The Holy Spirit

There is much confusion about the Holy Spirit. He is probably the most misunderstood person mentioned in the Scriptures. In fact, it may be surprising to some that I have referred to Him as a "He" because many people refer to Him as an"it". Nowhere do the Scriptures refer to Him as "it". He is a person and a member of the Godhead. He is called God in Acts 5:3,5 as well as Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20. He has all the attributes of Deity. He is eternal as stated in Hebrews 9:14. He is everywhere present (omnipresent) as mentioned in Psalms 139:7-10 and 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 and He is all knowing (omniscient) as stated in 1 Corinthians 2:10,11 and John 16:13,14.

He is a person because He fits the definition of the word. Person means "A being characterized by conscience apprehension, rationality, and a moral sense." Thus, the Holy Spirit is stated to have knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:9-11), a will (1 Corinthians 112:11), and judgment (Acts 15:28). He has actions that can only be performed by a person. He hears (John 16:13), speaks (1 Timothy 4:1), bears witness (John 15:16; Romans 8:16,17), gives commandments (Acts 13:2; 16:6), can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), can be vexed (Isaiah 63:10), and glorifies (John 16:14).

The Holy Spirit is distinguished from God the Father and God the Son (Matthew 3:16,17; 28:19), therefore, He is a separate, individual personality in the Godhead. Because of this equality with the Father and Son, He works together with them. In the physical creation of heaven and earth, we see that the Father planned it (Jeremiah 51:14,15), the Son executed it (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1,2), and the Holy Spirit assisted in the work being done (Genesis 1:1,2; 2:7). What is true in the physical creation is also true in the spiritual birth of people when they become Christians. God the Father planned the redemption of mankind (Ephesians 1:8-11), the Son executed it by coming into the world and dying on the cross (John 4:34; Ephesians 1:3-7; 1 Peter 1:18-20), and the Holy Spirit assisted in revealing the plan in the New Testament that we can read and understand (John 16:13; Ephesians 3:1-4).

The Holy Spirit is a definite personality working with the Father and the Son in the executing of the divine plan. He is a divine being as much so as God the Father and God the Son.

E.R. Hall Jr.

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