Holy Spirit

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Name for God the Spirit. The third member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit (prior English language usage: the Holy Ghost (from Old English gast, “spirit”) is the third person of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is Almighty God.

The Holy Spirit is seen by Christians as one Person of the Triune God, who revealed His Holy Name Jehovah to his people Israel, sent His Eternally Begotten Son Jesus to save them, and sent the Holy Spirit to Sanctify and give Life to his Church. The Triune God manifests as three persons, or in the Greek hypostases, one being.

Jesus is presented in the Gospels as the prophesied Messiah, who baptizes not with water but with the Holy Spirit and with Fire.Luke 3:16 Jesus, just before his Passion, during Last Supper, promises to send from the Father another Paraclete to the world, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth John 15:26 who, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, after the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven, commands, exhorts, comforts, rules the Apostles of Jesus Christ and his church as the invisible Spiritual Presence of God.

The theology of the Holy Spirit is called pneumatology. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Lord and Giver of Life in the Nicene creed. He is the Creator Spirit, present before the creation of the universe and through his power everything was made in Jesus Christ, by God the Father. He is credited as he who inspires and allows to interpret all the sacred scripture and leads prophets, both in Old Testament and New Testament 1 Corinthians 2:11. By his Power, Jesus Christ was conceived virginally in the womb of the virgin Mary.Luke 1:35 He descended over Jesus in a corporal way, as a dove, at the time of his baptism,Matthew 3:16 and a voice from Heaven was heard: "You are my Beloved Son".Luke 3:22 He is the Sanctifier of souls, the Helper,John 14:26 the Comforter,John 14:16 the Giver of graces, He Who leads souls to the Father and the Son from Whom He proceeds. Christians receive the Fruits of the Holy Spirit by means of his Mercy and Grace 1 Corinthians 12.

The Moment on which the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth is said to begin is during the event known as Pentecost on Which the Holy Spirit descended as visible Tongues of Fire on the disciples, Apostles and the Mother of Jesus, Mary Acts 2. The Apostles were strengthened in bravery Acts 2:14,17 and Authority John 20:22,23, received the capacity to speak in Tongues (Glossolalia) Acts 2:4 which allowed them to start the Missionary duty to spread the Gospel the world over. The early Christian Apostles, began administering the Sacraments in the Name of The Father, and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit, based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

The Active presence of the Holy Spirit is recorded in the gospels, in Apostolic letters or epistles, and in later Canonical gospels. However, Several Christian divisions adopted different approaches and thus their understanding of the mystery of the Holy Trinity variates. Some Christian denominations are deemed Trinitarian and others as non-Trinitarian. Among the Trinitarians, who are mostly Apostolic Churches, some minor differences do still exist, where Eastern and Orthodox Catholic Churches claim the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father (and "through" the Son), the Roman Catholic Church maintains that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, in what is known as the "Filioque".

In Judaism, the references to The Spirit of God, Ruach HaKodesh, The Holy Spirit of Jehovah, abound, however it is rejected any idea of The Eternal God as Triune.

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Etymology

"Pneuma" is the Greek word for spirit and is found 385 times in the New Testament. It is used in the general sense of spirit as well as the Holy Spirit, and can also mean wind or breath.

Translation and capitalization

The meaning of The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost are identical. Holy Ghost was the common name for the Holy Spirit in English before the 20th century. It is the name used in the Book of Common Prayer, the Catholic Douay Rheims Bible and the King James Version (KJV), and is still widely used by English speakers whose religious vocabulary is largely derived from the KJV. The term is still retained in the traditional-language rites of the Anglican Church. The original meaning of the English word ghost closely paralleled the words spirit or soul; only later did the former word come to acquire the specific sense of "disembodied spirit of the dead" and the associated pejorative connotations.

In 1901 the American Standard Version of the Bible translated the name as Holy Spirit, as had the English Revised Version of 1881-1885 upon which it was based. Almost all modern English translations have followed suit.

The Holy Spirit is seen by Christians as one Person of the Triune God who manifests as three persons, or in the Greek hypostases

Jesus is presented in the Gospels as the prophesied Messiah, who baptizes not with water but with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. Luke 3:16 Jesus, just before his Passion, during Last Supper, promises to send from the Father another Paraclete to the world, the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth John 14:26 who, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, after the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven, commands, exhorts, comforts, rules the Apostles of Jesus Christ and his church as the invisible Spiritual Presence of God.

The theology of the Holy Spirit is called pneumatology. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Lord and Giver of Life in the Nicene creed. He is The Creator Spirit, present before the creation of the universe and through his power everything was made in Jesus Christ, by God the Father. He is credited as He Who inspires and allows to interpret all the sacred scripture and leads prophets, both in Old Testament and New Testament. By His Power, Jesus Christ was conceived virginally in the womb of the virgin Mary. Luke 1:35 He descended over Jesus in a corporal way, as a dove, at the time of his baptism, Matthew 3:16 and a voice from Heaven was heard: "You are my Beloved Son". Luke 3:22 He is the Sanctifier of souls, the Helper, John 15:26 the Comforter, John 14:16 the Giver of graces, he who leads souls to the Father and the Son from Whom He proceeds. Christians receive the Fruits of the Holy Spirit by means of his Mercy and Grace. The Holy Spirit is a person, and also does the work within the person of becoming more Christlike as Christians surrender to his will.

Mainstream Christian doctrine

See Also Christianity

See Also Pneumatology

See Also Paraclete

The Holy Spirit is understood to be one of the three persons of the Trinity. As such he is personal and also fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and Son of God. He is different from the Father and the Son in that he proceeds from the Father (or from the Father and the Son) as described in the Nicene Creed. His sacredness is reflected in the New Testament gospels Mark 3:28-30 Matthew 12:30- 32 Luke 12:8-10 which proclaim blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin.

Divine function

The Holy Spirit performs specific divine functions in the life of the Christian or the church. These include:

  • Conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit acts to convince the unredeemed person both of the sinfulness of their actions, and of their moral standing as sinners before God.
  • Bringing to conversion. The action of the Holy Spirit is seen as an essential part of the bringing of the person to the Christian faith. The new believer is "born again of the Spirit".
  • Enabling the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is believed to dwell in the individual believers and enable them to live a righteous and faithful life.
  • As a comforter or Paraclete, one who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial.
  • Inspiration and interpretation of scripture. The Holy Spirit both inspires the writing of the scriptures and interprets them to the Christian and/or church.

Jesus Christ

The Holy Spirit was especially active in the life of Jesus Christ, enabling him to fulfill his work on earth. Particular actions of the Holy Spirit include:

  • Cause of his birth. According to the gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus, he was not conceived by a human father, but by the Holy Spirit; and he was born of the Virgin Mary. The "beginning of His incarnate existence" was due to the Holy Spirit. The Apostles' Creed says Jesus was "conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary."
  • Anointing him at his baptism.
  • Empowerment of his ministry. The ministry of Jesus following his baptism (in which the Holy Spirit is described in the gospels as "descending on Him like a dove") is conducted in the power and at the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Fruit of the Spirit

See Also Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Christians believe the "Fruit of the Spirit" consists of virtuous characteristics engendered in the Christian by the action of the Holy Spirit. They are those listed in Template:Bibleref2: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." The Roman Catholic Church adds to this list generosity, modesty, and chastity.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

See Also Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Christians believe that the Holy Spirit gives 'gifts' to Christians. These gifts consist of specific abilities granted to the individual Christian. They are frequently known by the Greek word for gift, Charisma, from which the term charismatic derives. The New Testament provides three different lists of such gifts which range from the supernatural (healing, prophecy, tongues) through those associated with specific callings (teaching) to those expected of all Christians in some degree (faith). Most consider these lists not to be exhaustive, and other have compiled their own lists.

It is over the nature and occurrence of these gifts, particularly the supernatural gifts (sometimes called charismatic gifts), that the greatest disagreement between Christians with regard to the Holy Spirit exists.

One view is that the supernatural gifts were a special dispensation for the apostolic ages, bestowed because of the unique conditions of the church at that time, and are extremely rarely bestowed in the present time. This is the view of the Catholic Church and many other mainstream Christian groups. The alternate view, espoused mainly by Pentecostal denominations and the charismatic movement, is that the absence of the supernatural gifts was due to the neglect of the Holy Spirit and his work by the church. Although some small groups, such as the Montanists, practiced the supernatural gifts they were rare until the growth of the Pentecostal movement in the late 19th century.

Believers in the relevance of the supernatural gifts sometimes speak of a Baptism of the Holy Spirit or Filling of the Holy Spirit which the Christian needs to experience in order to receive those gifts. Many churches hold that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is identical with conversion, and that all Christians are by definition baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Symbols

The Holy Spirit is frequently referred to by metaphors and symbols, both doctrinally and biblically. Theologically speaking these symbols are a key to understanding of the Holy Spirit and His actions, and are not mere artistic representations.

  • Water - signifies the Holy Spirit's action in Baptism, such that in the manner that "by one Spirit [believers] were all baptized", so they are "made to drink of one Spirit". 1 Corinthians 12:13 Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified John 19:34 1 John 5:8 as its source and welling up in Christians to eternal life.
  • Anointing - The symbolism of blessing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. The coming of the Spirit is referred to as his "anointing". 2 Corinthians 1:21 In some denominations anointing is practiced in Confirmation; ("chrismation" in the Eastern Churches). Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit, that of Jesus. Christ (in Hebrew, messiah) means the one "anointed" by God's Spirit.
  • Fire - symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. In the form of tongues "as of fire", the Holy Spirit rested on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost.
  • Cloud and light - The Spirit came upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.'" Luke 9:34-35
  • The dove - When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him. Matthew 3:16
  • Wind - The Spirit is likened to the "wind that blows where it will," John 3:8 and described as "a sound from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind." Acts 2:2-4 Acts 2:24

See also

References

External links

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