The Biblical Concept of the Triune God, Part III: The Holy Spirit is God

The nature of the Holy Spirit has been a controversial subject throughout history. Unfortunately, the controversies have diluted the understanding of Who the Holy Spirit is. However, understanding the Person and work of the Holy Spirit has a tremendous significance to the Christian life.  

1. Verses of Scripture proving the Spirit is a Person:

But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them (Isaiah 63:10)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He can be vexed (irritated; frustrated).

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 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)

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)

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)

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 show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:13,14)

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8)

The Holy Spirit is a Person because He is referred to as “he” and “him”, He dwells (I Corinthians 3:16), He comforts (Acts 9:31), He teaches (Luke 12:12; I Corinthians 2:13), He testifies, He guides, He hears, He speaks, He shows, He glorifies, and He reproves.

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? (Acts 5:3)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He can be lied to.

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. (Acts 5:9)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He can be tempted.

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)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He personally appoints men to ministry (Acts 8:29; 10:19, 16:6, 7; 20; 20:28) These verses also prove His Personality in that He “says.”

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He leads.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He has a mind and He makes intercession for the saints.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 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. (I Corinthians 2:10,11)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He searches and He knows.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

The Holy Spirit is a Person in that He can be grieved.

2. Verses of Scripture proving the Deity of the Holy Spirit:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:18)

The New Testament immediately ascribes Jesus’ conception into humanity to the work of the Holy Spirit, yet He calls God His Father (Matthew 7:21), and He is called God’s Son (John 3:16). The providence of the Conception is of God – the Father and the Holy Spirit.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28)

In Luke 11:20, Jesus says He casts out devils with “the finger of God”, explaining that His power to do so come from God. Here, He attributes the same to the Spirit of God, equating the Holy Spirit with God Himself.

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? 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 3:4,5)

The sad account of Ananias and Saphira’s lie and the consequences thereof provides insight into the Deity of the Holy Spirit. Peter states that Ananias lied to the Holy Ghost. In the very next verse, Peter says that he lied to God, equating the Holy Ghost with God.

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye (Acts 7:51)

Psalm 78:17 declares the sin of the Israelite forefathers recorded throughout the Old Testament, provoking God to anger. The Old Testament account of the cycle of sin does not mention the Holy Spirit as the One being offended, yet here Stephen says the One Who was resisted was the Holy Spirit. Stephen equated the Holy Spirit with God.

Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:19)

The summary of Paul’s miracles in Acts 19:11 declares that God wrought miracles through Paul. Here, Paul attributes this power to the Holy Spirit, equating Him with God Himself.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) (Hebrews 3:7-11)

The Holy Ghost is again equated with God through the account of Israel’s resistence to God recorded in the Old Testament. Here, the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 95:7-11, a denouncement of Israel given by God, clearly from the context. This verse says “the Holy Ghost saith”, revealing the Holy Spirit as God Himself.

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them (Hebrews 10:15,16)

The Holy Ghost is directly called the Lord, the One quoted here from Jeremiah 31:33 and 34. Through the prophet, God says “I will put law in their inward parts” and Jeremiah attributes this to the LORD (Jehovah God). The prophecy continues with “(I) will be their God” an expression again testifying of the Holy Spirit’s Deity, and “I will remember their sin no more”, an expression referred to in verse 17 of Hebrews 10. Note that, since the Holy Spirit is speaking, God’s law is called His law, thereby bestowing on the Holy Spirit the authority of the Law, which was given and enforced by God (Deuteronomy 9:10; Psalm 19:7). Clearly, then, the Holy Spirit is God Himself.

3. Attributes of the Holy Spirit that prove His Deity:

The Holy Spirit inspired scripture:

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:21)

God inspired scripture:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16)

The Holy Spirit is eternal:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

God is eternal:

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

The Holy Spirit is omniscient:

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (I Corinthians 2:10)

God is omniscient:

Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Acts 15:18)

The Holy Spirit is the Creator:

The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. (Job 33:4)

God is the Creator:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

4. Relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Father and Son:

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)

In the same line of thought, Paul through divine inspiration refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of God and as the Spirit of Christ (using “God” and “Christ” interchangeably, thereby proving Christ’s Deity). This is why the Holy Spirit is referred to in theology as the “third Person of the Trinity.” It is not degrading His importance; it signifies His purpose. In the redemptive work of God, the Father presided through His foreknowledge, the Son made the atonement on Calvary, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies and indwells those who are saved (I Peter 1:2). The Holy Spirit’s work was recharged since the death of Christ in that beforetime His presence was limited (Psalm 51:11), but now He is in the believer from the moment of his salvation into eternity (John 14:16; Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit is sent by God the Father (John 14:26) and by God the Son (John 16:7). His ministry in the world today is to testify of Christ (John 15:26), to reprove the world of sin (John 16:8), to shed abroad the love of God (Romans 5:5), to produce fruit in the lives of believers (Galatians 5:22), and to teach them all things (John 14:26). Certainly, His ministry is toward the Father and Son, not Himself (John 16:13).

Part I: The Father is God

Part II: Jesus is God

Part IV: The Trinity in Scripture

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  1. […] Part III: The Holy Spirit is God […]


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