2009-01-11 - The Holy Spirit
First, some obvious statements. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triunity of God. (see the study on the Doctrine of the Triunity.) Note, He is God, and He has personhood. He is not simply a manifestation of Gods power. He is found in the Old as well as the New Testament. And, though He has a unique role with the Church, He was active before the birth of the Church - and will be after the Rapture.
First, we know the Holy Spirit has personhood, because He acts. Paul notes this: The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man, except the mans spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
Second, we know the Holy Spirit is God. Hodge notes: Since the fourth century his true divinity has never been denied by those who admit his personality. 2 There are so many references demonstrating the deity of the Holy Spirit that I cant give them all here, but two are:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment Heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him (Genesis 1:2; Matthew 3:16).
I think part of the problem with the understanding of the Holy Spirit may relate to the old usage of the term Holy Ghost. This was probably a poor choice of the translators because of the connotation the word ghost has for the modern reader. As Stringfellow notes:
In our English language the words Spirit or Ghost take on the connotation of an evil spirit who possesses a person or a ghost is one who haunts a house; an inhabitant of the unseen world who might appear in a bodily likeness; a demon etc. 3
Comments or Questions?