Theology: The Holy Spirit – THE HOLY SPIRIT IS DEITY

“The great trinitarian strife is usually called the Arian controversy, because it was occasioned by the anti-trinitarian views of Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, a rather skilful disputant, though not a profound spirit. His dominant idea was the monotheistic principle of the Monarchians, that there is only one unbegotten God, one unoriginated Being, without any beginning of existence. He distinguished between the Logos that is immanent in God, which is simply a divine energy, and the Son or Logos that finally became incarnate. The latter had a beginning: He was generated by the Father, which is the parlance of Arius was simply equivalent to saying that He was created. he was created out of nothing before the world was called into being, and for that very reason was not eternal nor of the divine essence. The greatest and first of all created beings, He was brought into being that through Him the world might be created. He is therefore also mutable, but is chosen of God on account of his foreseen merits, and is called the Son of God in view of His future glory. And in virtue of His adoption as Son He is entitled to the veneration of men.” (Berkhof, Louis; “THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES”; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1937, p 84, 90-91, p 84)

 

Arius held that the Holy Spirit was the first created being produced by the Son, an opinion very much in harmony with that of Origen.” (Berkhof, p 90)

 

“. . .in AD 381 the general Council of Constantinople met, it declared its approval of the Nicene Creed and under the guidance of Gregory of Nazianzus accepted the following formula respecting the Holy Spirit: ‘And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-giving, who proceeds from the Father, who is to be glorified with the Father and the Son, and who speaks through the prophets.’” (Berkhof, p 90-91)

 

I would refer you to Pache’s book on the Spirit for a very good study of the deity of the Spirit.

 

 

Some disputed the deity of the Spirit in the early days of the church. We will see this more in another study, let it suffice to mention Arius. He taught that God created Christ and that Christ created the Spirit. This was refuted by the Nicene Creed in A.D. 325.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS DEITY

 

1. HIS DEITY IS SEEN IN HIS ATTRIBUTES

 

He is eternal, Hebrews 9:14 “…eternal Spirit….”. Since, only God is eternal, we might safely assume that the Holy Spirit is Deity.

 

He is omniscient, 1 Corinthians 2:10-12, we won’t read the whole text but vs 10 mentions, “…for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.” and vs 11 tells us, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in Him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Also Luke 2:25-32; John 14:26; 16:12,13. Again, only God has the attribute of omniscience, thus the Spirit must be God.

 

He is Omnipresent, Psalm 139:7-10. Vs 7 mentions, “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” He indwells all believers at once. John 14:17 shows this when Christ promises the Spirits coming to the disciples. He, being omnipresent, must be God.

 

He is omnipotent, Zechariah 4:6, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” The context speaks of a mountain becoming a plain. This is the Spirit of God, the one that was the instrument of creation. The Father declared the creation, the Son spoke, and the Spirit made it so.

 

Luke 1:35 mentions the conception of Jesus. This would certainly take a tremendous power of deity. Also in Job 33:4, Elihu declared that the Spirit had made him.

 

He is truth, 1 John 5:6, “…And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” Only God “is truth,” thus the Spirit must be God.

 

He demonstrates sovereign acts. We are told that He gives spiritual gifts as He wills in 1 Corinthians 12:11.

 

 

He is involved in our salvation. 1 Corinthians 6:11,

 

“And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name

of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

Only God can be involved in our salvation.

 

Some misc. texts that show other ideas along this line. Isaiah 40:13; Romans 3:2; 2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 16:27.

 

2. HIS DEITY IS SEEN IN HIS NAMES

 

He is called the Spirit of God: Genesis 1:2, “…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (1 Corinthians 2:11 also.) This would indicate that the Spirit is an integrated part of God, thus we must assume that He is deity.

 

He is called eternal Spirit: Hebrews 9:14,

 

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God….”

 

Only God is eternal.

 

There are several names that I will just list with a reference for you further study.

 

He is called the Spirit of Jehovah, Isaiah 11:2

 

He is called the Spirit of the Living God, 2 Corinthians 3:3 He is called the Spirit of the Lord Jehovah, Isaiah 61:1

He is called the Spirit of Christ, Romans 8:9 He is called the Spirit of Jesus, Acts 16:6,7

3. HIS DEITY IS SEEN IN HIS ACTIVITIES

 

His deity is seen in His work in creation. Genesis 1:2; Psalm 104:30; Job. 26:13, “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.” The Spirit’s part in creation demands omnipotence, which in turn demands deity.

 

 

His deity is seen in revelation. Acts 28:25, “…Well spoke the Holy Spirit by Isaiah, the prophet, unto our fathers,” Only God has revealed His message to mankind. The New Testament declares the Spirit to be the instrument of revelation. (2 Peter 1:21 mentions also that the prophets spoke as they were moved by the Spirit. 2 Samuel 23:2,3 mentions, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.”)

 

His deity is seen in Christ’s birth. Luke 1:35,

 

“And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee….”

 

Another indication of power, or omnipotence.

 

His deity is seen in His work of conviction. John 16:7-11, The text speaks of the Spirit convicting the world. Only God could undertake such a task. The conviction of one person would require God, much less conviction of the entire human race as it has walked the earth through the ages.

 

His deity is seen in His work of regeneration. John 3:3-6. These verses tell us that rebirth comes only by being born of the Spirit. Christ was speaking to Nicodemus.

 

His deity is seen in His work of resurrection. Romans 8:11,

 

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

 

Only deity has power over death.

 

His deity is seen in his activity with the church. He is involved with the church. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Revelation 3:22.

 

4. HIS DEITY IS SEEN IN HIS ASSOCIATIONS WITH GOD

 

Acts 28:25 mentions that the Holy Spirit spoke through Isaiah, and in Isaiah we find it is mentioned that God was communicating with Isaiah (Isaiah 6). Another set of verses which indicate the same idea are Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 10:15-17

 

 

The lie of Ananias and Sapphira was linked to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5:3, and to God in vs 4.

 

The Baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19 and the benediction of 2 Corinthians 13:14 both show the Spirit with the Son and The Father. 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.”

 

He is identified as the temple of the believer, while we are also called the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19 cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16, indeed, 3:16 mentions both God and the Spirit. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?.” Colossians 1:27 mentions that Christ is in us as well).

 

The phrase “another comforter” indicates that the Spirit is of an identical nature with Christ. Christ Himself identifies the Spirit as of the same status, or nature as Himself.

 

He is also linked to God in the administration of the church. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

The above proofs should give only one conclusion, and that conclusion would be that The Holy Spirit is God. He is person three within the trinity from eternity past.

 

APPLICATION

 

1. We know His leading is sure and guaranteed as correct. He is truth, and He would not lead us counter to His nature, or the Word.

 

2. He sealed us — we know we are eternally secure. He is our guarantee. He can not all of a sudden not guarantee. Our surety is based in The Eternal Almighty God.

 

3. His deity should show us His love, grace and longsuffering in the fact that He is within us and we step willfully into sin. He could strike us dead, yet He awaits our repentance and correct living.

 

4. It should curb our wrong doing. HE IS WITHIN. He is witness of all that we do.

 

 

Surely, realizing these things should correct some of our wrong living, and wrong thinking.[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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