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Don Stewart :: Why Do Some Argue That the Holy Spirit Is an Impersonal Force?

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Don Stewart
There have been those who cite Scripture to prove the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force or influence. Several reasons are given for this belief.

1. Like The Wind

The Holy Spirit is spoken of as being the "Spirit of God." The word translated Spirit can also be translated "breath" or "wind" which implies an unseen impersonal force. Yet the Scripture uses the symbol of the wind to describe the invisible way in which the Holy Spirit acts, not to imply that He is some impersonal influence.

2. Symbols Of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is symbolized by impersonal objects such as wind, water, fire, and oil. Some conclude that this means the Holy Spirit Himself is impersonal. Yet the Scripture also gives many similar symbols for God the Father and God the Son. Jesus, for example, is symbolized as a rock and a door. This, however, does not mean He is some force or influence. Likewise the symbols used of the Holy Spirit do not negate His personality.

3. Invisible

The work of the Holy Spirit is invisible. This to some implies a non-personal entity. The fact, however, that the Holy Spirit is invisible does not mean He is less than a person. According to Jesus, God the Father is also invisible. He said "God is Spirit" (John 4:24).

Harder To Relate

It is true that we have a harder time relating to the personality of the Holy Spirit than to God the Father and God the Son. The titles "Father" and "Son" generate feelings of personality to us while the title "Holy Spirit" is a bit harder to relate. Nevertheless the Scripture clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is a person despite the fact that He is invisible and has not physical form.

Conclusion

All attempts to make the Holy Spirit an impersonal force or influence does not take in all the evidence. It is clear from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is a person

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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