Are you spooked out by the Holy Spirit?
Perhaps I should say, "Are you spooked out by the Holy Ghost?" Lots of Christians are, you know. They say things like, "I know about God the Father, and I know about Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is a mystery to me." You may remember the story about the little boy who liked to scare people by saying, "Boo! I'm the Holy Ghost."
That story is apt because the Holy Spirit ("Ghost" is the older term) scares many Christians. Maybe they're heard things or seen things on TV. Or perhaps the idea of a "Holy Spirit" seems hard to grasp. We understand the concept of God the Creator, and we certainly know about Jesus who walked among us 2000 years ago. But the Holy Spirit is another matter. Where does he fit in?
Many years ago I was asked to write a book on the names of the Holy Spirit. In fact, it was the first book I ever wrote. Moody Publishers gave me the topic and turned me loose. Not knowing what to do, I scoured a few theology books and didn't find much about the names of the Holy Spirit. And on my own I could come up with "Holy" and "Spirit" and "Comforter." Knowing that three names wouldn't make a very long book, I sat down at my desk with an open Bible on one side and a concordance in the other. And I just started in Genesis and went through the whole Bible, looking for names (or titles or symbols) of the Holy Spirit. I found my first one in the second verse of the Bible ("Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters" Genesis 1:2). I found another one in Genesis 2 and another one in Genesis 6. With that, I was off and running. When I was finished I had found over 100 names of the Holy Spirit, the last one being in Revelation 19:10, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
By the time I finished the book (Names of the Holy Spirit), I was amazed and overwhelmed by how many times he appears in the pages of Holy Scripture. I realized that God wants us to know a lot about the Spirit because he tells us about him in so many different places.
One of the oldest prayers of the church contains only three words: "Come, Holy Spirit." Here is the ultimate irony of this message. Because the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see spiritual truth, we need the Holy Spirit to understand the Holy Spirit! So we pray "Come, Holy Spirit, and help us to know you better. Amen."
The Bible gives us many images, pictures and symbols of his work. In order to help us, I've chosen four of the best-known pictures of the Spirit. Each one reveals a different aspect of his ministry in our lives.
You can read the rest of the message online.
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