Read John 16:7-15
The Holy Spirit has been sent by the Father and Son to indwell and guide believers. Many people profess to believe in the Holy Ghost but actually they believe in God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost as some sort of servant or errand boy. This is false; for the Holy Spirit is equal to and in no way inferior to the other two. Others reduce the Holy Spirit to an inanimate force such as electricity, which is very powerful but completely devoid of being a living person, much less God. We believe the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a living Person; for He can be approached or shunned, trusted or doubted, loved or hated, adored or insulted. With these thoughts in mind, let us look at the personality of the Holy Spirit.
The importance of this doctrine of the Holy Spirit
If He is the Third Person of the Trinity, then He is co-equal with God and worthy of our attention and worship. When we fail to recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit, we miss out on the wonderful work that He is capable of doing in our lives as Christians. Rather than dismissing the Holy Spirit as a lesser part of the Trinity, let us be attentive to His working and leading in our lives because He is worthy.
Not only should we begin to focus our attention on Him, but we should begin to learn of Him. Just as God the Father and God the Son have feelings and emotions displayed in God’s Word, so does the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible mentions that He can be influenced by man just as the other two parts of the Trinity. Because of this, we should begin to learn what “grieves” Him, because we should desire His power in our lives.
The personal pronouns that reveal His personality
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is included in the works of God. We see this by the use of the plural personal pronouns that indicates two or more persons were present at the time of the statement (See Genesis 1:2, 1:26, 6:3). We also see that the Spirit of God was on men like Moses, Joseph, and Daniel in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit’s presence in the Old Testament is important because it shows that He is eternal like God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit played just as much a part in the Old Testament as He did in the New Testament, making Him just as much a part of the Trinity.
In John 15 and 16, the Holy Spirit is referenced four times. All four times He is referenced, the pronoun used is in the masculine tense and not the neuter tense. This is significant because it shows that He has personality and is not simply an object. Because the Holy Spirit has gender and masculinity, we can derive that He has personality like all other parts of the Godhead.
The personal characteristics of the Holy Spirit
Throughout the Bible, we see the characteristics of God the Father and God the Son, but we must not neglect the personal characteristics of the Holy Spirit. The following are a list of attributes and references that show the personality of the Holy Spirit.
- Will power (I Corinthians 12:11)
- Intelligence (Nehemiah 9:20)
- Knowledge (I Corinthians 2:10-12)
- Power (Acts 1:8)
- Love (Romans 15:30)
- Grief (Ephesians 4:30)
The Holy Spirit is a Person because He thinks, feels, purposes, knows, wills, loves and grieves. The Spirit is certainly not merely an influence for He has abilities of intelligence and emotions which are foreign to inanimate forces. Because the Holy Spirit is a Person we should never shun, doubt, or insult the Spirit. We should continuously approach Him with faith, love and adoration as we would God the Father.
The official duties of the Holy Spirit as a part of the Godhead
While the Holy Spirit is as much of a person with feelings and emotions, He is just as much a part of the Godhead because He hold duties from God. The following is a brief list of this things that God has delegated to Him to fulfill in the life of a Christian:
- He comforts (John 14:16)
- He inspires (II Peter 1:21)
- He illuminates (I Corinthians 2:10)
Because He is God and because He has human characteristics, when we offend the Holy Spirit of God, He demonstrates emotion. Consider the thought that your actions can evoke emotion from the Godhead! As a Christian, we should be mindful of the fact that our lives effect our relationship with God. The following are several emotions to consider from the Holy Spirit:
- He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30)
- He can be resisted (Acts 7:51)
- He can be quenched (I Thessalonians 5:19)
- He can be lied to (Acts 5:3)
- He can be blasphemed (Matthew 12:31)
We believe that He is a Person because He possesses all the necessary qualities of intellect, emotion, will, knowledge and actions, but we also believe He is God because of His God-given duties and attributes. Because of these beliefs, may we choose to learn of the Holy Spirit and be filled with His working in our lives. May we learn to make Him our constant companion!