Should a Christian Worship the Holy Spirit?
by James Hunter
A funny thing happened in our most recent Twitter poll. For the two prior polls, 86 and 101 people responded. This last poll? Only 27. Why did only 27 people respond to a simple yes or no question? Well, it’s apparent that many didn’t know how to answer the question. So here’s the question: Do you worship the Holy Spirit? With this said, please allow me to shed some light on this topic.
Dispelling Bad Theology—
Since releasing this latest poll, I’ve personally asked several people I know whether or not we as Christians should worship the Holy Spirit. Most said, “I’m not sure.” But of the few who said “no”, they were quick to blurt out in the same breath, “We should only worship God!”
Well, while we certainly should worship God, this statement is incomplete in three ways:
First, the Holy Spirit is God. John Piper writes, “The person who indwells and leads and purifies is no one less than God, the Holy Spirit. The simple evidence for this is the frequent designation, "Spirit of God." The Spirit is "of God" not because God created Him, but because He shares God's nature and comes forth eternally from God (1 Corinthians 2:10–12). If the Son of God is equally eternal with the Father, as John 1:1–3 makes clear that He is, then so is the Holy Spirit equally eternal with them both, because, according to Romans 8:9–11, the Spirit of Christ is one and the same with the Spirit of God.”
Secondly, for those who take the “We should only worship God” position, I’m only speculating here, but perhaps what you might actually mean is, “We should only worship God the Father.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is also to be worshipped (Hebrews 1:6, Philippians 2:10-11, Hebrews 1:8). We would be in disobedience to the Bible—and to God the Father if we didn’t worship Jesus.
And third, it’s highly likely that you already worship the Holy Spirit. Yes, if you’ve ever sang, “Holy Spirit, You are welcome here,” my friend, that’s worship of the Holy Spirit. So if you’re still not convinced that we should worship the Holy Spirit, you might want to take this song (and dozens of other songs, psalms and hymns) out of your music playlist that glorify the Holy Spirit.
Where the Search for Truth Becomes Legalism—
If you’re anything like me (or Francis Chan or John Piper), you want to “See it in Scripture” before subscribing to a theology that’s new to you; which is the right approach. But with this said, let me use an analogy: In over twenty years of marriage, my wife has never told me to buy her a gift; not for her birthday, not for Christmas, our anniversary or Valentine’s Day. So, because she didn’t tell me to, should I not bring her a gift on any of these occasions? Of course, I should. It’s the right thing to do. On the other hand, if my wife were to demand (which she would never do) that I esteem and honor her on these or any other days with a gift, that wouldn’t be very humble of her. In the same way, it wouldn’t be very humble of the Holy Spirit—who wrote the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)—to glorify Himself by demanding that we worship Him. So, if you’re looking for a scripture that says, “Worship the Holy Spirit,” it’s not there. It would be narcissistic of Him to do so. We’re also not commanded to have annual holidays commemorating Jesus’ birth, resurrection, and a day set aside to give thanks, but it’s also the right thing to do.
The Book that Changed My Life—
Several years ago, a very sweet older woman in our church recommended a book to me: Good Morning, Holy Spirit, by Benny Hinn. Outside of the Bible itself, this book has changed my life more than any other book I’ve ever read. Here are a few quotes from it:
(p. 47) “You ask, ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’ I want you to know He is the most beautiful, most precious, loveliest Person on the earth. God the Son is not on the earth. God the Father is not on the earth. They are both in Heaven this very second. Who is on earth? God the Holy Spirit. For God the Father came to do His work through the Son who was resurrected. When God the Son departed, God the Holy Spirit came, and He is still here doing His work.”
(p. 48) “I thought at one time the Holy Spirit was like a vapor, something floating around that I could never really know. I learned that He is not only real, but that He has a personality.”
(p. 48) “The Holy Spirit is a person. And just like you, He can feel, perceive and respond. He gets hurt. He has the ability to love and the ability to hate. He speaks, and He has His own will. But exactly who is He? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God the Father and the Spirit of God the Son. He is the power of the Godhead—the power of the Trinity.”
(p. 133) Had the Holy Spirit not been with Jesus, He may have likely sinned. That’s right. It was the Holy Spirit who was the power that kept Him pure. (Jesus) was not only sent from Heaven, but He was called the Son of man—and as such He was capable of sinning. The fact that He did not does not mean that He could not. If you believe that Jesus was not able to sin, then why would satan waste his time tempting Him? The devil knew what he was doing. Without the Holy Spirit Jesus may have never made it.”
(p. 134) “The Spirit deserves our worship. We should put into practice what we have been singing about for generations: ‘Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.’”
Important Facts to Know about the Holy Spirit—
The Holy Spirit is a Living Being—a “He” and not an “it”. Contrary to the ideas of some cults (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc.), the Holy Spirit is a personality. He is referred to in personal terms (John 15:26; 16:7-8, 13-14). He acts as a person would act; He speaks (1 Timothy 4:1), He loves (Romans 15:30), He teaches (John 14:26), He intercedes (Romans 8:26), etc.
The Holy Spirit is Deity. The Holy Spirit possesses the nature of deity (he is neither angelic nor human in essence). He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14). Unlike man, satan and angels, He is everywhere present (Psalm 139:7-10). The Spirit is omniscient, i.e., he knows “all things,” yes, the “deep things” of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). He taught the apostles “all things” (John 14:26; 16:12-13). He was involved in the creation process (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30).
Final Thoughts to Consider About the Holy Spirit—
The Holy Spirit was Here from the Beginning (Genesis 1:2).
The Holy Spirit was Involved in the Creation Process. (Genesis 1).
The Holy Spirit is the Father of Jesus. (Luke 1:35).
The Holy Spirit Raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 8:11).
The Bible was Written by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Holy Spirit is Crucial to Our Salvation (John 3:6).
The Holy Spirit Points to Jesus (John 15:26).
In closing, if you’re still unsure whether or not you should worship the Holy Spirit, ask Him. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will “Guide you into all Truth” (John 16:13).