Do not consider the Holy Spirit to be just an influence. Many are robbed because they consider the Holy Spirit to be an impersonal influence, energy or power.
It is true that the Holy Spirit influences the life of the believer and He is revealed as the Power of God, but this influence is a personal one. Misunderstanding has arisen largely for the following reasons:
- The word ‘Spirit’ is the Greek, “pneuma” meaning ‘breath ‘ or ‘wind’, which implies the concept of an unseen force. (John 3:5-8)
- The Holy Spirit is symbolised as many impersonal objects such as wind, water, fire or oil, seemingly negating the fact that He is a person.
- The Holy Spirit’s work seems mystical, secret and invisible.
- The Holy Spirit as a title is less relatable than “Father” and “Son”. However, the Spirit is a person, though invisible and incorporeal.
“Foundations of Christian Doctrine”, Kevin J Conner
The Holy Spirit is a Person
The Holy Spirit is revealed in scripture as the third person of the eternal Godhead. To consider Him as something less than a personality can cause people to look on the Spirit as Simon the Sorcerer did in Acts 8:18-20 who wanted to purchase “this power”.
If we consider the Holy Spirit a mere influence it will rob us of the joy of knowing Him, and worshipping and reverencing Him rightly according to scriptural revelation of Truth.
He is referred to with personal pronouns and Titles
In His teaching in John’s gospel, Jesus uses personal pronouns (He, His, Him) in relation to the Holy Spirit over ten times.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”John 14:15,16, NKJV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”John 15:26,27, NKJV
In John 14:16 the Spirit is spoken of as “another Comforter” (KJV), meaning “another of the same kind”. How could the Holy Spirit take Jesus’ place if He were no more than a mystical power?
He has personal qualities
The three main qualities which constitute personality are attributed to the Holy Spirit:
“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”Romans 8:27
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”1 Corinthians 12:11
The Spirit is spoken of as having personal feelings such as love (Romans 15:30) that could never be attributed to an impersonal power.
He can be:
- Grieved (Eph 4:30)
- Insulted (Heb 10:29)
- Lied to (Acts 5:3)
- Blasphemed (Matthew 12:31-32)v. Resisted (Acts 7:51)
- Vexed (Isaiah 63:10)
- Quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
He performs personal acts
The following Scriptures all speak of personal acts performed by the Holy Spirit. Look up each and note down how the Holy Spirit is personally active in the world.
1 Corinthians 12:11
1 Corinthians 2:10
1 John 5:6
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
The Holy Spirit is GOD
The Scriptures clearly declare that the Holy Spirit is God, co-equal with the Father and the Son, yet a distinct Person in the Godhead.
Divine association with Father and Son
- Matthew 28:19 Baptise in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
- 1 John 5:7 there are three that bear record in heaven Father, the Word and Holy Ghost
- 1 Cor 12:4-6 same Spirit, same Lord and same God works in the church
- 2 Cor 13:14 the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all
Divine distinction from Father and Son
We see all three Persons of the Godhead at Jesus’ own baptism:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.””Matthew 3:16,17, NKJV
The Holy Spirit, though One with the Father and the Son, is also distinguished from them.
- Isaiah 48:16 Son is sent by Father and Holy Spirit
- Luke 3:22 At Jesus Baptism the Holy Ghost descended as the Father spoke
- John 14:16 The Son prays to the Father to send the Holy Spirit
- Ephesians 2:18 We have access through Christ by the Spirit to the Father
- John 14:26; 15:26 The Spirit proceeds from the Father in Jesus’ name
What is said of God is also said of the Holy Spirit
- He is called God 1 Cor 3:16 “…the Spirit of God dwells in you”
- He is eternal Hebrews 9:12 “…who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot”
- He is all-knowing 1 Cor 2:10,11 “…Spirit searches all things”
- Omnipresent Psalm 139:7-10 “Where shall I go from your Spirit?”
- The Holy Spirit is our life source Romans 8:2 “the law of the Spirit of life has made me free from the law of sin and death”
- He is the Spirit of Truth John 16:13
- He is the Spirit of Holiness Romans 1:4
- He is the Spirit of Love Romans 15:30
The Holy Spirit does things that God does…
- He was active at creation Gen 1:2, Job 26:13, Psalm 104:30
- The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16
- He is involved in the new birth John 3:5-8
- He is active in the resurrection of the body Romans 8:11