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God the Holy Spirit

Lesson 4

3. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is probably the most misunderstood person of the Trinity. What must we believe about the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures?

First, we must believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. Some people think of the Holy Spirit as a thing. They say that, just as we have a spirit, so, too, God has a Spirit. Others, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, say that the Holy Spirit is merely a force, the power of God.

But the Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit is a person. The best evidence is that Christ refers to the Holy Spirit using the pronouns “He” and “Him,” not “it” (John 14-16).

Jesus also referred to the Holy Spirit as “another Helper” (John 14:16-17). Greek has two words that can be translated as “another.” The first, eteros, means “another of a similar or different kind”: “You sampled that apple. Now try another kind of fruit, this time an orange.”

The second, allos, means “another of the same kind”: “You sampled that apple. Now try another apple.” Both words are used in Gal. 1:6-7: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different (eteros) gospel, which is not another (allos); but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

Jesus used the latter word. The Holy Spirit is the same kind of Helper that Jesus is. He is and does what Jesus is and does.

The Scriptures also tell us that the Holy Spirit has the attributes of a person and does what only a person can do. He:

has a will (1 Cor. 12:11, Heb. 2:4)
makes decisions (Acts 15:28)
helps (John 14:16)
dwells (John 14:17)
teaches (John 14:26; Luke 12:12; 1 Cor. 2:13)
testifies (John 15:26)
is a witness (Acts 5:32)
convicts (John 16:8)
guides (John 16:13)
speaks (John16:13; Acts 28:25; Heb. 3:7)
inspired the prophets (2 Pet. 1:21)
forbids (Acts 16:6)
prays for us (Rom. 8:26)
can be grieved (Is. 63:10; Eph. 4:30)

Second, we must believe that the Holy Spirit is God.

Peter said that lying to the Holy Spirit is the same as lying to God (Acts 5:3-4).

And Paul says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17).

The Holy Spirit also has the attributes of God. He is omnipresent (Ps. 139:7), omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10-11), and eternal (Heb. 9:14).

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