Study 5 Objective:
Who or what is the Holy Spirit, and why is this relevant to the believer?
Back to Bible Study 5:
The Holy Spirit - functionality or personality?
The Holy Spirit is often described in terms of functionality, such as God’s power or presence or action or voice. Is this an adequate way in which to portray the Spirit?
Jesus also is described as the power of God (Philippians 4:13), the presence of God (Galatians 2:20), the action of God (John 5:19), and the voice of God (3:34).
Yet we speak of Jesus in terms of personhood. Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as also having attributes of personhood, thus raising the Spirit’s profile above mere functionality.
The Holy Spirit has a will (I Corinthians 12:11 - “one and the same Spirit
…distributing to each one individually as He wills”).
The Holy Spirit searches, knows, teaches, and compares (2:10-13).
The Holy Spirit has emotions. The Spirit of Grace can be insulted Hebrews 10:29), and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).
The Holy Spirit comforts, and is called a helper, just like Jesus (John 14:16). In other passages of Scripture the Spirit speaks, commands, testifies, is lied to, intercedes, strives, etc. All these are terms consistent with personhood.
Biblically speaking, the Spirit is not a what, but a who. The Spirit is “someone”, not something.
In most Christian circles the Holy Spirit is referred to as “He”, which is not meant to be a gender reference: rather “He” is used to denote the personhood of the Spirit.
The divinity of the Spirit
The Bible ascribes divine qualities to the Holy Spirit. He is not described as having angelic or human nature.
Job 33:4 notes, “The Spirit of God has made me”. The Holy Spirit creates. The Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14). He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7).
Search the Scriptures and you will see that the Spirit is all powerful, all knowing, life giving. All these are attributes of the divine nature.
Thus the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as divine.
What is the spiritual effect of seeing the Spirit solely as a function?
Describe how the Spirit is divine.
God is One
A fundamental teaching of the NT is that there is one God (1 Corinthians 8:6; Romans 3:29-30; 1 Timothy 2:5; Galatians 3:20).
Jesus indicated that He and the Father shared the same Godhead (John 10:30).
If the Holy Spirit is a divine “someone”, is He a separate God? The answer must be no. If He were, then God would not be one.