Power has come! Holy Spirit now indwells humanity as we surrender to Christ. Holy Spirit works in and through us by his power. As we explore a few truths of Holy Spirit, my desire is that your knowledge of these truths will help you to understand the creative power of Holy Spirit so that you can fulfill the calling God has placed upon you.
Jesus said, “I go away to Him who sent Me . . . I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you (John 16:5–7 NKJV).
You may have noticed I refer to that Helper Jesus talked about as “Holy Spirit” instead of the possibly more common use, “the Holy Spirit.” It is my preference to call him Holy Spirit; after all, Holy Spirit is a person, and it is not a common practice to add “the” in front of a person’s name. For example, most people would not say, “The Todd Bagley wrote this article,” but simply, “Todd Bagley wrote this article.” I say Holy Spirit to indicate he is a person, specifically the third person of the Trinity.
And Holy Spirit acts within the Godhead in specific ways. Let me share with you three biblical elements that show Holy Spirit is the agent of creativity and creation.
HOLY SPIRIT—AGENT OF CREATION
Let us start at the beginning. We are told that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1, 2 NKJV).
The Hebrew word translated as “Spirit” here is ruach, which also can mean “breath.” The ruach Elohim, “the Breath of Almighty God,” is the agent in creation. It is not the immaterial aspects of the Spirit that are the perspective here, but instead his power and energy. The image we see is of God’s energy breathing out creation, speaking the worlds into existence, putting the stars into space.
When we read Isaiah 40:26 (NKJV), “Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.” The “who” referred to here is found in Genesis 1:2; the Spirit is the unrestrained power by which God accomplishes his purpose—HIS BREATH! When we read Genesis 1, it is not difficult to see that we have in the second verse a clear and distinct reference to the third person of the Trinity—Holy Spirit.
HOLY SPIRIT—AGENT OF NEW CREATION IN CHRIST
The Holy Spirit is the agent not only of creation, but also of God’s new creation in Christ. He is the initiator of the creation of new birth. He is the one that convicts of sin. He is the one that draws to salvation. He is the agent of this new life.
In Jesus’ classic encounter with Nicodemus, Jesus said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5 NKJV). This truth of being born of the Spirit is worked out in the rest of Scriptures as we see Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the early church and beyond.
HOLY SPIRIT—AUTHOR OF SCRIPTURES
Finally, Holy Spirit is the author of the Scriptures. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Inspiration is another breath word; to inspire literally means “to breathe into.” Another translation says, “All Scripture is BREATHED OUT by God.” The Greek word behind this phrase is theopneustos, which literally means “God-breathed.” At creation, we have Holy Spirit breathing his energy, releasing the power of God in the act of creation. We have the same thing in the act of redemption, and we see it again in the divine act of giving to us the Scriptures themselves. Inspiration is entirely related to the work of Holy Spirit.
Peter affirms this understanding when he writes, “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21 NKJV). The writers of the books of the Bible were not inventing things on their own. Neither were they machines generating a result. They were real people in real historical times with real DNA writing according to their historical settings and their personalities.
But the authorship of Scripture was not theirs alone. It was dual. For instance, it was both Jeremiah and God because Jeremiah was picked up and carried along. Indeed, in Jeremiah’s case, God said, “I have put My words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9 NKJV). God did so without violating Jeremiah’s distinct personality, and Jeremiah then wrote the very Word of God. We study the Bible because it exists as a result of the out-breathing of Holy Spirit, a person distinct and inseparable as part of the perichoresis, the Trinity.
Holy Spirit’s identity is as “another Helper.” Jesus promised a Helper of the same kind rather than of a different kind. Holy Spirit is the parakletos, the one who comes alongside. Jesus said that Spirit would “abide with you forever . . . He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16, 17 NKJV). His ministry is both permanent and personal. The Holy Spirit came, not just in power, though there was great power at work, but he came in person.
He came not to overpower us, but to empower us.
He came not to capture us, but to free us.
He came not to restrict us, but to lead us into all truth.
He came not to dictate us, but to transform us.
Allow Holy Spirit to breathe in you and through you.
Bishop Todd Bagley
Finance and Administration Executive Assistant
Todd Bagley is the executive administrative assistant for the Finance and Administration department at the International Offices. Both he and his wife, LaJuanna Queener Bagley, grew up in ministry families and are former missionaries to Germany. They have two children, Emilei and Ethan.
As published in the May 2023 issue of the White Wing Messenger.