Bible Society of South Africa

The Holy Spirit – third person in the Godhead – 3 May 2021

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

(Mt 3.13—4.11; Lk 3.21–22; 4.1–13)

9Not long afterwards Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”

Mark 1:9-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

On 23 May 2021, believers will celebrate Pentecost – when Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit as a gift to believers was fulfilled. For so many people though, the Holy Spirit is a peculiar concept, an incomprehensible idea. The fact of the matter is that He is the third Person of the Holy Trinity – deeply involved in the believer’s life. Are you receptive to hear what the Word has to say on the Holy Spirit’s role in man’s life? In your life?

A Trinity? Three Persons in one? In his book, In Gees en Waarheid, Dr Isak Burger shed some light on this topic. “When we speak about the Holy Spirit, we speak about God. The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Divine Trinity. In Scripture, we meet this indescribable One, Creator and God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is an inseparable unity, yet distinctive. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son and expresses the unity between Father and Son. Along with the Father and the Son, He is the eternal God.”

This profound truth manifested itself when Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan. Read the Scripture verse once more. Can you see it? The Father spoke, the Son came up out of the water and saw how the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove from a heaven torn wide open. These Three acknowledge one another, they are inseparable and yet distinct in Person. This miraculous event still resonates in the heart and mind of the present-day believer.

Perhaps you’re wondering, “Is the Holy Spirit a dove?” No! Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit is invisible. The Bible uses different symbols like a dove, the wind, water, a cloud, oil, and fire to enable us to know Him better and to understand the work He does. He is mainly responsible for the following:

  • He witnesses about Jesus (John 15:26) and He glorifies Jesus (John 16:14).
  • He lives with the believer and will be in the believer (John 14:17). From this position, He guides the believer into all truth (John 16:13) and gives gifts so that the believer can serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10-11).

To summarise, the Holy Spirit enables the believer to have a personal, living and fruitful relationship with God. Without the Holy Spirit’s involvement in one’s life, unity and close relationships on all levels are merely wishful thinking.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, thank you for the 24/7 involvement of the Holy Spirit in the life of a fallible being like me. Open my “spiritual ears” to distinguish between the Holy Spirit’s voice and other voices trying to confuse me. Amen

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