Here goes #2 in this blog series on the Holy Spirit (view the first blog here). May these bless you as you continue to better understand the glorious Holy Spirit!
Because of the abuse of the teaching of the Holy Spirit, it’s best to have next in this blog series a proper biblical explanation of the doctrine of the Person of the Holy Spirit. By no means will this be an extensive explanation. This will simply biblically answer the question of who is the Holy Spirit in regard to the Godhead.
Third Member of the Trinity
Scripture teaches that God is ONE divine being in THREE divine persons/members—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—all co-equal in nature and characteristics and yet distinct. (Click for more on the Trinity). While they are co-equal in nature and characteristics, they perfectly and harmoniously submit one unto another. It is this that leads us to identify the Holy Spirit as the "Third Member", for He submits to and proceeds from the Father and the Son (Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:13-14).
Because each divine member is their own divine person, there will be behaviors and attributes of personhood for each of them. Such as,
- performing acts,
- emotion, and
It is said that any living thing lacking self-consciousness, emotion, and self-will are not persons (e.g. animals, nature, fish, insects, etc). According to the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, each divine member has each of these essential characteristics.
Personhood Characteristics of the Holy Spirit
Let’s take a look at some verses for the personhood characteristics of the Holy Spirit.
"For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (1Cor. 2:11, NIV)
- Here in 2Cor. 2:11 we see the self-consciousness of the Holy Spirit.
"I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf." (Rom. 15:30, ESV)
- Here in Rom. 15:30 we see all three divine members mentioned individually. Furthermore, we see the "love of the Spirit". Some translations say here “the love given by the Holy Spirit”. Also, in Ephesians 4:30 and Isaiah 63:10 we see we can "grieve" the Holy Spirit. This all displays the emotional characteristic of the personhood of the Holy Spirit.
"It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have." (1Cor. 12:11, NLT)
- Here in 1Cor. 12:11 we see the Holy Spirit has self-will and the ability to use it (i.e. intellect, performing acts).
Divine Characteristics of the Holy Spirit
Now let’s take a look at some of the Holy Spirit’s divine characteristics.
"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?" (Isa. 40:12-14, NASB)
- Here in Isa. 40:12-14 we see the Holy Spirit’s infinite wisdom.
"How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14, NASB)
- Here in Heb. 9:14 we see another nod at the Trinity. The term “the” used before each member is a definite article. It’s “used before a noun denoting somebody or something that has already been mentioned or identified or something that is understood by both the speaker and hearer.” As to the divine characteristic, this verse shows the Holy Spirit is also eternally self-existent.
"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." (Job 33:4, NKJV)
- Here in Job 33:4 we see the Holy Spirit as Creator of mankind. This is perfect! Because in Colossians 1:16 we see that the Apostle Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, states that all things were created through Jesus. Again, more credence to the presence of the Trinity, and it should help clarify Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) where it states,
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…””
Which “the LORD God” did in Genesis 2:7. All THREE divine persons are attributed to creating Creation as ONE God. The Bible testifies to the Trinity in the first chapter of the first book and then validates it from there on throughout the rest of Scripture.
What we have just witnessed in these six passages was the equality of the characteristics and nature of God in the individual divine person of the Holy Spirit—i.e. equal as ONE God and yet distinct as One of THREE members, God the Holy Spirit. This is who He is.
Amen to God the Holy Spirit!
1. Encarta Dictionary: English (North America)