The Holy Spirit

In the Creed we say of the Holy Spirit “The Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets”.

It is a good starting point to talk about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity of God – one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This doctrine of the Trinity – belief in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, was born of reflection on the experience of the first Christians.

●God is known as creator, God is also knowable and Christians call God “Father”

●God the Son is seen in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus

●God the Holy Spirit is God’s continuing activity in the world.

The Holy Spirit was considered by St Augustine to be the bond of love, holding God the Father and God the Son together. It is through the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians that we participate in what Jesus has done, we become adopted children of God, we share in the life of God and look to sharing in the resurrection after death. Through the Holy spirit we are invited into the relationship that Christ has with the Father, and so we can pray “Our Father” .

For many Christians the Holy Spirit is experienced both a) beyond the Christian faith and b) within it.

God’s action in bringing order to creation

That which inspires people to acknowledge and respond to values such as truth, goodness, beauty.

The coming of the Holy Spirit was a particular experience in the early church, Acts 2:1-13, where Jesus’ disciples, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, were empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak about Jesus, to remember his teaching and to do powerful works in the name of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is experienced in people’s lives today (John 14: 15-27, John 16: 5-16). He comforts, teaches, counsels and guides us. He reveals Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is that which changes people and makes them Christ-like (Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit works within us, transforming us so that we reflect more and more the character of Jesus.

He gives us gifts and empowers us for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Romans 12:6-9). In some ways this is God’s anointing in a special way our natural gifts (e.g. hospitality, teaching, administration). Others are supernatural gifts such as praying in tongues, healing or prophecy. Gifts are given to every Christian to build up the life and mission of the church.

Images have been used to try to capture the reality of the Holy Spirit, for example,

□Ru’ach (Hebrew); pneuma (Greek)  =  wind, breath, spirit

□Fire (“Like tongues of fire”)

□Water (I shall pour out my spirit….(Joel 2: 28-29).


“The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control” (Galatians 5:22-23).