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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Identity of the Holy Spirit

Don Stewart :: Who Is the Holy Spirit?

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Who Is the Holy Spirit? (The Spirit of God)

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Question 4

Before we can answer any specific questions about the Holy Spirit, we must establish a basic understanding of who He is. The name “Holy Spirit” comes from two Greek words–hagion, meaning “holy,” and pneuma, meaning “spirit.”

He Has a Variety of Names

The Holy Spirit is known by various names, including the “Spirit of God, the “Spirit of Jesus,” the “Spirit of Christ,” and the “Spirit of truth.” Jesus referred to Him as “another Comforter,” and the “Helper.”

He Is a Person

The Holy Spirit is not an influence or an impersonal force. He is a person. This can be observed in the following ways in which the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit.

He Has the Characteristics of a Person

The characteristics of the Holy Spirit are those of a person. He thinks, feels, and has a mind. All of the characteristics of personhood are found in the Holy Spirit.

He Acts like a Person

The Bible describes the Holy Spirit acting as a person. He does the sort of things that only a person can do.

He Is Treated as a Person

The Scripture treats the Holy Spirit as a person. When we find the Holy Spirit mentioned in a historical situation He is treated as someone who is personal.

He Has a Personal Ministry

The office, or ministry, of the Holy Spirit is that of a person. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to do the same ministry that He was doing while here upon the earth.

He Is Mentioned in Connection with Other Persons

The Holy Spirit is mentioned in connection with other persons. For example, we find Him mentioned with Christians. In addition, we find Him contrasted with personal demonic spirits.

He Is a Divine Person – the Third Person of the Trinity

The Bible reveals that God is, by nature, a Trinity. Although only one God exists there are three distinct “persons” or “centers of consciousness” within the nature of the one God. They are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a distinct Person from God the Father and God the Son, but not a different being. Since the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity He is a divine Person.

The Holy Spirit Is the Eternal God

The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is not only a person, He is also God Himself. We can determine that the Holy Spirit is God in the following ways:

He Is Called God

The Holy Spirit is directly called God. In addition, certain activities that are attributed to God alone are attributed to the Holy Spirit.

He Is Treated on an Equal Basis with God

The Holy Spirit is treated on an equal basis with God the Father and God the Son. This would be impossible if the Holy Spirit were not God.

He Has the Characteristics of God

The Holy Spirit has the characteristics of God. The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as all knowing, everywhere present, all-powerful, and eternal. He is also love, truth and holiness. These characteristics belong only to God.

He Does the Work of God

The work that the Holy Spirit does belongs to God alone. For example, He is the Creator of the universe, the one who divinely inspired the Bible, and the one who brought Jesus back from the dead. Only God can do these things.

In sum, as we begin our study of the Holy Spirit we discover two important truths. First, the Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force. Second, the Holy Spirit is God; a member of the Holy Trinity.

Summary – Question 4
Who Is the Holy Spirit? (The Spirit of God)

It is vital to have a general understanding of who the Holy Spirit is as we begin to study what the Scripture has to say about Him. The basics truths about the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, are that He is a Person and that He is God.

To begin with, the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force or influence. From a study of Scripture we will find that He has the characteristics of a person, He acts like a person, He is treated like a person, He has a personal ministry, He is associated with other persons, and He is a divine Person – the Third Person of the Trinity. Therefore, when we speak of the Holy Spirit we are speaking of One who is a personal being.

Second, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is the eternal God. We discover this in a number of ways. The Holy Spirit is called God on a number of occasions. Furthermore, the Spirit of God is associated on an equal basis with the God of Scripture.

In addition, He has characteristics that only God has. Finally, the Spirit of God does things only which God can do.

This is a simple summary of the identity of the Holy Spirit. As we look deeper into the subject of the Spirit of God we will find that the Scripture, from beginning to end, consistently teaches these truths about Him.

Why Is the Subject of the Holy Spirit Neglected? ← Prior Section
Is the Holy Spirit a Person? Next Section →
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