The Holy Spirit is the part of God inside of us

Drew Collins, Guest writer

I grew up going to church every Sunday starting around age six. I believed in God and knew the basics of the Gospel. Yet there was so much about God that I didn’t understand until I grew up, moved out, and started studying God on my own. Searching through my Bible, I discovered life-changing promises that He made to us.

These were probably all things that I had heard growing up; maybe I wasn’t listening or wasn’t mature enough to understand. That’s why I was inspired to write this column; I want to share the things I’ve learned on the off chance that there are other people on this campus who have had a similar experience.

If you’ve been to church, you have almost certainly heard of the Trinity; God takes three unique (but equal) forms in different places all at the same time. While the idea of God’s soul being split in three without losing a shred of His identity is absolutely impossible for us to fully understand, we can get some of the basics.

The Father is God in his heavenly body, the Son is God who brought salvation to earth in a human body, and the Holy Spirit is… something else.

I was never able to wrap my mind around the Holy Spirit growing up. When I searched the Bible, I found that He appeared several times in the Old Testament to empower individuals to lead Israel or speak out against injustice (Judges 3:10-14 1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Chron. 24:20).

Also, Jesus promised that when the apostles were prosecuted for their faith, the Holy Spirit would “teach them in that very hour what to say” (Luke 12:11-12). His most famous appearance was at Pentecost when the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit; fires appeared over their heads, and they could suddenly speak in tongues (Acts 2:1-5).

God comes as the Holy Spirit to fill us with strength, passion, and/or the right words to say when we are confronted about our faith. I thought that I had figured out who the Holy Spirit is; He comes and visits us either to call us to a task or when we need God most to give us strength and then leaves when the job is done.

That isn’t the whole story. John 1:33 completely changed my understanding of the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist baptizes with water, but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This sounds basic, but the baptisms that John the Baptist performed involved full immersion. John would bring a person out into the river and push their entire body underwater.

According to John 1:33, God instructed John the Baptist to baptize as a preparation and metaphor for what Jesus would do with the Holy Spirit. So, if the metaphor, baptism by water, was full immersion, then the actual baptism, the Holy Spirit, meant the same thing.

When a person believes in Christ, their body is immediately flooded with the Holy Spirit. Baptism by the Holy Spirit by Christ means being fully immersed in His presence. That’s why Jesus described the Spirit as “rivers of living water” (John 7:37-39). His Spirit cleanses, provides for, and sustains us forever.

When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, He never leaves. His presence is as constant as a river. He isn’t just reaching down from afar to keep a guiding hand on us; He is always here keeping us completely submerged in His presence.

If He is always here with us in our souls, then God is literally experiencing life alongside us. He feels every bit of triumph or grief that His believers do. He makes Himself totally inseparable from those who love Him.

God is not just concerned about humanity as a whole or Christianity as a concept; God is passionately invested in individual people. That fact completely blew me away. I am never alone. The Spirit of God is with me every second of my day regardless of what happens.

So the Father is God in his heavenly body, the Son is God who brought salvation to earth in a human body, and the Holy Spirit is God in the body of each Christian.

God is never absent from my life. No matter how lost I feel, I know that I can trust His promise that He is present.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”– Isaiah 41:10.