He is on a Throne somewhere else other than on Earth and He is far, far, away.
Moving onto the Son, we have images of Bethlehem’s Baby, growing into manhood, doing great things, and dying on a Cross. Three days later He rose from the dead and went to Heaven to be with the Father.
Then we move onto the Holy Spirit and now things get tough. Because He is a Spirit, it is hard to imagine Him as a person. Some would see Him as a power, like the Force from Star Wars.
And in these three images, we have missed understanding who God is.
First of all, God is immense. As Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, He is so much bigger and more capable than we could ever imagine. God is someone who could be big enough to place the stars in their orbits, yet with such finesse, that He could write the DNA of millions of creatures and plants. In doing so, He could understand such minute things as the formation and purpose of the dust on a butterfly’s wings. In the Creation account, we hear the dialogue of God, all three persons of God.
In the beginning of Creation, the Spirit of God moved across the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2. Also, in the beginning, the Word was with God and the Word was God, then later that same Word takes on flesh as Jesus. (John 1:1, 14)
Jesus was not a man, who gained the approval of God, He is God first, and two thousand years ago, He stepped down from Heaven and took on human form and became a man. He existed long before Bethlehem. In John 8:56, Jesus speaks of Abraham meeting Him. This most likely refers to Genesis 14:18-20. Here Jesus is seen as Melchizedek, the King of Salem, the Priest of the most high God. What we miss because of translation is that Salem means peace, and Melchizedek is a compound of Melek and Zadok. Melek is King and Zadok is righteousness. Jesus is the King of Righteousness and Peace and He is the High Priest of our Faith. (Hebrews 7:2& 8:1)
This leaves the Spirit of God, whom we call the Holy Spirit. While Jesus brings us the physical presence of God, and the Father determines what should be, the Holy Spirit is the one who communicates that will and knowledge of God. He both speaks, inspires, and gives understanding.
The Bible in its entirety is the work of the Holy Spirit. For all Scripture is inspired by God. Being inspired, it is therefore the work of the Holy Spirit. Scripture is not the end of the Holy Spirit’s work, it is the foundation. He continues to speak to us today, and He has given us the Scriptures as both a resource and a safeguard.
Scripture is a resource because one way that the Holy Spirit speaks is by bringing Bible Passages to our mind, through our memory. When you pray concerning something and a Bible verse comes to mind, with a conviction that this is God’s will for you, then that is the Holy Spirit speaking. Because we walk by faith, such instances are easily dismissed as just coincidence or just our reasoning. But when we accept the assurance that is from God, we act in faith, which pleases God. (He also speaks in other ways, which we will consider another time).
However, the Bible is also a safeguard for us. Because the devil likes to trick people and pretends to be God, we know that God would never ask anyone to do what is against the Scriptures, yet that is exactly what the devil does. Therefore if it goes against the Bible, we know that it was not the Holy Spirit who spoke.
The Christian life is only complete when all three persons of God are included in it. A Christian does the will of His Father in Heaven, having been redeemed and set free to serve the Father, by Jesus Christ the Son and guided and led by the Holy Spirit.