The study of the Holy Spirit is a neglected one. Consequently, there is much misunderstanding and ignorance surrounding Him. I will admit that there are some things we may never know about the Holy Spirit until we reach heaven. However, there is much that we can come to know about Him when we clearly and carefully study what has been revealed in the Holy Scriptures. We should know who the Holy Spirit is, His nature, His essence, His ministry, His relation to God, to Christ, and to man. We should study everything the Bible reveals concerning the Holy Spirit. This lesson will focus on the Person of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not a mysterious IT according to the Scriptures. Being a Spirit does not negate His being a person! God is a person. There is no such thing as an impersonal God. Jesus Christ is a person. The Holy Spirit is a person. The Holy Spirit is not just an influence, a force, an impersonal power, or a ghost in the Bible. Personality involves the possession of personal qualities and attributes such as the ability to give and receive love, the ability to speak, feel, trust, etc. The Holy Spirit exhibits these and all other attributes of personality in the Scriptures.
It is unfortunate that the translators of the King James Version of the Bible referred to the Spirit as “itself.” The American Standard Version (the version I prefer in my studies) correctly identified Him as “himself.” Consider the following:
1. The Holy Spirit is a person. 1.1. Personal, masculine pronouns are applied to the Holy Spirit thus indicating that he is a person. 1.1.1. John 16:13 - Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, [these] shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 1.1.2. Seven personal pronouns are used in this one verse 1.1.3. Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person at least nine times in the Gospel of John. 188.8.131.52. Each time Jesus used the personal pronoun, masculine gender, singular number in reference to the Holy Spirit. 1.2. The works of the Holy Spirit proclaim that he is a person. 1.2.1. He speaks (John 16:13; 1 Tim.4:1) 1.2.2. He comforts (John 14:l6) 1.2.3. He teaches (John 14:26) 1.2.4. He testifies (John 15:26) 1.2.5. He leads and forbids (Acts 16:6-7) 1.2.6. He convicts (Acts 16:8) 1.2.7. He guides (John 16:12-13) 1.2.8. He hears (John 16:13) 1.2.9. He searches (1 Cor. 2:10) 1.3. The qualities of the Holy Spirit validate that he is a person. 1.3.1. He has a will or volition (l Cor. 12:11) 1.3.2. He gives affection (Rom. 15:30) 1.3.3. He demonstrates power (Acts 1:8) 1.3.4. He possesses mentality (l Cor. 2:10-11) 1.3.5. He has knowledge (l Cor. 2:11) 1.3.6. He has goodness (Neh. 9:20). 1.3.7. He can be received (Acts 19:2) 1.4. The fact that he can suffer slights and affronts prove that the Holy Spirit is a person. 1.4.1. He can be resisted (Acts 7:51) 1.4.2. He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30) 1.4.3. He can be vexed (Isa. 63:10) 1.4.4. He can be quenched (1 Thes. 5:19) 1.4.5. He can be lied to (Acts 5:3) 1.4.6. He can be blasphemed (Matt. 12:31).
2. The Holy Spirit is a divine person in the Godhead. 2.1. The word “godhead” or godhood refers to the qualities, nature, attributes, and essence of God just as the term “manhood” refers to the qualities, nature, and essence of man. 2.2. The words divinity, deity, and godhead are used interchangeably in the Scriptures. 2.2.1. There is a Godhead 184.108.40.206. Acts 17:29-Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man. 220.127.116.11. Rom. 1:20 - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 18.104.22.168. Col. 2:9 - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 22.214.171.124. The term “godhead” is used only these three times in the King James Version 2.2.2. According to the Scriptures, the Godhead is composed of three divine persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, we are baptized “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matt.28:19) 126.96.36.199. In Genesis 1:1, 2; 26; and John 1:1-3 the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit appears alongside the Father and the Word (Christ) in connection with the creation. 188.8.131.52. References to the divine persons of the Godhead are applied to the Holy Spirit along with the Father and Christ in Matthew 28:19; Romans 15:30; Ephesians 4:3-6 and Philippians 2:9-11. 184.108.40.206.1. 2 Corinthians 13:14 - The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 220.127.116.11.2. Paul speaks of all three persons in one verse. 2.2.3. The three persons of the Godhead are separate and distinct 18.104.22.168. John 14:26 - But the Comforter, [even] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. 22.214.171.124. Consider the baptism of Jesus 126.96.36.199.1. Matt. 3:13-17 - Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John would have hindered him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffereth him. And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 188.8.131.52.2. The Son is being baptized on earth, while the Father is speaking from heaven and the Spirit is descending from heaven. 184.108.40.206. God the father is not God the Son nor is He God the Spirit. 220.127.116.11. The Son is God; but he is not God the father nor is he God the Holy Spirit. 18.104.22.168. The Holy Spirit is God; but he is not God the father nor is he God the Son. 22.214.171.124. There are NOT three Gods; rather there is one Deity.
Much more could be said on the subject, but it is my prayer that this study gives you some understanding to the person of the Holy Spirit.
Next week we will study the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit.