How do you explain the Trinity to an unbeliever? The understanding of God existing in three persons of the same essence is beyond our comprehension, to the level that most of us believers cannot even describe it to one another very well. Yet, God existing as three persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit) is essential to our Christian life.
Each person is part of the Trinity is God, therefore they share the same defining attributes which can only be found God alone. For Christians, those attributes give each confidence in who God is, being sustained by Him alone in their daily life. This means that when believers are told that the Holy Spirit is given as a helper (John 14:16, 26; 15:26) they can trust that this advocate indeed will act as a helper, sufficient enough to sustain life in the believer. I’ve noticed though, how many seem to doubt the Holy Spirit’s sufficiency by adding adjectives to the Holy Spirit’s title, even sometimes replacing the word holy. No longer do we seek the Holy Spirit, but the dynamic spirit, the mighty spirit, or the commanding spirit. Simply calling him the Holy Spirit is a title that in itself should inspire faithful confidence in this Spirit that is so much a part of our identity as Christians.
Consider first, the word holy. It conveys the idea of God’s perfection, that he is without blemish. The character of holiness is so important that when mentioned, it is repeated two more times (holy, holy, holy) as it is in Isaiah 6:3. It reinforces the concept of God’s moral purity. It is the Spirit that influences the lives of a believer by inclining him or her towards holiness. That attribute alone indicates a level of power beyond human capacity because the Holy Spirit is able to conquer sin while humans are unable.
The power is further conveyed by the title ‘Spirit.’ This is the Spirit of God, therefore possessing all the characteristics of God such as being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. It is the same power that spoke creation into existence, the same power that rescued Moses and Israel by leading them through the Dead Sea, the same power that protected Daniel in a fiery furnace, and the same power the resurrected Christ after death on the cross. This is an incredible display of who God is and a reference to the Holy Spirit as God should conjure up remembrances of these very incomprehensible events.
The author of Hebrews reminds readers that the Lord is with his followers and they can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). Is this not how Jesus Christ referred to the Holy Spirit when he encouraged the disciples by indicating that he would send another helper (John 14:16). That helper, the Holy Spirit, is sufficient to aide every believer in his/her daily battle with sin, and thus is the perfect helper.
First off, the nature of the Holy Spirit indicates an impressive force capable of sustaining a believer in the battle with the flesh and the secular world. The very fact that God saw it fit to send the Holy Spirit as the much-needed helper should be of comfort to all of us and be indicative of who he is. Why then, do people find it necessary to find ways to amplify the Holy Spirit, adding adjectives to his title in order to make him seem more palatable to others. Instead, our comfort and confidence should be in who He is, not in who we think he should be.
Photo by Valeriy Andrushko on Unsplash