THE BIBLE DECLARES THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD, PART 2 – ACTS 5:3-4

Because of the great interest in the third person of the Trinity today, we have been studying what the Bible declares about the Holy Spirit.  In our previous study we looked at His nature and the fact that He is a person.  We examined certain features about the Holy Spirit such as:

  • the Holy Spirit possesses certain features of personhood,
  • the Holy Spirit does the work that only persons can do,
  • the Holy Spirit’s responses to human actions and needs indicate His having personhood,
  • certain things may be done to the Holy Spirit which point to His being a person,
  • that both John and the Apostle Paul used masculine pronouns for Him, and
  • the Holy Spirit’s relation to other persons indicates His having personhood.

“Now the Lord is Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord”  (II Corinthians 3:17-18, NKJV).

In verse 17 above, we find that as children we have amazing freedom which is confirmed by the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s deity is seen by the fact that He enables the Christian to call God, our Father.  Further, notice that the Christian’s transformation [spiritual growth] is brought about by the Holy Spirit as He teaches us.

” And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ ” (Galatians 4:6, cp. Romans 8:4-15, NKJV).

As believers manifest the Fruit of the Spirit, they are progressively being transformed (the same word used by Paul in Romans 12:2) into His likenessChrist likeness is the goal of the Christian walk.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law”  (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV).

“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness”  (Ephesians 4:23-24, NKJV).

“and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,”  (Colossians 3:10, NKJV).

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist”  (Colossians 1:16-17, NKJV).

In this study today we will look at the fact that He is God as clearly declared by the Bible.  One of the reasons this study is so critical today is because some people have been deceived by an attempt to declare that the Holy Spirit is not God.  That being said it follows that they also do not believe in the Trinity which will be a separate biblical study in the future.

THE BIBLE CLEARLY DEFINES THE HOLY SPIRIT AS GOD!

The belief that a divine being exists that is greater than man has been common to all cultures and civilizations.

For the believer it is vitally important that we understand our God.  Further, we need to understand the persons of the Godhead individually and their relationships to each other and also to the believer.  We also need to understand how God’s plan for mankind is carried out by their sovereign actions.

The evidence of God through creation is so clear that rejection of it is the ground of condemnation for the heathen world (Romans 1:18-20).

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,”  (Romans 1:18-20, NKJV).

God’s Word makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is a person, who possesses the divine nature, which requires that He is God.  So we will be examining biblical facts that show without question that the Holy Spirit IS God, that He is not an “it” or some unseen “force” like the wind; he is a true person!

KEY:  All Bible terms related to the Spirit imply the fact of His personality.  For instance, He is called “another Comforter (Advocate),” which indicates that He is as much a person as Christ; if Christ is deity then so is the Holy Spirit.  This term Advocate is also used of Christ in I John 1:1-2.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know him, for He dwells with you and will be in you”  (John 14:16-17, NKJV).

“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).

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you”  (John 16:7, NKJV).

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world”  (I John 2:1-2, NKJV).

A.  Let’s begin with the fact that the Holy Spirit is listed with the other Persons of the Trinity.

The first passage we will examine is Matthew 28:18-20. This is important in recognizing the relationships within the Godhead [Trinity] which show that the Holy Spirit is in fact God.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen’ ” (Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV).

  • Some disciples, not the apostles, had doubts but those were quickly dispelled by Jesus’ statement that the Father had given Him all authority.
  • Based on that authority He then instructed the disciples to GO.
  • They were to take the Gospel to the “whole world,” not just Israel.
  • Those who believed the Gospel message that the disciples were to proclaim were to be baptized in water.
  • The believers were to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
  • Their baptism would then associate the believer with the Triune God.  The God whom they served is ONE God and yet is three Persons, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

“This is He who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are THREE that bear witness in heaven:  THE FATHER, THE WORD [JESUS], and the HOLY SPIRIT and these three ARE ONE”  (I John 5:-7, emphasis added, NKJV).

Is it not clear?  These biblical evidences point to the fact that the Holy Spirit is God, in every respect, as the Father and the Son are each God, so is the Holy Spirit.

Now let’s review in another area that clearly reveals that the Holy Spirit is God.  The Holy Spirit has been given divine names in Scripture.

* The Apostle Peter referred to the Holy Spirit as being God, “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).  Please note that Peter’s statement would make no sense if the Holy Spirit was not one of the Persons of the Godhead.  You wouldn’t lie to an “it” or some “force.

Then Peter added the clincher as he said:  “While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?  YOU HAVE NOT LIED TO MEN BUT TO GOD”  (Acts 5:4).  Peter’s clear statement is that the Holy Spirit is God!  This was a clear affirmation of the Holy Spirit’s deity.

*The Apostle Paul said he was “the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11).  Again we see the Holy Spirit listed in a relationship that could only indicate that He is God.  “And such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the LORD Jesus BY the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11, emphasis added NKJV).

Notice that the actions taken, washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus were done BY the Spirit of our God [the Holy Spirit].  These were actions by a person, not an IT.

*Paul also wrote of Him as “the Lord is the Spirit” and “the Spirit of the Lord.” See previous explanation.

*We also see the truth that the Holy Spirit is God as Paul points out in I Corinthians 3:16 that the Holy Spiritually indwells God’s people, whose bodies are called “the temple of God.” Verse 16 clearly reveals that the Holy Spirit is God.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16, NKJV).

*We also see the Holy Spirit given a divine name in Jeremiah 31:31-34 when compared with Hebrews 10:15-18; Judges 15:14 with 16:20; and with the generic name “God” (See Matthew 12:28 with Luke 11:20).

B.  Now let’s review from Scripture the attributes of God and how they are contributed to the Holy Spirit.

* The Holy Spirit has life–“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2, cp. John 5:3, chapters 4-6).

* The Holy Spirit is eternal–“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).

* The Holy Spirit has omnipresence–“Where can I go from your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7).

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit has omnipotence–“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4, NKJV).

“You send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth” (Psalm 104:30, NKJV).

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit has omniscience–“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 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” (I Corinthians 2:10-11, NKJV).

“However, when He, 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” (John 16:13, NKJV).

The Holy Spirit has truthfulness–“the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17, NKJV).

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me” (John 15:26, NKJV). 

“however, when He, 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” (John 16:13, NKJV). 

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in him” (I John 2:27, NKJV).

“This is He who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (I John 5:6, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit has true Holiness–“and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit has true righteousness–“that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit of Grace can be 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).

* The Holy Spirit has love–“now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me” (Romans 15:30).

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit has sovereignty–“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (I Corinthians 12:11, NKJV).

“While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you.  Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them’ ” (Acts 10:19-20, NKJV).

C.  The Holy Spirit does the works of God.

* The Holy Spirit was active in the creation of the universe–“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2, NKJV).

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6, NKJV).

“By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent” (Job 26:13, NKJV).

He inspired the prophets–“for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21, NKJV).

* He brought about the conception of Jesus’ sinless human nature–“And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’ ” (Luke 1:35, NKJV).

* He produces the new birth of gospel believers–“Jesus answered and said to him ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’  Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter 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 marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit’ ” (John 3:3-8, NKJV). 

* He seals gospel believers in conjunction with God the Father’s plan of salvation.  Sealing the believer until the day of redemption, indicating that He is eternal God–“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14, NKJV).

* He intercedes on behalf of the Gospel believers before eternal God and the Son when they pray–“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).

* He leads:–“led of the Spirit.”–“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18; cp. Acts 8:29, 10:19, 12:2, 16:6-7, 20:23; Romans 8:14).

* The Spirit ministers:

He regenerates –“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6, NKJV).

He seals–“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30, NKJV).

He baptizes–“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:13, NKJV).

He fills [controls]–“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18, NKJV).

D.  The Holy Spirit has divine names.

* Peter referred to the Holy Spirit as being God.

“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?  While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?  You have not lied to men but to God’ ” (Acts 5:3-4, NKJV).

The Apostle Paul wrote of Him as “the Spirit of our God,” “the Lord is Spirit,” and “the Spirit of the Lord.”

“And such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11, NKJV).

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:17-18, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit indwells His people, whose bodies are called “the temple of God,” also indicates that He is God.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.  For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (I Corinthians 3:16-17, NKJV).

* The Holy Spirit is identified with the divine personal name LORD [KJV], see Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-18; Judges 15:14 with 16:20; and with the generic name “God,” see Matthew 12:28 with Luke 11:20.

Why is it so important to study the Holy Spirit today?  It is because He does not now speak of Himself; rather, He speaks whatsoever He hears (John 16:13; Acts 13:2). He came into the world to glorify Christ (John 16:14).

We find in Scripture many commands that God gives to the believer and they don’t seem to have trouble obeying most.  However, there is one in particular that seems to create difficulty for the believer. Why?  Because it is totally foreign to human nature.  What is that command?  “To love God with all one’s heart and his/her neighbour as him/herself…” (See Matthew 22:37-40).  Inasmuch as these studies have clearly shown that the Holy Spirit is God, this applies as much to Him as to the other two persons of the Trinity, the Father and the Son.

APPLICATION:

  1. Christians are never commanded to do what they cannot do although it may seem that way at times.  However, God knows everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.  Make no excuses please, for God has given this command for us–to love Him above all else and to love our neighbors as well, no exceptions.   So, how are you doing in this area of obedience and service?
  2. If the believer will become WILLING to love, then their lives will begin to change and have a greater love for God, other believers and even the lost.
  3. To love God and others as Jesus commanded, one must exercise his or her will to do so.  Why?  It’s pretty simple, it is the WILL that controls a person’s life.
  4. Through the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit you CAN LOVE God, other Christians and the lost.  Why?  Because if you are saved and walking in the power of the Spirit you have the Fruit of the Spirit being produced in your life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV).

We all can be challenged to have the Holy Spirit control our lives to a great extent and hep us to daily walk in the Spirit.  Why not ask the Father to help you in this critical command so that your life will glorify and please Him all the more  (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16; Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 5:11).