What the Bible Says About...
The Holy Spirit.

     When it comes to the Holy Spirit , who He is and what His function is in this world, there is much confusion today. Yet, when you look at the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is mentioned some 90 times with at least 18 different titles that are assigned to Him. In the New Testament we see that He is mentioned more than 260 times with 39 different names and titles that are assigned to Him. In fact, out of the 27 New Testament books, only the books of  II John and III John do not mention the Holy Spirit. Is this an important subject? You bet it is. God took the time to mention the Holy Spirit in 25 of the 27 New Testament books! God does not want us to be confused about the Holy Spirit!

     Where does this confusion come from? Some of it comes from the fact that the Old Testament Hebrew word for “spirit” is “RAUCH” and it means “breath.” Then, as we get to the New Testament the Greek word for “spirit” is “PNEUMA” and it also speaks of “wind” or “air.” Now if that is all we were told of the Holy Spirit, if that is all the information we had, we too may come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is some kind of “power” or “force” and not a person at all. But, as we will see, the Scriptures speak much more in regards to the Holy Spirit and they will clearly show us who He is. He is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.

      Another reason so many are confused today is because of what has been said in the past regarding the Holy Spirit. One of the early church scholars, Arius, who lived around 280 - 336 A. D., taught that only the Father was the true God. He said that Jesus was a created being and that the Holy Spirit was an essence. This doctrine is known as the Arian heresy. Many still hold it as being true, and you can clearly see that many of the cults have picked up on this idea.   

      In fact, the Nicaean Counsel stripped Arius from his position and branded his teachings as heresy! And yet, many still believe this idea but clearly the Scriptures don’t support this theory and that is why we call it a heresy!

      Also, the Jehovah Witnesses teach, “The Bible use of ‘Holy Spirit’ indicates that it is a controlled force that Jehovah God uses to accomplish a variety of His purposes. To a certain extent, it can be

likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations.” Again, they are agreeing with what Arius taught and he was wrong and so are the Jehovah Witnesses!

     So let’s look at what the Scriptures teach us of this third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

 

1. THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

PERSONAL PRONOUNS USED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

John 16:13 – He, His

John 15:26 – He

John 14:26 – He

John 14:16-17 – He, Him

John 16:7-14 – He, Him

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TREATED AS A PERSON

Ephesians 4:30 – He can be Grieved

Acts 5:3 – He can be lied to

Matthew 12:31, Mark 3:29 – He can be blasphemed

Hebrews 10:29 – He can be insulted

I Thessalonians 5:19 – He can be quenched

Acts 7:51 – He can be resisted

Isaiah 63:10 – We can rebel against Him                                                         

THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PERSON

I Corinthians 2:10-11 – The Holy Spirit has intelligence

I Corinthians 12:11, Acts 16:6-7 – The Holy Spirit has a will

Romans 15:30, Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 63:10 – The Holy Spirit has emotion

John 15:26, 16:13-14 – The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus and exalts the Father and the Son over Himself

John 14:16-17 – The Holy Spirit helps us

  

PERSONAL ACTS THAT HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 13:2 – The Holy Spirit speaks

Genesis 6:3 – The Holy Spirit strives with man

Acts 16:6-7 – The Holy Spirit guides - John 14:26, Nehemiah 9:20 –The Holy Spirit teaches us

Romans 8:26 – The Holy Spirit intercedes for us

Romans 15:19 – The Holy Spirit works miracles - II Corinthians 13:14 – The Holy Spirit

Communes with us 

     As you can clearly see, these attributes can be spoken of in regards to a person and not some impersonal force. To try and say that the church has come up with this doctrine, that the Holy Spirit is a Person, and to call it a false doctrine or say that we have twisted the Scriptures to fit our bias, is a smoke screen to hide the truth. The Scriptures clearly teach that the Holy Spirit is a person, is alive, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity and not some impersonal force like the wind or electricity!

     R. A. Torrey wrote this regarding the Person of the Holy Spirit,

     It is of the highest importance from the standpoint of experience that we know the Holy Spirit as a person. Thousands and tens of thousands of men and women can testify to the blessing that has come into their own lives as they have come to know the Holy Spirit, not merely as a gracious influence (emanating, it is true, from God), but as a real person, just as real as Jesus Christ Himself, an ever-present, loving friend and mighty helper, who is not only always by their side but dwells in their heart every day and every hour, and who is ready to undertake for them in every

emergency of life. Thousands of ministers, Christian workers, and Christians in the humblest spheres of life have spoken to me or written to me of the complete transformation of their Christian experience that came to them when they grasped the thought - not merely in a theological, but in an experiential way - that the Holy Spirit was a person and consequently came to know Him.

   - R. A. Torrey, The Person And Work Of The Holy    Spirit, pp. 10-11

 

2. THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 

THE GODLY ATTRIBUTES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Hebrews 9:14 - Eternal

I Corinthians 2:10-14, John 14:26, John 16:13- Omniscient – All Knowing

Psalm 139:7-10 - Omnipresent – Present Everywhere

Luke 1:35 - Omnipotent – All Powerful

 

THE GODLY WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Genesis 1:1-3, Genesis 1:26, Psalm 104:30, Job 33:4 - The Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation

I Corinthians 12:4-6 - The Holy Spirit is working with God the Father and God the son in the activities of the Church

John 6:63, II Corinthians 3:5-6,

Romans 8:10-11 - The Holy Spirit gives us new Life

II Peter 1:19-21 - The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures

Isaiah 48:16, Isaiah 6:8-10 and Acts 28:25- 27, Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Hebrews 10:15- 17, Psalm 95:6-11 and Hebrews 3:7-11, Acts 5:3-4, II Corinthians 3:17-18 - The

Scriptures speak of the Holy Spirit being God

 

     I think you can clearly see that we don’t have to twist or distort the Scriptures to make them fit our own theology, but just let the Scriptures speak for themselves. We have seen that the Holy Spirit manifests attributes that only God can have; eternal existence, He is omniscient, He is omnipresent, He is omnipotent. We have seen that the Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation, the workings or the ministries of the Church; He gives us new life and has inspired the Scriptures. And we have seen that the Scriptures themselves call the Holy Spirit God!

     Do not remove the Holy Spirit from His position with God the Father and God the Son as part of the Tri-unity of God. All three are one God and yet they exist as three distinct persons and function in perfect harmony. As Deuteronomy 6:4 says in the Hebrew tongue, “Shema Ysrael Yahweh Elohim achad Yahweh” or “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

     In regards to the Deity of the Holy Spirit, this is what R. A. Torrey wrote,

     To sum it all up by ascribing to the Holy Spirit all the distinctively divine attributes and several distinctly divine works, by referring statements which in the Old Testament clearly name Jehovah, the Lord, or God as their subject to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, by coupling the name of the Holy Spirit with that of God in a way in which it would be impossible to couple that of any finite being with that of Deity, by plainly calling the Holy Spirit God - in all these unmistakable ways. God in His own Word distinctly proclaims that the Holy Spirit is a divine person.

- R. A. Torrey, The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit, p. 30

 

     Make no mistake about it, the Holy Spirit is not only a person, but He is Almighty God, the third Person of the Holy Trinity! As we recognize that fact, as we understand that He is Almighty God, we will treat Him with the honor that He deserves and not like some kind of force or puppet whose strings we pull or whose power we can call down for our own gain. The Holy Spirit is God! May we not forget that! 

3.  THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE WORLD

John 16:8-9 - The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin

John 16:8, 10 - The Holy Spirit will convict the world of righteousness

John 16:8, 11 - The Holy Spirit reproves the world of judgment

 

     Remember, the work of the Holy Spirit in this unbelieving world is to convict the world of sin so that those who do not believe in Jesus would believe! We have seen in this unbelieving world that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of righteousness as they see the standard that God has set, which is Jesus, or perfection, and realize that they cannot attain that on their own or by their own efforts. But they can receive the gift that is in Christ! Lastly, in this unbelieving world, the Holy Spirit reproves the world of judgment because Satan has been judged at the cross and his power over our lives has been removed!

     This is the work of the Holy Spirit in an unbelieving world as the Holy Spirit comes alongside unbelievers to draw them to Christ!

 

4.  THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER

John 16:7 - The Holy Spirit is our helper

I Corinthians 2:10-14, John 14:26, I John 2:27,

I John 5:6 - The Holy Spirit is our teacher

John 16:13, II Peter 1:2-4, Acts 16:6-10 - The Holy Spirit will guide us

Ezekiel 36:27, Hebrews 12:1-4, Philippians 1:6,

Galatians 5:16-18, Ephesians 3:14-21,

Ephesians 4:17-24, II Corinthians 3:18,

I John 3:1-3 - The Holy Spirit will conform us into the image of Christ

Galatians 5:16-26, John 13:34-35, John 15:4-5, John 15:8, I Corinthians 13:4-8a - The Holy Spirit will produce fruit in our lives

 

     As we submit to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, He will be our helper in doing what is right, and keep us away from that which is wrong. The Holy Spirit will be our teacher revealing the truths of God from the Word of God. He will bring to remembrance those things we need to know in a given situation. The Holy Spirit will guide us down the right path as we gain spiritual discernment that is according to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will conform us to the image of Christ as we submit to Him.

     It is out of this relationship that the fruit of the Spirit naturally grows in our lives! That is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer as the Holy Spirit comes inside of us!

     I pray that as you search the Scriptures you will believe what the Scriptures are saying regarding the Holy Spirit. Listen to what God is saying and not man! Bring everything into the light of God’s Word and you will not be hurt or mislead by that. I think we have clearly seen that the Holy Spirit is a person, the third Person of the Holy Trinity – GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT!

 

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