When I was a child, I used to hear our pastor talk about the "Holy Ghost," but now our church never uses that term. Does "Holy Ghost" mean the same thing as the Holy Spirit? — Mrs. C.N.
Yes, the terms "Holy Ghost" and "Holy Spirit" are identical; the "Holy Ghost" is simply an older way of speaking of the Holy Spirit.
The reason the term "Holy Ghost" isn't as common as it once was is because our English language has changed over the years. The word "ghost" is a good example of this. Today it means something different to most people than it did several centuries ago. Then, the word "ghost" simply meant "spirit," but today most people think only of haunted houses or Halloween when they hear the word "ghost." For this reason, almost all modern translations of the Bible use "Holy Spirit" instead of "Holy Ghost," to avoid any misunderstanding.
The important thing, however, is to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what He wants to do in our lives. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is God Himself, and when we come to Christ, God comes to live within us by His Spirit. One reason He does this is to give us the power to live the way we should.
In fact, we can't even come to God unless His Spirit first convicts us of our sin and draws us to Christ. Jesus said, "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8). Have you responded to God's call by repenting of your sins and opening your heart to Christ? If not, do so today.