The Holy Spirit
as a person in God and a presence within you
This page's links : * Who Is the Holy Spirit? * the Holy Spirit As God * the Spirit of God in the Hebrew Scriptures * Spirited QuotesOther core Spirit matters: * A Noun That Acts Like A Verb * The Spirit Calls You. * the Spirit in you, and in your life. * the Holy Spirit Gives Gifts. * What the Spirit Grows Within You * Not Here on a Whim. * Speaking through the Prophets. * the Holy Spirit as revealer.
| More on the Holy Spirit:Why Our Spirit-Talk Seems So Vague Ways of being here
The Promise Of the Sent Spirit.
Jesus And the Spirit.
The Spirit Brings Christ.
Pouring It On
the Spirit heals within you.
The Spirit of God as Change-Maker.
Seeing By the Light.
The Holy Spirit in prayer.
the Holy Spirit in Bible authors.
Blasphemy Against the Spirit.
Freedom in Christ.
the Spirit in Theology.
the Spirit gives faith.
the Trinity revealed.
Quotes on the Spirit's Work.
Who Is the Holy Spirit?
Christian tradition starts speaking of the Spirit by saying that the Holy Spirit is God, based on the Bible. The Spirit has the attributes of God :
* eternal, having neither beginning nor end (Hebrews 9:14), * omni-potent, having all power (Luke 1:35);
* omni-present, being everywhere at the same time (Psalm 139:7); and * omni-scient, understanding all matters ( 1 Corinthians 2:10,11).
Not only is the Holy Spirit is God, the Spirit is a full person of the Trinity. What is meant by that? (Forgive me for talking strange here, but this is about the Holy Spirit, the One that can least be described by words.) The Spirit can be addressed as 'you' by other 'I's (such as you and me), and can respond as an 'I'. The Spirit is an 'I', able to take action and cause action. The Spirit is able to be a 'we' with other 'I's. In a Barna survey in 1997, 61% of US residents surveyed agreed with the statement that the Holy Spirit is "a symbol of God's presence or power, but is not a living entity". Even more : that answer was held by a majority or near-majority of those in most every Christian denominational family, including mainline Protestants and evangelical Christians, and was most common in non-whites and young people. It's not a new view. Back in the days of the early church, some held that the Holy Spirit was an 'emanation' of God the Father, and others thought of the Spirit in the same terms as the Talmudic discussions on the divine Shekinah (Presence), as an expression of what Christians call the 'Father'. Those are not far off, they're just describing part of a larger picture, like speaking of an elephant by describing its ears without reference to its trunk, tusks, or thick legs. Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is a person and is God : 1. the Spirit's work in the Old Testament is closely identified with the Word of YHWH spoken by the prophets (this was affirmed by the early church in 2 Peter 1:21, and in the Creeds). 2. the close ties between Jesus' mission and the work of the Spirit (see the work of the Spirit). 3. the close ties between the mission of the apostles and the work of the Spirit; esp. see 1 Peter 1:12. 4. The episode with Hananiah (Ananias) in Acts 5, where first, Peter says that Hananiah lied to the Holy Spirit, then later says that he lied not to men but to God. 5. The trinitarian baptismal formula found in Scripture ( Matt 28:19): "in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". It dates to the church's earliest days. 6. Jesus made a habit of confronting traditions with "box-breaking" actions. He ate with tax collectors and other scorned people, He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple, He talked to the woman at the well, He healed the occupier-centurion's daughter. The Holy Spirit does the same kind of thing in Acts, and ever since.
The Holy Spirit As A Person
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