Explaining who the Holy Spirit is and what the Holy Spirit does can be tricky. Adults often don't fully understand, so how do we explain this to our children. in this post we've created a list of helpful concepts and videos that you can use, to help your children [and you!] to understand.
Here's a short list of facts about the Holy Spirit that we will be teaching this spring in our children's ministry. This list isn't everything that can be known about the Holy Spirit obviously, but it's a good starting point and covers the main things we'll be teaching.
1. The Holy Spirit is God. This is the most tricky of the things that are true and need to be communicated. As Christians we believe what the Bible teaches about God - that there is only one God that we worship [Exodus 20:1-2]. However, the complicated thing is that God exists in three distinct persons - God the Father, God the Son [Jesus] and God the Holy Spirit. God is one and yet three at the same time. This is called the Trinity.
2. The Holy Spirit gave power to the disciples and still gives power to Christians today in order to make the Gospel known and therefore to glorify God. Just before he returned to be with God the Father, Jesus said: "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." [Acts 1:8]
3. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, which we read in Acts 2. This is sort of true. The better way to say this is that before the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 the Holy Spirit worked through the lives of a few people at different times for different reasons to advance God's plan on earth. After the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit now works in and through all followers of Jesus.
4. The Holy Sprit identifies who belongs to Jesus. Thing of the way you put your name in a book that belongs to you or the way that we write names on our kids clothes. We do this to make sure that if those things are lost that they make their way back to us. In a similar way, God marks us by placing his Spirit in us. When we become Christians we are marked as belonging to Jesus by the presence of the Holy Spirit in is. This means, then, that people around us should see a significant difference in our lives as we live according to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus. The Bible speaks of this identifying mark in Ephesians 1:13 - "when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit." We taught this in The Orchard using a clip from the movie Toy Story. Read more here.
5. The Holy Spirit gives us the Fruit of the Spirit. Not apples of oranges, but character traits. The idea is that on our own we have character traits [fruit] which are the result of the sin in us. However, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in us produces character traits [fruit] which are in keeping with who God is. These not only make us a better person in terms of our character, they give evidence to the presence of God in our lives and bring glory to Jesus by pointing others to him.
Continue to pray for the children as we teach about the Holy Sprit's personhood, power and presence in their lives. We will continue to pray for you as you this at home!
To learn more about the Holy Spirit, here are a variety of passages from the Bible which will increase your knowledge and understanding: Deut 6:4; Exodus 15:11; 1 John 4:16; Matt. 28:19; John 14:26; Eph. 2:18; Matt. 11:27; Luke 1:35; Philippians 2:5-11; Gen. 1:2; John 16:8-15; Gal. 5:22,23; 1 Cor. 12:7. You can also visit the Beliefs page of our church website to learn more about what we believe.