How to Explain What the Holy Spirit Is

Recently, a conversation took place at dinner about the children of Israel and how they ended up in Egypt as slaves. As I shared the story of Joseph and his brothers and how they initially found themselves in Egypt, one of my sons had his phone out and Googled something I said to find out if I was right.

It had been a while since I’d recalled those particular Biblical highlights, so it caused me to question myself. But when Google proved it true, then my recollection was good as gold.

Google is a useful tool, and I use it often. But having a search engine working for us doesn’t compare to having the Holy Spirit working within us.

Some seekers may be unfamiliar and might wonder – What is the Holy Spirit?

The first thing to know is the Holy Spirit is a Who. He’s a Spirit. The Holy Spirit. The Third Person in the Trinity.

God is three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They’re all God, just in different forms.

It can be hard to wrap our minds around such a thing. But the best explanation of the Trinity I’ve heard uses water as the example. There’s water, ice, and steam. They’re all water. But in different forms. It helps a bit to think of it in that way.

We can tell a lot about those in our lives who love and care about us by what they do. They prove they love us deeply with their actions. Sometimes in sacrificial ways. They want the best for us, even if it means giving up something on their part.

God loves us so much. He sent Jesus to make a way for us to have a relationship with Him again. Jesus willingly went to the cross for us. When we become a Christian and surrender our lives to His will, we receive the Holy Spirit. He indwells us and fulfills an amazing role.

Then His incredible work begins in our lives as He transforms us and makes us more and more like Jesus.

Here are eight things the Holy Spirit does in the life of a Christian:

1. He indwells us.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own: you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

When we surrender our lives to God, our physical body becomes the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us for the rest of our natural lives.

2. He teaches and reminds us.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

When we read the Bible with the Holy Spirit within us, it makes a lot of sense and is easier to comprehend. He opens our eyes as we read and teaches us through Scripture, then later, when needed, He reminds us about what God said.

3. He encourages us.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. Acts 9:31

If we’re a Christian, we are the church. It’s not just a building on the street corner with stained glass windows. It’s the people who follow God.

The truth is sometimes the road will get bumpy. We don’t stop having problems just because we’ve become Christians. Thank God for giving us the Holy Spirit. He’s with us through everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And He encourages us to continue trusting Him in all things.

4. He guides us.

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. Acts 13:4

As we grow spiritually, we’ll have more insight to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He nudges us in the direction we should go in our lives and helps us make difficult decisions.

He lets us know when it’s time to change jobs, move, or make a major change in our life when we seek Him and surrender our decisions to Him. We need to be in balance with our wants and His will, and okay with whatever happens, trusting Him to lead the way.

5. He warns us.

I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. Acts 20:23

There’s not much better than someone giving us a heads-up. Especially when it’s the One who knows everything. He sees our future and what’s coming our way when we may be completely clueless.

When God gives us a warning, we better listen. It may not change anything, but He loves us enough to let us know some things in advance.

6. He gives us hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

The Holy Spirit is powerful in our lives. So many good things come from Him.

Sometimes, we just need some hope as we endure the hardships of life. But as we go through life trusting God more and more through trials we face, we’re filled with joy and peace because He proves Himself to be completely trustworthy.

7. He tells us the truth.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:12-13

The Spirit of truth guides us into all truth. The whole thing.

I love this so much.

8. He helps us pray.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

Often, we don’t have words. We’re overwhelmed with a situation, whether it’s death, depression, financial struggles, or any hard thing in life. We hit our knees beside our beds and collapse.

We don’t even know how to express ourselves. We can only sigh or groan because we’re desperate for God to listen and help us. And the Holy Spirit will intercede for us when we’re incapable of speaking for ourselves.

There are so many more things He does for us, including drawing us to Himself, revealing Jesus, bestowing spiritual gifts, convicting us of sin in our lives, and more.

Our compassionate, loving God never leaves us because He’s dwelling within us. He goes where we go. He knows our thoughts and intentions even when we don’t even know them. He works within us to help us turn from sin toward Him.

Always loving us. Always lavishing us with grace and mercy with our best interest at heart. Always.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believe, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/ipopba

Melinda Eye CooperMelinda Eye Cooper grew up in the Missouri Ozarks but lives near Nashville, Tennessee. She and her husband have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and three beautiful granddaughters – and a spunky dog named Lincoln!

Melinda writes articles and devotions. She also writes fiction and is currently working on a middle-grade fantasy novel. She grew up in a large family, and many of her devotions and stories are inspired from her childhood.

Visit her website here. You can follow her on Facebook here or Instagram here.



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