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How Does the Bible Describe the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is God’s power in action, His active force (Micah 3: 8; Luke 1:35). God sends His Spirit, which means that He directs His energy in order to accomplish His will (Psalm 104: 30; 139: 7).


In the Bible, the word “spirit” is used to translate the Hebrew ruach and the Greek pneuma. Most often, these words refer to God’s active force, which is the holy spirit (Genesis 1:2) However, the Bible uses them with other meanings:

  • Breath (Habakkuk 2:19; Revelation 13:15);
  • Wind (Genesis 8: 1; John 3: 8);
  • The vital force that animates living beings (Job 34:14, 15);
  • The disposition or attitude of a person (Numbers 14:24);
  • Spiritual beings, which include angels and God (1 Kings 22:21; John 4:24).

All these meanings convey the idea of something invisible to the human eye that produces visible effects.

The Bible refers to God’s holy spirit calling Him, among other things, the “hands” or “fingers” (Psalm 8: 3; 19: 1; Luke 11:20) Just as a craftsman uses his hands to perform his work, God uses His spirit to carry out works such as:

  • The Universe (Psalm 33: 6; Isaiah 66:1, 2);
  • The Bible (2 Peter 1:20, 21);
  • The beautiful qualities manifested by those who obey Him (Galatians 5:22, 23).

Referring to the spirit of God by terms such as “hands”, “breath”, or “fingers”, the Bible shows that the holy spirit is not a person (Exodus 15: 8, 10)

The hands of a craftsman cannot act independently of his mind and body. Similarly, God’s holy spirit operates only as He directs Him: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)

Moreover, the Bible compares God’s spirit to water and associates It with such things as faith and knowledge. All these comparisons highlight the impersonal nature of the holy spirit (Isaiah 44: 3; Acts 6: 5; 2 Corinthians 6: 6).

Until then,

Never lose faith. Godspeed.
Nathan Shepard

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