Who is the Holy Spirit?

     By Charles Ryrie

    There are many misconceptions on the identity of the Holy Spirit. Some view the Holy Spirit
    as a mystical force. Others understand the Holy Spirit as the impersonal power God makes
    available to followers of Christ. What does the Bible say about the identity of the Holy Spirit?
    Simply put - the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy
    Spirit is a Person, a Being with a mind, emotions, and a will.
    The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is clearly seen in many Scriptures including Acts 5:3-4.
    In this verse Peter confronts Ananias as to why he had lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him
    that he had “not lied to men but to God.” It is a clear declaration that lying to the Holy Spirit
    is lying to God. We can also know that the Holy Spirit is God because He possesses the
    attributes or characteristics of God. For example, the fact that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent
    is seen in Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your
    presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are
    there.” Then in 1 Corinthians 2:10, we see the characteristic of omniscience in the Holy
    Spirit. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all
    things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the
    spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit
    of God.”
    We can know that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person because He possesses a mind,
    emotions, and a will. The Holy Spirit thinks and knows (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Holy Spirit
    can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). The Holy
    Spirit makes decisions according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). The Holy Spirit is God,
    the third “Person” of the Trinity. As God, the Holy Spirit can truly function as the Comforter
    and Counselor that Jesus promised He would be (John 14:16,26; 15:26).

    Recommended Resource: The Holy Spirit by Charles Ryrie.

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