The Holy Spirit


Is the Holy Spirit the impersonal force that God uses? 

  • No.  The Holy Spirit is very much personal. (John 14:26; Acts 8:29; Romans 8:26)

Who, then, is the Holy Spirit? 

  • The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead.

Does that mean there are three Gods?

  • No.  The Holy Spirit is the third Person, NOT the third God.
  • There is only one true God.  That one God, however, is three Persons — God the Father; God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
  • With respect to the Godhead, God the Spirit is distinct from God the Father and God the Son … BUT He is not separate from either.

What is meant by “distinct, but not separate”?

  • It means being different without being the exact same.
  • It means that although God is one Being, of one essence, the Holy Spirit has a different personality from the Father and the Son.
  • One analogy that helps me is to think of the Sun as having energy, heat and light.  The Sun could not be a sun and not have light and heat and energy … but the light of the Sun is not the same as the heat of the sun.  The light is distinct from the heat, but it cannot be separated from it.  The light (like the heat) is what some refer to as a “hypostasis” of the Sun … a hypostasis being “that without which something cannot exist” (my words).
  • The Holy Spirit is a hypostasis of God, in the sense that you cannot have God and not have The Holy Spirit … or the Eternal Son.

Why is the Holy Spirit considered to be God?

  • The Holy Spirit has the divine attributes of God.
  • The Holy Spirit is equated with God.
  • The Holy Spirit does work that only God does.

What are some of the divine attributes that the Holy Spirit has? 

  • Holiness — He is holy, by nature, not by assignment. (Hebrews 10:29; Matthew 12:32)
  • Eternality — He is without beginning or ending. (Hebrews 9:14)
  • Omnipresence — He is everywhere. (Psalm 139:7-9)
  • Omniscience — He knows everything (1 Corinthians 2:10-11; John 14:26)
  • Omnipotence — He is able to create (Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30) and to perform miracles (Mathew 12:28; Romans 15:18-19)

How is the Holy Spirit equated with God in the Bible?

  • Paul put the Spirit in a parallel construction with the Father and the Son in a discussion of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians12:4-6).
  • Paul used a similar 3-part construction in the closing of one of his letters (2 Corinthians 13:14) … and Peter did much the same at the beginning of one of his letters. (1 Peter 1:2)
  • In Matthew 28:19, the Holy Spirit shares the one, same name with the Father and the Son, indicating one essence and one being.  Based on this passage, The Holy Spirit is just as divine as the Father and the Son.
  • When Ananias lied to the Spirit, he lied to God (Acts 5:3-4)
  • When The Holy Spirit spoke, God was speaking (Acts 13:2; Hebrews 3:7-11)
  • In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul says Christians are a temple of the Holy Spirit … in 1 Corinthians 3:16, he says Christians are God’s temple.  If the temple of the Holy Spirit is the temple of God, then the Holy Spirit is God.

What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit doing things that only God can do? 

  • According to John 1:12, we are born of God … but John 3:5 says we are born of the Spirit.
  • According to 1 John 3:24 and 1 John 4:11-13, God lives in us … but according to 2 Timothy 1:14, Romans 8:11 and 1 Corinthians 3:16, The Holy Spirit lives in us.
  • Because the Holy Spirit lives in us, we can say God lives in us.

Why do we believe that The Holy Spirit is personal? 

  • Scripture describes the Holy Spirit as having personal characteristics.  Consider the following …
  • The Spirit lives (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • The Spirit speaks (Acts 8:29; 11:12; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:7)
  • The Spirit uses the personal pronoun “I” (Acts 10:19-20; 13:2).
  • The Spirit may be spoken (lied) to. (Acts 5:3)
  • The Spirit may be tested. (Acts 5:9)
  • The Spirit may be grieved. (Ephesians 4:30)
  • The Spirit may be insulted. (Hebrews 10:29)
  • The Spirit may be blasphemed. (Matthew 12:31)
  • The Spirit guides and leads. (John 16:13; Romans 8:14)
  • The Spirit intercedes. (Romans 8:26)
  • The Spirit calls and commissions. (Acts 13:2; 20:28)
  • The Holy Spirit has a mind (Romans 8:27)
  • The Spirit makes judgments (Acts 15:28).
  • The Spirit “knows” and “determines” (1 Corinthians 2:11; 12:11).
  • The Holy Spirit teaches. (John 14:26)
  • The Holy Spirit reminds. (John 14:26)
  • The Holy Spirit testifies. (Romans 8:16; Hebrews 10:15; 1 John 5:6)
  • The Spirit convicts. (John 16:8)
  • The Spirit guides. (John 16:13)
  • The Spirit reveals truth (John 16:13-14).

What about personal roles of The Holy Spirit?

  • Jesus called the Holy Spirit as parakletostranslated as Comforter, Advocate or Counselor. (John 14:16-17).
  • John uses the masculine form of parakletos; it was not necessary to make the word neuter. In John 16:14, the masculine pronoun (he) is used … even after the neuter word “Spirit” is mentioned.  It would have been easy for John to switch to a neuter pronouns (it), but he did not.  The POINT: The Spirit may be called he.
  • However, the real important point is that The Holy Spirit has personal characteristics.  The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power, but the intelligent, divine Helper who lives within us.

Is the Holy Spirit just another name for God?

  • The Holy Spirit is more than just another name for God.
  • The Holy Spirit is God, as much as the Father and the Son are God.
  • The Holy Spirit is God at work in our lives. Everything God does is done through his Spirit.
  • When The Holy Spirit speaks, God is speaking, as distinct from the Father and the Son, as shown in Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17).
  • The Holy Spirit is God, distinct from the Father and the Son, but not separate … because God is but one.



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