Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Importance of the Personhood of The Holy Spirit

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

As we consider the God of the Bible, biblical testimony reveals that God is One in existence and three in identity. That is to say - the One Eternal, unchanging, timeless, spaceless, Personal God exists in Three co-equal, Co-Eternal Persons that scripture reveals to be Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To attempt further clarity, we can see how each of the Persons of the God-head express the very essence of the One True and Living God. For example, The Holy Spirit, who will be the focus of today's blog, is for the Christian "God in us".  God in the Person of the Holy Spirit is in scripture the Third Person of the Trinity who comes to indwell the Christian at salvation (John 16:17).The Person of the Father expresses "God above us", unseen and immortal (Jude 24-25). God is revealed by the Person of the Son as "God with us", visibly revealing the Father. 

Personhood is that quality of a living being that includes the conscious expression of intellect, emotion and will.  The Holy Spirit has emotions - meaning for example that He can be grieved by our sin (Ephesians 4:30). We also see that as the Spirit of revelation, He has a mind by which to communicate and articulate Himself to Christians (Ephesians 1:18, 2 Peter 1:21). Finally, the Holy Spirit has a will by which He calls and gifts Christians in the church (Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12,14).  Perhaps the greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit's personhood comes from the lips of Jesus Himself.  Time and time again Christ refers to the Holy Spirit as "He", not "it" (see John 16:13).  

John 14:16 has Jesus stating - "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever".  The word "another" in this passage refers to "another of the same kind".  When Christ is speaking to his disciples, He is clearly explaining His Deity, being that to see Him is to see the Father (John 14:7).  In saying to the disciples He is going to "send another comforter", He is stating that the Father and He are going to send forth the third person of the Trinity who shares in their nature. The logic of Jesus' statements can be summarized below:

1. The Father is God(John 14:1)

2. To see and believe Jesus is to see and believe in God (John 14:1, 7)

3. The Holy Spirit is "another of the same kind" as Jesus Christ (John 14:16)

4. Thus the Holy Spirit is God, sharing in the same Deity as The Father and The Son (John 14:23)