Holy spirit

Is the Holy Spirit like electricity?

A recent LifeWay Research poll, as reported in Facts & Trends magazine, reveals that 59 percent of American evangelicals believe the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being, and 10 percent are unsure.

This lack of understanding of the divine and personal nature of Spirit is most comfortable in counterfeit forms of Christianity like the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, whose adherents are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Our friends JW promote a “holy spirit” that is neither personal nor divine. An educational guide called Help in understanding the Bible explains, “The scriptures themselves come together to show that the holy spirit of God is not a person but is the active force of God by which he accomplishes his purpose and carries out his will.

Some JWs liken the “holy spirit” to electricity – a powerful and invisible force under Jehovah’s sovereign control.

But is it really the Holy Spirit of the Scriptures? Or does the Bible present a personal, divine, co-equal and co-eternal Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son?

Let’s explore two simple truths from the scriptures.

The Spirit is divine

First, the Bible clearly establishes the divinity of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinitarian deity.

The Bible uses the words “Holy Spirit” and “God” interchangeably. We find a classic example in Acts 5, where Ananias and Sapphira sell a property and bring a portion of the profits to the church while claiming to have contributed the full amount.

Peter rebukes Ananias for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5: 3) and then, in the next verse, tells Ananias that he did not lie to men, but to God.

The apostle Paul also uses “Holy Spirit” and “God” interchangeably. In 1 Cor. 3:16, he calls Christians “the sanctuary of God,” then in 1 Cor. 6:19, he says our bodies are “a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.”

It is the divine Holy Spirit who dwells in the temple of the bodies of believers.

In addition, the Bible attributes the same divine attributes to the Spirit as it does to the Father and the Son. To name just a few examples, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent (Luke 1:35); omniscient (1 Cor. 2: 10-11); omnipresent (Ps. 139: 7); eternal (Hebrews 9:14); and sovereign (John 3: 8; 1 Cor. 12:11).

The Spirit is the fullness of the Godhead working on humans, convincing the lost of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16: 7-11) and guiding believers into all truth (John 16:13). He is the author of the Bible (2 Peter 1:21). The Father sent him into the world in the name of the Son (John 14:26). He dwells in believers (John 14:17), fulfills them (Acts 4:31) and confirms that we belong to God (Rom. 8:16).

We might also note that the Spirit demonstrates his divinity by doing what only God can do. For example, He creates (Genesis 1: 2; Ps. 104: 30) and gives new life (Joel 2:28; John 3: 5-8; Acts 2:17).

Finally, the New Testament testifies that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are equal agents in baptism (Matt. 28: 19-20), salvation (Eph. 1: 3-14; 2:18), the distribution of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12: 4-6) and even a blessing (2 Cor. 13:13).

Spirit is a person

The second biblical truth is that the Holy Spirit is a person.

In Greek, “spirit” is a neutral noun, which means you would expect a neutral pronoun to accompany it. However, Jesus and the New Testament writers consistently refer to the Spirit as “He” or “Him” using a masculine pronoun.

Jesus, who never refers to the Spirit as an “that”, calls the Spirit “another counselor”, the Greek word allos meaning “another of the same kind”. Just as Jesus is a divine person who comforts his disciples, so too is the Spirit (John 14:16).

Further, Spirit is described in personal terms. He testifies (John 15:26); guides (John 16:13); glorifies Jesus (John 16:14); decides (Acts 15:28); prevents (Acts 16: 6-7); name (Acts 20:28); intercedes (Rom. 8:26); speaks (John 16:13; Revelation 2: 7); and is self-aware (Acts 10: 19-20).

He can be blasphemed (Matt. 12: 31-32); lied (Acts 5: 3-4); saddened (Eph. 4:30); and insulted (Hebrews 10:29).

In short, the Holy Spirit has the same divine and personal attributes as the Father and the Son. As such, we owe him the same honor and worship as other members of the Trinity.

Our Jehovah’s Witness friends may claim that the Bible never calls him “God the Spirit,” but this is an argument of silence, convincingly refuted by the self-revelation of the Holy Spirit in the book he wrote about. is the author.??