Note from Randy: My friend Kurt Nelson has written a succinct, penetrating, and powerful treatment on the Holy Spirit, called Awakening to the Holy Spirit: Person, Presence, Power, Purpose in Our Lives. It is remarkable in that it’s so drenched in Scripture that I can say a very large part of it is inspired and without error! Kurt’s part isn’t inerrant, but the close attention he pays to basing his words on God’s words makes this not just one more opinion piece, but a concise and authoritative treatment of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the most neglected member of the triune God.
Most of us know far less about the Holy Spirit than the Father and the Son, but we need to see Him and His work with new wonder and appreciation. I highly recommend this booklet! (And I’m grateful for Kurt’s faithful service as president and CEO of East-West Ministries, which seeks to glorify God by multiplying followers of Jesus in the spiritually darkest areas of the world. They currently operate in more than 70 countries around the world, and I love what they are doing.)
If you were to be quizzed on your knowledge of God as Father, God as Son, and God as Holy Spirit, how would you do on your knowledge of the Person and the work of the Holy Spirit?
Well, I’m embarrassed to say that even as a seminary graduate and having followed Jesus for more than 50 years, I would score miserably on my knowledge of the Person and work of God the Holy Spirit. Well, at least until I began reading through the Scriptures with fresh eyes and a fresh desire to better know God as the Holy Spirit.
My observation of the Holy Spirit’s prevalence in Scripture as I read through the Bible in 90 days provoked me to take a deeper look. Sadly, I’ve allowed myself to be influenced by church culture, theological debate, doctrinal extremes, and abuses. In doing so, I’ve failed to seek to know and understand the Person and work of the Holy Spirit as I should. Frankly, I need to continue growing my knowledge of God as Father, of Jesus the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The great news is that God’s Word says we can make strides in getting to know God better. We can grow in our knowledge of God.
“‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord … .” -Jeremiah 29:13-14, NASB
God wants you to discover Him, and if you make the effort, He says, “I’m findable. I’m discoverable.”
The Person of the Holy Spirit
Here’s my thesis regarding the Holy Spirit: In order to awaken ourselves to the heart and work of God—to know Him and make Him known—we must first awaken ourselves to the Person, the presence, the power, and the purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
How do we do that?
To awaken to the Person of the Holy Spirit, a daily relationship is required.
A few years ago, I was meditating on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I was convicted of my own wrong and insufficient thinking about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force, although He’s forceful. The Holy Spirit is not a mystical being, although He’s full of mystery. The Holy Spirit is not an inanimate power, although He’s all-powerful. The Holy Spirit is a Person.
He’s a personal being.
Just like the Father and the Son are persons, the Holy Spirit is a Person like you and me.
He has intellect. He has emotion. He has will. And the Holy Spirit is to be pursued and known and loved and related to as a Person on a daily basis, as are the Father and the Son. Here’s a list of what the Scriptures say about the personal nature of the Holy Spirit.
- He walks with us (Galatians 5:25).
- He speaks to us (1 Corinthians 2:10, 14; 1 Timothy 4:1).
- He lives in us forever (John 14:16-17).
- He comforts us (John 14:16, KJV).
- He counsels us (John 14:26, AMP).
- He teaches us (John 14:26).
- He reminds us (John 14:26).
- He leads us (Galatians 5:18).
- He helps us to pray (Romans 8:26).
- He reveals truth to us (1 Corinthians 2:10).
- He cleanses us (Titus 3:5, AMP).
- He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).
- He gives us life (2 Corinthians 3:6).
- He carries a sword (Ephesians 6:17).
- He gives many great gifts (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4).
- He fills us with God’s love (Romans 5:5).
Do you see how personal these are? These wonderful gifts all come to us through the Person of God the Holy Spirit. Seek Him, pursue Him, and get to know Him better every single day. Deepen your understanding of His Person, His workings, and His ways. The Holy Spirit is a Person.
As President and Chief Executive Officer of East-West Ministries, Kurt Nelson provides leadership and oversight to all worldwide ministry endeavors in the countries in which East-West currently operates. He is also the author of Awakening to the Holy Spirit: Person, Presence, Power, Purpose in Our Lives.