Someone said to me recently, ‘I’m not even sure who the Holy Spirit is.’ Could you help me understand? Yes, I will try to help you.
In theological terms, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The first person is God the Father, and the second person is God the Son (Jesus). The ‘Trinity’ is the three-fold God-head: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You will remember that the word ‘triangle’ means three-sided line object. The word ‘tri’ here means ‘three.’ It is the same way with the Trinity. It means, ‘three-fold God-head.’ In other words, God exists (or has revealed himself) in the form of three distinct persons, who are, mysteriously, ‘One and the same’ — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Some people have said that the Trinity can be compared to the three forms of water: liquid, ice, and steam. That is one way to look at it. It is hard to completely understand the Trinity except for this one thing that really helps me: The Trinity means that God is always working together with himself and is in perfect agreement with himself and that he is truly a God of relationship — which is really what we need in life to ‘get by’ (no one ever made it alone — ever wonder why? Because neither does God himself ‘make it alone.’)
So let’s recap. God has revealed himself in three persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In fact, God is only ‘One,’ but he exists in the form of three different ‘persons,’ if you will, at all times, namely, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Not everyone accepts this. Some argue that Jesus is the ‘Son,’ but not fully God (or even God at all). They say that when Jesus died on the cross, it was just a man dying on the cross, it wasn’t God himself. But that is not true. That is not what the Bible teaches at all!
For example, Jesus said, ‘I have the authority to lay my life down, and to take it back up again.’ (John 10:18). Could a mere man say that? Also, when the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus on one occasion, Jesus asked them why they wanted to stone him. They said, ‘Because you, a mere man, make yourself out to be God!’ (John 10:33). Yes, the Jews knew who Jesus was making himself out to be! That is why they put him on a cross! They thought he was blaspheming and was therefore worthy of death! Don’t be fooled and think that the term ‘Son of God’ to the Jews meant anything less than that! (It did not. When Jesus was claiming to be the ‘Son of God’ in the Bible, he was equating himself with God.)
Some people have referred to Jesus as the ‘God-Man’. That is okay. That is who he is. However, remember that he is not 50% man and 50% God! No, he is fully man and fully God at the same time. We don’t understand all of these things right now, but in heaven we will understand it all perfectly. Some may argue that God is ‘omniscient’ and should be able to be in all places at the same time. But Jesus, can he do that? Can he be in all places at the same time? Yes, by his Holy Spirit! You see, the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit always work in ‘perfect agreement’ in all things, and they ‘cooperate together.’ If Jesus wanted to, I’m sure he could actually appear in bodily form to all people at once, wherever they were, and carry on a conversation with each and every one of them, independently! After all, he is God! So yes, Jesus is omniscient, and he has all the other characteristics of God, too, because that is who he is.
One favorite question I like to ask Muslims is the following question which always stumps them, because they cannot answer sincerely and deny the possibility that Jesus is God, too. The question is this: ‘You believe that God is all powerful, do you not?’ ‘Yes,’ comes the reply, ‘he is all powerful.’ Muslims agree with Christians in this area. Then I will ask them, ‘Well, if God is all-powerful, he can do anything he wants, right?’ ‘Yes,’ comes the reply, ‘God can do anything he wants!’ ‘So, then,’ I ask, ‘if God is all-powerful and can do anything he wants, could he become a man if he wanted to?’ To that they reply, ‘Well, of course, he could if he wanted to, but … he wouldn’t!’ My question is, why not? That is what God did in Jesus! He did it because he loves us so much and wanted us to see what God was really like. God is like Jesus. That is why Jesus could say, ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father!’ (John 14:9)
The Bible does explain that Jesus is 100% God as well as having 100% of the characteristics of a man. So, he is the ‘God-Man.’ Yes, he is the ‘God-Man.’ When I talk to someone, I like to say that I believe that Jesus is the ‘Son of God,’ and then I will often add, ‘Yes, the Son of God, and God the Son!’ That helps people to know really where I am coming from. If I just say that Jesus is the Son of God, some people will misinterpret that — they will not give him his rightful place in the God-head, as being the second person of the God-head. No, but rather, Jesus is 100% God, just as much ‘God’ as God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit.
You know, when I say ‘second person,’ I don’t mean second best, or ‘lower’ in any way. And neither is the Holy Spirit ‘lower’ in any way. Rather, the order is first, second, and third, for the following reason: Jesus said he came to give glory to the Father. (John 14:13) And Jesus also said that when he left the earth, the Holy Spirit would come and point people to him, that is to Jesus. (John 15:26) Well, we see an order here, don’t we? We see the Holy Spirit pointing people to Jesus. And we see Jesus pointing people to the Father. Thus, the Holy Spirit is third in line, in this sense, and the Son is second in line, in this sense, and the Father is ‘right at the top’ of the line! You see, we all need to ‘get’ to the Father if we are ever going to ‘make it’ in life. So the Father, in this sense, is the ‘ultimate’ need we each have in life. The Bible makes it very clear that we each need to find him, or else we are doomed.
I have a question for you in light of all this. Have you found the Father yet? Do you have a personal relationship with him? This question Mormons cannot answer. They get stumped by it, for although they speak of God as ‘Father,’ yet they do not understand the relationship part of it. Do you know what Jesus said? Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man can come to Father except by me.’ (John 14:6) When he said, ‘Come to the Father,’ he was saying two things: First, he was saying ‘Come to have a relationship with the Father.’ That is a personal and loving relationship. Secondly, he was saying, ‘Come to where the Father is, namely, heaven.’ Trusting in Jesus, then, is the ‘key’ to being able to experience a true, loving, intimate, and eternal, relationship with the Father. Truly, he is your ‘ticket’ to heaven (I don’t like to really put it that way, but it is nevertheless quite true and accurate to say that).
Most of us believe in a judgment day, even those that don’t really believe that Jesus is God, or that he is ‘the way’ to the Father. The Bible teaches us that we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. Who is going to defend you on that day? Do you have a lawyer who can plead your case? Christians are not perfect people, but their Lawyer is strong: none other than Jesus himself, who has taken their own sin upon himself when he died on the cross. Does this now make sense to you? I sincerely hope so! If you have any more questions, feel free to visit our website at [orgurl] or write us, and we will try to address them through another similar publication that all can be benefitted by.
God bless you.
Remember, it’s never too late to trust in Jesus. He loves you.
‘But to as many as received him [Jesus], to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believed on his name.’ (John 1:12).