The Holy Spirit is not merely a Person; He is a divine Person. The Spirit, as a Person, is in association and relationship with the Father and the Son. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told His disciples to go everywhere, baptizing believers “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Notice how Jesus carefully forms the Trinitarian formula. He does not use the plural noun names, as though Father, Son and Spirit were three different gods. Rather, there is one name of the one God who has revealed Himself as Father, Son and Spirit.
Second Corinthians 13:14 also shows the Spirit’s association and relationship with the Father and the Son: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (NIV).
The Spirit Bears the Attributes of God
He is eternal. The writer to the Hebrews says, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that, we may serve the living God!” (Heb. 9:14). As it is said of Jesus—He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, so the Spirit has no origin, and He has no ending.
He is all-knowing. Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). John 16:12-13 speaks of the Spirit guiding us into all truth. Also, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 says, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
He is all-powerful. The Spirit revealed this aspect of His nature to Mary through the angel Gabriel: “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The work of the Spirit in birthing Jesus in the womb of Mary is a mark of the omnipotence of the Spirit of God.
He is present everywhere. Psalm 139:7–10 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
The Spirit also does the works of God. We see the Spirit active in four key areas of God’s activity.
First, He is involved in creation. Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (NKJV). The New International Version says, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
That is such an eloquent introduction in Scripture to the divine personality of the Spirit, who brings creation out of chaos. I would suggest to you that this also describes the work of the Spirit in your life and mine. Our life without God is chaos. The Spirit of God wants to create in us the personality of Jesus and to breathe into the formlessness and the void of our life the life of Jesus. The Spirit is at work in that creation process. It is part of His divine nature.
Second, He is involved in regeneration. “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground” (Ps. 104:30, NIV). As the Spirit brooded over the material creation of the earth and brought everything into being through His creative act, He is also at work in the spiritual re-creation of our inner life.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezek. 36:26-27). John 3:5-6 re-emphasizes a new heart made by the Spirit when Jesus said, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” The Spirit is always seeking to birth us into the kingdom of God.
Jesus does a beautiful thing in putting together the Spirit’s work in creation with the Spirit’s work in the human personality. After Christ’s resurrection, He appears to His disciples and speaks peace to them. Then the Scripture says, “With that he breathed on them and said,‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). Even as God breathed life into the lifeless form of man at creation, so Jesus spoke to His disciples and breathed into them life which is eternal.
Third, the Spirit is active in giving us the Scriptures. “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). The King James Version says, “All Scripture is inspired.” The correct translation of the Greek word is “All Scripture is expired”—that is, breathed out. All Scripture is the product of the breath of God. The function of the Spirit is to breathe the presence of God into human life. The Bible is a result of the activity of the wind of the Spirit—God breathing His word out of His nature.
Fourth, the Spirit is involved in resurrection from death. “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Rom 8:11). The Spirit is the agent transferring the eternal life of God to us. The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives also in you and me.
George O. Wood is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. This article can be found on his blog.