Who the Holy Spirit Is
Who is the Holy Spirit and what does he do? Answering these questions requires discussing “pneumatology”—or the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told his followers to make disciples of all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an “it” but a “he.” The Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, not an impersonal force. The Old Testament, Jesus, and New Testament authors always use the personal pronoun “he” when referring to the Holy Spirit. That’s who the Spirit is.
What the Holy Spirit Does
What does the Holy Spirit do? Why does Jesus say “It is better that I leave so I can send you the Holy Spirit” in John 16:7? John Murray’s book title, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, give us a great answer to these questions. Jesus accomplishes redemption and forgiveness through his life, death, and resurrection, and the Holy Spirit applies that redemption and forgiveness to us.
Redemption Accomplished and Applied
“Redemption accomplished” is Jesus being our “double cure” who saves us from the wrath of God and makes us pure before God. As our substitute, Jesus died the death we should have died for breaking God’s law, and he fulfilled the law on our behalf. His righteousness is given to us as if we had fulfilled the law. That is redemption accomplished. “Redemption applied” is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and this ministry is “missional.” The Spirit continues and expands the ministry of Jesus. The Gospels are accounts of Jesus’ ministry through the power of the Spirit. At age 30, Jesus was baptized by John, and the Holy Spirit came down upon him and anointed him for his ministry. The book of Acts is the extension of Jesus’ ministry through earlier believers. After Jesus’ resurrection and just before his ascension, Jesus said to his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). To Be Continued.