Living in the Spirit (Part 1) — Holy Spirit is God
I’m convicted that I need to write a series of devotions about Holy Spirit. Some of my motivation comes from teachings and practices that invoke the name of Holy Spirit but are inconsistent with the Bible. Holy Spirit often gets credit or blame for things that land outside of God’s will and His Word and, for that matter, beyond or inconsistent with the described nature and responsibility of Holy Spirit. Instead of dealing with the false claims and misunderstandings about Holy Spirit, we will deal with what is true and substantiated in the Bible. The first issue we need to settle is the deity of Holy Spirit. The Spirit is, first and foremost, God.
There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), precisely one God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We call this the Trinity. In fact, Holy Spirit is the third Person of the divine Trinity. Why is it so important to believe Holy Spirit is deity? It is doctrinally essential because we cannot give Holy Spirit the honor and respect that He deserves if you don’t consider Him divine. Let’s look at the evidence.
Holy Spirit is God. A critical piece of evidence that we find in the Bible supporting the idea that Holy Spirit is God is found in Acts 5. When Ananias pretended to give all of the proceeds from the sale of a piece of property, Peter said that Satan had filled his heart to “lie to the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:3) and concluded by saying that Ananias had “lied to God” (verse 4). Peter’s words clearly associate the Holy Spirit with God. Peter’s language described the Spirit and God as one and the same.
Holy Spirit has the eternal nature of God. The Spirit is “of God” not because God created Him, but because He shares God’s nature and comes eternally from God (see 1 Corinthians 2:10–12). If the Son of God is equally eternal with the Father, as John 1:1–3 states that He is, then so is the Holy Spirit equally eternal with God the Father and God the Son, because, according to Romans 8:9–11, the Spirit of Christ is one and the same with the Spirit of God.
Holy Spirit is co-equal with Father and Son. Jesus speaks of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit with equal status in the Great Commission. MT 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. . .”
Holy Spirit is in unity with God, Father and Son. When we read the conversation from the Upper Room (John 13-17), it was both the Father and the Son who would send the Spirit (John 14:16; 16:7), and the Spirit came and acted for both Father and Son. So the activity of the Spirit is never in isolation from the person and work of Christ or in isolation from the eternal will of the Father.
Holy Spirit is the agent of creation. In the account of creation, we read: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2). The Hebrew word translated as “Spirit” here is ruach, which means “breath.” The ruach elohim, “the Breath of the Almighty,” is the agent in creation. What is in view here is Holy Spirit’s power and energy. It pictures God breathing out creation. In other words, speaking the worlds into existence. In Genesis 1:2—the Spirit is the irresistible power by which God accomplishes His purpose.
Holy Spirit is the author of the Scriptures. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is breathed out by God. …” The Greek word is theopneustos, which means “God-breathed.” In creation, we have the Spirit breathing, releasing the power of God in the act of creation. It is the same in the act of redemption, and again in the divine act of recording the Scriptures. The doctrine of inspiration is connected to the work of God, Holy Spirit. Peter affirms this view, writing, “No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The men who wrote the biblical books were not inventing things. Neither were they robots. They were real people in history who wrote according to their context and personalities. However, the authorship of Scripture was directed by Holy Spirit. This is why we trust and study the Bible as God’s Word because it is breathed out by Holy Spirit.
In case it isn’t settled in your mind, I encourage you to come to grips with the deity of Holy Spirit. The details may be confusing mainly due to a lot of false teaching and application in our world; however, as the evidence establishes, Holy Spirit is, first and foremost, God. There are a lot of false claims, but instead of dealing with the false claims and misunderstandings about Holy Spirit, we will deal with what is true and substantiated in the Bible. After all, Holy Spirit often gets credit or blame for things that land outside of God’s will and His Word and, for that matter, inconsistent with the described nature and responsibility of Holy Spirit. This is what motivated me to write a series of devotions about Holy Spirit.
Next week: Living in the Spirit (Part 2) – Holy Spirit is a Person
A Work in Progress,