This is the second in a two-part series on the Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit.
In the previous column, we looked at the biblical evidence for the personality of the Holy Spirit; that is, the Spirit is an He, not an that. Once Spirit’s personality is established, his divinity is a biblically faithful next step.
To begin with, the Spirit is active in creation (Genesis 1: 2; Ps. 104: 30), omniscient (1 Cor. 2: 10-11) and omnipresent (Ps. 139: 7) – qualities which establish as co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son.
In addition, the Spirit shares the divine name with other members of the Triune Godhead (Matthew 28:19).
Perhaps the most cited passage which illustrates both the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit is found in Acts 5. After Ananias and Sapphira fraudulently claim to have given away all of the proceeds from the sale of land at church, Peter confronts Ananias.
“Ananias, why did Satan fill your heart with lying to the Holy Spirit and withholding some of the income of the earth? »Asks Pierre. “Wasn’t it yours while you owned it?” And after its sale, was it not at your disposal? Why did you plan this thing in your heart? You did not lie to people but to God ”(vv. 3-4).
Who did Ananias lie to – the Holy Spirit or God? The answer, of course, is that he lied to both. To lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God since the Spirit occupies an equal position in the Trinity with the Father and the Son.
An intimate relationship
The intimate relationship between the Holy Spirit and other members of the Godhead is apparent in the scriptures. As an example, notice how the authors of the Synoptic Gospels relate Jesus’ promise to be with his disciples when they face persecution.
Mark records Jesus’ words: “So when they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry about what you will say in advance, but say whatever will be given to you at that time, for it is not not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. ”(Mark 13:11).
Matthew quotes Jesus saying, “But when they deliver you up, don’t worry about how or what you are going to speak. For it is not you who speak, it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaks through you ”(Matthew 10: 19-20).
And Luke notes that Jesus instructs his disciples: “Decide therefore not to prepare your defense in advance, for I will give you words and wisdom such that none of your adversaries can resist or contradict” (Luke 21:14 -15).
These stories do not contradict each other. Rather, they illustrate what Christian author James White describes as the “interpenetration” of the divine persons of the Trinity. That is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, although distinct persons within the Godhead, share the same divine essence.
We see it further in the Lord’s promise to be with His people: “Jesus answered, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him ”(John 14:23).
Jesus promises that He and the Father will dwell with those who love him and keep his word. But how is this possible? Because the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit to us.
In John 14:26, Jesus said to his disciples, “But the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of all that I have told you. “
And in the next chapter, Jesus says, “When the Counselor cometh, whomever I send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father – he shall bear record of me” (John 15:26).
The Father and Jesus send the Holy Spirit to dwell in the human spirits of the redeemed. Just as the full divinity of the Godhead is expressed in bodily form in Jesus (Col. 2: 9), so the full divinity of the Trinity rests in the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the temples of the body of believers (1 Cor. 6:19).
The relationship of the three persons of the Trinity is so intimate that Paul describes the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ in one verse: “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the flesh. ‘Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him ”(Rom. 8: 9).
As James White notes: “The fact that the Spirit dwells in all believers, and forms the foundation of our supernatural unity, results in true Christian fellowship – a sharing that knows no bounds. It is divine communion, brought about by a divine person, the Holy Spirit of God, the third eternal person of the blessed Trinity.
Perhaps this is the reason why the apostle Paul and other first century Christians included the three persons of the Godhead in their praise: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all ”(2 Cor. 13:13).