Who Is The Holy Spirit?
January 5, 2020

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
“Who Is The Holy Spirit?”

{Audio File: https://mega.nz/#!adkWXKxb!73iSZfHz2NukA4uQGI-kNQqoltJSzFHOxqBly6oZnSU}

In this new series we’re beginning, we will be looking at the Holy Spirit, who is He, or the person of the Holy Spirit. Then based upon this, we’ll take time and look at the various aspects of the Holy Spirit, or His work in our midst.

When religion started taking over the church, where it was no longer about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and where believers came together encouraging one another as brought out in Hebrews 10:25; the tragic result was that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit became neglected, and in large part replaced through the substitution of priests and the priesthood, the Church as the authority over a person’s life, and the veneration of Mary and the saints. These were put in the place and position of the Holy Spirit, thus rendering the presence of the Holy Spirit unnecessary.

Even today, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is still being neglected, not only through these substitutions, but also due to the doctrine being over-emphasized, over-hyped, and over-exaggerated, making believers leery of those who teach on the Holy Spirit. And so, unfortunately, the church has kind of let the whole thing alone.

The unfortunate part is that all these false ideas and manifestations of what people call a move of the Holy Spirit is due to this overall neglect. Consider how terrible it would be to neglect the teaching or doctrine of God the Father, or Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is equally terrible to ignore or neglect the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which may also be the reason why we don’t see a move of God in our generation and in our time.

And so to begin this new series, I’d like to look at the personhood of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a Person

The first thing we need to understand is that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force that acts upon our lives, like the force in Star Wars.

Such an outlook has invaded the minds of many because of the titles or names given to the Holy Spirit within the Scriptures that seem to make Him a part of, but not distinct from, the Father or Jesus. These are names like the “Spirit of God,” the “Spirit of the Lord,” or even in the song we sing prior to the message, whose title is found in 2 Corinthians 3:3, “Spirit of the Living God.” He is also called the “Spirit of Christ,” the “Spirit of Jesus Christ,” and the “Spirit of the Son.”

These give the impression that that Holy Spirit is a spirit that is found within the Father, and within Jesus, much the same as the spirit that is within us as human beings. It is such an understanding that has brought about the unbiblical view of God being the Father and the Son only, but not the Holy Spirit.

Other examples that our found within the Scriptures that promote this view that the Holy Spirit is not a person are the designations the Holy Spirit have been given, and how He is represented in the Bible as other thing, like breath, wind, fire, oil, water, and a dove. But these are not exact representations of the Holy Spirit, but rather they are symbols explaining the work of the Holy Spirit.

It’s kind of like when we use the designation found in the Scriptures about Jesus Christ when He said that He is the door or gate of the sheep (John 10:7). Jesus isn’t saying that He literally is a door of wood, or a gate of iron. Instead, He is saying that He is the protector of the sheep, and that He is the one who leads them to salvation and everlasting life.

It is in this same way that we need to look at these symbols of the Holy Spirit to see what they mean, and how through these symbols He is working in our midst.

Now, before we move on, there is also what the writers of the King James Version calls the Holy Spirit that lead people not to consider the personhood of the Holy Spirit, and that is when they call Him the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately, today this conjures up in people’s minds a shadowy aberration, but not a person.

But when we further examine what the Bible says about the coming of the Holy Spirit, we see that the Holy Spirit is a person, and that there is a distinct difference between Him and the Father and the Son.

Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17a NKJV)

That word “another,” here in the Greek language, means someone else who is like the person who is doing the sending, which Jesus says that not only does the Father send, but He also sends the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). So the Holy Spirit is a person like Jesus, and is distinct from both the Father and Jesus.

And so the Holy Spirit is not an “it,” “force,” or the internal spirit of the Father and the Son. He is separate, and from what the Bible says, a person in the same way that both the Father and the Son are persons.

We see this about the Holy Spirit in several ways.

Masculine Pronoun

“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)

We see the personhood of the Holy Spirit in the way the Holy Spirit is referred to here and throughout the Scriptures, and that is, in the masculine pronoun, as seen in Jesus’s description as “He,” and “Him.”

Personal Activities

We also see the personhood of the Holy Spirit through some of the His personal activities, like teaching, bearing witness, interceding, searching, distributing, forbidding, speaking, evaluating, being grieved, and bringing comfort and counsel, along with advocating on our behalf.

But what really makes this relationship with the Holy Spirit personal is what Jesus said in John 14:17. “But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

It doesn’t get more personal than that! What makes this relationship so personal? It’s because the Holy Spirit not only dwells with us, but within us as well.

The Apostle Paul makes this same observation in 1 Corinthians 6:19. “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?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV)

But it is in the name that Jesus gives to the Holy Spirit that we see this personal activity the greatest. It is when Jesus called Him the “Helper,” or what the King James Version calls Him, and that is, “The Comforter.”

“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)

This word in the Greek language is “parakletos,” which means to call to one’s side, to bring aid and help.

And so what we see from these examples is that the Holy Spirit is very personable, and not some impersonal force. The Holy Spirit cares for us and wants to help us become everything that we were meant to be.

Personality

We also see the personhood of the Holy Spirit in the different aspects of His personality as found within the Scriptures.

He possesses a mind and knows.
“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27 NKJV)

He possesses a will separate from the Father, Jesus Christ, and us.
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV)

He possesses emotions, and can be grieved and insulted.

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

“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)

Please understand, an impersonal force can neither be grieved or insulted, only a person.

And one of the greatest emotion that a human being possesses, which an impersonal force is incapable of, is love, and this is what the Holy Spirit provides in the fruit that He gives.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a NKJV)

And so while we’ve established that the Holy Spirit is a person, is He also God?

Is The Holy Spirit God?

To understand the deity of the Holy Spirit we must start with the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity says that God is one and yet eternally exists in three persons.

Now, there are many who have a hard time wrapping their head around this doctrine, thinking it to be irrational and impossible. But the Trinity is neither irrational nor impossible. It may be beyond the reach and scope of our understanding, but how can finite human beings with limited brain capacity understand an infinite God with unlimited capacity and capability.

Even the Lord tells us about our shortcoming in this area.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Understanding God’s nature goes beyond our ability to understand, and that’s because we know of no other being like God.

And it is from this doctrine, or more specifically, what we read in the Bible, from which this doctrine or teaching comes from, that we find that the Holy Spirit is God, and that God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Unity of God

The Bible makes it clear there is only one God. We see the oneness of God in His own statements.

“That you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me” (Isaiah 43:10).

“Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me” (Isaiah 45:21).

This oneness is also seen in in the very heart of the Jewish faith, that which is called “ The Shema,” which is recited every Sabbath.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV)

Yet, within this declaration of God’s oneness we see the plurality of the one God. It is first seen in the Hebrew word used for “one.” It is the Hebrew word, “echad.”

There are two words in the Hebrew language for the word “one.” They are “echad,” and “yahid.” “Yahid” means absolute oneness or singleness, leaving no room for any meaning other than one and one alone. But “echad” brings with it the idea of many that make up one, or a composite unity.

There are several instances seen within the Bible.

The first is God’s plan for marriages where the husband and wife will be one, “echad,” flesh (Genesis 2:24). Here are two distinct individuals comprising a unity of one in marriage.

The creation account is another place where a composite unity is found when it says that one-day is made up of two distinct parts, evening and morning (Genesis 1:5).

Next, this plurality in oneness is seen in the plural language used for God, like when the Lord recounts His creation of humanity.

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26a NKJV)

Plural language is being used, but whom is God speaking to? God is not speaking to or getting advice from the angels or any other created being, because there is no other created being that has been made in the image and likeness of God.

In another example we see the Lord addressing Himself in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

“Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24).

The Lord, who was upon the earth, rained down fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord who was up in heaven. Two individuals who are both described as “Lord.”

And so, in our passage of God’s creation of humanity, God is speaking amongst Himself in unity, which is the whole idea behind the description of Godhead, or that God exists in three personages: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Third Person of the Godhead

The Godhead being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is brought out in the Apostle John’s first letter.

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).

The designation, “the Word,” is a name given to Jesus by the Apostle John. In John’s gospel it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). And then in verse 14 it says that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and how John and the others beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten Son, full of both grace and truth. This is then a clear reference to Jesus being “The Word.”

The Godhead being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is also seen in the Great Commission given by Jesus.

“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.” (Matthew 28:19 NKJV)

Now, what many people miss when giving this as a proof text of the Trinity, or one God in three persons, is that Jesus didn’t say to baptize in the “names of,” or the plural, which would mean that they are each separate and distinct and not one. Instead Jesus said, “In the name of,” or the singular. Therefore, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one.

But this idea of Trinity, God existing in three person, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is not a New Testament concept only; it is also seen through what the prophet Isaiah said in the Old Testament where the Father sends the Messiah and the Holy Spirit.

“Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together” (Isaiah 48:12-13).

We clearly see that this is the Lord speaking by His reference of the creation account where it says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Further the Lord wants to make sure we know this isn’t the prophet Isaiah or anyone else speaking as He goes on to say, “I, even I, have spoken” (Isaiah 48:15a).

And then comes this statement made by the Messiah revealing the Trinity, that is, one God manifested in three Persons.

“Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.” (Isaiah 48:16 NKJV)

In the Hebrew language this last sentence literally says, “The Lord God has sent Me and His Spirit.”

What is even more mind boggling about this passage, which is something that has confounded the skeptics of the Trinity doctrine, is that the Lord who is speaking, the One who is identified as the First and the Last, the Creator of heaven and earth, is the Messiah, Jesus, whom the Lord God sends along with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God

There are two verses when it comes to declaring the Holy Spirit as being fully God.

The first is when Peter assesses the actions of two church members, Ananias and Sapphira, who lied about a piece of property they sold and declared they had given the whole amount to the church.

“Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? … You have not lied to men but to God.” (Acts 5:3-4 NKJV)

The second place is found in two verses found in 1 Corinthians. The first talks about our bodies being God’s holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16), and then in the other, it says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

We also see the Three Main Attributes of God being attributed to the Holy Spirit.

Omnipresent: everywhere present

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)

Omnipotence: all powerful

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

Omniscience: all knowing

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God … no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

The Economy of the Godhead

The last area to explore the truth that the Holy Spirit is God is known as The Economy of the Trinity, that is, the ordering of activities within the Godhead. While the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in nature and attributes, they differ in their function or in their work.

For our time this morning, let’s just look at the one area of humanity’s redemption.

Look with me at this ordering.

Father: The Father planned our redemption and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to accomplish it.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Jesus Christ: Jesus obeyed and accomplished the Father’s plan of redemption through His death upon the cross, and His resurrection from the dead three days later.

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit was sent by both the Father and the Son to maintain, bring to completion, and forever seal what the Father planned and Jesus accomplish.

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

“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).

Let me summarize the this Economy of the Godhead in our redemption. It was God the Father who planned and sent His Son, Jesus, to accomplish our salvation. Jesus then came and accomplished what the Father had planned through His death and resurrection. And then it was the Holy Spirit who sealed the deal.

And so, while the Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit are equally God, and there is only one God, each of them has a specific function within the Godhead.

Conclusion

Now, there is so much more, which is why we will be taking time in our series on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

But it all begins here.

First that the Holy Spirit is a person with a mind, will, and emotions, and not some impersonal force of God, which is why we need to be careful not to grieve, insult, or blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

And then we need to understand that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Godhead, which is why it is so important for us to know Him, in the same way we know the Father and Jesus Christ. And the reason is because of what Jesus said about who He is, the “Comforter,” and “Helper,” the “paraklete,” the one who comes along side of us and brings aid, help, and comfort.

Now, we’ll delve into this area some more when we get together the next time as we look at having fellowship with the Holy Spirit.









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