[Gospel+Way Update] Nature of the Holy Spirit - Gospel Way Update for July | Gospel+Way

gospelway at mylist.net gospelway at mylist.net
Sun Jul 11 13:47:21 PDT 2010


=========================================================
** David E. Pratte
** 841 Hillandale Dr., Antioch, IL 60002
** On the web: www.gospelway.com or www.biblestudylessons.com
** Email: Submit messages at www.gospelway.com/comments.php
=========================================================

Bible students,

The Nature of the Holy Spirit
=============================

What terms does the Bible use to refer to the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit 
a living spirit being separate and distinct from God the Father and the 
Son, or is the Spirit just a power or a characteristic of God? Does the 
Holy Spirit possess the characteristics and do the works of Deity? Is He 
a Being in the Godhead?

This is the subject of this month's Bible study article. I encourage you 
to study the article carefully, and I hope you find it helpful. The 
study is included below in ASCII or plain text format. To see the 
article properly formatted in HTML (or to see the entire article, in 
case it is truncated by your email server), please go to our Bible 
Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/ (see the section 
about God/Deity).

======================================

To join our Facebook group, go to www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=79584762296

To listen to our free mp3 recorded audio Bible messages, please go to 
http://www.gospelway.com/audio/index.php

To learn about our Bible_Government email list, please visit our web 
site at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bible_Government. To subscribe to 
this new email list, respond to this email or go to 
www.gospelway.com/comments.php and tell us you want to subscribe to 
Bible_Government.

***NOTE CAREFULLY****: To make sure you receive our messages, please set 
your email software to accept messages with Gospel+Way in the subject 
line (a less effective alternative is to accept messages with 
gospelway.com in the "from" line).

The surest way to contact us by e-mail is to go to 
www.gospelway.com/comments.php (this page can be accessed by a link 
found at the bottom of nearly every page on our web site)

If you respond to this email, be sure your subject line includes 
Gospel+Way so it will pass our filters. Thank you!

To study free Bible study articles or online Bible courses on our web 
sites, go to www.gospelway.com or www.BibleStudyLessons.com.

To change your e-mail address or to be removed from our mailing list 
please see the link at the end of this message.

God bless your study of His word.

In Jesus' name,

Dave Pratte

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bible courses, tracts, & booklets, online or in print:
** Bible Study Online Library (Gospel Way) -- www.gospelway.com
** Free Bible Study Lessons -- www.BibleStudyLessons.com
** Round Lake church -- www.gospelway.com/rlbchurch/
** Bible Instruction (Bible articles) -- www.gospelway.com/instruct/
** Light to My Path Publications -- www.gospelway.com/litepath/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

       >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
       The Nature Of The Holy Spirit
       >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Introduction:

The purpose of this study is to consider the nature of the Holy Spirit 
and especially whether or not the Holy Spirit is a Diving Being who 
possesses Deity as part of the Godhead, like God the Father and God the Son.

Our understanding of the nature of the Holy Spirit is necessarily limited.
*****************************************************

Many things about the infinite, spiritual God are beyond our ability to 
understand as finite, fallible humans. Can we answer every question 
about the nature of the Father? If not, why should we expect to be able 
to answer every question about the nature of the Holy Spirit?

Often we are uncomfortable discussing the Holy Spirit, simply because we 
have not studied enough. We talk about the Father so often that we get 
used to the fact that there is much about Him we do not know. But when 
we have neglected studying the Holy Spirit, it bothers us to discover 
how little we know about Him. But there are some things we'll never know 
this side of eternity (Job 26:14; 36:26; 37:5,23; 11:7-9; Isaiah 55:8,9; 
Deut. 29:29).

On the other hand, there are many things we can know about Deity.
*****************************************************

Even with limited understanding, we can know that the Father and the Son 
exist, possess Deity, and possess the characteristics of Deity (eternal, 
all-knowing, all-powerful, etc.). Likewise, we can determine whether or 
not the Holy Spirit possesses Deity and the characteristics of Deity. 
That is the purpose of this study.

I. The Names of the Holy Spirit
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Bible often uses interchangeable terms for things. For example:

* God is called Jehovah, Almighty, or the Most High.
* The church is called the kingdom, body, house, or bride.
* The gospel is called the New Testament, the truth, the Word of God, 
the will of God, or the faith.
* Christians are called children of God, disciples, saints, or priests.
* Elders are called bishops, overseers, pastors, or presbyters.

In each case the different terms emphasize different aspects of the same 
thing, person, or concept. Likewise, we will see that the Scriptures use 
a number of names interchangeably to refer to the Holy Spirit.

A. The "Holy Spirit" (or "Holy Ghost")
==========================

Obviously this is a common expression. We will see it used repeatedly as 
the study proceeds.

[Psalm 51 :11; Isaiah 63:10; Matthew 3:11; 12:32; 28:19; Mark 12:36; 
13:11; John 14:26; Acts 1:5,8; 2:4; 5:3,32; 8:14-19; 1 Corinthians 6:19]

B. "The Spirit of Truth" and "the Comforter".
==============================

John 14:16,17,26; (15:26; 16:7,13) - Jesus promised to send "the 
Comforter" even "the Spirit of Truth" to the apostles.

But in 14:26 He calls this one He would send the "Holy Spirit."

Hence, "Spirit of Truth" and "Comforter" here are simply other names for 
the Holy Spirit. This demonstrates that different terms are used for the 
Holy Spirit.

C. "The Spirit"
==========

Often the Holy Spirit is called simply "the Spirit."

Matthew 22:43 - David spoke Psalms 110:1 "in the Spirit." But the 
parallel passage in Mark 12:36 says He spoke it by the Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:10 and John 1:33 - At Jesus' baptism, "the Spirit" descended in a 
form like a dove. But Luke 3:22 says this was the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:1 - Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and led of "the Spirit."

Acts 2:4 - The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with 
other tongues as "the Spirit" gave them utterance.

1 Corinthians 2:10 - The apostles and prophets spoke the will of God by 
revelation from "the Spirit." But v13 (NKJV) and John 14:26; 16:7,13 
show this was the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:7-13 - Miraculous gifts were given to men by "the 
Spirit," but 12:3 shows that this was the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5 - "The Spirit" is the earnest or pledge of our 
inheritance given us by God. But Ephesians 1:13,14; 4:30 say that this 
earnest or seal is the Holy Spirit.

In these passages "the Spirit" is simply another name used to refer to 
the Holy Spirit.

However note that, in other contexts, "the spirit" may be identified as 
a spirit other than the Holy Spirit (see James 2:26; Matt. 26:41; 
Ephesians 4:23; etc.). The context must determine.

D. "The Spirit of God"
===============

The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as "the Spirit of God," or God 
may refer to the Holy Spirit as "my Spirit," or others may refer to Him 
as "His Spirit" (speaking in reference to God).

Matthew 3:16 says "the Spirit of God" descended on Jesus as a dove at 
His baptism, but remember Luke 3:22 says it was the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:17,18 quotes Joel 2:28,29 where God said "I will pour out My 
Spirit upon all flesh." But this was fulfilled by the coming of the Holy 
Spirit (vv 4,33).

1 Corinthians 2:11,12 - "The Spirit of God" revealed God's will,  but 
v13 (NKJV) and John 14:26 show that this refers to the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 combines the terms as the "Holy Spirit of God."

1 Thessalonians 4:8; Psalm 51:11; and Isaiah 63:10 combine "Holy Spirit" 
with "My Spirit" or "His Spirit" speaking of God.

Acts 5:3,9 use Holy Spirit and "Spirit of the Lord" interchangeably.

Hence "Spirit of God," "My Spirit" (God speaking), etc., are other names 
for the Holy Spirit. Question: Can you find any instance where you can 
prove these phrases refer to anyone other than the Holy Spirit?

[Matthew 12:18,28 with Isaiah 42:1; Matt, 12:32; Luke 4:1; Acts 10:38.]

II. A Living Spirit Being
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Like other Bible words, "spirit" can have different meanings depending 
on context. Consider some alternative ways "spirit" may be used in the 
Bible. Then we will consider which of these meanings applies to the 
"Holy Spirit."

A. Alternative Meanings of the Word "Spirit"
===============================

A living spirit being
*******************

"Spirit" can refer to a person or living being who possesses the 
characteristics of a person or living individual separate and distinct 
from other such beings. The Bible mentions several kinds of living 
beings or individuals who are spirit beings (or in some cases, like man, 
a spirit dwelling in a body).

* God the Father and Jesus the Son - John 4:23,24; Luke 23:46
* Angels - Hebrews 1:13,14
* Satan and demons - Matthew 8:16; 12:24,43-45; Mark 1:23-27
* Human beings - 1 Corinthians 15:35,44; James 2:26; Luke 8:55; Acts 
7:59; 17:16; 1 Corinthians 2:11

Note that the spirit of each such individual being is separate and 
distinct from the spirits or other living beings. For example, the 
Father is a Being whose spirit is separate and distinct from the spirits 
of angels and men, etc. The spirit of each angel is separate and 
distinct from the spirit of the Father and from other angels, etc.

The characteristics, qualities, or attitudes possessed of expressed by a 
person
*****************************************************

"Spirit" in this sense can refer to some aspect of a person's 
personality disposition, nature, character, etc. Examples:

Luke 1:17 - John came in "the spirit and power of Elijah."
Romans 11:8 - A spirit of slumber ("stupor" - ASV)
1 Corinthians 4:21; Galatians 6:1 - A spirit of meekness.
2 Timothy 1:7 - A spirit of fear contrasted to a spirit of power and of 
love and of a sound mind.
1 Peter 3:4 - A meek and quiet spirit.

Many other examples can be given. The spirit of man is the inner man - 
the part that feels, wills, motivates, etc. So the real character of a 
man is determined by the nature or condition of his spirit. Hence, the 
word "spirit" came to refer to the various attitudes or qualities 
expressed by the spirit.

Note that each individual can have only one "spirit" in the sense that 
he is just one living individual being. Yet he may have many different 
"spirits" in the sense of qualities or attitudes. And in fact his spirit 
(in the latter sense) can even change as time passes.

B. The Holy Spirit as a Living Spirit Being.
=============================

Is the Holy Spirit a living spirit being separate and distinct from 
other spirit beings, like the Father and angels, etc.? Or is the Holy 
Spirit just a characteristic or an attitude possessed by God? Could the 
"Holy Spirit" be just a way of referring to the power, character, 
nature, attributes, or disposition of God?

The Holy Spirit possesses the characteristics and qualities of a living 
spirit Being.
*****************************************************

Consider the following descriptions of the Holy Spirit. Would the 
following things properly be said of a mere characteristic or attitude? 
Or does this language demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is a person who 
possesses personal characteristics and qualities?

* He hears - John 16:13
* He can be lied to - Acts 5:3
* He makes decisions about right and wrong (like people do) - Acts 15:28
* He intercedes - Romans 8:26
* He has a mind - Romans 8:27
* He loves - Romans 15:30
* He searches - 1 Corinthians 2:10
* He knows (like the spirit of a living being knows) - 1 Corinthians 2:11
* He gives gifts - 1 Corinthians 12:8,11
* He wills - 1 Corinthians 12:11
* He grieves - Ephesians 4:30 (Isaiah 63:10)

The Holy Spirit is not just a characteristic or attitude. Rather He is a 
living Being who possesses the characteristics of a person.

[See also Romans 8:26,27; 1 Corinthians 12:8,11; 6:11; Matthew 12:31; 
Hebrews 10:29; Acts 5:9; 7:51; 8:29; 16:6,7; 13:2,4; 1 Timothy 4:1; John 
15:26; 16:13; 14:26; 16:7,8; Ephesians 3:5; Revelation 22:17; Neh. 9:20]

He is referred to by masculine pronouns
*************************************

This evidence may not be conclusive by itself apart from the point we 
just studied. But with the evidence above, it confirms the personal 
nature of the Spirit.

John 16:13,14 - "He," the Spirit of Truth, will guide you into all 
truth, and "He" (the Spirit) will glorify Me (Jesus). ("Spirit" here is 
neuter in Greek, yet "He" in both cases is from a masculine 
demonstrative pronoun.)

Ephesians 1:13,14 - The Holy Spirit "who" is the guarantee of our 
inheritance (NKJV). (This is a masculine pronoun referring to the neuter 
"Spirit." But note that some manuscripts here have the neuter "which" - 
see ASV.)

He is referred to along with the Father and the Son, who are surely 
living persons.
*****************************************************

Matthew 28:19 - Jesus commands people to be baptized in the name of the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Clearly the Father and Son are living 
spirit Beings. How could the command make sense if the Holy Spirit is 
just a power or characteristic, rather than a living Being like the 
Father and Son?

2 Corinthians 13:14 - The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love 
of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Since 
Christ and God are living Beings, how would this make sense if the Holy 
Spirit is just an attitude or characteristic?

1 Peter 1:2 - We are elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father, 
in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus. The Father and Son are living spirit Beings, so the 
Spirit must also be. All three are here mentioned as being involved in 
our salvation.

Luke 3:21,22 - When Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven, 
and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove. This 
pictures the Holy Spirit as having life of Himself, like the Father and 
Son, and He took a separate bodily form.

These verses show the Holy Spirit to be acting jointly with other 
persons. Since He acts like a person along with other persons, this 
implies that He is a person like the other persons in the context.

[See also John 14:26; 14:16,17; 15:26; 20:21,22; Acts 1:4,5; 2:32,33; 
10:38; Luke 1:35; John 3:34; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 1:21,22; 
Ephesians 2:18; 4:4-6]

These points taken together indicate that the Holy Spirit is a living 
person or being. He cannot be just a characteristic, attitude, power, or 
influence. (This does not deny that He possesses characteristics and 
attitudes. But He is more than just a character or a power. [See Rom, 
15:13,19.]

He is a living being. He possesses the characteristics of a person. He 
is referred to by terms that imply He is a personal Being. He does works 
and acts like a living Being. And He is described and classified along 
with other personal beings. We conclude that the Holy Spirit is a living 
Spirit Being, not just a characteristic or a part of another Being.

III. Distinction from Other Spirit Beings
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Since the Holy Spirit is a living spirit Being, we must consider next 
whether He is a separate and distinct individual from other spirit beings.

A. Distinct from Demons, Humans, and Angels
================================

Satan, demons, and humans?
****************************

Obviously He is distinct from Satan, demons, and humans, since by nature 
He is the Holy Spirit. Satan and demons are not holy, and all humans at 
times are not holy. So the Holy Spirit is not a demon or human.

Angels?
*******

1 Peter 1:10-12 - Like Old Testament prophets, angels desired to look 
into the things that had been prophesied in the Old Testament but were 
not revealed till the New Testament. But the Holy Spirit sent from 
heaven revealed these things. Clearly the Holy Spirit is here 
distinguished from angels even as he is distinguished from humans.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 - Men cannot know the things of God, but the Holy 
Spirit knows and reveals the things of God. But we now know that the 
angels also did not know the things of God till the Holy Spirit revealed 
them. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is not an angel as surely as He is not 
a man.

Furthermore, it follows from these facts that, not only is the Holy 
Spirit not an angel, but in fact He is above the angels, even as He is 
above men. [Note that the Spirit cannot possibly be an animal or plant, 
since they don't even possess spirits.]

B. Distinct from the God the Father and Jesus.
================================

Is the Holy Spirit a distinct individual from the Father and Son, or is 
He just another name for, or perhaps part of, the Father or Son?

The Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary - Matthew 1:18,20.
*****************************************************

Did Jesus conceive Himself in Mary's womb? Surely not, so the Holy 
Spirit must be a separate and distinct person from Jesus. [Luke 1:35]

All three were present at Jesus' baptism - Luke 3:21,22.
***************************************************

Jesus was on earth having been baptized. The Father spoke from heaven 
and acknowledged Jesus as His Son. And the Holy Spirit appeared in a 
bodily form like a dove. All three are present and distinguished one 
from the other. So the Holy Spirit is distinguished from the Father and 
from the Son, just as surely as the Son is distinguished from the Father.

Blasphemy against Jesus is not blasphemy against the Spirit - Matthew 
12:31,32
*****************************************************

Blasphemy against the Son would be forgiven but not so blasphemy against 
the Holy Spirit. But if the Holy Spirit is just another name for Jesus 
or just part of Jesus, then blaspheming the Holy Spirit would be 
blaspheming Jesus.

Baptism is in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - 
Matthew 28:19.
*****************************************************

The Father and the Son are separate and distinct persons. The Son is not 
just another name for the Father, nor just part of the Father. So 
likewise the Holy Spirit is not just another name for the Father or the 
Son, nor is He just part of the Father or the Son. The verse lists three 
distinct living spirit Beings.

The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit
*****************************************

John 15:26; 16:7 - When Jesus was about to die and return to the Father 
in heaven (14:12,28; 16:7,10), He promised that afterward He would send 
the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles. Here you have one living 
individual Being sending another individual to do a work.

John 14:16,26; 15:26 - The Father also sent the Spirit. So both the 
Father and the Son joined in sending the Holy Spirit. But if the Son is 
a different Being from the Holy Spirit and as a separate Being He sent 
the Holy Spirit, then the Father must likewise be a separate Being who 
sent the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is another comforter besides Jesus - John 14:16.
*****************************************************

In sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus sent "another" (helper). ["Another" is 
from a Greek word meaning "another one of the same sort."]

But if the Holy Spirit is just another name for Jesus or for part of 
Jesus, then He did not send "another" comforter at all but sent the same 
one.

Ephesians 4:4-6 also lists the Spirit separately from the Father and the 
Lord (Jesus).
*****************************************************

This passage mentions seven things of which, in God's true plan for 
man's salvation and unity, there is only one of each. But each item 
listed is separate and distinct from all other items listed:

The body is not the hope, the baptism is not the Lord, the faith is not 
the God, etc. Likewise, the one Spirit (a name for the Holy Spirit) is 
distinct from the one Lord (Jesus) and from the one God and Father.

2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2
******************************

Both of these passages list the Holy Spirit right along with the Father 
and the Son. But the Father and Son are living spirit Beings separate 
and distinct from one another, so the Spirit must also be.

So the Holy Spirit is a living spirit Being, just as surely as the 
Father and Son are. But He is not the Father nor the Son, nor is He just 
a part of the Father and Son. Rather, He is a distinct individual. If we 
can understand how the Father and the Son can exist as separate 
individuals, then we can understand how the Holy Spirit can exist as a 
separate individual.

[Acts 10:38]

IV. Deity of the Holy Spirit
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being, but He is not the Father or 
the Son, then what position does He hold? What level of authority does 
He possess and how should we view Him?

A. He Is Not a Demon, a Human, nor an Angel.
================================

The Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being, but we have proved He is not a 
demon, a human or an angel. The only position left is that of Deity.

The Bible describes no other kinds of spirit beings other than those we 
have considered. Since the Holy Spirit is not any of the other kinds of 
beings, He must be Deity.

Further, we have learned that He is above all the other levels of 
beings, so this confirms that His position must be Deity. Those who 
believe otherwise are obligated to prove that some other level of 
authority exists.

B. He Is Referred to by Terms of Deity.
===========================

Acts 5:1-11
**********

Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit - v3.

In so doing, he lied, not to men, but to God - v4.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit partakes of the character and nature of God, 
not the nature of men. He possesses Deity. Lying to Him is lying to God.

He is the "Spirit of God."
***********************

In studying the names of the Spirit we showed passages where the Holy 
Spirit is called "the Spirit of God." (See Matthew 3:16, cf. Luke 3:22; 
1 Corinthians 2:11,12, cf. John 14:26; Ephesians 4:30). But how can He 
be "the Spirit of God" unless He possesses and partakes of the character 
and nature of God?

The spirit of a man possesses and partakes of the character and nature 
of man - humanity. The spirit of a demon possesses and partakes of the 
character and nature of demons - demonic. The spirit of an angel 
possesses and partakes of the character and nature of angels - angelic. 
It necessarily follows that the Holy Spirit could be the "Spirit of God" 
only if he possesses and partakes of the nature of God - Deity.

But we have already proved that the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit 
Being, and He is a distinct individual from the Father and the Son. So 
the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being who possesses the character and 
nature of Deity. He is a Being in the Godhead, just as the Father and 
the Son are.

C. He Possesses the Character and Does the Works of Deity.
=========================================

Creation, sustaining creation, and eternal existence
************************************************

Genesis 1:2 - The Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) was present at 
creation and was involved in it, even as were the Father and the son.

Psalms 104:30 - The context describes God's provision for animals and 
the creation. He sends forth His Spirit and they are created and renewed.

Job 26:13 - By His Spirit He adorned the heavens.

[Job 33:4; 34:14,15]

Everywhere present
******************

Psalms 139:7-12 - In describing God as all-knowing (vv 1-6) and present 
everywhere, David asked, "Where can I go from your Spirit?" He then 
describes how the Spirit would see him everywhere.

All-knowing and source of revelation
***********************************

Mark 13:11 - When inspired men spoke for God, it was not they who spoke 
but the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13 - He guided inspired men into all truth. He knows all and is 
the source of all knowledge. This is surely the work of Deity. What 
other being would be so described if it did not possess Deity? 
[14:16,17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14]

Acts 1:16 - The Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David. [Mark 12:36; 
Acts 28:25; Heb. 3:7]

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 - The Holy Spirit (v13) knows the mind of God 
(like a man's spirit knows his mind) and reveals it to men.

Ephesians 3:3-5 - The Spirit made known the mystery of Christ, which had 
not been made known to men in earlier ages.

2 Peter 1:21 - Prophecy never came by man's will, but holy men spoke as 
they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The message of the Scriptures is the message of God (2 Tim. 3:16). But 
the Holy Spirit is the Source Who had the power to reveal it.

Men acted as spokesmen or messengers, but they made clear it was not 
their message. They were not the source of origin of it, nor was it 
based on their authority. But the work of the Holy Spirit is contrasted 
to the work of the human teachers, in that the Spirit (along with the 
Father and the Son) is viewed as the source of the message and the 
authority behind it. This classes the Holy Spirit with Deity, not with 
lower beings. It attributes to the Holy Spirit the work and power of Deity.

[Isaiah 40:13]

Authority and unlimited power
*****************************

Miracles

Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the source of 
miracles, but miracles are what prove the power of God.

Matthew 1:18-20 - Mary conceived in the virgin birth by the power of the 
Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8; 2:4,33 - The Holy Spirit came on the apostles and gave them 
power to speak in tongues. [10:44-46; 19:6]

Hebrews 2:3,4 - God bore witness to the message of inspired men by 
signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 - All miraculous powers are from the Spirit (the 
Holy Spirit - v3). He distributed these to men according to His own will.

Who besides Deity is spoken of like this as being the source of 
miracles? What man or angel could be described as distributing such 
powers according to his will?

Men often did the miracles, but they repeatedly denied that they were 
the source of the power (cf. Acts 3:12; 4:10). By the very nature and 
purpose of miracles, their source must be God - Deity. Yet the Holy 
Spirit is repeatedly spoken of as the source of the power. This is 
evidence of Deity.

Baptism

Matthew 28:19 - All nations are commanded to be baptized in the name of 
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This passage places the Holy Spirit on 
an equal authority with the Father and Son. Baptism is in the name of 
all three. The name or authority of the Holy Spirit is the basis of 
baptism right along with the Father and Son.

To see the significance of this, would God ever command to do something 
in the name of the Father, the Son, and a human being or even an angel? 
Such is foolish to the point of blasphemy. If a thing is in the name of 
Deity, what significance is there in adding the name of a man or an angel?

Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 - Corinthians were divided over preachers. 
Paul teaches them in chap. 1-4 to emphasize Deity, not men, since men 
are just the messengers (3:3-11; 4:1,2). We should glory in the Lord, 
not in men (1:29,31; 2:5; 3:21).

To illustrate, Paul asks if he was crucified for us (v13). No, so Deity 
is important, not man. It would be blasphemy to exalt a man or angel as 
if he had died for us.

Then he asks if we are baptized in the name of Paul (v13). Again, we 
should glory in Deity, because we are baptized in the name of Deity. It 
would be blasphemy to be baptized in the name of any being that is not 
Deity. But we are baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit right along 
with the Father and Son. Therefore, the Holy Spirit possesses Deity as 
surely as does the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit does work and possesses a name/authority that only God 
can possess. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is Deity.

[Matt. 12:28; Rom. 15:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14]

Forgiveness, redemption, and sanctification
*****************************************

Matthew 28:19 - We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit. But what is the purpose of baptism? To forgive sins! See Mark 
16:15,16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3,4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21. 
So the power and name of the Holy Spirit stands behind the forgiveness 
of our sins, right along with the Father and the Son.

But only God can forgive sins - Mark 2:5-7. Since baptism forgives sins, 
then to be baptized in the name of anyone other than Deity would be 
blasphemy! But we are baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit, as well 
as the Father and the Son; therefore the Holy Spirit possesses Deity. 
[Cf. 1 Cor. 12:13]

1 Corinthians 6:11 - Sinners are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus 
and by the Spirit of our God (the Holy Spirit). So the Holy Spirit 
justifies from sin, but only God can justify from sin. Therefore, the 
Holy Spirit is God.

1 Peter 1:2 - We are elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father, 
in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus. Again, all three Beings are involved in our salvation. 
But sanctification is essential to our salvation as surely as election 
and the blood of Jesus. Only Deity can do this. The passage involves the 
Spirit in our salvation as fully as the other Beings of Deity.

Romans 15:16 - Gentiles are acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has characteristics that only Deity possesses and does 
works that only Deity can do. Therefore, the Holy Spirit possesses Deity 
as surely as the Father and the Son do.

[2 Thess. 2:13; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 2:18]

Conclusion
========

Study of the Holy Spirit shows that He is not just a force or a 
characteristic but is a living spirit Being who possesses personal 
characteristics. He is not just a different name for the Father or the 
Son, nor is He just some part of them, but He is a separate and distinct 
individual Being from each of them.

Yet He possesses characteristics and does works that can only be true of 
Deity. He is referred to as Deity and classified as Deity along with the 
Father and Son. Therefore, He is a member of the Godhead.

We can understand that the Father and the Son are separate and distinct 
living Spirit Beings, yet each possesses Deity and therefore each should 
be viewed as God. In the same way we should understand that the Holy 
Spirit is a third distinct individual who also possesses Deity. Hence, 
the God we worship consists of three separate and distinct Beings, yet 
together they make up the one true and living God.

(C) Copyright 2003, David E. Pratte

Remember that nearly all materials we send out are copyrighted by the 
author. We ask you to respect the author's rights. You are free to keep 
copies of this material on computer and/or in printed form for your own 
further study. If you know someone who would like a copy of this 
material, simply have them visit our web site at 
www.gospelway.com/instruct/. If you have any other requests about the 
use of this material, please read our copyright guidelines at 
www.gospelway.com/copyrite.htm.

For a complete list of Bible articles and study materials by the author 
please visit these web sites: www.gospelway.com and 
www.biblestudylessons.com.
The Gospel Way

www.gospelway.com and www.BibleStudyLessons.com
To e-mail us, use the email comment link found at the bottom of every 
page on our web site or go to www.gospelway.com/comments.php. If you 
respond to this email, be sure your subject line includes Gospel+Way so 
it will pass our filters.




More information about the Gospelway mailing list