I was recently watching politicians trading insults and I pondered the idea of denying the person-hood of the Holy Spirit as the ultimate insult.
No one would dare to think of spending an entire day with a close friend, without even acknowledging, or talking to them. This would be considered as highly offensive. Yet in the same way if we ignore or fail to interact with the Holy Spirit – we are guilty of the ultimate insult.
A little while ago my wife asked me what my latest essay was about. I told her I was writing
about the personhood of the Holy Spirit. She honestly replied: “The Holy Spirit as a person? I’ve never really thought of it that way before.” I suspect many resonate with and relate to this response. I know for myself this truth has been drummed in theoretically but much of the time has had little impact on a practical level.
Part of the problem is the Holy Spirit in the Bible is often presented in symbols such as water, wind, oil and fire. Further, His presence seems more mystical so we have a propensity to think of Him as more of an impersonal influence or force.
However, the Bible affirms the Holy Spirit is a real person who possesses all the qualities of personality.
However, if the Holy Spirit is viewed as a divine person then our attitude to Him should reflect His true person-hood. Just like we interact with other personalities throughout the day so we need to cultivate a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus taught that He would send another ‘comforter’. This word carries the idea of ‘another of the same kind’. Therefore, the same depth of companionship the disciples enjoyed with Jesus while on earth, is meant to be available through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). Consequently, the Holy Spirit is for us internally what Jesus Christ was to the disciples externally.
So to be in union and communion with the Holy Spirit is to have an ever-present Friend and
Companion to fellowship with during this pilgrimage of life. Failure to acknowledge the distinct self-consciousness of Holy Spirit stifles our prospect of communion.
Let us not be guilty of this ultimate insult.
Steven Kilner is married to Jodie and has three sons, they have a eight year-old, a six year-old and a three year-old. They attend Canterbury Gardens Community Church. Steven is studying theology at PTC and Jodie is undertaking a diploma in Nursing.