The Spirit of God
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was barren, with no form of life; it was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God was moving over the water. (Genesis 1:1-2, CEV)
To listen to some Christians, you could almost think that the Holy Spirit had never been heard of until the Day of Pentecost; (and to listen to others, that he has never been heard of since!). But the Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit has always been there and always will be. He is an integral part of our three-in-one God – God, in the person of the Spirit.
We first meet him on the opening page of the Bible. There he is, before creation, eagerly waiting to bring about Father’s creation. We then find him constantly at work throughout both Old and New Testaments in many ways. And as we get to the last page of the Bible, who is still there? Yes – the Spirit - inviting all to ‘Come!’ From start to finish, the eternal Spirit is present and is at work.
It shouldn’t surprise us therefore to discover that the Bible has no uncertainty in declaring who this Spirit is. He is seen, not merely as the presence or the power of God; he is God! He is constantly equated with God, and passages referring to the Father in the Old Testament are unashamedly applied to him in the New. He is seen as having all the characteristics of God – omnipresent (being everywhere), omniscient (knowing everything), omnipotent (able to do everything) and eternal (without beginning or end). He is seen as doing the works of God – creating, working miracles, giving new birth, bringing life to the dead, inspiring Scripture – things that only God can do. In fact, he is even called ‘God’.
What this means is this: in dealing with the Holy Spirit, we are dealing with God. The one whom Jesus promised to send to you is not some mere power or presence; some ‘spiritual uplift’ to get you through the day. It is God himself who has come to live within you, just as he promised! What a joy – and what a provocation – that should be to us today!
… the Spirit of God lives in you. (Romans 8:9)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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