QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, GOT A QUESTION?  IS THE HOLY SPIRIT GOD? – PART 1

Many people are asking the question today, “Is the Holy Spirit God?” This is a great question and because of the growing interest in the work of God the Holy Spirit, we will look at several areas of His ministries.  Also, because of the world’s condition today many are wanting to know if God is alive and well on planet earth today.  This is evidenced by the letters and phone calls coming to Open Bible Ministries of TN from our ten radio broadcasts from KY through TN and into GA and AL,  and our World Wide Web [openbibleministriestn.net].  With folks from over 105 nations and every state, including D.C., going to our website to study, the interest in God and who He is keeps expanding.  Friend, let me assure you, in a world being torn by war, plagues, famine, etc., the Holy Spirit is God!  God wants to help you and give you assurances that you need to understand, particularly about this wonderful Person and His activities.

Some who do not believe in the Trinity choose, what they believe to be, the weakest person of the Trinity to attempt to prove that He is not God.  However, the Bible does have a clear explanation and proof that the Holy Spirit is in fact God.  So, let us begin the examination of the third person of the Trinity and what the Bible actually says.  This will be done by an overall study, not by proof testing, but looking at the Holy Spirit’s nature and ministries.

A careful study of the Bible’s teaching about the Holy Spirit and His ministries will help us to avoid error and will show us what He can do in His work and through our lives.

In this study we will examine only the Nature of the Holy Spirit.  In coming studies we will look at the fact that HE IS GOD  by seeing:

  • the Holy Spirit has divine names,
  • the Holy Spirit has the attributes of God,
  • the Holy Spirit does the works of God, and
  • the Holy Spirit is listed with the other Persons of the divine Trinity.

In this study we are looking at the “Nature of The Holy Spirit.”  This concerns who and what He is, showing He is a person and He is God.

Let’s begin with the fact that He is a person.  A person is defined by the fact that they have emotion, will and intellect.  We will see these attributes are existing in the Holy Spirit.  There are false cultists and others who deny the personhood (sometimes called “personality”) of the Holy Spirit, but the Bible teaches otherwise.

The Holy Spirit having personhood, or being a person, is shown by the following biblical propositions and it is very important that you open your Bible and review the portions of Scripture attached to each statement.  This is your personal responsibility and if you do not study, you will end up depending upon man, his philosophies and personal beliefs rather than the Bible, which is God’s eternal Word.  Depending upon man versus the Bible will lead you into error and false teaching.  Some people want to stick their head into the sand, so to speak, and not mature [grow daily into a spiritually mature Christian] as God desires.  However, both Paul and the writer of Hebrews point out and God expects progress in our belief concerning the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit Teaches The Scripture to Christians

“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us THROUGH His Spirit.  For the Spirit SEARCHES all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so NO ONE knows the things of God EXCEPT the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit WHO is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit TEACHES, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man [unsaved] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are FOOLISHNESS to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he who is SPIRITUAL [saved] judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.  For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:9-16, emphasis added, NKJV).

Christians Need to Grow Under The Instruction of The Holy Spirit

 “For though by this time you OUGHT to be teachers, you NEED someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food BELONGS to those who are of full age, that is, those who by REASON OF USE have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14, emphasis added, NKJV).

Notice the features of personhood that the Holy Spirit possesses.  These are:

1.  Self-awareness (Acts 13:2, personal pronouns “me” and “I”)

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called  them’ ”  (Acts 13:2, NKJV).

2.  Self-determination

” But one and the same Spirit works all these thing, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (I Corinthians 12:11, NKJV).

3.  Individuality

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26, NKJV).

4.  Moral awareness (Acts 5:3; Romans 1:4; Galatians 5;16-17)

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself’?”  ( Acts 5:3, NKJV).

5.  Perpetuity

“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  (Hebrews 9:14, NKJV).

6.  Other qualities that are attributed to personal beings are found in Him such as:  intelligence (I Corinthians 2:10-12), emotion (Romans 15:30; Ephesians 4:30), and will (Acts 13:2, 4).

The Holy Spirit does work that only persons do.

These include:

1.  Teaching

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you”  (John 14:26, NKJV).

2.  Reproving

“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8, NKJV).

3.  Interceding

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26, NKJV).

4.  Leading

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14, NKJV).

5.  Calling

“And the spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely”  (Revelation 22:17, NKJV).

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”  (I Corinthians 1:2, NKJV).

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Corinthians 1:9).

“but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24).

“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (I Corinthians 1:26).

6.  Witnessing

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16, NKJV).

The Holy Spirit’s response to human actions and needs indicates His having personhood.

These include:

1.  Grieving over sin

“endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3, NKJV).

2.  Giving satisfaction

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39, NKJV).

3.  Helping

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me’ ” (John 14:6, KJV).

4.  Imparting power (Galatians 5:16; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:9)

“I say then:  Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV).

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).

“having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,”  (Ephesians 1:9, NKJV).

Certain things can be done to the Holy Spirit which point to His being a person.

These are:

1.  His being obeyed

“Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.  And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.  So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.  When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, ‘After I have been there, I must also see Rome’ ”  (Acts 19:19-21, NKJV).

2.  His being lied to

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?’ ” (Acts 5:3, NKJV).

3.  His being resisted

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears!  You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you” (Acts 7:51, NKJV).

4.  His being blasphemed

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men” (Matthew 12:31, NKJV).

5.  His being insulted

“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29, NKJV).

Both the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul used masculine pronouns for Him.

1.  A masculine demonstrative pronoun occurs in John 15:26, KJV, “He,” Greek, “that one:”

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26, KJV).

2.  John 16:13-14; a masculine relative pronoun used in Ephesians 1:14, KJV, “which,” Greek “who:”

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 shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you”  (John 16:13-14, KJV).

“who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14, NKJV).

3.  The masculine personal pronoun  used in John 1:7, “him:”

“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” (John 16:7, KJV).

The Holy Spirit’s Relation to Other Persons Indicates His Having Personhood

1.  His relation to people like the Lord Jesus:

“He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14, KJV).

2.  His relation to the gospel believers (Acts 15:28, 16:6-7).

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:” (Acts 15:28, NKJV).

“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.  After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them”  (Acts 16:6-7, NKJV).

Both of these relationships show that He is a person.

These evidences from the Bible clearly show that the Holy Spirit is more than impersonal influence or force [as many today believe].  To keep from grieving the Holy Spirit we, as Christians, should regard Him to be a personal being as we are personal beings.

Lo0k for future studies regarding the Holy Spirit which can be found on our website–openbibleministriestn.net.  We look forward to your questions pertaining to the Bible.

References used in producing this study:

  1. Practical Christian Theology, Dr. Floyd H. Barackman
  2. Dr. John MacArthur’s commentary on the study of the Bible
  3. Handbook of Christian Living, Dr. Charles Stanley
  4. Faith Bible Institute Lesson Outlines
  5. Basic Theology, Dr. Charles Ryrie
  6. Major Bible Themes, Drs. Chafer/Walvoord
  7. Christian Theology, Dr. Emery Bancroft
  8. Systematic Theology, Dr. Norman Geisler
  9. The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible