The Holy Spirit – Person or Force?

By Chip Ingram

“Remember, the Force will be with you… always.”


For those of you who may not remember, this popular quote is from the movie Star Wars. Its creator, George Lucas, went on to produce several more of these creative and exciting movies, which have also promoted the religion of Zen Buddhism for the past thirty years.

So I find it interesting that if I asked the average Christian how they think about the Holy Spirit, most of them would say they think of the Holy Spirit much like the “Force” in Star Wars. They believe that the Holy Spirit is some sort of neutral, invisible spiritual power or energy somehow working in the world, or as a force that did something a long time ago. But the Holy Spirit is so much more than this.

So what or who is the Holy Spirit really? And what is the Holy Spirit’s role in the believer’s life?

First, the Holy Spirit is not a “force” or energy or an “it,” but He’s a person. How do we know? The Bible gives us a clear picture of who He is:

  • He’s intelligent and has an intellect. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 says, “No one knows the mind of God except the Spirit of God who searches all things.”
  • He has feelings. Just like when someone does something that causes us sadness and grief, so we also produce a similar emotional response in the Holy Spirit when we hurt others or reject Him. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)
  • He has a will. In 1 Cor. 12:11, the Apostle Paul describes the Holy Spirit as someone who wills, or determines, how He distributes certain spiritual gifts to the church.

Second, the Holy Spirit has the attributes of God. He is all-powerful, all present, and all-knowing. He has the very mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2).

And third, He is truth. The Holy Spirit is God because He is co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. (1 John 5) In I Corinthians 3:17 the word “Lord” is used to reference Yahweh. It says, “The Lord is the Spirit.” So the Holy Spirit is a person and He is God.

But here’s the most amazing part of all of this: The Father and Son in the person of the Holy Spirit dwells inside of every believer. The moment we confess our sin and ask Jesus to come into our lives, we are born again, become members of God’s family, and the Spirit immediately takes up residence inside of our bodies. We become a living, walking, breathing temple and the Spirit of God dwells inside of us. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Cor. 6:19)

So what does this mean to us as believers?

It means we have 24/7 unlimited access to the Father and Jesus. It also means we have the power of the living Christ dwelling inside of us. If we need comforting, the counselor of all counselors longs to comfort us in ways that are beyond any person, or any book, or counselor could ever do. If we need wisdom or strength, guess what? He longs to give it to us when we ask.

Living like a Christian doesn’t have to be difficult. The point of the Christian life is not about us following all the rules or trying hard to “be good.” Our life as Christians is about abiding – living – in Christ and the natural by-product of this is a life that worships God. We don’t worship Him through performance. We worship Him by naturally becoming more and more like Jesus. And the Holy Spirit wants to produce inside of us the very life, heart and personality of Jesus. We just have to give Him our hearts.

This week, we’re starting the series, The Holy Spirit: Experiencing His Power and Presence 24/7. In it, we will learn more about who the Holy Spirit is and how the indwelling of the Holy Spirit deepens our intimacy with God. It’s my prayer that through this series we’ll experience a whole new way of empowered living that reveals and activates our unique spiritual gifts in ways we never imagined possible.

Keep Pressin’ Ahead,

Chip signature blue png image
Chip Ingram
Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

More Articles by Chip

Like what you're reading?

Get free sermon MP3s, devotionals, blog content and more. Join our email list.