|EXPLORING CHRISTIANITY - THE TRINITY||
LIFE AFTER DEATHChristianity's Hope & Challenge.
The Holy Spirit is God
To begin with, the very fact that his full title is the Holy Spirit (used about 90 times in the New Testament) points to his divinity. God is supremely the Holy One in the Bible (Isaiah 57:15). Jesus spoke of the Spirit as the Holy Spirit, as he was later to address God as Holy Father (John 17:11). In this respect Ephesians 1:13 is a significant passage. In the Greek it literally reads, "the Spirit of the promise, the Holy." Both "the promise" and the adjective "holy" are emphasised in the Greek word order. He is not only the one promised by the prophets, he is God himself who has come to live with and in his people. Significantly, Jesus is also "the Holy One" (Acts 3:14).
He is often referred to as "the Spirit of God" in both Old and New Testaments.
The New Testament writers can quote passages from the Old Testament in which God speaks and say, "The Holy Spirit spoke" (e.g. Acts 28:25-27/Isaiah 6:8-10).
Paul's language can fluctuate between God, Christ, and Spirit, depending on the emphasis of a given passage. For example, he can speak of the power of God (2 Corinthians 4:7), the power of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9) or the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:19), all of which are at work in his life. This says much about how Paul viewed Christ and the Spirit in terms of deity and inter-relationship. Or note 1 Corinthians 12, where the subject changes from God in verse 6, to the Spirit in verse 11. Similarly in Acts 5, to lie to the Holy Spirit (verse 3) is to lie to God (verse 4).
Whereas in the Old Testament the temple building signified the place where God lived among his people, in the New Testament the body of believers is the new temple, the place where the Holy Spirit lives in his people (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21,22). In the New Testament there is no difference between the way the presence of the Holy Spirit is spoken of and the presence of God. The presence of the Holy Spirit is the presence of God.
One of the most significant descriptions of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is "the Spirit of life" (Romans 8:2). He is the one who "gives life" (2 Corinthians 3:6). God in the Old Testament is supremely the living God, the source of life in all that lives. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life because he is the Spirit of God. Significantly, Jesus is also spoken of as "the author of life" (Acts 3:15).
There are some offshoots from Christianity, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians and Unitarians that deny the traditional church teaching of the Trinity. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was created by God the Father before the creation of the universe. He is a minor God. According to them the Holy Spirit is distinct from God the Father, but he is in no sense personal. He is merely God's active force which he uses to accomplish his purposes in the world. Let us explore this issue.
The Holy Spirit is God