The Spirit Who Is Not a Ghost

Artwork for Growing Deep in the Christian Life: Returning to Our Roots

“I believe in the Holy Ghost….” These are familiar words to those who have ever attended a church where the Apostles’ Creed is recited during the service. Six words commonly heard yet seldom thought through. What, exactly, do they mean?

Do we believe the Spirit is a person? But the creed calls Him a ghost. Do we believe the Spirit is present today? But Jesus has left the earth; didn’t the Spirit leave with Him? And even if the Spirit is here today, how does His presence differ from that of the Father’s or the Son’s? Is there some distinction? In the final analysis, is the Spirit really that important? Would it be all that different if He and His influence were suddenly removed from earth? These questions (and more) are the ones that we must answer.