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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 3

The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 1

In Christian theology the Holy Spirit is known as the third Person of the Trinity. The fact that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity underlines two essential truths whose Biblical basis must be demonstrated. These two truths are first, that the Holy Spirit is a Person, and the second truth is that He is part of the Trinity, or the triune God.

There are, as there have always been certain anti Trinitarian doctrines, which deny the existence of certain personal attributes that define the Holy Spirit as a Person, and in an implicit way deny the fact that the Holy Spirit is God. Seeing as these doctrines continue to make headway within the household of faith, I thought it worthwhile to spend some time in going through certain biblical texts which contain the fundamental doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and prove out the fact that indeed He is a Person, and is likewise the third Person making up the Trinity.

The first sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person and not just an influence, a disembodied power, or an inspiration is the fact that He is a rational being.

When discussing the nature of man, in general we observe three aspects that distinguish and separate us from the animal kingdom. If animals act and react based on stimuli and instinct, the actions men undertake are primarily coordinated by intellect. Second of all, man possesses a sensibility which produces desire, whether desire to know, to explore, to understand, or to perceive, and this in turn influences the intellect. Third of all, man possesses the will which determines his actions, which in turn, if followed through to their rightful conclusion will end in a rational and predetermined goal. In simpler terms, if I purpose to lose ten pounds, then I know what actions I must undertake in order to reach my desired goal, and by following through on the pre-established actions my goal will be a certain one.

Why is any of this relevant within the context of this present study? It is relevant because all three of the elements of personality which I’ve just listed can be seen and readily identified in the Holy Spirit.

One of the most often seen and most telling attributes of the Holy Spirit is His intellect. Yes the Holy Spirit possesses intellect, and this is proven Biblically.

In both Romans and 1 Corinthians, Paul shows us that the Spirit searches the things of God, and that these things of God cannot be known by the mind of man, but rather it is the Holy Spirit which knows them and reveals them to spiritual men.

1 Corinthians 2:10-11, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”

Paul makes an astounding declaration here, one that many who choose not to believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed a person readily dismiss. Paul is writing to the Corinthians concerning the wisdom of God, the hidden things of God, and the hidden wisdom of God, and he says that no one can know the things of God except by the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit that searches all things, yes, even the deep things of God, and it is through His Spirit that God has revealed His hidden wisdom to us, which He ordained before the ages for our glory.

The fact that the Holy Spirit possesses intellect is also evident in His actions. This is evident throughout the scriptures, especially in the New Testament wherein the Holy Spirit takes on a more active role within the body of Christ after His ascent.

During the Council at Jerusalem the apostles make the following affirmation in regards to the Holy Spirit:

Acts 15:28-29, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

Another telling attribute of the Holy Spirit is His sensibility.

Throughout the Word of God we can see that the Holy Spirit can be grieved, tested, and even have fellowship with believers. All these are characteristics, and personal attributes of a person or personality.

Ephesians 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Acts 5:9, “Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”

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. Amen.”

Philippians 2:1-2, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, fi any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

The third telling attribute of the Holy Spirit is His will.

The Holy Spirit not only has a will, but asserts His will, as Paul the Apostle of Christ reminds us when discussing the spiritual gifts and the distribution thereof.

1 Corinthians 12:11, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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