- the Holy Spirit is God's power

When we look closely at how the term is used in its pages, the Bible presents a straightforward message of what the Holy Spirit is. 

The word “spirit” means “breath”, “energy” or “disposition”. 

Job says, 

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” 

(Job 33 v 4)

This way of writing is very common in Scripture: the two clauses mirror one another and effectively say the same thing twice in slightly different ways.  Job’s statement echoes the account in Genesis 2 of the creation of Adam: 

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
(Genesis 2 v 7)

God’s spirit (or “breath”), then, is what gives all living creatures life: it is His energy or power.

The word “holy” means “set apart” – usually for a particular purpose. 

Put together, the term “Holy Spirit” (which is only capitalised by translators, not in the original Hebrew and Greek in which the Bible was written) conveys the idea of energy or power used for a special reason.

You might be surprised to hear that we only find reference to the “Holy Spirit” three times in all the Old Testament!  However, God’s power was often used in miraculous ways to achieve a particular purpose, and occasionally people were given it by God, again for a special reason at a special time. 

Into the New Testament and we find the same consistent teaching of the Old.  When telling Mary how she was to become the mother of the Lord Jesus, the angel Gabriel explained

“…the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you;…
(Luke 1 v 35)

Just as Job expressed the same truth twice in slightly different ways, so Gabriel, in making this statement, is showing us that the Holy Spirit is “the power of the Highest”.  It really was power set apart for a special purpose in this instance: the conception of God’s own son!

Finally, perhaps the most significant reason for the giving of the gift of God’s holy spirit to the apostles was so that the Scriptures would be written. 

“All Scripture is God-breathed…”
(2 Tim 3 v 16 – NIV)

The Spirit of God is in His holy word and can transform our lives!

[All Bible references are from the New King James Version unless stated otherwise]

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