I Believe in the Holy Spirit

Apostle's Creed 865 Subsplash

Okay, why do some version of the Creed say Holy Ghost and others say Holy Spirit? Donald Cole explains, “In the Apostles’ Creed, the term is ‘Holy Ghost,’ but ghost is an Anglo-Saxon word, now considered archaic. Holy Spirit is correct.”[1]

The important thing we need to address in this article is that the Holy Spirit is fully a member of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It’s common for many Christians today to ignore the Holy Spirit for fear of falling victim to some of the more outlandish claims made for the Spirit today.

While it is good to be cautious, and even better to be a Berean (Acts 17:11) and check out claims made for the Holy Spirit, it is not good to ignore Him. 

The Scripture makes it very clear the Holy Spirit is God. Once place this is obvious is in the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. In verse 3 it says “Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit,…” and in verse 4, “You have not lied to man but to God.” 

The three are also equally linked in the Great Commission of Matthew 28, where the disciples are told to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”  (Matthew 28:19) Careful observers point out that the singular “name” is used, not “in the names of.” 

But why is the Holy Spirit important for us today? Jesus told us in John 14:26, “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

The Holy Spirit is deeply involved in every aspect of our Christian lives. He lives in us to teach us truth, to show us God the Father and God the Son, to be our Comforter and Guide. 

Alister McGrath explains, 

All of us are used to seeing things being moved by an invisible force—the wind. We often see papers blown across the road by the wind or trees bending before its force…. The Old Testament writers, noticing the way the wind acts, could hardly fail to observe an obvious parallel with the way God acts. The Spirit of God is like the wind—and unseen force that acts upon things and people. The Spirit can be thought of as God in action.[2]

Donald Cole makes another important observation about the remainder of the creed, which follows this statement of belief in the Holy Spirit. He says, 

At first glance all the third part of the Creed seems to say is that we believe in the Holy Spirit and in five other points of doctrine. However, there is more: the listing of five blessings immediately after the statement of belief in the Holy Spirit reminds us that the blessings are brought to us by the Holy Spirit of God.[3]

[1] C. Donald Cole, All You Need to Believe (Foundations of the Faith) (Moody Publishers, Kindle Edition), p. 111.

[2] Alister McGrath, I Believe (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1997), p. 80. 

[3] Cole, p. 111.

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