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holy spirit a person

Thus three distinct persons are still of one substance (una substantia in Latin). Jesus prayed to the Father (John 17:1), but His mother Mary was pregnant with Him as a result of the Holy Spirit: “She was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). For further study on this topic, read the articles in this section: “Holy Spirit: What Is the Holy Spirit?”. Acts 15:28, “it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements.”, 3. God the Holy Spirit does have energy (limitless), can affect things, and does have power (God’s power), but He is much more than these attributes. Moreover, even Trinitarian scholars admit that the Bible does not specifically identify the Spirit as a separate person or as a member of a Trinity. Here’s another puzzle for someone who believes the Spirit is a person. 4:30). In light of this, we should take note of two things. John 14:26, “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. How does the Holy Spirit fare up under this criteria? Acts 8:29, “the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’, Acts 13:2, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. As the Father and Jesus make this distinction when speaking of Him. These comparisons would make no sense if the Holy Spirit were a person, as the Trinity doctrine teaches. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will. Something that does these personal things in relationship—like God, angels, and human beings—is a person. We can fellowship and communicate with Him person to person. He is not a power, an effect, or just energy. Justin Taylor is executive vice president for book publishing and publisher for books at Crossway. apportions [spiritual gifts] to each one individually as he wills.”, 9. Second, once these spurious words are deleted, the wording that remains in 1 John 5:6-8 mentions the Holy Spirit in a list of things—not persons—that include water, blood and the Spirit. Copyright © 2021 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. He most recently pastored two congregations of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, before his retirement in 2020. The Holy Spirit speaks to the people of God, and encourages us to hear His voice (Hebrews 3:7). Quiet Subversion After a Chaotic Election, 7 Ways to Kill the Thanksgiving Impulse in Your Life, American Christians and Islam: From the Colonial Era to the Post-9/11 World, The English Quaker Who Subverted the Bible’s Authority. How about the Son? Additionally, “the word Trinity is not found in the Bible, and though used by Tertullian in the last decade of the 2nd century, it did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century” (New Bible Dictionary, 1982, “Trinity”). 1 Corinthians 2:13, “We impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. In the Trinity doctrine, a “person” is like a personality or “mask.”. He convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11) … The Holy Spirit is presented as a personal being with a self-identity different from both the Father, and the Son. Two years later, in 1893, she wrote, “There is altogether too little made of the work of the Holy Spirit’s influence upon the church. What Is the Holy Spirit? Tom Kirkpatrick holds a PhD in accounting from the University of North Texas, and is a retired CPA. And there are three that bear witness on earth” were not a part of the original text that the apostle John wrote, but were instead added much later (perhaps in an attempt to buttress the doctrine of the Trinity). The Holy Spirit is identified as a Person by John, using in the Greek the masculine ekeinos in Jn.16:13. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is represented by water, oil, a dove and fire. Hence, so the argument goes, the Spirit is a person. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is all-powerful. Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”. Most modern English translations do not include these words. He has the characteristics of a person. He acts like a person. They are grammatically either feminine or masculine or neuter, whether or not they refer to living things that are female or male. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ’s name. Ephesians 4:30, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”, 4. The Spirit makes decisions. While both the Father and Christ are worshipped as the two eternal Beings of the Godhead (John 4:23-24; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:6), there is no instance in the Bible of the Holy Spirit being worshipped. The doctrine of the Trinity developed over the centuries as a human attempt to explain the nature of God. The Spirit can forbid or prevent human speech and plans. The Spirit glorifies Christ, takes what is Christ, and declares it to believers. The word, “person” has had different meanings over the course of time. The Latin word persona in the days of Tertullian never meant a self-conscious individual person, which is what is usually meant by the modern English word ‘person.’ In those days, it only meant legal ownership or a mask used at the theater. outraged the Spirit of grace?”, Acts 5:3, 4, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? Third Member of the Trinity God the Holy Spirit is a Person. As the Father and Jesus make this distinction when speaking of Him. The proof comes from many other scriptures in the Bible. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as parakletos (a “comforter” because the power of God has a comforting and encouraging effect in the minds and lives of those who receive it). Christians can easily identify with God the … Acts 16:6-7, “they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. Numerous outpourings of the Holy Spirit are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles , in which healing, prophecy, the expelling of demons ( exorcism ), and speaking in tongues ( glossolalia ) are particularly associated with the activity of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is identified as a Person by John, using in the Greek the masculine ekeinos in Jn.16:13. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality.”18 In 1896, she quoted the words of Jesus in John 16:7, 8, and then wrote her earliest clear statement on the Holy Spirit as a Person in the Godhead. In the Greek language parakletos is a masculine noun. . One potential argument that the Holy Spirit is a person is to look at the Greek words in John 14:26, 15:26, and 16:13-14. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version (© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.). Thus, in the English translation, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “He.” However, this is no more evidence that the Holy Spirit is a person than the use, in Spanish, of the feminine pronoun ella (she) to refer to a door is evidence that a door is a female person. The work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life is an on-going process of becoming holy through sanctification. The Holy Spirit is presented as a personal being with a self-identity different from both the Father, and the Son. In this verse Peter confronts Ananias as to why he lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him that he had “not lied to men but to God.” Just as Acts 1:8 mentions, the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to … It is a fundamental revelation that the Holy Spirit is a Person, in the sense that the Father is a Person, and the Son is a Person. He blogs at Between Two Worlds and Evangelical History. John 16:14, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”. The apostles Peter and John also greeted the brethren in some of their epistles in the name of God the Father and Jesus Christ, similarly not mentioning the Holy Spirit—quite a disrespectful snub if the Holy Spirit is also a person (2 Peter 1:2; 2 John 1:3). The Bible says that He is not something, He is Someone. We need to treat Holy Spirit as a person, not as a force, power or tongue. '”, 3. The Holy Spirit is willing to become a seed in you. A more fruitful approach is first to ask a question almost no one asks: how do we know that the Father is a person? . He can be angered, frustrated, grieved (Eph. I encourage you to discover the Holy Spirit as God and a person. The Holy Spirit is the powerful means by which the two members of the Godhead revealed in the Bible—God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son of God—project Their will, Their influence, Their nature and Their creative power throughout the universe, including affecting the minds of human beings. This is appropriate, since the Holy Spirit is not a person, but the power of the two Beings: God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If the Holy Spirit were a person, the apostle Paul certainly disrespected and snubbed “Him” by omitting the Holy Spirit in his typical greetings to the churches. John 14:26- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, … When we say that the Holy Spirit is a person, there are those who understand us to mean that the Holy Spirit has hands and feet and eyes and ears and mouth, and so on, but these are not the characteristics of personality but of corporeity. These and other Bible passages have led some to conclude that the holy spirit is a person, just as God, Jesus, and the angels are individual spirit persons. The Spirit helps us, intercedes for us, and has a mind. In 1891, “Brother Chapman” felt he had discovered that the Holy Spirit did not exist, that He was not a Person and not a member of the Godhead. You can follow him on Twitter. The Spirit bears witness to Christ. . Hebrews 10:29, “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has . The Self-Pity and Irresponsibility of President Trump, A Simple Explanation of Divine Simplicity, What Does It Mean to Be Human? The answer is that the Bible presents a person as a substance that can do personal and relational things (such as speaking, thinking, feeling, acting). He is God. The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. The translators of the King James Bible carried this grammatical arrangement over into the English in a number of places, such as John 14:16. According to the cults, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Holy Ghost is simply God’s “active force,” not God Himself. The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is clearly seen in many Scriptures, including Acts 5:3-4. . In the Spanish language, this is a “feminine” noun, and it is appropriate to refer to a door by the use of a feminine pronoun (ella, which is equivalent to the English pronoun she). The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as a “gift” that God will “pour out” on people. Never miss a post! … The Spirit teaches and reminds. Unfortunately, that argument likely doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. He has taught accounting and business courses at the university graduate level, and has served in the financial management of Church of God organizations. It is also clear that the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God (1 Thessalonians 4:8; Isaiah 63:10–11). This is language appropriate to use in describing a thing, rather than a person. When he wrote her for counsel, this was Ellen Whites reply: “Some are ever seeking to be original, to bring out something new and startling, and they do not realize as they should the importance preserving the unity of the faith in the bonds of love. A similar situation exists in the Greek language—the language in which the New Testament was originally written. All rights reserved. The main evidence presented as “proof” that the Spirit is more than just a divine power or force is the use of masculine pronouns found primarily in John’s gospel. Therefore, in Greek, a masculine pronoun is appropriate in referring to parakletos. Holy Spirit, also called Paraclete or Holy Ghost, in Christian belief, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is also described in the Bible as having the characteristics of God and doing God’s work. You have not lied to men but to God‘”, 6. There we see that the antecedent of the masculine ἐκεῖνος (a masculine word for “that person”) is πνεῦμα (a neuter word for “Spirit”). . The Holy Spirit is a Person. . How Should a Christian Deal With the Coronavirus Pandemic? He Gives Us Power to Witness. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. They share a common Spirit and nature (Ephesians 4:4; John 10:30). The Spirit can be grieved. 1 Corinthians 12:11, “the same Spirit . The Scriptures contain much information on this important topic. 12 Those who respond to this conviction and place their faith in Jesus Christ receive eternal life and a new nature. But what does the true source of all right doctrine tell us about the nature of the Holy Spirit? The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as a “gift” that God will “pour out” on people (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:17). The Holy Spirit is not a separate person from the Father and the Son. However, these analogies do not of and by themselves prove or disprove that the Holy Spirit is not a person. If the Holy Spirit is a person, why is the Holy Spirit not included when Paul, Peter and John sent greetings to the churches? Without denial of the one Essence of the Godhead, the personality of the Holy Spirit must be affirmed and is subject to proof unassailable by any who accept the Scriptures as authoritative. . We want to see what God’s Word says regarding the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, and not … . First, the fact that this nonbiblical addition is the only clear statement of the Trinity highlights the weakness of the Trinity doctrine. It isn’t taught elsewhere in the Scriptures. Since one of the major aspects of God’s nature is that he is a person, it follows that the Holy Spirit is a person. “Evil had been accumulat­ing for centuries, and could only be restrained and resisted by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, the Thir… The Holy Spirit is a person. Holy Spirit is a person because He possesses all these personality characteristics. This potential confusion of understanding is quite easily avoided by realizing that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is not a person but the power by which the Father gave human life to Jesus in the womb of Mary. That would make the Holy Spirit the “father” of Jesus, if the Holy Spirit were a person. The Holy Spirit Is a Person The fact that the Holy Spirit is a person can be observed in six ways. The New World Encyclopedia notes, “Tertullian started to use the expression of ‘three persons’ (tres personae in Latin). Acts 8:29, “the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’ Acts 13:2, … Used by permission. no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”, 8. 1. In the King James and New King James Versions, these verses appear to refer to the Holy Spirit as one member of a three-person “Trinity.” This passage is quite misleading because nearly all biblical authorities agree that the words (in verses 7-8) “in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. The Holy Spirit Is Considered as A “Gift” (Like an object, not a person) …and you shall receive the … These and other Bible passages have led some to conclude that the holy spirit is a person, just as God, Jesus, and the angels are individual spirit persons. Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe, Article URL: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/holy-spirit/is-the-holy-spirit-a-person/. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. Sign up to receive the week's latest articles, blog posts and updates. ( 1 Thessalonians 4:8 ; Isaiah 63:10–11 ) [ spiritual gifts ] to each one individually he... 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To see the truth of the Holy Spirit is willing to become a seed you... All right doctrine tell us about the nature of God ( 1 Thessalonians 4:8 ; Isaiah 63:10–11 ) unites believer... The same way as the Father, and human beings—is a person for example, in Greek a! Posts and updates grammar and translation, not as a person by John using! ” of Jesus, if the Holy Spirit of God. ”, 8 other Scriptures in Bible! Spirit the “ Father ” of Jesus, if the Holy Spirit is represented by,... To Trinitarians, the Spirit helps us, and is a person treat Holy Spirit https: //lifehopeandtruth.com/god/holy-spirit/is-the-holy-spirit-a-person/ that... With the Coronavirus Pandemic personae in Latin ) Paraclete or Holy Ghost, in Christ retirement... Argument goes, the Holy Spirit is all-powerful for us, intercedes for us, intercedes for us, is! Ephesians 4:4 ; John 10:30 ) pour out ” on people Christians of what Christ said is a! 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