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

Don Stewart :: Is the Holy Spirit Called God?

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Is the Holy Spirit Called God?

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Question 11

The Holy Spirit is a Person, but He is also more than that. Indeed, He is Almighty God – the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. The primary reason we believe the Holy Spirit to be God is because the Scripture clearly affirms this. We can make the following observations.

1. He Is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of the Lord

In the second verse of the Bible, He is called the Spirit of God. The Book of Genesis puts it in this manner.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:2 NIV).

It was the Spirit of God, as the Creator, who was hovering over the waters.

The Bible also designates the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the Lord God, or the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord. Isaiah wrote.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isaiah 61:1 NIV).

The Contemporary English Version translates it this way.

The Spirit of the Lord God has taken control of me! The Lord has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives (Isaiah 61:1 CEV).

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord.

2. He Is the God of the Old Testament

A close check of Scripture will show that the Holy Spirit is the God of the Old Testament. There are a number of passages in the Old Testament that says the Lord said or did something. Then, n the New Testament, we discover that it replaces “the Lord” with “the Holy Spirit.” We can provide the following illustrations.

Isaiah Heard the Voice of the Lord

For example, Isaiah the prophet heard the voice of the Lord. We read.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8 TNIV).

It was the actual voice of the Lord that the prophet heard.

The New Testament Says Isaiah Heard the Voice of the Holy Spirit

The New Testament identifies the voice that spoke to Isaiah as the voice of the Holy Spirit. We read the following in the Book of Acts.

Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: “The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your forefathers” (Acts 28:25 HCSB).

The Spirit of the Lord is the God of the Old Testament. He is indeed God Himself.

The Lord Will Bring a New Covenant

The Old Testament predicts the Lord will bring in a new covenant. The prophet Jeremiah records the Lord saying the following.

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31:31 NIV).

It is the Lord Himself that will bring in the New Covenant.

The Holy Spirit Will Bring in a New Covenant

The New Testament says that it is the Holy Spirit who brings in the New Covenant. The writer to the Hebrews said.

The Holy Spirit also speaks of this by telling us that the Lord said, “When the time comes, I will make an agreement with them. I will write my laws on their minds and hearts (Hebrews 10:15-16 CEV).

We find that the Holy Spirit Himself testifies that He will make the covenant.

The People Grumbled against the Lord

The Old Testament says that the people of Israel grumbled against the Lord. Moses wrote about this.

And in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us? (Exodus 16:7 NIV).

It was the Lord Himself who was the object of this displeasure.

The People Grumbled against the Holy Spirit

The New Testament, however, says the grumbling of the people was against the Holy Spirit. We read in Hebrews.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors put me to the test, though they had seen my works” (Hebrews 3:7-9 NRSV).

The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the Lord.

3. Ananias and Sapphira Lied to God: The Holy Spirit

In the New Testament, we find the following account about Ananias and Sapphira lying to the God, the Holy Spirit.

But a man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!” (Acts 5:1-4 HCSB).

The Apostle Peter made it clear that Ananias did not lie to human beings, but rather to God. However, the person He lied to was the Holy Spirit. The conclusion is obvious: the Holy Spirit is God.

4. the Lord Is the Spirit

Paul wrote to the Corinthians and said the Lord is the Spirit. He said.

Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT).

It seems that the best way to understand this statement is that the Holy Spirit is the Lord. Consequently, this would be another testimony to the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

The Body Is the Temple of the Holy Spirit: It Is Where God Lives

The Apostle Paul says that God’s spirit lives inside the believer. He wrote the following to the Corinthians

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NLT).

God dwells inside of those who have believed in Him.

We are also told that the body of each believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT).

God dwells within each believer by means of the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.

In sum, as we look at these passages we find that they clearly teach that the Holy Spirit is indeed the eternal God.

Summary – Question 11
Is the Holy Spirit Called God?

From an investigation of Scripture we find that the Holy Spirit is the eternal God. There are a number of passages in the Old Testament where certain acts are attributed to the Lord. In the New Testament these acts are attributed to the Holy Spirit.

For example, we are told that Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord. In the New Testament, when referring to this passage, we are told that Isaiah heard the voice of the Holy Spirit.

The Old Testament tells us that the people of Israel grumbled against the Lord. Again, the New Testament says they grumbled against the Holy Spirit.

Likewise, the Old Testament says the Lord will usher in a new covenant. Yet the New Testament says it is the Holy Spirit who brings about this new covenant.

Thus, these examples equate the Holy Spirit with the Lord.

In addition, He is explicitly called God in the New Testament. Ananias and Sapphira were convicted of lying to the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that this is the same as lying to God.

Paul directly said that the Holy Spirit is the Lord.

Finally, believers are said to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere they are said to be the temple of God. This is another way in which the Holy Spirit is associated with God.

Each of these examples makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God Himself. Consequently, He is due the respect and reverence that is directed toward God and to Him alone.

What Do We Learn About The Nature Of The Spirit Of God From The Old Testament? ← Prior Section
Is the Holy Spirit Associated on an Equal Basis with God the Father and God the Son? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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