"Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord and being his counselor has taught him? With whom took he counsel and who instructed him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge and showed to him the way of understanding?" - Isaiah 40:13-14 KJV
"But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak; For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you." - Matthew 10:19-20 KJV
"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."
And the Lord said; my Spirit will not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Who or what is the Holy Spirit in scripture? There are some who mistakenly think of the Holy Spirit as a mere force, kind of like the wind. While He is compared to the wind in scripture, He is a person as John 16:13 above clearly shows. Notice that there are seven personal pronouns in that verse. Any student of the English language would instantly know that personal pronouns are never applied to impersonal things. That may seem to be somewhat simplistic, nevertheless, it is truth, and whether those whose massive intellect agree or not, truth can be simple! As a person whose mind was intensely analytic, or, in other words, constantly unwilling to believe anything that I could not explain by analysis or breaking it down to my terms, I wanted truth to be fully explainable and childlike faith was out of the question. You can imagine my difficulty when it came to believing in God and the teachings of the Bible when it came to faith in someone I could neither see or explain. Praise God I was able to get past it.
The Holy Spirit is given credit for a lot of things in scripture, and some of those things can only be attributed to deity. He is given credit for Omniscience, Omnipresence, Eternity and Holiness. He is shown as active in creation and draws sinful men to God. He is the teacher for the Christian and knows the mind of God. Let's examine some relevant scriptures that will clearly unravel the mystery of who He is and what he does. Let's discover together the things that mark him out as a person as well.
1 Chronicles 16:29 - Worship the Lord
in the beauty of holiness.
The Spirit in Scripture
The theological term for the study of the Holy Spirit is pneumatology but don't be intimidated by a word. Pneuma merely means spirit and comes from the Greek root pneu which denotes the dynamic movement of the air. The Holy Spirit in scripture is a person, and is given titles and/or attributes that can only belong to a divine being or God. He is the person in the Godhead that brings conviction of sin and points the way to the Savior. He is to be loved and worshiped!
The Holy Spirit as a person
A person has specific qualities including knowledge or intelligence, affection or feelings, a will, and possibly the ability to speak. Scripture shows the Holy Spirit to have all these.
Romans 8:27 - mind, intelligence and knowledge I Corinthians 2:11 – knowledge I Corinthians 12:11 – will Romans 15:30 affection or love
Things only a person can do
Acts 8:29 – speak, Acts 11:12 – command, Acts 13:2 - call into ministry, Acts 13:4 - send, - Acts 16:6-7 forbid,
Genesis 6:3 strive with unbelievers, Revelation 2:7 and 11 speak to churches.
The Spirit Suffers as a Person Suffers
Isaiah 63:10- vexation, Hebrews 10:29 - can be insulted and outraged, Acts 5:3, can be lied to, Acts 7:51 - can be resisted, Ephesians 4:30 - can be grieved, and Matthew 12:31 - can be blasphemed
The Holy Spirit as Deity
Names and Titles of The Holy Spirit
Exodus 31:3 - The Spirit of God, Judges 6:34 - The Spirit of the Lord, Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Lord God, Matthew 10:20 the Spirit of your Father, John 14:17 - The Spirit of Truth, Romans 8:9 - Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ, II Corinthians 3:3 Spirit of the Living God
Attributes of the Holy Spirit
Isaiah 40:13-14 and I Corinthians 2:10-11 – Omniscience, Psalms 139:7-8. Omnipresence Hebrews 9:14 - Eternity and
John 14:26 - Holiness It is obvious that the very name "Holy Spirit" should let the reader know that He is holy.
Now the above information will obviously require the reader to do some research in the Bible to make sure that these verses state what I am saying they do. Some of them are not outright declarations, and a little more study will clear that up. That is why the Bible tells us we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that don't need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The word dividing here means understanding what the scriptures say by checking them against other scriptures on the same subject, in their context and historical background. In scripture a group of people called the Bereans were commended for their diligent study. Acts 17:10-11
That particular study is called exegesis and is the only correct way to study the Bible when it comes to the right interpretation of what it says. Many false teachers, teachings and cults have sprung from not doing that but rather taking verses of scripture by themselves or out of context (the preceding and following verses) and developing doctrines that aren't scriptural. Much damage has been done through this, and many have been led away from Christ through this practice. It is our personal responsibility to study the scriptures for ourselves, and not be led away by those who choose to pervert the scripture to their own damnation. We will have nobody to blame but ourselves if we allow others to tell us what the scripture says. Certainly it is good to have teachers who love the Lord, but all men are fallible and we need to be sure that what they teach lines up with God's word as we understand it because, in the end, I am firmly convinced that God will not require of us what someone else understood him to say but what our own understanding of his word is since he has promised the Holy Spirit will teach those who are his children. There is no degree or pedigree mentioned in regard to this. Simple faith in God to do what he says will do the job. After all, who can teach us God's Word better than the Holy Spirit
who, being God, understands it perfectly?
C R Lord, Webmaster