We believe the Holy Spirit is God. He is explicitly affirmed to be God (Acts 5:3-5). He displays divine attributes such as omnipresence (Psalms 139:7-8), omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), omnipotence (Luke 1:35), and eternality (Hebrews 9:14). He performs divine works such as creation (Gen. 1:2; Psalms 104:30; Job 26:13; 33:4), inspiration of the scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21), and regeneration (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18). We believe the Holy Spirit is a person. He is specifically referred to, with personal designation, as the Comforter (John 15:26). Personal pronouns are used of Him (Acts 10:19-20). The Greek word pneuma (Spirit) is a neuter gender word. Any pronoun used to substitute for pneuma would normally also be neuter. However, while under the inspiration of the Spirit, the Biblical writers did not follow this grammatical pattern; instead, they substituted masculine pronouns to designate the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:13-14). He displays the following characteristics of a personality: intelligence (Romans 8:27), emotion (Eph. 4:30), and will (1 Corinthians 12:11). He personally relates to mankind in these ways: He can be lied to (Acts 5:3-4), blasphemed (Matt. 12:31), insulted (Hebrew 10:29), resisted (Acts 7:51), grieved (Ephesians 4:30), and obeyed (Acts 10). I believe the Holy Spirit was active in Old Testament times. He was involved in creation (Genesis 1:2). He inspired the writing of the Old Testament (2 Peter 1:20-21; Acts 1:16; Hebrews 3:7). He empowered people for specific tasks, such as leadership (Jude 3:10; 6:34, 1 Samuel 11:6) and prophecy (Numbers 24:2). All through the Old Testament, people were influenced by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 6:3; Nehemiah 9:20). We believe the Holy Spirit’s ministry extends to unbelievers as well as believers. The Spirit convicts the world (unbelievers) of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). It is His power that brings the sinner under conviction of sin and draws the sinner to Christ for salvation (John 16:8-11). It is through the Spirit that men are regenerated (John 3:5-6). By the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ baptizes believers into His body (the church – 1 Corinthians 12:13) and into Himself (Romans 6:1-10).
All of the children of God are permanently indwelled with the Spirit (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit not only seals believers, but He is the down payment or the pledge of the inheritance to come (Ephesians 1:14; 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 1:22). The believer continues to experience the benefits of the Holy Spirit’s ministry throughout his Christian life. The Holy Spirit intercedes (Romans 8:26-27), teaches (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 1 John 2:20,27), illuminates (Ephesians 1:17-18), empowers (Zechariah 4:6; Romans 15:19; Ephesians 3:7), guides (John 16:13),and sanctifies (1 Thess. 5:23 2; 2 Corinthians 3:14). Believers are commanded to be filled (controlled) with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). When the Spirit is in control of the believer, He will produce holiness (Galatians 5:16) and fruitfulness (Galatians 5:22-23) through the believer. The Spirit-filled life is the Spirit filling the believer with the life of Christ (Galatians 2:20). The Spirit-filled life is the only way to live victoriously (John 6:63). It is important to note that there is a clear distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is experienced by all believers, it occurs at the moment of salvation, and it is not to be repeated (Mark 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Nowhere in the scriptures is there a single command or exhortation to be baptized with the Spirit. It is a result of placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:5-6, 16). The filling of the Holy Spirit is a command to all believers to be continually under the control or influence of the Spirit. Therefore it is possible to be baptized by the Spirit but yet not be filled by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:1 – believers were not spiritual but carnal). I believe the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to every believer according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:11) as a stewardship for believers to serve others (1 Peter 4:10), for the edification of the church (Ephesians 4:16), and the glory of God (1 Peter 4:11). (See The Doctrine of Spiritual gifts below.