There Is One Spirit (Ephesians 4:4)

God revealed through Paul that the unity in the one body produced by the Spirit is based in seven glorious truths. In our last post we learned that there is only one body. The universal church is the body of Christ. This body is made up of all true believers in Jesus from Acts 2 until the coming of Jesus for the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This universal church is expressed in local bodies of believers throughout the world.

In this post we will learn about the one Spirit. This is referring to the Holy Spirit. There are a lot of misrepresentations of the Holy Spirit out there today. Let’s consider who the Holy Spirit is according to the Bible.

Who is He?

He is a Person. It is important to believe with conviction that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an impersonal force or one of many gods. The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” The Holy Spirit is a “He.” John 16:12-15 is very clear on this, as Jesus refers to the Spirit of truth as “he” multiple times. He is a person. One with which we are to fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14).

He is God. It is also eternally significant to believe that He is the third Person of the Godhead. He is God, being coequal and coeternal with the Father and the Son. There is only One God, eternally existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

While the word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity is clearly taught. Consider the following list of Trinitarian passages: Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-14, 2:18, 3:14-19, 4:4-6; and there are more!)

Directly related to the Holy Spirit’s deity, consider Acts 5:1-11. Ananias and Sapphira had lied to the Holy Spirit. Ananias sold property and kept back some of the proceeds for himself. Peter said that Satan had filled Ananias’ “heart to lie against the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:3). Then Peter ended his confrontation with these words, “You have not lied to man but to God” (Acts 5:4). Verse 5 says, “When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last.” What crime had Ananias committed? What was his sin? Ananias had lied to the Holy Spirit, which was not lying to man but lying to God. Lying to the Holy Spirit was lying to God, because the Holy Spirit is God. The one Spirit is God the Holy Spirit.

What does He do?

We have considered who the Holy Spirit is. He is God, the third Person of the Trinity. Now we will consider some of the things that He does.

He has created. The Holy Spirit had a part in the creation of the universe. We are introduced to the Holy Spirit in the second verse of the Bible: “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).

He convicts (convinces) the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He works in hearts to convince them of the coming judgement for their sins and to convince them of the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ. (John 16:7-11).

He baptizes and indwells (lives inside of) every true believer. This takes place at the moment of initial trust in Christ. As 1 Corinthians 12:13 puts it, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ, not with water, but with Himself. He places us into the church and indwells us (John 14:17; Romans 8:9).

He helps us. Jesus said that He would send the Helper to His people when He went to the Father. He said this Helper is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-17). Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and to be in us.

He assures believers. He witnesses to believers that we are the children of God, and through Him we cry “ABBA, Father” (Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6).

He guides. Jesus said in John 16:13 that when the Holy Spirit came, He would guide the disciples into all truth. This guidance is not divorced from the Word of God for us today, but is through the Word of God.

He gives new life. – Jesus said that a person must be born of the Holy Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:1-8). We must be born again. This new birth is not a matter of human intellect, desire, or ability (John 1:12). It is the work of the Holy Spirit to give us new life through the Good News (1 Peter 1:23-25).

He seals all true believers. Those who have heard the Word of Truth and believed in Jesus Christ have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). This is to say we are protected by Him. We are also proven to be genuine. We are ever secure and kept safe by His continual ministry.

He is the guarantee of our inheritance. He “is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it”, according to Ephesians 1:14. The Holy Spirit has been given to every believer in Jesus Christ as a guarantee of our full experience and enjoyment of our inheritance that has been laid up for us in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).

He unites the one body. He has united us into the one body, the church. We have access to the Father by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:18). He has created unity within the one body, the church (Ephesians 4:3). This has been accomplished in the person and work of Jesus Christ who has died in our place for our sin and has come back to life again.

He is building the church body into a dwelling place for God (Ephesians 2:22). So, the church body is pictured as a building for God to dwell in, and the Holy Spirit is the Builder of that building.

This posts offered only a small glimpse of the Holy Spirit. He is God, so we can never explore all the depths of His Person and greatness. Yet, it is my prayer that we all have a better grasp and intimate knowledge of this glorious Person of the Godhead.

Do you know Him?

Do you know Him personally? Has He given you new life through the Good News of Jesus Christ? Each one of us is a sinner (Ecclesiastes 7:20). God as our Creator has every right to hold us accountable and judge us. He will judge the world (Psalm 96:10). The only way to escape the just wrath of God is through Jesus Christ. He is God the Son who became man, without ceasing to be God (John 1:14). He lived the perfect life that God demands, which we cannot live (Hebrews 4:15). He died the death that we deserve to die (Romans 5:8). He died for sins and was raised so we can be declared right with God (Romans 4:25). All who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are rescued from sin and God’s wrath to serve Him (John 3:16; Acts 16:31, 20:21). Turn to Him and receive eternal life.

For those of us who are in Christ, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Amen.

Bill Whittington

Notice: Unless otherwise noted: “Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.”