6 Symbols and representations of the Holy Spirit in the Bible

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For better understanding of the holyghost, the bible uses signs and object and on these post are 6 symbols and representation of the holy spirit I the bible.

God is aware of our human side, of the fact that in order to make us understand certain spiritual things, we must go through the physical elements, there are certain representations in the Bible to better explain to us what is spiritual.

In this same perspective, so that we can better understand the nature and action of the Holy Spirit, the Bible uses symbols that are well suited to our current condition. 


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6 Symbols and representations of the Holy Spirit in the Bible

When we go through the Bible, we see that the Holy Spirit is represented in different ways, some of which are:

1. The dove.

It is in this form that the Holy Spirit materialized during the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The Bible says in Luke 3:16 KJV,  “And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily forms, like a dove…”

Why does the Bible use this image? No doubt to remind us that, like the dove, the Holy Spirit is not only an irresistible power, but He is also characterized by gentleness, tenderness, and purity. He is also a Spirit of love, grace, consolation, and innocence.

2. The breath of the wind.

This symbol comes directly from the meaning of the word “Spirit” in the original biblical languages:

  • in Hebrew,  ruah  designates both breath (breath) and wind (moving air);
  • in Greek,  pneuma also designates both wind and respiration.

The immateriality of the Holy Spirit naturally led to the use of these terms to designate Him and to designate the spirit of man. 

In reading the story of creation, according to Genesis 2: 7, God imparts to Adam a breath of life, as He will later give the new man the breath of the Spirit. 

And in Job 32:8 KJV, the Bible says: “but in reality, in man, it is the Spirit, the breath of the Almighty, which gives understanding”; and in  Job 33:4 KJV“The Spirit of God created me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life”.

Symbolizing the Spirit as breath or wind emphasizes the impetuous, invisible, and unpredictable action of the Holy Spirit; it also shows that this action is sovereign and infinitely above man.

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 If the Spirit is called the breath of the Almighty, it is because He is His direct emanation, His very presence manifested. The wind is often accompanied by the Old Testament divine manifestations.

It is indeed God, the Holy Spirit, who descends to make His personal abode in believers. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is so free, powerful, active, and cannot be locked up in our little patterns as the wind cannot be locked up in a box.


3. Water

Without water, all life is impossible. Our need for water is so vital that a normal human being cannot survive total water deprivation. 

We then understand why the Lord used the image of water to illustrate the action of the Holy Spirit who gives life and maintains it. Jesus said, “ …He who believes in Me, rivers of living water will flow from his bosom, as the Scripture says. He says this of the Spirit which those who believed in Him were to receive… ” ( John 7:38-39 KJV ). 

The Lord also declares to the Samaritan woman, certainly speaking of the Spirit who comes to dwell in the believer: “… the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life ” ( John 4: 14). And here is another text from Isaiah: “ I will pour water on the thirsty ground and streams on the dry land; I will pour out My Spirit on your race …” ( Isaiah 44:3 KJV ).

This symbol is easy to understand. Like living water, the presence of the Holy Spirit refreshes and quenches thirst; it makes life appear where desolation and death reigned; it brings fullness and abundance and pours it all around in streams of blessings.

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4. Fire

Fire, according to the constant usage of Scripture, seems to us to allude not to the power of the Holy Spirit, but to His purifying action, which judges and consumes all impurity. 

The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and judgment, and He burns up in us all that is not in conformity with the will of God.

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Twice John the Baptist, speaking of Jesus, said, “ He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He has His van in his hand; He will cleanse His floor, and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn the chaff with an unquenchable fire ” ( Matthew 3:11-12 and Luke 3:16-17 ).

Notice that the two passages quoted above, where Matthew and Luke report the words of John the Baptist: “ He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire ” are immediately followed by a very clear allusion to the fire of eternal judgment. 

On the other hand, when Mark (1: 8) and John (1: 33) speak in the same terms of the baptism of the Spirit, not having mentioned fire, they do not allude to judgment either. Compare to this the very words of Jesus about Gehenna: ” Everyone will be salted with fire ” ( Mark 9: 49 ), and those of Paul: ” The fire will try every man’s work… he loses his reward, he will be saved as through fire ” ( 1 Corinthians 3:13-15). 

The sincere believer will see sin judged and consumed in him by the Holy Spirit, who regenerates and sanctifies him; his work will be judged on the last day, and every imperfection burned up with fire. On the other hand, whoever refuses to allow himself to be saved and purified will be thrown into eternal fire.

So if we asked to be “baptized with fire,” that would be asking God to burn away the sin in us.

5. The seal

Among the Jews, the seal marked the end of a transaction. When the agreement was made, the deed passed and the price paid, the seal was affixed to the contract to make it final ( Jeremiah: 32: 9-10 ).

When we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption ( Ephesians 1:13; 4:30 ). The Holy Spirit thus becomes upon us the divine imprint, the mark of God’s property. He imparts to us the assurance that we are saved and set apart for the day when, in glory, our redemption shall be perfected. 

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If the Spirit is compared to a seal, it is precisely to indicate that his dwelling in us is definitive, this seal signals an act accomplished once and for all and the Holy Spirit in us guarantees that we belong to God for the rest of us. ‘eternity. 

The bond between Christ and us is firm ( 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). What assurance does this symbol provide regarding our salvation? Like the seal, the Holy Spirit marks a property, gives security, and assures protection.

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6. The pledge and the deposit.

During a transaction, it was (and still is often) customary to pay a deposit. This is a sum irretrievably acquired by the owner, in advance enjoyment of full ownership. Paul in Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV:  “You believed and were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is a pledge of our inheritance” and in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 KJV: “He who strengthen us with you in Christ, and who has anointed us is God, who has also sealed us and placed in our hearts the down payment of the Spirit. uses these two images to make us understand that the present gift of the Holy Spirit is the solemn guarantee and in a way the first installment of our final salvation.

If we have received the Spirit, we can lean on a wonderful certainty right now, and rejoice in the thought of when we will indeed be filled with all the fullness of God. 

In our present condition, we do not yet enjoy all that will be our eternal share in heaven, but we already have an anticipation of it through the Spirit of God in our hearts.

In conclusion, let us thank God for having made us better understand through such symbols, several precious truths about His Spirit, and let us strive to realize them by faith.