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Is the Holy Spirit an "it" or a "he"? Is the Holy Spirit a ghost? What does the Holy Spirit do?

The concept of the Holy Spirit can be confusing. Growing up, depending on your church background, you could have heard him referred to as the Holy Ghost, as an “it,” or just a “good feeling.” Maybe you haven’t heard of the Holy Spirit at all. Let’s look at four facts about the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Is Part of the Trinity

The Trinity, sometimes referred to as the Godhead, is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This idea of God in three persons can be pretty hard to understand, but has tons of resources and articles that explain what exactly that means. Essentially, the Holy Spirit is fully God, like Jesus, but is also a distinct person. The Holy Spirit is a full member of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit Is a Person

Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “he” and never as “it.” It can be odd to think of a spirit as a person, but because he is also fully God, he is able to grieve, feel emotion, and be related to just like Jesus. Growing up in church, it is common to hear the Holy Spirit referred to as “it,” but it is important to regard him as a person. This way we can understand that the Holy Spirit is just as important and real as the Father and Jesus.

The Holy Spirit Inspired the Bible

The Bible was written by more than forty people, all of which were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the Bible. When the Bible says that Scripture is “God breathed,” this means that the words were delivered directly from God. This is how that happened.

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

One of the Holy Spirit’s most important functions is the creation of the Bible.

The Holy Spirit Regenerates Us

Regeneration is the transformation that happens when we commit our lives to Christ. Our hearts and minds are changed forever, and we are born again as Christians. John 3:5 explains that in order for us to get into the Kingdom of Heaven, we must be born of water, which is to be made new and cleansed by God, but also in the Spirit, which is that regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5 (ESV) Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

In regeneration, God gives us a new heart so that we can love and serve God

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Why is it important to understand that the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity?
  3. Why does the Bible refer to the Holy Spirit as “he?” How does thinking of the Holy Spirit as a person affect the way you think about him?
  4. Read 2 Timothy 3:16. Describe the Holy Spirit’s role in the creation of the Bible?
  5. What does regeneration mean? What does regeneration contribute to the Christian life?
  6. How do you feel the Holy Spirit works in your life today?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Adapted from the Scott Creps YouTube channel. Written content by Daniel Martin