Living in the Spirit (Part 2) – Holy Spirit is a Person
Why am I writing a series of devotions about Holy Spirit? I’m convicted, for that matter, deeply 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.
Before proceeding, if you’d like to read last weeks post, click the following link: Living in the Spirit (Part 1) — Holy Spirit is God
As we’ve established, Holy Spirit is God and co-equal, co-eternal with Father and Son. To be clear, God is one, in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We call this the Trinity or Triune God Head. Now that we’ve established the deity of Holy Spirit, we will take on the personage of Holy Spirit. In case the word “person or “personage” may be confusing, we are not saying that Holy Spirit is human but rather, although completely united as one God with Father and Son yet distinct.
What makes Holy Spirit a distinct person? The Bible presents a person as able to do personal and relational things (speaking, thinking, feeling, acting). Further, any being that does these personal things in “relationship” with others is a person. And, in case we forget, a person has personality. In actual fact, Holy Spirit’s attributes confirm His personality. Holy Spirit has life (Romans 8:2), has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and has feelings and relational responses (Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:29). Thus, God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), angels, and human beings are considered to be persons.
Furthermore, Holy Spirit is a personal being, rather than an impersonal force. In fact, every pronoun used in reference to the Spirit is “he” not “it.” Likewise, the original Greek language of the New Testament is clear in confirming the person of Holy Spirit. Admittedly, the word for “Spirit” (pneuma) is neuter. Yet, in many cases, masculine pronouns are used in reference to Holy Spirit (e.g., John 15:26; 16:13-14). This leads us to conclude that there is no other way to understand the pronouns of the New Testament related to Holy Spirit but in reference to a distinct person.
Next week, we will discuss the function of the Holy Spirit but in reference to Holy Spirit being a person, there may not be a stronger scripture supporting this claim more than John 14:26, “These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. 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 that I said to you.”
In case you missed it, Holy Spirit is our Helper. The Greek word is paráklētos meaning one who comes along side as advocate, helper. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states, “paráklētos is one who helps, by consoling, encouraging, or mediating on behalf of—‘Helper, Encourager, Mediator.’” To reiterate, Holy Spirit is a person, if for no other reason, because He is personal and relational with us as believers in Christ.
In case it isn’t settled in your mind, I encourage you to come to grips with the deity and personage 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 and is a person with a distinct personality. There are a lot of false claims, but instead of dealing with the false claims and misunderstandings about Holy Spirit, we will continue to focus on 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.
Next week: Living in the Spirit (Part 3) – Function of Holy Spirit
A Work in Progress,