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GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,

or HOLY GHOST,

or SPIRIT of GOD,

or SPIRIT of the LORD

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A) THE PLURALITY OF THE GODHEAD.

B) GODLIKE ATTRIBUTES.

C) THE HOLY SPIRIT’S DIVINITY ESTABLISHED.

D) CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS AFFIRM THE HOLY SPIRITS EXISTENCE.

E) GOD, THE COMFORTER.

F) THE HOLY SPIRIT IDENTIFIED.

G) THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER.

H) FROM MY FAVORITE BIBLE COMMENTATOR.

 

 

A) THE PLURALITY OF THE GODHEAD

 

 

Certain characteristics teach us that the Holy Spirit has a distinct personality within the confines of the Godhead.  Consider Genesis 1:2, where the Spirit of God “moved” as one of the creative forces within the three distinct personalities of the Godhead.   We know this from Genesis 1:26, where we read: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”  The plurality of this statement is clear and should not be overlooked.

 

According to Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God hath made me [so the Holy Spirit “formed man of the dust of the ground,” Gen. 2:7, but] and the breath of the Almighty hath given one life [so God the Father, or God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit, or any combination thereof[, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” finishing Genesis 2:7. Other texts that show the plurality of the Godhead are Luke 1:35, where Gabriel mentions all three, and ones where God is speaking in which He asks the “Spirit of God” to do something, as in:  Exodus 31:3; 35:31; Numbers 11:17 & 25; John 14:16; 16:7; First Corinthians 2:10.  For the plurality of the Godhead, “us; our; we,” etcetera, see Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Jeremiah 51:9; Daniel 10:13; John 14:16; 16:7; 17:11 & 21 & 22.

 

That the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead becomes very clear quite early in God’s Word in Genesis 1:2.  However, consider Judges 13:25; 14:6 & 19; 15:14, where Samson is endowed with the “Spirit of the Lord.”  We learn that this is not some kind of spirit FROM the Lord, but God Himself.  When we read Judges 16:20, it states that not just the “Spirit of the Lord” (and indeed it was), but God Himself, “departed from him.”  Notice this difference as brought out in First Samuel 16:13-14, where the “Spirit of the Lord” indwells king David, by contrast, departs from king Saul.  This would be opposed to just a mere spirit (non-deity) sent, or is “from the Lord.”

 

Another place where the Bible presents the Holy Spirit as God is found in Acts, Chapter 5.  Notice in verse three, that Peter tells Ananias that he lied “to the Holy Ghost.”  Then Peter informs him in verse four, that “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”  This clarifies not only Who Ananias was lying to, but also Who the Holy Spirit is.  Also, Second Corinthians 3:17 states: “Now the Lord is that Spirit:  and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

 

In a side note, there are denominations that still teach the false doctrine of “Pneumatomachy,” which is “The denial of the Deity of the Holy Spirit.”  And on another side note, we learn from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is always moving.  Notice again Genesis 1:2, where the “Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  And John 3:8,where Jesus confirms this observation, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:  so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”  Also, it seems that the Father is always “sending” His Spirit somewhere (see Psa. 104:30; Gal. 4:6; possibly Luke 4:18; John 1:33; 3:34).

 

 

B) GODLIKE ATTRIBUTES

 

 

The most important thing to know about the work of the Holy Spirit is that He is an Indweller of one’s soul if you let Him in (John 14:16-17; 1Co. 3:16; 6:19; and many more).  If believers better understood the power that resides within them. . .

 

We have already clearly defined the Holy Spirit as being God in Acts 5:3-4.  Therefore, let’s look at some Godlikeattributes of the Holy Spirit.  That the Holy Spirit is considered the third Person of the Trinity is established by intelligence and volition are ascribed to Him (John 14:17 & 26; 15:26; 1Co. 2:10-11; 12:11).  He reproves, helps, glorifies, and intercedes (John 16:7-13; Rom. 8:26).  He executes the offices peculiar only to a personage (Gen. 6:3; Luke 12:12; Acts 5:32; 15:28; 16:6; 28:25; 1Co. 2:13; Heb. 2:4; 3:7; 2Pe. 1:21).  He wrote Scripture (Mark 12:36speaking of Psa. 110:1).  He casts out demons (Mat. 12:28).

 

 

C) THE HOLY SPIRIT’S DIVINITY ESTABLISHED

 

 

His Divinity Is Established by (see Acts 5:3-4 again and below):

 

From the fact that the Names of God are ascribed to Him (Exo. 17:7; Psa. 95:7; compare with Heb. 3:7-11).

 

That Divine attributes are also ascribed to Him:

Omnipresence (Psa. 139:7; Eph. 2:17-18; 1Co. 12:13);

Omniscience (John 16:13 [only God knows the future]; 1Co. 2:10-11);

Omnipotence (Luke 1:35; Rom. 8:11).

 

The fact that Creation is ascribed to Him (Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; Psa. 104:30; Mat. 1:20, i.e., creation of our Lord).  He works miracles (Mat. 12:28; 1Co. 12:9-11).  The fact that Worship is required and ascribed to Him (Isa. 6:3; Mat. 28:19; Acts 28:25; Rom. 9:1; Rev. 1:4).  That He is “eternal” (Heb. 9:14).  That the He “leads us,” or “guides us,” or “teaches us,” because He is God (John 16:13; 1Co. 2:13; 1Jo. 2:20 & 27).  The fact that He “convicts” one of sin (John 16:8).  The fact that only God can forgive sin, except “blasphemy” against Him (Mat. 12:31).

 

In Acts 10:38, Luke clearly instructs us that God, the Holy Spirit, was “with” Jesus.  “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [with Who?] and with power [the “power” of the Holy Spirit]:  Who [Jesus] went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for [because] God [the Holy Spirit] was with Him [Jesus].”

 

That the Holy Spirit is included as a member of the Heavenly Trio, see, Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:36; First Corinthians 12:4-6; Second Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; First Peter 1:2; First John 5:7.  As an example, Second Corinthians 13:14 states:  “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen.” The first thing to note about this verse is that the Holy Spirit is here described as the third named Being headed up by God the Father and God the Son.

 

The vast majority of Bible-believing Christians agree that the Father and the Son are personal Divine beings.  Most certainly the “grace” which comes from Jesus Christ is only something that can have a personal origin.  And the “Love of God” is obviously suggestive of the personality of the Father, since “God is Love,” First John 4:8.  Although this would apply to all of Them.  And love is the essence of any experience, which is inter-personal and expressive of caring sentiments.  And once you establish that the Holy Spirit is God, then He has attributes of “Love” also.  Eternity is where true Love exists.  The fact that the Holy Spirit “grieves,” Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30, tells us He “Loves” us.

 

Having established that the Holy Spirit is then mentioned in a most straightforward way, strongly suggestive that He is a Personal, coordinate Divine Being -- the Third Person of the tri-personal Godhead -- let’s look how Wayne Grudemhas expressed this concept:  “When ‘the Holy Spirit’ is put in the same expression and on the same level as the other two Persons, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is also viewed as a Person and of equal standing with the Father and the Son.”  “Grudem,” page 230.  Note:  I would not call Him a Person, but a Personage.

 

 

D) CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS AFFIRM THE HOLY SPIRITS EXISTENCE

 

 

That the Holy Spirit is a Living and Personal God, let us look at:

 

He MOVES you:  2Pe. 1:21.

He DECLARES:  Rom. 1:4.

He TESTIFIES:  John 15:26.

He brings UNITY:  Eph. 4:32.

He can be RESISTED:  Acts 7:51.

He GIVES TALENTS:  1Co. 12:4-11, 28.

He makes you OVERSEERS:  Acts 20:28.

He is a WITNESS:  Acts 5:32; Heb. 10:15.

He can be QUENCHED (stifled):  1Th. 5:19.

He DWELLS with you:  Rom. 5:5; 8:9; 1Co. 3:16.

He performs MIRACLES:  Mat. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35.

He TEACHES what you should remember:  John 14:26.

He TEACHES what you should say:  Luke 12:12; 1Co. 2:13.

He CAN BE SPOKEN AGAINST (blasphemed):  Mat. 12:31-32; Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10.

He SPEAKS:  2Sa. 23:2; Eze. 2:2; 3:24; 11:5; Mark 12:36; 13:11; John 16:13; Acts 1:16; 10:19-20; 13:2; 20:23; 21:11; 28:25; 1Co. 12:3; 1Ti. 4:1; Heb. 3:7.

He helps with our INFIRMITIES (weakness in prayer):  Rom. 8:26-27.

He SHOWS HOW TO MAKE THINGS:  1Ch. 28:12.

He SEARCHES (gives information):  1Co. 2:10-11.

He REVEALS things:  Luke 2:26; 1Co. 2:10.

He has FEELINGS:  Acts 15:28; Heb. 10:29.

He WITNESSES:  Acts 20:23; Rom. 8:16.

He APPEARS IN FORMS:  Luke 3:22.

He GREIVES:  Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30.

He is a TRANSPORTER:  2Ki. 2:16.

He LEADS:  Luke 4:1; Rom. 8:14.

He RESTRAINS:  Acts 16:6-7.

He SENDS:  Acts 11:12; 13:4.

He is LIED TO:  Acts 5:3-4.

He CONVICTS:  John 16:8.

 

 

E) GOD, THE COMFORTER

 

 

That Jesus Christ was endowed with the Holy Spirit can be seen from these texts:  First Timothy 3:16; First Peter 3:18.  Also, that the Holy Spirit has the same attributes as the Father and the Son is seen in John 14:16:  “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you Another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.”  The Greek word Jesus used for “Another,” is “allos,” which literally means, ”another of the same kind,” in contrast to the Greek word which could have been used, being, “heteros,” which means, “another of a different kind” or “another of a different quality.”

 

John 16:7 states:  “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away:  for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.”  Also, in John 14:26, Jesus says:  “But the Helper [Comforter], the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He [the Greek here is “ekeinos,” which literally means, “that One,” or better, “He” in the masculine gender] will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

 

Another thing we should take notice of, is found in John 15:26, where the wording is very similar to John 14:26:  “But when the Helper comes, Whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth Who proceeds from the Father, He [again the Greek is “ekeinos,” in the masculine gender] will testify of Me.”  Therefore, when we get to John 16, verses 13 and 14, we have this:  “[13] However, when He [Greek “ekeinos,” masculine gender, remember?] the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His Own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  [14] He [still the Greek word “ekeinos,” again in the masculine gender] will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

 

Likewise, it should be observed that while the word “Spirit” (Greek “pneuma”) is in the neuter gender form in Greek, the personal pronoun “ekeinos” (“that one,” or “He,” clearly used to refer to the neuter Spirit) is in the masculine gender.  It is this grammatical fact which has led the majority of translators to translate the other personal pronouns called for in these passages as “He” rather than “it” or “that one,” as found in the anti-Trinitarian New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible and other New Age Bible versions.  See my Bible Study:  BIBLE VERSIONS AFTER 1881.”  The neuter Spirit (“pneuma”) can certainly be interpreted to be impersonal, but the fact that the personal pronouns are masculine (especially “ekeinos”) and are used repeatedly, as in the Book of John, Chapter 16, strongly indicates the Person-hood of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

F) THE HOLY SPIRIT IDENTIFIED

 

 

That the Holy Spirit was always active in the Old Testament, consider these following texts:  Genesis 41:38; Exodus 31:3; 35:31; Numbers 11:17 & 25-26 & 29; 14:24; 24:2; 27:18; Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6 & 19; 15:14; 16:20; First Samuel 10:6 & 10; 11:6; 16:13-14; 19:20 & 23; Second Samuel 23:2; First Chronicles 12:18; Second Chronicles 15:1; 24:20; Job 27:3; 32:18; Psalm 51:11; Proverbs 1:23; Isaiah 11:2; 32:15; 42:1; 44:3; 59:21; 61:1; 63:11; Ezekiel 2:2; 3:24; 11:5 & 19; 36:27; 37:14; Daniel 4:8 & 9; 5:11 & 14; 6:3; Micah 3:8; First Peter 1:11.

 

As mentioned before, the most powerful passage that confirms that the Holy Spirit is God is found in Acts 5:3-4, where the Holy Spirit is actually called “God.”  Also, in First Corinthians 12:28, if you stay in the context of verses 4-11, we can come to the same conclusion.  In fact, Jesus, in Matthew 12:31-32, states that blaspheme spoken against Himself can be forgiven.  By contrast, to blasphemy, or speak against the Holy Spirit, is unforgivable; a concept that doesn’t make much sense if the Holy Spirit is anything less than God.

 

Matthew 1:20 is also inappropriate, where Jesus is conceived in the womb of Mary through the Personage of the Holy Spirit.  This would not be possible, unless the Holy Spirit were not truly God.  Also, the Spirit Himself refers to Himself as being a being in the use of the term “Me,” in Acts 13:2.

 

 

G) THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER

 

 

This is a good place to clarify, that when one “believes,” it is at that point that one “receives” the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13).  By contrast, when Jesus said to His disciples, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” in John 20:22, no one then understands that the disciples did not have the Holy Spirit prior to this event.  Instead, what is meant is that God has now entrusted these to receive more of the “power” of the Holy Spirit to do whatever work it is that one is going to perform.

 

We can demonstrate this by seeing John 3:34, where we learn that Jesus was given “the Spirit,” without “measure.”  In totality.  Meaning, others are not given “the Spirit,” in this way.  According to Ephesians 1:13-14, “that Holy Spirit,” verse 13, is given as “our inheritance.”  The Greek for “inheritance” is, “arrhabon, G728,” meaning, “part of the purchase, a pledge, a downpayment (until the full amount is paid).”

 

Wayne Grudem has raised an interesting point about the manner in which a number of Bible verses employ the impersonal term “power” in association with the Holy Spirit.  Carefully follow his argument:

 

“If the Holy Spirit is understood simply to be the power of God, rather than a distinct Person, then a number of passages would simply not make sense, because in them the Holy Spirit and His power or the power of God are both mentioned.  For example, Luke 4:14, ‘And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,’ would have to mean, ‘Jesus returned in the power of the power of God into Galilee.’  In Acts 10:38, ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,’ would mean, ‘God anointed Jesus with the power of God and with power’ (see also Romans 15:13; 1Co. 2:4).”  “Grudem,” pages 232-233.

 

Therefore, let us not be like the brethren in Acts 19:2, whom “have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”

 

 

H) FROM MY FAVORITE BIBLE COMMENTATOR

 

 

“Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ, Who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving.  The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit’s striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart.”  1SM:344.

 

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third Person of the Godhead, Who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of Divine power.  It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer.”  DA:671.

 

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, Who is as much a Person as God is a Person, is walking through these grounds.”  EV:616. 

 

Commenting upon First Corinthians 2:11, we have this:  “The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”  EV:617.

 

In commenting on Romans 8:16 we have this gem:  “The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God.  He must also be a Divine Person; else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God.”  Manuscript 20, 1906; EV:617.

 

“. . . they [the Godhead] are One in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in Person.”  MH:422.

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