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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: Who is the Holy Spirit?

Updated: 6 days ago

I am convinced that the most important aspect of putting faith into practice is sensing a daily relationship with the Holy Spirit. Yet the Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood part of the Trinity. Since we're in the season of Pentecost, which celebrates not only the birth of the Christian church but the gift of the Holy Spirit, I am presenting a three-part series in this blog of (1) who the Holy Spirit is and what the Holy Spirit has done (2) the roles the Holy Spirit plays, and (3) how we can live daily with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is one with and equal to the other members of the Holy Trinity: God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible says, "As God, the Spirit is present everywhere - there is nowhere in the whole of creation outside of his domain." We see the Holy Spirit in verse 2 of Genesis 1, active in the creation story: ". . .and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

In the Old Testament, we read of the Holy Spirit inspiring the prophets to communicate God's messages. In turn, the prophets foretold a day when the Spirit of God would be poured out on all people.

The Holy Spirit picks up the pace in the Gospels of the New Testament, first as the catalyst for the birth of Jesus. The Spirit then descended upon Jesus at his baptism in the form of a dove and drove him into the desert to prepare him for ministry. Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit during his ministry, finally promising the disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to guide them after he was gone.

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fulfilled that promise with a rush of violent wind and an illumination of the apostles with tongues of fire, enabling them to speak in languages that everyone present could understand. Throughout the Acts of the Apostles (which might be more appropriately titled Acts of the Holy Spirit), the Spirit is the driving force of the early church, guiding and enabling the apostles.

But how do we explain who the Holy Spirit is? When my children were young, I described the Spirit as "the piece of God that lives inside you." I could use theological language to define the Holy Spirit, but there's not a much better way to explain the concept. The Holy Spirit simply does life with us daily.

I'll talk more in next Friday's practical faith post about how the Holy Spirit interacts with us each day. For now, I'll echo another phrase from the Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible, how the Spirit "works to reproduce the character of Jesus in the life of every Christian."

As I close, I want to offer you a free gift that explains essential characteristics of the Holy Spirit. My new mini-guide, "Seven Ways the Holy Spirit Speaks to Us," sums up how we can listen for the Spirit's messages. You can receive an e-copy by signing up for the free Cecil Taylor Ministries monthly newsletter; just visit and register in the pop-up box, or use the orange box on the home page, or you can directly visit If you already receive the newsletter, please download your copy via this month's newsletter email.

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