Personalities of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit has personality, though not a body of flesh. Personality is that which possesses intelligence, feeling, and will. When one possesses the characteristics, properties and qualities of personality, then personality can be attributed to that being. Personality, when used in reference to divine beings, cannot be measured by human standards. (Iverson: 5) It is shown throughout the Bible that the Holy Spirit teaches, convicts, strengthens, and leads, amongst other Personal Characteristics. It is vital in our relationship with the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit); to not only acknowledge these personal characteristics, but to live in accordance with the Spirit. Romans 8:13 says,
"for if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
How do you receive the Spirit?
Very simply, if one is going to be baptized with the Spirit they must have experienced new birth. Therefore, true repentance and a confession of faith in Christ as Lord is a pre-requisite to receiving the baptism of the Spirit. (Iverson: 59) Before Jesus Christ’s ministry could begin on earth, even He had to be baptized in the Spirit.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. (Matthew 3:13-16, NKJV)
Why did Jesus ask to be baptized? It couldn’t have been for repentance of sin, because He never sinned. “Fulfilling all righteousness” means to accomplish God’s mission, so Jesus wanted to show obedient service to the Father and to inaugurate his public ministry.
The Holy Spirit Teaches
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say. (Luke 12:11-12, AMP) Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit would supply the needed words in the very moment we need it. This does not go without the proper preparation and studying of God’s word. When we have His Word in our Spirit, God will bring His truths to mind when we most need them, helping us present them in the most effective way. John 14:26 tells us But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name. He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
The Holy Spirit Convicts
And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me] (John 16:8-9, AMP)
Who among us has not heard a person described as “being under conviction”? Occasionally sermons are said to be full of conviction, and sometimes they are even said to be lacking in conviction. Christians often recount their experience of feeling convicted of their sin prior to conversion. The word “conviction” is used quite commonly to refer to a work performed by the Holy Spirit, and presumably people employ the term intending to communicate a theological concept. (Aloisi: 55)
The definition of conviction in the Biblical context is to find or prove guilty of an offense. When you have that still, small voice telling you not to do something, you are under the conviction of the Spirit. You must also know that there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit want to help you, just as Romans 8:1 in the NKJV says there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Strengthens
When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed. (Judges 3:9-10, NKJV) Othniel was given an extraordinary and supernatural experience when “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him,” which articulates a temporary and spontaneous increase of physical, spiritual, and mental strength. He needed the Spirit in order to be prepared for the special task of delivering the children of Israel from Cushan-Rishathaim. Ephesians 3:16
"that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man."
This same Spirit that strengthened Othniel thousands of years ago, wants to give you the same strength.
The Holy Spirit Leads
The verb, lead, is best defined as; being a route or means of access to a particular place or in a particular direction. The Holy Spirit wants to give you the route and access to what has been promised to you. Psalm 143:10 says, Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good, Lead me in the land of uprightness. When you ask God to lead you, you are asking Him to teach you His will, not your own. Asking God to reorganize our priorities stimulates our minds and enlightens the Spirit.
Again and again, the Bible draws the clearest possible distinction between the Holy Spirit and the Father and the Son. They are, by an incomprehensible mystery, separate personalities, having mutual relation to one another, acting upon one another, speaking of and to one another, applying the pronouns of the second and third persons to one another. (Iverson: 10)
When the Godhead works together in your life it will help lead you into the land of the uprightness. His will is greater than anything we can do in the natural, therefore, allow the Spirit to lead you into the supernatural.
The Holy Spirit is available to all believers today, but He will come upon believers in an extraordinary way for special tasks. We should ask the Holy Spirit’s help as we face our daily problems as well as life’s major challenges. He is there to enhance our love, joy, peace, goodness, patience, gentleness, faith, meekness and self-control. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. We can’t obtain them by trying to get them without His help. If we want the fruits of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to His. John 15:4-5 says, Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Iverson, Dick. The Holy Spirit Today – A concise survey of the doctrine of the Holy Ghost. Portland: City Christian Publishing, 2006.
Aloisi, John. The Paraclete’s Ministry of Conviction – Another Look at John 16. Detroit: Baker, 2004.