3.5.2 The Holy Spirit as a power–the gift of the Holy Spirit

Like the Hebrew ruach and the Latin spiritus, the Greek term pneuma which is usually translated as "spirit", can also mean "wind, breath, or life-spirit", among other things. In Genesis 2: 7 we read of the Spirit as the divine breath of life. The Holy Spirit brings about life itself and is shown to be the divine power of life.


In the course of salvation history, the Spirit of God manifests Himself as the power which takes hold of human beings and enables them to become instruments of God. This power can influence, fill, and even renew a human being (Titus 3: 5).


Jesus Christ acted in the power of the Spirit and "the power of the Lord was present" in Him (Luke 4: 14; 5: 17). Shortly before His ascension into heaven, the Risen One promised His Apostles: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1: 8).


After his sermon on Pentecost, Apostle Peter promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who allowed themselves to be baptised (Acts 2: 38).


God bestows this gift through the laying on of hands and prayer of an Apostle, as exemplified by the occurrence in Samaria (Acts 8: 14-17). The believer is filled with Holy Spirit and, at the same time, with the love of God (Romans 5: 5).


It is important to differentiate between the Holy Spirit as a gift of God and the Holy Spirit as a person of the Godhead. The gift of the Holy Spirit is imparted by God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.