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PFOA Apostles' Creed: I believe ... in the Holy Spirit

One of the controversies that led to the formulation of the creeds in the Early Church concerned the nature of God who showed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although "Trinity" as a word is not found in Scriptures, the idea is there right at the beginning. In Genesis we read that God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). In verse 2, the Spirit of God is introduced. When man was created, we note that He said "Let us make man ..." (1:26). In John 1, referring to the creation again , we learn that the Word (referring to Jesus Christ) was with God at the beginning, and that "through Him all things were made". All this becomes even clearer when Jesus told His disciples that He was going to the Father and after He's gone, He will send the Holy Spirit to earth. Yet there is One God, God in three Persons, each with different roles - the Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ, the Son, died for our sins, Jesus in turn sends the Holy Spirit upon His return to the Father in heaven (John 16:5-11). It is important to distinguish these roles. Neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit suffered and died on the cross for our sins--Christ did. It is the Holy spirit who is active on earth today. When it comes to prayer, the Bible is not pedantic, but Jesus did say we should pray to the Father, and ask in Jesus' name (John 16:23,24); Jesus Christ is our Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5); and the Holy Spirit helps us to pray and intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26,27).

The Holy Spirit is the Counsellor, the Spirit of truth. He dwells in the believer (1 Cor. 3:16,17) marking him as belong to God (2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13), and guides him into all truths (John 16:13). He empowers us to be witnesses of the Gospel (Acts 1:8). He may speak with a "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:11-13) but sometimes loud enough that those around could hear it too, though they may not understand (Acts 9:3-7). When He speaks, you will hear, and will recognise that it is His voice (Isa. 30:21).

The Holy Spirit is not a force you can control; not a power that you can manipulate. There are no formulae or "laws" to get Him to do what you want. He is God who is sovereign. The mistake of thinking that the Holy Spirit is a force or power has led to much wrong doctrine about the work of the holy Spirit. R.A. Torrey has said that the Holy Spirit is not "a power, that we in our ignorance or weakness, try to get hold of and use". He is a personal Being who "gets hold of us and use us". And when we allow Him to do that in our lives, we are "filled with [or controlled by] the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:18).