The Ghost of God is Personal

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

The Ghost In the Room: October’s Theme

The end of October has so much attention on ghosts, ghouls, witches, demons, devils and death. You already know that stuff, of course. You can’t escape it. We carve strange faces in round orange squashes and put lights or candles in them, either to show our own connection to the holiday of Halloween or just because it’s fun to make jack-o-lanterns.
According to, in a folk-tale myth, a man known as Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form.
Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”
The practice of decorating jack-o'-lanterns originated in Ireland and Scotland, 4 or 5 centuries ago, where large turnips, beets and potatoes served as early canvasses. People began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.
When the Irish, Scots and Brits immigrated to America, they brought the tradition with them, but found a these large orange squash we call pumpkins, with a large cavity where the seeds are in the center, and growing on top of the ground, were a little better than carving solid turnips and potatoes that grow in the dirt. Besides, now they could put a candle inside and have a real lantern.
That’s a tiny history of the carved pumpkin, but without all the meanings we might apply to it now.
But my theme is not pumpkins, or the sugar-overloaded holiday eve event where we send out our children to go ask for candy from strangers — well, in my day we did, anyway — even though for the rest of the year we might tell them to never accept candy from strangers.
My theme this month, which I am calling “The Ghost In the Room” is from the Bible’s teachings about the most important aspect of the presence of God that we experience within us, which is of course the Holy Ghost, as it is translated in King Henry VIII’s Great Bible of 1540 or King James’ sponsored English Bible of 1611.

All This Talk About a Ghost

works because of the translation of first a Hebrew word in the Old Testament, and a Greek word in the New Testament, washed through the language resources of Latin, West Germanic, and Old English vocabularies, until finally “Ghost” was used as the first English representative of the Old Testament’s ruach, and the New Testament’s pneuma.
Ruach in Hebrew means breath, and wind, and ghost or spirit. This is the same as we read in the creation story in Genesis.
In the New Testament, the Greek word pneuma you might recognize from the word “pneumatic” like a bicycle or car tire, or even the force used to eject a missile from a submarine. In that sense pneuma means “air” but it also means breath, and wind, and spirit.
When we say “Holy Ghost” we are talking about the Divine Wind, or Divine Breath or Divine Spirit, or Holy Spirit, to be clear, and that is the third person of the trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In the Beginning

The Ghost was there:
Genesis 1:1–2 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
The name of God in Genesis 1 is Elohim — that is the plural form of “El” which meant a god, so Elohim as the name of God is the one God who is more than One.
Listed here is God overall, or Father God, and in verse 2, the Breath of God, ruach, or the Spirit of God is brooding over the waters of the formless earth, planning the acts of creation.
And in John 1:1-3,
John 1:1–3 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
We read that Elohim or, in Greek, theos, is not only God and Breath, but is God and Word and Breath. Through the Word, which became flesh and lived among men as Jesus, the Son of God, is there, doing the work of creation.
Genesis 1:3 ESV
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Well, you can’t say a word without a breath to form it. So already in Genesis, The One God who exists in more than one, is God and Breath and Word — Father, Spirit, Son, “the holy three in one” which is how why we talk of the Trinity.
So we begin our teaching about the Holy Ghost with this reality:
The Ghost in the Room is the Holy Ghost, and. . .

The Ghost of God is Personal

by which I mean, the Holy Ghost is a Person of God, just the same as the Father is a Person of our One God, and the Son is a person of our one God, so also the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, is a Person of our One God.
Now lets see why it is important to us that the Ghost in the Room, the Holy Spirit of God, is Personal.
Each of us know that breath is important. That is because we don’t want to quit breathing. People like me even use a device when we sleep at night called a CPAP, which helps to be sure we don’t quit breathing too long when we are asleep.
We can’t breathe under water; we need air or breath in our lungs, or we die. That is how we get our oxygen. But I have a clue for you. Breathing will kill you, eventually. I mean, after all, if you breathe long enough, you are going to die from it, until finally you “give up the Ghost” and let your Spirit, your breath, your air, return to the God who gave it.
God gave us our breath, which is his own ruach, his own Spirit or Ghost to cause us to live:
Genesis 2:7 ESV
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Without the Ghost of God breathed into us, we would have no life, no spirit, no living.
We can say that our very breath is in us because the breath of God is in us. His ruach, his spirit deposited in us, because

The Holy Ghost is God

John 4:24 ESV
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The Holy Ghost is not a god but is God;

The Holy Ghost is Sent by God

John 14:16 ESV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
Just as Jesus was sent by God
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The Ghost of God is Life

Job 33:4 ESV
4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
John 6:63 ESV
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
1 Corinthians 15:45 ESV
45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Where Paul reflects on the difference between Adam, into whom God breathed his Spirit, and “the last Adam” who is Jesus Christ, became the Spirit that gives life.

The Spirit is LIfe

Romans 8:11 ESV
11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Where Sin is our Death, the Spirit is our Life

Romans 8:2 (ESV)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

The Ghost of God is Truth

John 14:17 ESV
17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
John 15:26 ESV
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

The Spirit of God Confesses the Son of God

1 John 5:6 ESV
6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

The Spirit is Under God’s Orders

John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

As the Son is Under God’s Orders

John 8:28 ESV
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
John 12:49 ESV
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.
John 14:10 ESV
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
John 14:31 ESV
31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

The Ghost of God is Our Teacher

John 14:26 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
1 Corinthians 2:13 ESV
13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

This Spirit of God is Given to Those Who Will Receive It

John 20:22 ESV
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
For as my Pastor from my young adult days, Pastor Alva Hudson, often taught: God is a gentleman. He won’t go where he isn’t wanted.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more