By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


Is the Holy Spirit a person or a force?


The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit has all the attributes of personality and is not merely an impersonal force. In John chapters 14, 15, and 16, for example, Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as “He”. Jesus also referred to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter or the Counselor (John 14:16 and 15:26). This title conveys the ideas of advising, exhorting, comforting, strengthening, interceding, and encouraging.

In addition, the Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God Himself. In Acts 5:1-4 a man who lied to the Holy Spirit is said to have lied to God. The Holy Spirit is also described in the Bible as having the characteristics of God and doing God’s work. He convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11) and gives new life to those who trust in Jesus (John 3:8).

That He is the third Person of the Holy Trinity is made clear by His inclusion with the Father and the Son in such Bible passages as Matthew 28:19. Here the apostles are commanded to baptize those who receive the Gospel “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon people, anointing them for a specific task or purpose (Exodus 31:1-5; Numbers 24:2). In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit dwells within all believers (1 Corinthians 6:19), assures them that they are children of God (Romans 8:16), enables them to live the Christian life (Romans 8:9, 12-15), and gifts them for Christian service (1 Corinthians, chapter 12).