Today, when people say ghost, they generally think of a fun cartoon character, a costume made out of a sheet, or some creepy apparition of a dead person from their favorite movie. Christians on the other hand have an entirely different view of ghosts.
Do Christians believe in ghosts? No, Christians do not believe in ghosts or apparitions of dead people. Christians do believe in spiritual beings and the reality of the spiritual realm, but they do not believe that those spirits are ghosts.
Learning about what the Bible says about ghosts can get confusing, especially when our culture has warped our view on what a ghost looks like and does.
Christians believe in the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit, the third part of the trinity.
Chrisitans Believe In The Holy Ghost
Some versions of the Bible refer to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Ghost, but Spirit is a more accurate way of describing him. But, how can Christians believe in him if they don’t know who he is?
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is not a wispy white cloud or a bedsheet with two eye holes cut out, he is the third person of the trinity and God’s Spirit. The trinity is made up of God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit, and 2 Corinthians affirms that there are three persons that make up the triune God.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV
Jesus even told his disciples to make disciples and baptize them by all three persons of the trinity.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy SpiritMatthew 28:19 ESV
It’s kind of confusing to grasp that God is one God with three persons in the one, but the Holy Spirit is one of them, not a ghost.
What Does The Holy Spirit Do?
The Holy Spirit doesn’t scare or haunt people as a ghost would, but he does live in us as believers, not controlling us, but empowering us. He also convicts the world of sin and righteousness in order to lead people to repentance.
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:John 16:8 ESV
The Holy Spirit’s job is to be our helper, lead us into a relationship with Jesus, and fill us with the fruit of God’s Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-controlGalatians 5:22 ESV
These things don’t sound like things a ghost would do because the Holy Ghost is not a ghost at all, he is God’s Spirit.
What The Bible Says About Ghosts
The Bible doesn’t mention ghosts much, but when it does it makes it clear that ghosts aren’t real, however, spirits and resurrected human bodies are.
There’s no reason for Christians to believe in ghosts, but there is reason to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that he is much more powerful than any ghost or spirit that could ever exist.
Jesus Was Not A Ghost When He Rose From The Dead
After Jesus lived his life as a human, was crucified and died for our sins, he rose on the third day in order to save us for an eternity with him.
That’s incredible, but when he rose and appeared to the disciples, they couldn’t believe it and thought Jesus was a ghost.
But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. ‘Why are you troubled?’ he asked them. ‘And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.‘Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet.Luke 24:37-40 CSB
Jesus wasn’t some white, wispy ghost, He was a whole, glorified body standing before them, with his scars from his crucifixion still visible.
Another passage talks about Thomas putting his fingers in Jesus’ side and in his scars, now you can’t do that with a ghost.
Jesus’s whole point of dying and rising from the dead was to conquer death, so if he did that would he have really been a ghost since ghosts are visions of dead people?
Jesus rose with a glorified, resurrected body. One day, we will be alive after death too if we believe in Him. We will not turn into ghosts after death.
Life After Death
Christians don’t believe that we turn into ghosts, or even angels, once we get to heaven. We will be transformed and receive glorified bodies just like Jesus.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.Philippians 3:20-21 ESV
From this verse, we can look forward to not becoming ghosts after death, but becoming glorious like Jesus so that we can enjoy life with him for eternity.
The Spiritual Realm
Christians do not believe in ghosts, but do believe in something much more serious, the spiritual realm.
The Bible tells us that there is a real battle going on that we cannot see, one where Satan and his demons are fighting over the earth and trying to kill, steal, and destroy people’s lives. Nevertheless, we know the good news that Jesus has taken back authority over the earth through his resurrection and he has all power over evil.
Jesus chooses to use us, our prayers, and our spiritual gifts to take back this spiritual land in order to save everyone who will turn to him.
One day, Jesus will come back and put an end to evil once and for all. But for now, as Christians, we are called to test the spirits with God’s word and make sure the only ghost we’re listening to is the Holy Ghost.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4:1 ESV
Satan and evil have been defeated and will be completely defeated again, but for now, we can fight not against ghosts, but against the spiritual forces of evil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12 ESV
If you are experiencing spiritual warfare, you can read Ephesians 6:10-20 in the Bible to help you know that you are completely protected by God.
You can also read our other blogs about spiritual warfare and why ghosts don’t matter but spiritual warfare does:
- What Ephesians 6:10-20 Says About Spiritual Warfare
- How To Fight Spiritual Warfare: The Biblical Guide
- Spiritual Warfare: Definition, Viewpoints, and Why it Matters
Christians Beleive In The Holy Spirit And In Jesus’ Power Over Death
Christians don’t believe in ghosts, but they do believe in the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and the spiritual realm. And as Christians, you and I get to have a relationship with Jesus and his Holy Spirit, and they are more powerful than any other spirit we may encounter.
Jesus will one day come back and abolish Satan and all evil once and for all. We have no reason to fear the spiritual realm.