The Holy Spirit
"Howbeit when he , the Spirit of truth is come he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself , but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will show you things to come." John 16:13
Who or what is the Holy Spirit in scripture? There are some who mistakenly think of the Holy Spirit as a mere force, kind of like the wind. While He is compared to the wind in scripture, He is a person as John 16:13 above clearly shows. Consider that there are seven personal pronouns in that verse. (See Above) Any student of the English language would instantly know that personal pronouns are never applied to impersonal things. That may seem to be somewhat simplistic to us, nevertheless, it is truth, and whether those who claim to have massive intellect agree or not, truth can be simple! As a person whose mind was intensely analytic, or, in other words, constantly unwilling to believe anything that I could not explain by analysis or breaking it down to my terms, I wanted truth to be fully explainable and the concept of childlike faith was out of the question. You can imagine my difficulty when it came to believing in God and the teachings of the Bible when it came to faith in someone I could neither see or explain. Praise God I was able to get past it and to be frank with everyone I was not highly intellectual to the extent that some people are. There are many intellectuals who would make me look like a mental midget.
The Holy Spirit is given credit for a lot of things in scripture, and some of those things can only be attributed to deity. He is given credit for Holiness, Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Eternity. He is shown as active in creation and draws sinful men to God. He is the teacher for the Christian and knows the mind of God. Careful examination of a few pertinent scriptures will clearly unravel the mystery of who he is and what he does. Let's discover together the things that mark him out as a person as well.
The Spirit in Scripture
The theological term for the study of the Holy Spirit is pneumatology but don't be intimidated by a word. Pneuma merely means spirit and comes from the Greek root pneu which simply denotes
the dynamic movement of the air. The Holy Spirit in scripture is a person, and is given titles
and/or attributes that can only belong to a divine being or God. He is the person in the Godhead that brings conviction of sin and points the way to the Savior. He is to be loved and worshiped!
The Holy Spirit as a person
A person has specific qualities including knowledge or intelligence, affection or feelings, a will,
and possibly the ability to speak. The scripture shows the Holy Spirit to have all of these.
Romans 8:27 mind, intelligence and knowledge I Corinthians 2:11 knowledge
I Corinthians 12:11 will Romans 15:30 affection or love
Things only a person can do
Acts 8:29 speak Acts 11:12 command Acts 13:2 call into ministry
Acts 13:4 send Acts 16:6-7 forbid Genesis 6:3 strive with unbelievers
Revelation 2:7 speak to churches.
The Spirit Suffers as a Person Suffers
Isaiah 63:10 vexation Hebrews 10:29 can be insulted and outraged, Acts 5:3 can be lied to
Acts 7:51 can be resisted Ephesians 4:30 can be grieved Matthew 12:31 can be blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as Deity
Names and Titles of The Holy Spirit
Exodus 31:3 The Spirit of God Judges 6:34 The Spirit of the Lord
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God Matthew 10:20 the Spirit of your Father
John 14:17 The Spirit of Truth Romans 8:9 Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ
2 Corinthians 3:3 Spirit of the Living God
Attributes of the Holy Spirit
Isaiah 40:13-14 and I Corinthians 2:10-11 Omniscience Psalms 139:7-8 Omnipresence Hebrews 9:14 Eternity and John 14:26 Holiness - It is obvious that the very name "Holy Spirit" should let the reader know that He is holy.
NOTE: The Holy Spirit also has power to create as evidenced in Genesis 1:2 when "The Spirit
of God moved upon the face of the waters." Further the Spirit of God had the ability to bring forth human life through a human vessel as evidenced in Matthew 1:18 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; when as his mother was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." Further in verse 20 continues with the narrative; "But while he thought on these things; behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." The final result of that is in verse 23. "Behold a virgin
shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel; which
being interpreted is God with us." Here in this verse is the fulfillment of prophesy given by the prophet 760 years before Christ was born. Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give
you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Now the above information will obviously require the reader to do some research in the Bible to make sure that these verses state what I am saying they do. Some of them are not outright declarations, and a little more study will clear that up. That is why the Bible tells us we are to
study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that don't need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The word dividing here means a right understanding of what the scriptures say by checking them against other scriptures on the same subject, in their context
and historical background. In scripture a group of people called the Bereans were commended
for their diligent study. Acts 17:10-11
That particular study is called exegesis and is the only correct way to study the Bible when it comes to the right interpretation of what it says. Many false teachers, teachings and cults have sprung from not doing that but rather taking verses of scripture by themselves or out of context (the preceding and following verses) and developing doctrines that aren't scriptural. So much damage has been done through this, and many have been led away from Christ through this practice. It is our personal responsibility to study the scriptures for ourselves, and not be led away by those who choose to pervert the scripture to their own damnation. We will have nobody to blame but ourselves if we allow others to tell us what the scripture says. Certainly it is good to have teachers who love the Lord, but all men are fallible and we need to be sure that what they teach lines up with God's word as we understand it because, I am firmly convinced that God will not require of us what someone else understood him to say but what our own understanding of his word is since he has promised the Holy Spirit will teach those who are his children. There is no degree or pedigree mentioned in regard to this. Simple faith in God to do what he says will do the job. After all, who can teach us God's Word better than the Holy Spirit who, being God, understands the word of God perfectly?
C R Lord © 1979