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The Holy Spirit-His divine personality

W W Fereday

Man by all his searching cannot find out God; but what God has revealed in His word concerning Himself is for our adoring contemplation and study. But we do well to engage in such studies with reverence and godly fear. If there be a right attitude of soul toward God, and due subjection of spirit, our souls will be nourished, and our worship deepened; but if the mind be allowed to stray in any measure, or if we go in any wise beyond what is written, we are in jeopardy, as many have proved to their sorrow.

Scripture is most plain, whatever unbelief may say, that there are three distinct persons in the Godhead, equal in power, majesty, and glory, each taking His own part in all that is done, whether in creation or redemption, yet ever acting in perfect unity and communion.

It is interesting to observe that the Trinity was first clearly revealed at the baptism of the Lord Jesus. When coming up from Jordan, after having fulfilled all righteousness, the Father opened the heavens to Him, and expressed the delight of His heart in Him, and the Spirit descended in bodily form as a dove upon Him (Matt. 3: 16, 17)

What can be clearer to a simple mind than this! The Father speaks, the Son receives His testimony, and the Holy Spirit descends to seal and anoint Him. Three persons, yet but one God.

It is proposed to deal somewhat, if the Lord will, with the person and work of the Holy Spirit, particularly with His gracious operations during this period of privilege while the Lord Jesus is hidden in heaven at God’s right hand. The personality of the Holy Spirit has been called in question by not a few, some speaking of Him as though He were a mere influence; others alas! sinking in their ideas lower still. Many also who truly love the Lord Jesus, and desire to have right thoughts, are often very vague as to the person and work of the Spirit of God.

On this occasion, I shall do little more than bring together some of the scriptures which distinctly assert His personality and deity. We will let scripture speak for itself to our souls. Could the following be said of aught but a person! “I will send him unto you.” “When he is come.” (John 16: 7-8,)  “He shall testify of me” (John 15: 6). “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4: 6). He is represented too, as striving with man (Gen. 6:3), revealing things to the saints (1 Cor. 2: 10; Luke 2: 26), and He it was who sent forth Barnabas and Saul from Antioch to evangelise the Gentile world (Acts 13: 2). Can any of these things be said of a mere influence! Moreover He can be resisted (Acts 7: 51) Vexed (Isa. 63: 10), grieved (Eph. 4: 30) lied to (Acts 5: 3), and, solemn to say, blasphemed (Matt. 12: 31)

Further; scripture declares He has taken a part in the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1: 35). The Spirit of God was thus the antitype of the oil which formed one of the ingredients of the meal offering, as it is said, “mingled with oil” (Lev. 2: 4).

As to the cross, we read that Christ “through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” (Heb. 9:14). Then, after having been put to death in the flesh,” on the third day He was “quickened by the Spirit,” “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead” (1 Peter 3: 18; Rom. 1: 4). The last passage, I may say in passing, includes doubtless the resurrection of others as well as the Lord Jesus, as Lazarus, etc. But all these scriptures speak to us of a person, beyond all dispute; and a divine person too, as I shall now proceed to show. The word of God declares His creatorship! His omniscience! His omnipresence, His sovereignty, and His equality with Father and Son.

  1. His creatorship. He had a part with the Father and the Son in all that was done; else what is the force of the passage! “By his Spirit he garnished the heavens”! (Job 26: 13) As to the inferior creation we read, “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created” (Ps. 104: 30). And to go back to the earliest record, the very first mention of divine activity in the six days’ work is, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” Gen. 1: 2). What can be plainer!
  2. His omniscience. We read that “he searcheth all things, even, the deep things of God” 1 Cor 2: 10 We cannot do this. The apostle shows that we should never have known God’s depths had not the Holy Spirit come from heaven to be our Instructor.
  3. His omnipresence. David said, “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Ps. 139: 7). He felt that wherever he went, below or above, whether in darkness or light, the Spirit of God knew all his movements, and discerned the thoughts and intents of the heart. And in the present period of grace, does not one Spirit dwell and act in all the saints of God the world over!
  4. His sovereignty. 1 Corinthians 12 speaks of His manifestations in the saints for their mutual Profit and the Lord’s glory, and there we read, “dividing to every man severally as he will.” This is a plain assertion of His sovereign action, and they are the losers who fail to understand and act upon it in faith.
  5. His equality. Though a distinct person, in no sense is the Holy Spirit inferior to the Father and the Son. All are co-equal and co-eternal. In concluding his second epistle to the Corinthians the apostle links the Holy Spirit with God and the Lord Jesus Christ, in his salutation. And the departing Lord, in giving instructions to His disciples, bade them “teach all nations, baptising them in unto the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28: 19).

Are not these divinely formed links! Who would venture to join with the Father and the Son one who was not divine! Faith may therefore rest assured that the Holy Spirit, whereof we speak is a person, and properly and essentially divine.



One Response

  1. […] The Holy Spirit-His divine personality (lambfollower.wordpress.com) […]

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