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

Don Stewart :: Does the Holy Spirit Have the Attributes of God?

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Does the Holy Spirit Have the Attributes of God?

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Question 13

Yes He does. The attributes of the Holy Spirit are characteristics that God alone has. The following evidence makes this abundantly clear.

1. The Spirit Of God Is Everywhere Present (Omnipresent)

The Holy Spirit is said to be omnipresent or everywhere present. The psalmist wrote of this important truth. He put it this way..

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139:7-10 NIV).

The Spirit of the Lord is the same as the presence of the Lord. He is everywhere.

We find that Jesus said the Holy Spirit would indwell all believers. We read the following in the gospel of John.

He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you (John 14:17 NLT).

The fact that He can indwell each of us at the same time shows that He is everywhere present.

The Apostle Paul emphasized that all believers were sealed with the Holy Spirit. He stated this in His letter to the Ephesians. He said.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13, 14 TNIV).

This is another testimony that He is everywhere present.

2. He Is All-Knowing (Omniscient)

The Bible also says the Spirit of God is all knowing, or omniscient. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians and made the following statements.

God’s Spirit has shown you everything. His Spirit finds out everything, even what is deep in the mind of God. You are the only one who knows what is in your own mind, and God’s Spirit is the only one who knows what is in God’s mind (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11 CEV).

Someone must be a human being to know things about humans. Likewise only God can know the intimate things pertaining to God. Since the Holy Spirit knows the things of God, He therefore must be God.

Indeed, the Apostle Paul said that God’s ways are unsearchable and unfathomable. He wrote to the Romans.

God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways (Romans 11:33 God’s Word).

Since God’s ways are unfathomable to us, but known to the Holy Spirit, this is another indication that the Holy Spirit is God Himself.

The prophet Ezekiel said the following about the Spirit of the Lord.

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say: “This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, O house of Israel, but I know what is going through your mind” (Ezekiel 11:5 NIV).

It is clear the Holy Spirit knows what is in our minds. Only God has this knowledge. Indeed, we are specifically told that God cannot be taught anything new. Isaiah wrote.

Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? (Isaiah 40:13 NIV).

Nobody can instruct the Lord because He knows all things.

Jesus said of the Holy Spirit is able to teach “all things.”

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 things that I said to you (John 14:26 NKJV).

Only a being with “all knowledge” could teach “all things.”

The Holy Spirit also knows what will happen in the future. Jesus said.

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:12, 13 TNIV).

Knowing the future is an attribute that God alone has.

3. He Is Called The Eternal Spirit (Eternality)

The eternity of the Holy Spirit is also taught in Scripture. The writer to the Hebrews wrote of the “eternal spirit.”

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! (Hebrews 9:14 NRSV).

Eternal existence belongs to God alone. Indeed, every other being has been created at some point in time. The fact that the Holy Spirit is eternal is further evidence of His deity.

4. The Holy Spirit Is All Powerful (Omnipotent)

The attribute of being all-powerful, or omnipotent, is also ascribed to the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Job we read of the Spirit being the Creator.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4 NIV).

Only God can create life.

In Luke’s Gospel we read again of the Spirit being able to create life. The angel of the Lord said the following to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35 TNIV).

The Holy Spirit has the ability to create life – an attribute of God alone.

5. The Holy Spirit Has Life In Himself

Only God has life in Himself. This means that He does not need anything or anyone to exist. We find this attribute in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

A. God The Father Has Life

The Bible says the Father has life in Himself – He is the living God. As the nation of Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, their leader Joshua emphasized that their God was the “living God.” He said.

Joshua continued, “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly force the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites out of your way (Joshua 3:10 God’s Word).

The God of the Bible is the “living God.” Indeed, He is the only God who is alive. Paul wrote the following to Timothy.

So that if I can’t come for a while, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15 NLT).

He is the living God; the One who has life in Himself.

B. Jesus Has Life

God the Son also has life in Himself. Speaking of Jesus, John wrote the following words.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:4 KJV)

In Jesus, there is life.

Jesus made the following claim about Himself.

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6 KJV).

God the Son, Jesus Christ, like God the Father, has life in Himself

C. The Holy Spirit Has Life In Himself

The Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of life” or the “life-giving spirit.” Paul wrote.

For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death (Romans 8:2 NLT).

The Holy Spirit is the life-giver. Therefore the Holy Spirit, along with the Father and the Son are said to have life in themselves. No other creature can claim this.

The Holy Spirit Has The Moral Attributes Of God

The Holy Spirit also has moral attributes that belong to God. The Scripture says the following.

A. He Is The Spirit Of Truth

The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. Jesus said.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future (John 16:13 NLT).

Jesus said the Spirit will guide believers into all truth because He is truth. Only God has this particular attribute.

B. The Holy Spirit Has The Attribute Of Love

The Bible says God is love.

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8 HCSB).

Love is also said to be an attribute of the Spirit of God.

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf (Romans 15:30 NRSV).

The Holy Spirit can give and receive love.

The Holy Spirit Has The Attribute Of Holiness

The God of the Bible is holy.

But, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy (1 Peter 1:15-16 HCSB).

The Holy Spirit also has the attribute of holiness.

Don’t give God’s Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you. He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free from the world of sin. (Ephesians 4:30 God’s Word)

Thus, both the Holy Spirit and God are holy. This is further indication that the Holy Spirit is God.

The Holy Spirit Can Be Blasphemed

Blasphemy is a term reserved for speaking out against God. Only God can be blasphemed. However, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit could be blasphemed.

Anyone who blasphemes against me, the Son of Man, can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come (Matthew 12:32 NLT).

If only God can be blasphemed, and the Holy Spirit can be blasphemed, then it follows that the Holy Spirit must be God.

In sum, these attributes which belong to God alone also belong to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we can conclude that since the Holy Spirit possesses the attributes or characteristics of God, He is God.

Summary – Question 13
Does The Holy Spirit Have The Attributes Of God?

The Holy Spirit is directly called God in a number of places in the Bible. However, there is further evidence that He is indeed God; the same attributes that the Bible ascribes to God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says that God knows everything. He cannot be taught anything new. Yet the Scripture also says that the Holy Spirit is all-knowing or omniscient. He too knows all things.

The God of Scripture is all-powerful. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Scripture also teaches us that the Holy Spirit is all-powerful. Indeed, nothing is too difficult for Him either.

God is everywhere present in our universe. In other words, one cannot go to some place where God is not there. The Bible says that this is also true of the Holy Spirit. He is everywhere present.

Only the God of the Bible has existed forever. No other being is eternal. The Spirit of God is also said to be eternal.

God alone has life in Himself. The Holy Spirit also has this attribute.

We also find that the moral attributes which belong to God alone are attributes that the Holy Spirit possesses.

The God of Scripture is holy. He is without any sin or imperfection. The Spirit of God, likewise, is holy. There is only righteousness in Him.

God is truth. He does not lie about anything. Indeed, we can be confident that He always speaks the truth. The same can be said for the Holy Spirit. He is called the Spirit of truth.

God is love. We are also told of the love that comes from the Holy Spirit to the believer.

We conclude that the Holy Spirit has attributes that belong to God and Him alone. Therefore, He is indeed the God of the Bible; the only God who exists.

Is the Holy Spirit Associated on an Equal Basis with God the Father and God the Son? ← Prior Section
Has the Holy Spirit Performed Divine Works? 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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