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How can a Christian not believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit?

Experiencing the Holy Spirit

I have observed recently that the least known person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. The lack of knowledge of the Holy Spirit could also be responsible for the lack of revival in the churches globally.

In 2009 Barna Group carried out a study that found most Christians in America do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living entity. I also read a report this month in The Christian Post by Leonardo Blair about an Arizona Christian University study which showed that while a majority of America’s self-identified Christians believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and is the Creator of the universe, more than half reject a number of biblical teachings and principles, including the existence of the Holy Spirit.

It is not only in America that Christians are skeptical about the existence of the Holy Spirit; sadly, it is a global phenomenon. A critical look at this will surely expose that there is a fundamental error in our belief system. Is it really possible to believe in the Scriptures without believing in the author? Can we really believe that Jesus came in the flesh and died to save us from sin without believing in the divine person who miraculously brought about His incarnation?

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is all-encompassing and too precious to be neglected by Christians. He is the author of Scripture, the illuminator, and the applicator. He is the executive arm of the Trinity and activated the creation of the world by brooding on the surface of the water in Genesis 1:2.  Adam would not have been a living soul if not for the Holy Spirit (Genesis 2:7). In the Old Testament, He worked as the Spirit of God.

Jesus survived the temptation of the devil because He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and could not perform any miracle until after He was anointed by the Holy Spirit on the day of His baptism (Mathew 4:1). He affirmed that the Holy Spirit was the one who anointed Him (Luke 4:18). Jesus in His earthly ministry did all that He did by the power of the Holy Spirit.  All His miracles were by the Holy Spirit. Even when He was not ready to go down the road of Calvary, he received strength through the Holy Spirit. He was able to offer Himself for the remission of sin through the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14).

It is also important to note that without the Holy Spirit the mortal body of Christ would have remained in the grave (Romans 8:11). If the Holy Spirit helped Jesus to accomplish His earthly assignment and we are Christ's followers, why do we doubt His existence?

We live in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit and if there is any person of the Trinity that we are supposed to know empirically, it is the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He assured His disciples that He was going to send them a comforter (John 16:7-8). On the day of Pentecost, His promise was fulfilled, and the disciples were empowered to spread the Gospel to those who have not heard about Jesus. Ignorant men became spiritual Giants through the impartation of the Holy Spirit.

It is appalling that the Holy Spirit does tremendous works in our lives, but we do not know Him, and neither do we recognize His works.  Ignorance is the greatest challenge in Christianity.  How could anyone come to Christ without the convincing and converting power of the Holy Spirit?  In the salvation of humanity, God the Father developed the concept, God the son paid the price for our redemption, and God the Holy Spirit convicts and converts us. It is an error to recognize God the Father and the son and discard the Holy Spirit who is the one in charge in this present dispensation.

In the early church, the Holy Spirit was the administrator of the Church, and nothing was done by the church leaders without His approval. When the church in Jerusalem wanted to write a letter to the church in Antioch, they recognized the Holy Spirit as the invisible overseer of the church: "It pleased the Holy Spirit and us to ask you to do nothing more than these things that have to be done” (Acts 15:28). They could not have written the letter if it did not please the Holy Spirit.

If our present-day churches have recognized the Holy Spirit as the way the early Church recognized Him, there would never have arisen any singular doubt about the existence of the Holy Spirit. In the church in Antioch, He spoke and sent Paul and Barnabas unto the work that He has called them (Acts 13:1-2).

I strongly believe that He is speaking in our churches today, but we are too busy with so many activities that we have refused to hear Him and have pushed Him into a state of oblivion. This negligence is responsible for doubts about the existence of the Holy Spirit. We need to repent and make the study of the Holy Spirit compulsory in our churches because there is no Christianity without Him.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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