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HOLY SPIRIT The Holy Spirit (or Spirit of God) transforms and empowers God’s people.
God’s Spirit transforms His people to share His moral character and empowers them to fulfill His purposes. Scripture speaks of the human spirit, demonic spirits, and the Spirit of God. This article addresses the Spirit of God, which is active in creation and among God’s people. The more extensive New Testament passages regarding the Spirit develop earlier biblical themes.
God’s Spirit in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, God’s Spirit represents an active dimension of His character. Israel was learning to embrace monotheism over polytheism; thus, emphasizing the character and activity of the one true God was more important than distinguishing identities within God. In depicting God’s activity, it was natural to speak in terms of “Spirit” because of the term’s various connotations. The Hebrew term רוּחַ (ruach) can mean “wind,” and “breath”; it can also refer to the life principle of persons or animals. Some passages play on multiple senses.
The Spirit of the Trinity. Also: Advocate; Comforter; The Comforter; Counselor; God the Spirit; Helper; Holy Ghost; The Holy Spirit; Pentecost; Seven Spirits of God; Spirit; Spirit of Christ; Spirit of God; Spirit of grace; Spirit of the Lord; The Teacher