Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled…
God is the great Giver. None in all creation has ever given the way God gives. God gave himself to us in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. And because of the deep mystery of the triune Godhead, we can say that there was a two-fold giving in the incarnation of Jesus. Not only did God give himself – which is extraordinary enough – but in an act of incomprehensible generosity, the Father gave the Son for the sake of sinners. And God continues to give.
Not only did the Father send the Son to die for sinners but the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within his people.
The Hebrew (Old Testament) word for “spirit” is ruach. In Greek (New Testament) the word is pneuma. The Old Testament uses ruach about ninety times. In the New Testament, pneuma is used more than 250 times. Both words refer variously to wind or breath. The general idea however is the same: ruach and pneuma express movement, life, and power. Like the Son, the Holy Spirit is not a mode, emanation, or mere revelation of God. The Holy Spirit is God. He is God, present with his people. In the Person of the Holy Spirit, God convicts the world of sin. He gives new life to his people and fills them with power to overcome sin and walk in faithfulness.
While the Holy Spirit is more “visible” in the New Testament, he makes his first appearance in the first section of the Bible. The Holy Spirit was present at creation, hovering over the face of the waters, working both to order and complete all that the Father had purposed and planned (Genesis 1:2). The Holy Spirit was present and moving during the exodus (Isaiah 64:7–14). He gifted God’s people for service, equipping Bezalel and Oholiab with both artistic excellence and power to reshape a type of heaven on earth (Exodus 35:30-35). In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is frequently portrayed as rested on individuals like Balaam, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, and Azariah for special acts of speaking or acting (Numbers 24:2; Judges 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14; 2 Chronicles 15:1). The Holy Spirit also rested on some people for a time and then departed, as Saul experienced (1 Samuel 16:14) and David feared (Psalm 51:11).
While the Old Testament repeatedly offers glimpses of both the Son and the Holy Spirit, it is in the New Testament where the veil is fully lifted and the implications of God’s glorious triune nature are revealed. The Holy Spirit is the promised Helper come to fill, guide, gift, empower, sanctify, and comfort the church of Jesus Christ.
In giving us the Holy Spirit, his own lovely presence, God gives us the assurance of His love. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:5). The love that God has for us was demonstrated in that while we were his enemies Christ died for us. Who, then, shall separate us from the love of Christ? The seal of love is on His heart of grace and His arm of power, love that is stronger than death (Song of Songs 8:6).