Please tell me if I’m to worship the Holy Spirit. What format should a person use in addressing Him?
Let’s answer your second question first! The Holy Spirit is a person and is addressed as such. He is not an “it.” There is a difference between saying, “It has power,” and, “He has power.” If the Holy Spirit is an “it” then our attitude might be, “How can get hold of it and use it? On the other hand, when we know He is a person, we are much more likely to say, “How can the Holy Spirit get hold of me and use me for His glory?
I would say that worshipping the Holy Spirit along with the Father and the Son is a great idea. In many ways, the Holy Spirit is the forgotten person of the Trinity. We talk a lot about God the Father and God the Son. On the other hand we hardly mention God the Holy Spirit. Since we baptize, “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20), we might best include all the three in our worship.
Let me share a quick overview of His ministry. We might say that God the Father is the architect of the creation (Psalm 19:1-2: “The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”)
Jesus the Son is the One who actually did the creating (John 1:3: “… through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that was made.”)
God the Holy Spirit is the One who oversees and interacts with the creation (John 14:16-17: “And I will ask the Father and He will give you another counselor and He will be with you forever. … But, you know Him, for He lives in you and will be in you.”)
Often, we say that Jesus lives in our hearts (or, in us), not recognizing that Jesus sits on a throne at the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit is actually the One who does the regenerating work which makes us spiritually alive (John 3:6: “… the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”)
Our dead human spirits are awakened to spiritual things by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12). He now ministers the grace, guidance, encouragement and power we need for victory in every situation of life—not Jesus. The Holy Spirit takes on these tasks (John 14:25-28: “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name … I am going away …if you loved me you would be glad that I am going away.”) While confined to earthly body Jesus could only be in one place at one time. Now, because the Father sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the Spirit is personally with all Christians all of the time.
I’ve had people ask me how the gospel writers could remember accurately the events surrounding Jesus’ life to write authentically. The answer lies within the scope of Holy Spirit’s ministry. He gave them total recall (John 14:26: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”) Notice that the Holy Spirit enables us to interpret and search out the spiritual truths of the Bible. He is qualified to tell us the meanings—after all, He wrote the Book.
As we live out our Christian lives the Spirit immerses us into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body —whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”) The Spirit is able to fill us with His life and power in proportion to how well we are submitting to the Spirit’s leadership. (Ephesians 5:18: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”)
In an age of hurt and discouragement the Holy Spirit ministers comfort and encouragement (John 14:25-26: “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name …”). Notice that Jesus actually gave a personal-descriptive-name to the Spirit. The word, Counselor,” in Greek, has many meanings—like comforter, encourager and companion.
The Biblical writers mention about fifteen-different-spiritual gifts. These include such gifts as prophecy (preaching), teaching, mercy, giving and evangelism (See 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4:11-13 for a more complete list.) The Spirit apportions them based on our Spirit-designed-personal ministries as well as which igifts are needed in the church (1 Corinthians 12:8: “To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit …”)
Finally, let me mention what is perhaps the most essential work of the Holy Spirit. His job is to convict people personally of why they, themselves need Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus described this work in John 16:8-11. I will give a word of interpretation to each verse.
John 16: 8: “When he [the Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment …” In the next three verses Jesus shed further light on the convicting work of the Spirit.
John 16:9: “… in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me ….” We are personally responsible for our sins. Jesus died to forgive our sins as we accept His justifying work on the cross. People who refuse to receive Christ are Hell bound because they have rejected Christ—God the Father has no other plan for eternal life See John 3:16-18.)
John 16:10 “… in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; …” When Jesus was in His earthly body, the standard of righteousness walked among men and women. His very presence allowed others to see how far they were from holiness. Since He ascended into Heaven, the standard of righteousness is gone. The Holy Spirit takes up the slack by testifying to every heart what righteousness is.
John 16:11: “… and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” Of course, the Holy Spirit is alive and well on planet earth. The Holy Spirit testifies in our inner beings, that since Satan will be judged for His sin, so those without Christ will one day be judged for their sins as well.
In summary, the Holy Spirit whispers that Jesus is the only hope for our salvation. We stand condemned before God unless we find forgiveness in the saving work of Christ.
By the way, these words from Jesus explain to us the meaning of “blaspheming the Holy Spirit.” I am often asked, “What is the unforgivable sin?” The only unforgivable sin is blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32: “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”)
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit is convicting someone of their sin and need for a Savior—and His testimony is rejected. In essence, those rejecting Jesus are calling the Holy Spirit a “liar.” This is the only sin that God the Father cannot forgive. Everything else is forgivable.
Well, Larry, thanks for asking such a far-reaching question. I hope my answer is both informative and helpful.