I’ve found that some of the biggest misunderstandings in the Church involve the Holy Spirit. There is an unfortunate lack of teaching, and false idea that if you want to gather a bigger crowd in church then you need to avoid mentioning the Holy Spirit. People get uncomfortable and might see something weird happen.
I have been to a church service where I would have felt uncomfortable if I was a newer Christian without a foundational teaching. Some people are weird, don’t have good communication skills, or don’t know how to connect with unbelievers or new Christians, but that’s not God’s fault. I think it’s clear that the devil has worked hard to kick God, the Holy Spirit, out of the Church. Christian leaders need to be equipped and confident to teach new Believers who the Holy Spirit is. Since He is God and we’re people we can’t know everything about Him, but the Bible can build a great foundation for everyone.
First off, the Holy Spirit is a person, not a thing, or a mysterious ‘it’. The Holy Spirit is always described with He or Him. Just as Jesus is the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is the breath of God. He is first introduced in the third sentence Genesis right before Jesus, The Word of God, is seen. “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2. Notice here how the first thing He did was move. So many people want to freeze God and stay in their comfortable traditions, people don’t want to see what they’ve never seen before, or have a brand new experience. The Holy Spirit is here on Earth and He is still moving in and through people. Catholics freeze Jesus on the cross while 2000 years ago the Holy Spirit moved and rose Him from the dead , the cross and tomb are still empty!
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
The Holy Spirit dwells is you. Jesus told His disciples in John 14 that He would give them, as a gift, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, The Helper, and that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever. I can imagine how difficult it would be to believe Jesus when He said it was a good thing that He was going away. Jesus was amazing! He healed people, taught mind-blowing theology, brought sight to blind people, set people free, what could be better??
What’s better is that with the Holy Spirit every Believer can do that and more! Jesus is God, but was limited to one human body, while the Holy Spirit can be within and upon every person. Jesus never said the Holy Spirit would leave us after a few years or after 1000 years, He is still here right now and still working just as powerfully as He was in the book of Acts! The Holy Spirit is here to help us do what we can’t, He is here to help us become more Christlike every day. The Holy Spirit lives within us to help us and is upon us to help other people. 1 Corinthians 16:9 says that our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit to live in, and in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8 Jesus instructs His disciples to not go out to help anyone until the Holy Spirit is upon them and they are clothed with power.
It’s simply ignorant, and in my blunt opinion stupid, to think that we can effectively help people without the Holy Spirit being within and upon us. Jesus didn’t want His own disciples, who had been with Him for years, hearing all of His teaching, going anywhere without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul, the Apostle who wrote 13 books of the Bible, said we don’t know how to pray as we should. If Paul says we don’t know how to pray as we should I’m going to take his advice here and use the help of the Holy Spirit.
“We do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 14:2
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” 1 Corinthians 14:14
“I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all.” 1 Corinthians 14:18
I’m going to choose to take the advice of Paul here. It’s safe to say that there is a connection between allowing the Holy Spirit to help us and seeing miracles in our life and in people around us. “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul” Acts 19:11. Keep in mind that God is the one doing miracles, but He is using Paul. God can do anything for anyone, but His desire is to use people, God’s desire is to help us do amazing things by His Holy Spirit. God is relational and wants His breath to flow through us for the benefit of other people.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, we can’t know everything about the Holy Spirit because He is God. But to ignore Him is to ignore God and what He wants to do. Knowing about the Holy Spirit comes with us asking, us spending time with Him, and us reading the Bible.
Ask- “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13
Spend time with Him- “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
Reading the Bible- “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17