THE HOLY SPIRIT: HIS DEITY AND NATURE
by Lynn D. Headrick
"...the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We are thus introduced to the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of the first book of the bible. The last chapter of the last book of the bible presents an invitation from the Spirit saying, "and the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.'" Between the first and last chapters of the bible, there is a fascinating account of the deity, nature, and work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called "God"
The word divinity or godhead is used in Romans 1:20 to denote "the attributes of God, His divine nature and properties." God is divine as opposed to being human. There is one God, one divine essence, Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Timothy 2:5, whose attributes are expressed in three persons: God, the Father; God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. "There is one God and Father of all," Eph.4:6. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one," John 10:30. Jesus meant that both he and the Father are divine; "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily," Colossians 2:9. God and Christ are of the same divine essence but are distinct persons. Ananias lied "to the Holy Spirit," but it was also said, "thou has not lied unto men, but unto God," Acts 5:3-5. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the Holy Spirit is God--He possesses the attributes of God; He is divine.
At the baptism of Jesus, Matthew 3:13-17, Jesus was on earth, God spoke from heaven and the Spirit was descending. When disciples are baptized, it is done "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matthew 28:19.
Paul acknowledges the three persons of the godhead in his benediction at the close of the second Corinthian letter: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Scripture does not affirm three Gods but it does repeatedly emphasize three persons in the godhead.
These thoughts on the deity of the Holy Spirit may seem strange to us because: 1) we are finite and do, indeed, find such concepts as eternity and deity difficult to comprehend, and 2) we just do not preach, write and talk enough about the nature and deity of the Holy Spirit.
The nature of the Holy Spirit
By nature is meant the essential characteristics and qualities of a person. It was said of Barnabas that he was a good man, of Dorcas that she was full of almsdeeds, of Cornelius that he was well reported of by all the nation of the Jews, and of Epaphroditus that he was Paul's fellow-worker and fellow-soldier. When we are made aware of these characteristics and qualities, we feel that we know these people. Since the Holy Spirit is divine, we expect to find, and do find, in Him qualities superior to humanity.
The Spirit was active, as already noted, in the creation of the heavens and the earth. God testified against rebellious Israel by the "Spirit through thy prophets," Nehemiah 9:30. We have the bible because of the work of the Holy Spirit. Peter affirms that no prophecy of Scripture originated in the mind of men but, on the contrary, "men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit," 2 Peter 1:21. This same Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all the truth, John 16:13. No human being can know God's thoughts but the divine Holy Spirit searched out the things of God and revealed them in words to the apostles, 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. When we read these words of the Spirit we can understand them, Ephesians 3:4,5.
We learn through the words of the Spirit, the New Testament, that the Spirit is "given to all that obey" God, Acts 5:32. The Spirit's testimony or witness is found in God's word and when our testimony agrees with that of the Holy Spirit we have assurance that we are children of God, Romans 8:16. The Spirit testifies that we are to hear the gospel, believe that God is, repent of our sins, confess Christ to be the Son of God and be baptized for the remission of our sins. Our testimony must be the same. A strong argument for living free of fornication is that our bodies are temples of "the Holy Spirit which is in you," 1 Corinthians 6:19. When we do wrong we grieve the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:30.
"Now the Spirit expressly says," 1 Timothy 4:1, many wonderful things unto us in the bible. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches," Revelation 2:29.
Return to the Home Page of the New Georgia Church of Christ