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Doctrine of the Holy Spirit - The Deity of the Holy Spirit Print E-mail
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

I.  Introduction:

 Before we consider the deity of the Spirit, let me say a quick word about my approach to this doctrine. As we did with the doctrine of Christ, I want to break this study up into two sections: person and work. We will begin tonight talking about the Person of the Spirit and His deity. Lord willing, we will look at the personhood of the Spirit next week. Then we will move to talking about the work of the Spirit. Following Bruce Ware (see Ware's lecture here), I want to frame this discussion by walking through the two Testaments together. We will begin with the Old and move to the New as we look to see what the Bible says about the work of the Spirit. I did not want to limit our time on any of these particular issues, so I am leaving that open. Granted, I do not want to move too slow either, but I do want to give us time for questions and discussion. We will close the study by seeking to move more towards practical implications which should pave the way for our next series on why we do what we do in corporate worship. Tonight we turn our attention to the deity of the Spirit.

II. Baptist Faith and Message:

The Baptist Faith and Message affirms the deity of the Spirit in its first statement. It says: ĎThe Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine.í The statement is as straight-forward as it gets and needs no explanation or comment.

III. Passages:

A. Genesis 1:2 The Spirit is present and active in creation, which is a work of God. John tells us that the Word, or the Son of God, was also active in creation (see John 1:3). Thus, Father, Son, and Spirit were involved in the act of creation.

B. Psalm 139:7-8 David confesses that there is nowhere he can go to get away from the Spirit. Thus, the Spirit is omnipresent, a characteristic of God only.

C. Isaiah 48:16 Isaiah seems to refer to the Trinity in this verse: the coming Servant is God the Son, the Lord God refers to God the Father, and the Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit. Thus, it seems to be a Trinitarian passage in the Old Testament, placing Father, Son, and Spirit on an equal level. We see more of these passages in the New Testament (see below).

D. Matthew 28:19 Jesus teaches His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Such a statement implies the deity of all three. We see other passages like this in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Peter 1:2, Jude 20-21).

E. John 3:5-8 Jesus is teaching Nicodemus about the second birth, or regeneration. He calls this being born of the Spirit. This new birth is a work that is credited to God in 1 John 3:9. Thus, the Spirit is once again involved in the work of God.

F. Acts 5:3-4 In verse 3 Peter accuses Ananias of lying to the Holy Spirit. Then in verse 4 he tells him that you have not lied to men but to God. When you put these two statements together it implies the deity of the Spirit.

G. 1 Corinthians 2:10b-11 Here Paul says that the Spirit knows all things, which we refer to as omniscience. This is another attribute of God alone.

H. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 You have the parallelism in this passage of Spirit, Lord, and God, which implies the deity of the Spirit.

I. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 Twice in these verses Paul equates the Lord with the Spirit, once again showing the deity of the Spirit.

J. Ephesians 4:4-6 Paul places the Spirit on the same plane as the One Lord and the One God and Father. Once again we see Paul teaching us of the divinity of the Spirit.

IV. Implications (3 ways the Bible teaches that the Spirit is divine):

A. Direct affirmation of the Spiritís deity. We see this in the passage in Acts where the lying to the Spirit is said to be lying to God. Also, Paul says that the Spirit is the Lord in 2 Corinthians 3. Likewise in the passages where the Father, Son, and Spirit are paralleled, we can at least see the implication that the Spirit is divine. He is on the same plane as the Father and the Son who are both considered divine in the text.

B. Works of God done by the Spirit. The Genesis passage tells us the Spiritís involvement in Creation, an act that is said to be the work of God. Also, Jesus speaks of the Spiritís work of regeneration which is also said to be a work of God. Thus, if the Spirit is said to do these works and the Bible affirms that these works are works of God, then it stands to reason that the Spirit is divine.

C. Attributes of God given to the Spirit. There are more of these in other places, but just in the passages that we looked at we see that the Spirit is omnipresent and omniscient. These attributes belong to God alone and thus show the deity of the Spirit.

V. Conclusion:

We could look at other passages and other implications, but it seems clear from what we considered that the Bible teaches that the Spirit is fully divine. Thus, we affirm the deity of the Spirit and worship Him as the third Person of the Trinity. Amen.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 January 2009 )

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