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Archive – Session 1: Who is the Holy Spirit?

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Spirit and Our Communion with God
Matthew 3:13–17; Acts 19:2

This course begins by exploring the identity of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit is God’s presence in the church and in the world. However, care needs to be taken in order to clarify that the Spirit is a person, not a force, nor simply a metaphor. This is vital for us to experience the fullness of life that God has for us. The primary work of the Spirit is to glorify Jesus and in turn to offer us the blessings of communion with the Father that the Son enjoys himself. In a mysterious way, this means that while distinct in personhood, the Spirit’s work is closely related to revealing the identity of Jesus Christ, and bringing us into the deep union with God that we see modeled by the Son and Father in Scripture.

Questions for Reflection

  • Where do you draw from in order to confirm or challenge your experience with the Holy Spirit? How would you describe your current appetite for the Spirit’s presence—comfortable, content, craving more?
  • Why is it important that we maintain a strong connection between the Spirit’s work and Jesus? In what ways might we go beyond and run contrary to a biblical understanding of the Holy Spirit?
  • A church which only focuses on the Father and the Son, and not on the Spirit, will not in the long run be a mature church. What might it look like to explicitly invite the Spirit into your local community (Eph. 5:18)? At minimum, what practices or Bible passages do you believe your church might be willing to explore together?

Expanded Interview with Timothy Tennent

Expanded Interview with Dan Wilt

Expanded Interview with J.D. Walt

Resources for Further Study

The Spirit-Filled Life by Timothy Tennent
This book explores the identity of the Holy Spirit through his acts in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in movements of the Spirit throughout church history.

Jesus Depended on the Holy Spirit” by Scot McKnight
This article explains how the humanity of Jesus made him dependent on the Holy Spirit, which makes this even more true for Christians who follow in his way.

The Person of the Holy Spirit” by Steve Seamands
This video probes our mistaken notions, then points us to the key for understanding the work of the Spirit.

Holy Spirit: What does the phrase ‘the Holy Spirit’ mean?” by Bible Project
This video explores the deep narrative accounts of the Spirit’s work throughout the Bible.

Understanding the Holy Spirit: Why the Church Must Get Comfortable with Mystery by Dan Wilt
This article reminds us that while many dimensions to the Spirit and his work are revealed to us, much of his person remains a mystery.

Come, Creator Spirit by Raniero Cantalamessa
This classic work is at once robustly theological while deeply devotional and spiritually enlivening