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The Doctrine

of The Deity

of The Holy Spirit

Part 2

September 25, 2016

 

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

As we continue to look at The Deity of The Holy Spirit, we will look at some pertinent facts about The Holy Spirit. First, we see that The Spirit of God baptizes us into one body: Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (1COR. 12:12) and God is said to place us into this body: But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.   (1COR 12:18) The similarity of their Deity is proven in these two verses.

Scripture is said to be inspired by God (actually, God-breathed) in 2TIM 3:16: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness… The writers of Scripture are said to be moved by The Holy Spirit in 2PETER 1:21: … for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by The Holy Spirit spoke from God.  The Father and The Holy Spirit work together on the same thing.

God the Father, God the Son and God The Holy Spirit are spoken of in the same passage as an expression of praise to God: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of The Holy Spirit, be with you all. (2COR 13:14) Do you see their equality here?

All Three Members of the Trinity are mentioned in ACTS 2:33: Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of The Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. And all Three are mentioned together in 1PET 1:2–3: … according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

The next verse is not so obvious: May the Lord [The Holy Spirit] direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. (2THESS 3:5) Since Two Members of The Trinity are mentioned in 2THESS 3:5, that leaves The Third Member of The Trinity, The Holy Spirit, Who must be referred to as “Lord” in this verse.

Now, let’s look at an important question: why is the personality of The Holy Spirit questioned? The most obvious answer is because, as contrasted with the Other Persons of the Godhead, The Spirit Seems Impersonal. The visible creation makes The Personality of God The Father somewhat easy to conceive; the incarnation makes it almost impossible to disbelieve in the Personality of Jesus Christ; but the acts and workings of The Holy Spirit are so secret and mystical, so much is said of His influence, graces, power and gifts, that we are prone to think of Him as an influence, a power, a manifestation or influence of the Divine nature – an agent rather than a Person.

Another reason we question The Personality of The Holy Spirit is possibly because of the Names Given Him. He is called breath, wind, power and the symbols used in speaking of the Spirit are oil, fire, and water. Look at the following verses and you’ll follow this line of thinking:

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (JOH 3:5-8

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire [b]distributing themselves, and they [d]rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with The Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (ACTS 2:1-4)

And when He [Jesus] had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive The Holy Spirit.” (JOH 20:22)

It isn’t strange that in view of all this some students of the Scriptures may have been led to believe, erroneously of course, that The Holy Spirit is an impersonal influence emanating from God the Father. And this may be because The Holy Spirit is not usually associated with the Father and the Son in the Greetings and Salutation of the New Testament.

It’s difficult to define personality when you’re talking about the Divine Being. God cannot be measured by human standards. God was not made in the image of man, but man in the image of God. (Think about that one for a moment!) God is not a deified man; man is rather a limited God. Only God has a Perfect Personality. So if They Are Equal (And They Are), does The Holy Spirit possess such properties? Let’s see.

Here are some verses which include names that Imply Personality are Given to the Spirit. In JOH 16:7, He is referred to as The Adovacte: Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (NRSV) "Advocate" means one who is called to your side – as a client calls a lawyer. This name cannot be used of any abstract, impersonal influence. This is clear from the fact that in 1JOH 2:1, the same word is used of Christ: My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…

In JOH 14:16 The Holy Spirit is to take the place of a person – Christ Himself – and to personally guide the disciples just as Jesus had been doing. No one but a person can take the place of another person; certainly no mere influence could take the place of Jesus Christ, the greatest personality that ever lived. Again, Christ, in speaking of the Spirit as the Comforter, uses the masculine definite article, and thus, by His choice of gender, teaches the personality of The Holy Spirit. There can be no equality between a person and an influence.

Another important thing which proves that The Holy Spirit is a person is that personal pronouns are used when referring to Him.

In JOH 16:7, 8, 13-15, the Greek masculine pronoun ekeinos (translated as that one or He) is used referring to The Spirit. This same word is used of Christ in 1JOH 2:6; 3:3, 5, 7, 16. This is especially remarkable because the Greek word for spirit (pneuma) is neuter and so should have a neuter pronoun; yet, contrary to ordinary usage, a masculine pronoun is used here. This is not a pictorial personification, but a plain, definite, clear-cut statement asserting the Personality of The Holy Spirit.

{to be continued}

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