What is the Holy Spirit?
The Bible tells that there is one God with three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each of these three Persons has his own mission. The Father created the world and sustains it. The Son is born into human flesh and saves the world from its sin. The Holy Spirit awakens and builds faith in a human heart. Therefore we should actually ask: ”Who is the Holy Spirit?”, because the Holy Spirit is the third person of God, not some impersonal power.
The Holy Spirit works among people by awakening and strengthening a persons’ faith in Jesus. He works through the means of grace: the Word of God, Baptism, the Holy Communion and the Confession of sins and Absolution. These are the tools of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus called the Holy Spirit ”the Spirit of Truth” and ”the Defender”. As the Spirit of Truth the Holy Spirit led the writers of the Bible to write according to God’s will, and to us He gives understanding when we read the Bible. As the defender He confirms to our hearts that God is merciful to us through Jesus Christ even though we have fallen and deserved punishment.
In believers the Holy Spirit produces a life that is in accordance with God’s will. He also gives spiritual gifts to upbuild the congregation.
But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
(John 15:26, ESV)