God the Holy Spirit


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Walking along the shore, a man saw a boy scooping water from the sea with his bare hands and then running towards a hole in the sand to dump the water. After watching him do it a few times, he asked the boy, “What are you doing?” He replied with a determined smile, “I’m trying to put the sea into that hole.”

It’s the same when we study the doctrine of the Trinity. This led a theologian to quip, “He who tries to understand the Trinity fully will lose his mind; but he who denies it will lose his soul.” People who deny the doctrine use the simplistic argument that the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. But they are not consistent. They use other terms that are not scriptural also, too, such as “omniscient” (“God is all-knowing”). Though admittedly the term itself is not found in it, the teaching on the Trinity is actually in the Bible. The term “is used to summarize the teaching of Scripture that… God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.” [1]

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There is one God. (“The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4) [2] There are three persons (“baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 28:19b. Note that it says “in the name” and not “in the names.” It “classified on an equal level” [3] the Father, the Son and the Spirit.) They are distinct from each other. The Father is not the Son and the Spirit. The Son is not the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father and the Spirit. Each person is called God. The Father is called God (1 Corinthians 1:3). The Son is called God. (It says in Titus 2:13: “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”. It did not say “our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Thus, our Lord Jesus is called “great God” here.) The Spirit is called God. Since our focus in this article is on the Holy Spirit, we will devote more space to Him.
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” (Acts 5:3-4. Emphasis added.)
To lie to the Spirit is to lie to God. “This is an affirmation of the Holy Spirit’s deity.” [4] 

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The Spirit is also called “Lord” in 2 Corinthians 3:17. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 
In this case, Paul would be saying that the Holy Spirit is also “Yahweh” (or “Jehovah”), the Lord of the Old Testament (note the clear Old Testament background of this context, beginning at v. 7). Theologically this would be quite acceptable, for it could truly be said that just as God the Father is “Lord” and God the Son is “Lord” (in the full Old Testament sense of “Lord” as a name for God), so also the Holy Spirit is the one called “Lord” in the Old Testament—and it is the Holy Spirit who especially manifests the presence of the Lord to us in the new covenant age. [5] 
That’s why Pastor Francis Chan declared, “When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting God.” [6] Let me also emphasize here that the Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force or power. The Bible addresses the Spirit with the personal pronoun “He” and not with an impersonal “It.” (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-14). This fact has implications in the way we connect with the Spirit. “This calls us to relationship with the Spirit, instead of allowing us to think we can treat the Spirit as a power to be harnessed in order to accomplish our own purposes.” [7]

“When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting God.” Image credit

One mark of a person is emotions. Ephesians 4:30 commands us, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Emphasis added) If He is a mere force and not a person, how can we grieve Him? For example, electricity is a force. Can we grieve it? This fact also has implications in the way we relate with one another and with God.
In our culture, having feelings or emotions is equated with weakness. This is a lie that is deeply ingrained in many of us. … Since He created emotions, why is it difficult to believe that He Himself has emotions? The Spirit is grieved when there is a breach in relationship, whether it be relationship with God or relationship with other people. When we are disunified, unloving, hateful, jealous, gossipy, etc., that is when we grieve the Spirit of God.How do you respond when you hear this? Does it bother you? When was the last time you were saddened because your sin pained the Holy Spirit? [8]
Significant Step 

Reflect on the truth that the way we relate with each other could grieve the Holy Spirit. What changes do we need to do in our relationship (our family, our church, and other spheres of influence) in order to cause delight to the Spirit instead of sadness? Ask the Spirit for forgiveness if we see that we have grieved Him. 

NOTE: This is Day One of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 5) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message last Sunday, March 29, on Know How Much You Are Worth Part 3” (“Significance” series, a verse-by-verse study of the book of Ephesians).

[1] Wayne Gruydem, Systematic Theology (MI: Zondervan, 1994), 226. Emphasis added.

[2] All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.

[3] Grudem, 237. 

[4] Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1983), 365. 

[5] Grudem, 233. Emphasis added.

[6] Francis Chan, “Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit,” (CO: David C. Cook). iBooks. Emphasis added.

[7] Ibid. Emphasis added.

[8] Ibid. Emphasis added.

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