God the Holy Spirit

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

In this edition, we continue with our series on The Godhead. The topic for this study is: God the Holy Spirit. In this study, we will consider in detail what the Bible says in relation to the Holy Spirit.

The Scripture makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is separate from the Father and the Son (see Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7). The Scripture also provides several evidences in relation to the work of the Spirit as our Comforter (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26), Intercessor (Romans 8:26), Guide (John 16:13) and Teacher (John 14:26). Moreover, the Spirit is also the One who reproves or convicts us of sin (John 16:7-8), and helps us to grow into the image of Christ by furnishing us with the fruits and the gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

Friends, these facts about the Holy Spirit are not usually subjects of contention in Christendom as the other clear biblical position that the Holy Spirit is also an equally Divine Person just as the Father and the Son. In view of this point, I will want us to dedicate the rest of the study to consider evidences in relation to the personhood and divinity of the Holy Spirit in three sub-sections as follows:


Among the doctrines of Scripture that has come under attack in recent times is the nature of the Holy Spirit. The debate borders around whether the Holy Spirit is a force or a Person. It is encouraging to know that the Scripture provide answers to this question without ambiguity. The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is a Person not an impersonal force. Here are some of the Scriptures that prove this point:

A) The Spirit has a Mind

Key Text: "10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

Key Explanation: If the Spirit were only an impersonal force, it could not know the thoughts of men, let alone the deep thoughts of God. This passage also helps us to understand that the Spirit and the Father are two separate Beings. You see, if the Spirit was just a force from the Father, then it would be out of place for Paul to say that the Spirit searcheth the deep things of God. For how could it be said that the Father searcheth out His own mind through a force that emanates from Him? This passage clearly proves not just the Personhood of the Spirit, but even His divine nature. For it will take only one equal with God to know the mind of God.

B) The Spirit has Emotions

Key Text: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30, NKJV). Other portions of Scripture also make it clear that the Holy Spirit can be vexed (Isaiah 63:10), resisted (Acts 7:51), lied unto (Acts 5:3), and quenched from the heart (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Key Explanation: These texts make it clear that the Spirit is not some impersonal force but rather a Person. This is because it is only a Person who can be affected with the various emotions and reactions as stipulated above.

C) The Spirit has a Will

Key Text: "11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will" (1 Corinthians 12:11).

In this text, we learn how the Spirit uses His will to apportion Spiritual gifts to members of the body of Christ. An impersonal force will have rather followed the will of its operator. Clearly, this text proves the Personhood of the Spirit.

D) The Spirit is able to Compare, Analyse and make Decisions

"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13:2).

Key Explanation: In this text, we learn that the Spirit is able to compare and analyse the strengths of God's people so as to select some for specific missions. It is only a Person with a mind that can do such a work. An impersonal force will only follow the codes of a programme or the will of an operator.

E) Besides the various texts above which clearly show the attributes of the Spirit as a Person, the Bible also makes it clear that the Spirit performs certain actions that only a Person can perform. For instance, the Spirit teaches God's children (John 14:26), He guides or leads God's people into all truth (John 16:13), He comforts God's people (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26), He provides spiritual gifts for the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), He helps to develop the fruits of the Spirit in the people of God (Galatians 5:22-23), He reproves or convicts God's children of sin (John 16:7-8), He intercedes for God's people (Romans 8:26), He testifies about Christ in the hearts of God's people (John 15:26; Romans 8:16), and He also empowers the people of God to move forward with the gospel commission (Acts 1:4-8; Acts 13:2).

F) In various passages of Scripture, Christ referred to the Spirit not as an impersonal force but as a Person. Here are some of the clear quotes:

i) "16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17).

ii) "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).

iii) "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me" (John 15:26).

iv) "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13).

In the passages above, Christ clearly referred to the Holy Spirit with personal pronouns such as ‘Whom’ and ‘He’. Moreover, Christ referred to the Spirit as another Comforter, an expression which basically helps us to understand that our Lord was referring to another Person different from Himself. This Comforter, whom our Lord made clear is the Holy Spirit, cannot be an impersonal force but rather a Person. For how would a force understand a grieving person and provide the needed comfort?


The Scripture makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is not just any mere Person, but rather, a divine Person. In this section, we will consider several passages in Scripture which bring out this clear point in the following order:

A) The Holy Spirit is an Integral Part of the Eternal Godhead

One of the clearest evidences in relation to the divinity of the Holy Spirit is His continual association with the Godhead. Outlined below are some clear references of Scripture that associate the Holy Spirit with the Divine Personalities of the Father and the Son:

(i) "16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the SPIRIT OF GOD descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo A VOICE FROM HEAVEN (THE FATHER), saying, This is my BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17; Emphasis Added).

(ii) "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

(iii) "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (2 Corinthians 13:14).

(iv) "1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (1 Peter 1:2).

(v) "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).

(vi) "4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come (The Father); and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne (The Holy Spirit); 5 And from Jesus Christ (The Son), who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:4-5; Emphasis Added).

B) The Holy Spirit Possesses Attributes of Divinity

Besides His numerous associations with the Father and the Son, the Scripture also associates the Holy Spirit with attributes that only a Divine Being can possess. For instance, just as the Father and the Son possess the divine attribute to resurrect the dead, so is the Holy Spirit able to also quicken the dead (compare Romans 8:11 with John 2:19-22, John 10:17-18, Acts 2:32, Romans 6:4, Romans 4:17). Besides this clear attribute of divinity in respect to quickening the dead, Scripture also describes the Spirit as Omnipotent (Luke 1:35; Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8), Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10), Omniscient (Isaiah 40:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; John 14:26; John 16:12-13), Creator (compare Genesis 1:1-2 with Genesis 1:26; see Job 26:13; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30), Eternal (Hebrews 9:14) and Holy (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7); attributes that can be possessed by only a Divine Personality.

C) The Holy Spirit is Addressed with Titles of Divinity in Scripture

Besides what we have gone through above, several passages of Scripture also plainly refer to the Holy Spirit as God, Lord or both Lord and God. Outlined below are several passages of Scripture which validate this position:

i) "3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:3-4).

Key Explanation: In this passage, the apostle Peter made it clear that lying to the Holy Spirit is actually the same as lying to God. One can gather from this expression of Peter that the Holy Spirit is also God. This passage is one of the clearest proofs in relation to the divinity of the Spirit.

ii) "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Key Explanation: In this text, the title of God is used interchangeably with the Spirit of God in relation to the Being that dwells in the believer’s body temple. This text clearly helps us to understand that the title of God is also used in reference to the Holy Spirit. iii a) "6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen THE KING, THE LORD OF HOSTS.

6:6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

(Isaiah 6:5-10; Capital Emphasis Added)
iii b) "28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, WELL SPAKE THE HOLY GHOST BY ESAIAS THE PROPHET UNTO OUR FATHERS,

28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

(Acts 28:25-27; Capital Emphasis Added)
A comparison of the two passages in sections (iii a) and (iii b) above clearly identify the Holy Spirit as THE LORD OF HOSTS, a title of divinity that is associated with the Jehovah of the Old Testament (compare also Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17). Friends, from what we have gone through so far, it is clear that the Holy Spirit can be justifiably called God the Holy Spirit just as the Father (John 6:27) and the Son (see Hebrews 1:8).


Christ once made a remarkable statement that whosoever sins against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven (see Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30). It is important for us to note that the sin against the Holy Spirit is not a particular form or type of sin, but rather, the persistent refusal of the promptings of the Spirit to turn from one's sinful course of action. Friends, the fact that we can sin against the Holy Spirit means that He deserves our full obedience, just as God the Father and the Son. This point is actually a proof of the Spirit's divinity as it is only One equal with God that we have to obey in such a way without falling into idolatry (see Exodus 20:3). As a Divine Being, the Holy Spirit deserves our reverence and worship just as the other two members of the Godhead. We must not forget to always invite His Presence in our individual lives, and also when we meet as the body of Christ.

Friends, from the scriptural passages we have examined so far, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is not some mystical impersonal force that proceeds from the Father and the Son, but rather, a Divine Person, even One equal with the Father and the Son. It is important for us to note that a wrong understanding of the Personhood of the Holy Spirit can lead us to lightly esteem Him, and thus rob us from the highest blessing that heaven could bestow upon us (compare Matthew 7:9-11 with Luke 11:9-13). It is my prayer that the Lord will help us to see the Holy Spirit as He is, and cause us to invite Him daily into our hearts so we can be transformed into the image of the spotless Son of God.

Exhortation: From the pen of inspiration, we read the following clear statements in relation to the Personhood and Divinity of the Holy Spirit:

i) "The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God." - Ev 616.6

ii) "We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds." - Manuscript 66, 1899 (Ev 616.5).

iii) "The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘For what man knoweth the things of God, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’ " - Manuscript 20, 1906 (Ev 617.1).

iv) "The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ." - Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905)" (Ev 615.1).

v) "The presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three highest powers in the universe and those in whose name the believer is baptized, is pledged to be with every striving soul. It will impart grace and strength to all who will watch unto prayer, to all who will purify the soul by obedience to the truth. And it will make the believer instrumental in leading other souls to accept Christ by faith." - (PUR July 2, 1908, Chapter 84, par. 4)

vi) "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb's book of life." - 6BC 1075.5 (Manuscript 27a, 1900).

vii) "The three powers of the Godhead have pledged Their might to carry out the purpose that God had in mind when He gave to the world the unspeakable gift of His Son." - EGW, 5 Review, 341.

viii) "The eternal Godhead--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost..." - UL 148.4

ix) The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. - CH 222.2

x) "The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit." -Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897)" {Ev 617.2}.

xi) "The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden." - AA 52.1

In our next study, which happens to be the last in our series on The Godhead, we will consider the topic: An Invitation to Experience the Godhead. The Bible Study references for this study are Romans 11:33, 1 John 4:4, 8, Isaiah 1:18, Matthew 11:28 and Revelation 22:17. Please do well to go through these passages before the next study is released.

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, all Scriptural References are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.


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