With the close of the Roman Resurrection Road blog series, I took a couple of weeks to decide what was next while I made some transitions in ministry and my personal life.
I have felt prompted recently to emphasize the personhood of the Holy Spirit, a subject that tends to be foreign among mainstream Christianity. We tend to think of Holy Spirit strictly in terms of utility: the gifts, conviction, etc.
And yet this Holy Spirit, God taking up residence inside of us, is more than a tool for being better at the Christian life.
Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit is personified over and over again in the scriptures. Yet, even with solid language and teaching, we still tend to treat Holy Spirit like an impersonal force (for reference, that is what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe; they don’t even capitalize Holy Spirit in their Bible for that reason, believing He is not God.)
I want to spend the next weeks unfolding some references to the personal nature of Holy Spirit, without reference to the gifts or functions (if you want some of that, go here). To put it another way, if I were to write a series of blogs about you, but not the fact that you’re a banker or lawyer and instead what makes you tick and what emotionally moves you, without reference to function.
Before we launch this series, some things need to be established. First, when I say the Holy Spirit is a person, I don’t mean it in the human sense. That goes without saying in most cases, but you never know.
I mean that Holy Spirit is a person in that He [I will use the “He” pronoun many times in reference to Holy Spirit, because that’s what the Bible uses. Any other pronoun talk is nonsense.] is a member of the Trinity, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Son. One being in three persons. And no, I will not even attempt an analogy.
Second, I recognize that the Holy Spirit’s main job is pointing us to Jesus, which He loves doing. This series is in no way to steal emphasis from the Father or Son but rather to elevate our honor for Holy Spirit, who has a subordinate function in the Trinitarian mystery and yet an equal value. To be honest, I think it grieves the Father and Son when we treat the Holy Spirit as anything but co-equal and co-eternal with them. Nobody loves the Trinity as much as the Trinity; the pure, unfathomable love between each member is too much for us to grasp in these earthly bodies.
So when the Holy Spirit is grieved, it is not a petty, humanistic grief, but a holy, righteous, and pure grief. We don’t get to superimpose our humanness onto these experiences to try to make sense of it all. Holy Spirit is a person, but not a human. God can be simultaneously just and gracious, and all the things He is, all at once. We have limitations He does not.
With those things settled, let’s look at how the book of Second Corinthians ends, with the last line of Paul’s prayer:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.2 Corinthians 13:14
This is the phrase that sparked the whole series: the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. You can’t have fellowship with an inanimate object. You can’t have fellowship with an impersonal force. Fellowship requires a fellow. If we’re going to have fellowship with Holy Spirit, we may want to start with acknowledging the He is a person.
Notice the Trinity sighting in the verse above. We learn best what it means to love and have fellowship first through that example. And our connection and revelation in that mystery being meaningful in our lives now is through Holy Spirit. Who is the Spirit of Grace, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Holy Spirit. Who sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts? Holy Spirit.
I remember in my younger days going on walks with Holy Spirit, keeping a notepad on my phone ready, knowing that He would speak. I told Him regularly that I wanted to be the best friend He’s ever had on the earth. Of course, that would actually be Jesus, but I wanted to get close. I feel a beckoning in my own heart to go back to that simplicity. Not that I’ve left fellowship with Holy Spirit, but I’ve made it so complicated in recent years. I’ve missed Him in this way. It’s time to go back to the basics and learn Him all over again. To fellowship again.
Do you desire fellowship with Holy Spirit? Let’s learn about Him together. What grieves Him, what pleases Him, what it means to partner with Him!
Holy Spirit, we honor you as God. We invite you to show us what it means to be in fellowship with You, to live in the fullness of your tender presence day in and day out. Help us to love Jesus More. Show us how to bask in the love of Our Father. Speak to us and form us!
I am a Pastor, Author, and Teacher based out of Kansas City, MO. I am passionate about the message of the Kingdom, Grace, Healing and the renewing of the mind. I have been following God since age 18 when I was radically transformed and inserted into revival. I have learned some hard lessons and seen some wonderful fruit in the Kingdom, and my goal is to impart wisdom and grace to you to walk in fullness. I have a walking miracle for a wife and three amazing boys.