Who and What is the Holy Spirit?

Loutzenhiser's picture

How did the Holy Spirit get into all this? Is he God Too? Where was he in the Old Testament and What is he doing today?

michael_legna's picture

The Holy Spirit is God, He is one Person of the Trinity

Holy Spirit

In the New Testament the word spirit often signifies not only a working of God in general, but a Divine Person, Who is neither the Father nor the Son, Who is named together with the Father, or the Son, or with Both, without the context allowing them to be identified.

For example

John 14:16-17 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you

and

John 16:7 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.

and

The Spirit of consolation and of truth is also clearly distinguished in the Gospel of John

John 16:13-15 13 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. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

St. Peter addresses his first epistle to the strangers dispersed and to the elect (both of whom) are included under the goal of sanctification by the Holy Spirit

1 Pt 1:1-2 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

In several places St. Paul speaks of Him as if speaking of God. In Acts, he says to the Jews:

Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

…now the prophecy contained in the next two verses is taken from Isaiah 6:9-10, where it is put in the mouth of the "King the Lord of hosts". In other places he uses the words God and Holy Ghost as plainly synonymous.

Thus Paul writes (1 Corinthians 3:16): " 1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

and

1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Peter asserts the same identity when he thus remonstrates with Ananias

Act 5:3-4 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

It is in His name, as in the name of the Father and of the Son, that baptism is to be given

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

It is by the operation of the Holy Spirit that the Incarnation of the Word, is accomplished

Mat 1:18-20 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 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.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

It is in the name of the Holy Spirit and by His power that sins are forgiven and souls sanctified.

John 20:22-23 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

and

1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Holy Spirit is the source of the love of God within us

Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

The Holy Spirit gives testimony of Christ by confirming His teaching inwardly

John 15:26 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:

and

The Holy Spirit teaches the Apostles the full meaning of those teachings

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

and

John 16:13 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.

With these Apostles He will abide for ever

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Having descended on them at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit will guide them in their work

Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

The Holy Spirit is the source of graces and gifts

1 Cor 12:3-11 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

It is also the Holy Spirit who raise them again, one day, from the dead

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The Holy Spirit operates in the soul, giving it a new life

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

The Holy Spirit knows the deepest mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)

1 Cor 2:10-11 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit was active in inspiring the Prophets of the Old Law as we see by the reference in Acts 7:51:

Act 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

The resistance in this verse refers to the people resistance to the Prophets, thereby indirectly resisting the Holy Spirit.

Similarly the Holy Spirit inspires the new Prophets of the New Testament.

Act 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

and

Act 13:9-11 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

The Holy Spirit is in the leadership of the Church such that there is no distinction between lying to one or the other

Act 5:3-4 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

We can see that the Holy Spirit is indeed the Spirit of God, and at the same time the Spirit of Christ because all three accomplish the same divine acts:

All three indwell the true believer
God the Father—2 Cor. 6:16-18, Phil. 2:13
Jesus Christ—2 Cor. 13:5, Gal. 2:20, Col. 1:27
The Holy Spirit—1 Cor. 6:19, John 14:17, 2 Tim. 1:14, Rom. 8:9

All three raised Jesus from the dead
God the Father—Acts 3:15, 26, 1 Thess. 1:9-10, Acts 2:32, 17:30-31
Jesus raised Himself—John 2:19-22
The Holy Spirit—Rom. 8:11, 1 Pet. 3:18

All three will raise the true believer from the dead?
God the Father—1 Cor. 6:14
Jesus Christ—John 5:25-29, 6:40, 44, Phil. 3:20-21
The Holy Spirit—Rom. 8:11

All three have fellowship with Christians
The Father—1 John 1:3-6, John 14:23
Jesus Christ—1 John 1:3, 1 Cor. 1:9
The Holy Spirit—2 Cor. 13:14, Phil. 2:1

All three search our hearts
The Father—1 Chronicles 28:9, Jer. 17:10
The Son—Rev. 2:23 (v.18)
The Holy Spirit—1 Cor. 2:10, Rom. 8:26-27

All three gives Christians the words to speak
The Father—Matt. 10:17-20
The Son—Luke 21:12-15
The Holy Spirit—Luke 12:11-12

All three abide with the true believer?
The Father—John 14:23
The Son—John 14:23
The Holy Spirit—John 14:17

These three persons of the Trinity all do these things so they are either all three the same, or we are possessed by three different spirits or you are espousing polytheism.

So we see the sacred writers attribute to the Holy Ghost all the works characteristic of Divine power.




Advertisements