PNEUMATOLOGY – THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
INTRODUCTION: The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He has been sent by the Father and the Son to indwell and guide believers. Many Christians think that the Holy Spirit is a force which is powerful but is not a living person. This is a wrong belief. In this study, we shall examine the personality, the deity and the work of the Holy Spirit.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a living person, the Holy God, equal to the Father and the Son therefore He ought to be worshipped as other persons of the trinity. The scriptural evidences that He is a person are listed below:
- Proper names and pronouns are given to Him. John 15:26, 16:8, 13, 14 when Christ said ―I will send you another comforter, it means that He whom is a comforter was about to depart but another comforter would come to continue His ministry.
- The characteristics of a person are ascribed to Him: These include:
- Intelligence – John 14:26, 15:26, Romans 8:16, 27
- Will – Acts 16:7, I Corinthians 12:11
- Affections – Isaiah 63:10, Ephesians 4:30.
Moreover, He performs acts that a person can do. He searches, speaks, testifies, commands, reveals, strives, creates, makes intercession, raises the dead, etc. Whoever is able to do all these cannot be a mere power or influence, but a person.
THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is God. He is just as much a member of the Trinity as are the Father and the Son. He is equal to the Father and the Son in every respect. He is divine because:
- Divine names are given to Him. Exodus 17:7; Hebrews 3:7-9; Acts.5:3-4, II Timothy 3:16.
- Divine perfections are ascribed to Him such as Omnipresence, Psalms 139:7-9; Omniscience, Isaiah 40:13-14, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Omnipotence, Luke 1:35, Genesis 1:2; Eternal, Hebrews 9:14.
- Divine works are performed by Him such as Creation, Job 33:4, Psalms 104:30; Salvation, 1 Corinthians 6:10; Conviction, John 16:8-11; Regeneration, John 3:5-8, Titus 3:5; Quickening, 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 8: 11, John 6:63.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are certain works which are more particularly ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Just as He Himself is the one who completes the Trinity, so His works are the completion of God‘s contact with His creatures, and the completion of the work of God in every sphere.
- Conviction: John 16:7-8. He convicts both believers and unbelievers of sin. When believers backslide or stray away from the path of righteousness, He does the work of conviction and restoration.
- Regeneration: Every believer is given a new nature and life at conversion. 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:6.
- Baptizing: The baptizing work of the Holy Spirit places believers into the spiritual body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12. By this work, believers are united with Christ, the Head of the Body. Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:18.
- Indwelling: John 14:16-17. Prior to the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was a visitor to believers; but now He is resident. He lives within forever. His indwelling is the motive and source of power for a holy life; 1 Corinthians 6:15-20. He aids us in our prayer life; Romans 8:26-27 and makes it possible for us to understand the scriptures; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, John 16:12-15.
- Sealing: Ephesians 1:13-14. This passage tells us that God the Father seals with the Holy Spirit those who trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. It means He safely keeps us until we receive the purchased possession – our glorified bodies; Ephesians 4:30, 1 Peter 1:15. We will receive our glorified bodies at the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ; Philippians 3:20-21.
- Filling: All believers are commanded to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Ephesians 5:18. This indicates a continuing experience. It is when we are controlled by, or walk in, the spirit that we bear the fruit of the spirit; Galatians 5:22-23. We can then witness with power concerning our wonderful Lord, Jesus Christ; Acts 1:8, 4:31-33.