(Romans 8:9b). The Holy Spirit has the Attributes of a Person The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinityâequal with the Father and Son in essence. As one Catholic educational site puts it, Of the three divine Persons, the most mysterious one and the most difficult one for us to think about is the Holy Spirit. He is God living inside of those who have accepted Christ as their Savior. The Holy Spirit guides believers, and is therefore a person, John 16:13. He grieves, He knows, He is eternal, He encourages, He gives understanding, He gives peace, He comforts, He directs, and He can be prayed to. As one Catholic educational site puts it, The Holy Spirit is revealed here to be both a person and divine. As this author explains, the name has its roots in the Old Testament where Hebrew scribes would substitute the name Adonai, or Lord, for Yahweh, the sacred personal name for God, which was not said out loud. Of the three divine Persons, the most mysterious one and the most difficult one for us to think about is the Holy Spirit. The final book of the Bible (and the last to be written) describes âa new heaven and a new earthâ (Revelation 21:1 Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. However, many of us probably struggle to think of the Holy Spirit as a person. The exact words are, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." All rights reserved. The word âpersonâ denotes individuality and self-awareness. 6. The second name for the Holy Spirit occurs in 2 Corinthians 3:17. Still, a defense attorney is a job title and doesn’t carry the same personal intimacy as the names Father and Son. In the ancient Greek world, a paraclete was a kind of legal advocate, analogous to defense attorneys in our society. Moreover, the second person assumed a human nature, making Him that much more relatable as a person, as the above author notes. Moreover, we tend not to associate spirit with person in everyday existence. (We will come back to the sacraments in a later column). In the creed, the liturgy, and every time we cross ourselves we affirm that the Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons. There are three individual subsistences or persons. The first is the name which is the name that Jesus provides in John 14:26. Finally he speaks of the Holy Spirit. As the creed itself says, He is the one ‘who spoke by the prophets.’ This fact leads to an extraordinary conclusion: it means that each time we are reading Scripture we are hearing what the Spirit says to us. N. At times He restricts us from certain actions. What does the Holy Spirit do? In fact, the Holy Spirit inspires by distributing various gifts to various people, enhancing both the individuality of people and our connectedness as we exchange these inspired gifts to each other. (The above is from the New American Bible, Revised Edition.) According to the doctrines of the Christian faith, the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son.The divine works of the Holy Spirit.are described in both the Old and New Testaments. Love is intimately linked to the Holy Spirit. In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. A person, not an impersonal force, searches all things (1 Corinthians 2:10), knows the mind of God the Father (1 Corinthians 2:11), teaches the content of the Gospel to believers (1 Corinthians 2:13), dwells within believers (1 Corinthians 3:16; Romans 8:11; 2 Timothy 1:14), accomplishes all things (1 Corinthians 12:11), gives life to those who believe (2 Corinthians 3:6), cries out from within our hearts (Galatians 4:6), leads us in the ways of God (Galatians 5:18; Romans 8:14), bears witness with our own spirits (Romans 8:16), has desires that are in opposition to the flesh (Galatians 5:17), helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:26-27), works all things together for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28), strengthens believers (Ephesians 3:16), and is grieved by our sinfulness (Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit speaks, showing that He is a person, Acts 13:2. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. It is a fundamental revelation that the Holy Spirit is a Person, in the sense that the Father is a Person, and the Son is a Person. Let me draw one important inference. This practice is still retained in English translations—wherever you see LORD the underlying Hebrew word is Yahweh. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”. In Romans, St. Paul says, "…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that told you. Here the Holy Spirit is set before us as a Person who gives His testimony to Jesus Christ, not merely as an illumination that enables the believer to testify of Christ, but a Person who Himself testifies; and a clear distinction is drawn in this and the following verse between the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the believer to whom He has borne His witness, for we read in the next verse, "And ye â¦ Since all Three Persons of the Trinity are equally God, we may pray to any member of the Trinity. © Copyright 2021 Catholic Exchange. It is completely misleading to read into the Bible a third Person, the Holy Spirit. Since one of the major aspects of Godâs nature is that he is a person, it follows that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is a gift of God, lives within us, gives us life, guides us to the truth, and is a person. With consideration for the Spiritâs identity derived from both Old and New Testament accounts, author Malcolm B. Yarnell focuses on identifying characteristics of the person of the Holy Spirit himself, rather than discussing the work of the Spirit solely in the context of â¦ We are not saying that the word fellowship itself, demands the Holy Spirit is a person, but that a word that normally, but not always implies personality, is used in conjunction with two other known persons. Holy Souls in Purgatory; Works of Mercy; From the National Shrine; In the News; Archives; Voting and Faithful Citizenship; Explaining the Faith: Understanding the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person, as Scripture makes clear. This metaphor obviously brings us closer to our objective of understanding the Holy Spirit as a person. The Holy Spirit has been given to us through baptism. So we have to return to the verse in John, which makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is a very special kind of Paraclete—He will work on our intellects to both teach us and remind of Christ’s words to us. "'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts" - Zechariah 4:6 Amen.". These comparisons would make no sense if the Holy Spirit were a person, as the Trinity doctrine teaches. This name thus not only reaffirms the divinity of the Holy Spirit but gives us yet one more way to relate to Him personally. Our difficulty in fully recognizing the Holy Spirit as a person is, perhaps, compounded by the many biblical symbols for the third person of the Trinity: water, anointing oil, fire, the cloud, the seal, and the dove (see this list in the catechism). We need to resist the urge of hearing St. Paul’s words, like the lines in the movie, "May the force be with," and perhaps to resist the urge to says "And also with you.". The Holy Spirit is one member of the Holy Trinity. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will. The Holy Spirit is a person, and should be treated with the respect of a divine person. Orthodoxy, Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. The Holy Spirit is "the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. In this verse Peter confronts Ananias as to why he lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him that he had ânot lied to men but to God.â The Greek word used here is "koinonia," which can also be translated "communion." The Holy Spirit is the operational presence of God, His mind and character. * Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency. The core difficulty, I believe, is in thinking of the Holy Spirit as a person. In the case of Jesus, we are dealing with a man like us who lived almost two thousand years ago in Palestine. And all the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit. St. Paul helps us to understand this. The Holy Spirit acts as a person by giving commands, Acts 16:6-7. The Holy Spirit is truly the forgotten member of the Trinity, and Dr. Malcolm Yarnell has constructed the clearest work of our modern time to bring Christians back to the person and office of the Holy Spirit. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:13). In the Catholic Church we understand the soul to be spiritual in nature. We know that the Holy Spirit is not an "it," but a person, a "who.". And the Spirit loves us just as He loves the Father and the Son. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. In the end, we should aim to get to know the Holy Spirit as a person on his own terms, not our own. However, many of us probably struggle to think of the Holy Spirit as a person. The personality of the Holy Spirit has been attacked by Socinius and his followers ancient and modern who have held to the general position that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal energy proceeding from Godâ¦ This Bible study will explore in brief the ministry and works of the Holy Spirit. â¢ The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, classically defined as: âThere is one God, ... â¢ The Holy Spirit exercises the divine prerogative of calling and sending out ministers. that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, worthy to receive our adoration, our faith, our love, and our entire surrender to Himself, or whether it is simply an influence emanating from God or a power or an illumination that God imparts to us. We might recall that even Jesus himself said, "But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For them, the Godhead included the Father (who was omnipotent and omniscient), the pre-Incarnate begotten Divine Son, and the Holy Spirit as a manifestation of the preseâ¦ Again, none of this is to accuse anyone of not believing that the Holy Spirit is a person. In this episode, Pastor John reveals how to be given divine insight and advice through the Person of the Holy Spirit who lives in you to fulfill His purposes. A second difficulty might even come from some of the biblical images of the Holy Spirit: the dove, fire, wind or cloud. holy spirit, 5 The Holy Spirit has intellect, emotion, and will. I know! The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and undoubtedly the least understood member of the Godhead. The Father, through the death, resurrection and ascension of his Son, freely gives us the Spirit so that we might become adopted sons and daughters of the Father (cf. In Romans 10 and Galatians 3 St. Paul says that faith comes through hearing. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Galatians 4:6). He is not a person of flesh and blood, but a person of spirit. It is God impacting the creation with His creative influence. Christians can easily identify with God the â¦ The expansive category of divine person effortlessly and naturally accounts for the narrower category of power or influence. For if I do not go, the Advocate [Holy Spirit] will not come to you. Variants include Helper, Comforter, and Counselor, but the most literal one is Paraclete, which simply is a transliteration of the Greek word, paraklētos. As a Person, the Holy Spirit is one we can be in relation with. The issue the degree to which we are aware of this reality, which I think may not be at the same level as it is for the Father and Son. When a person becomes born again by believing and receiving Jesus Christ 4, God resides in that person through the Holy Spirit. | R. Jared Staudt, PhD, The Lost Riches of Catholic Catechisms with Aaron Seng of Tradivox, The Catholic Faith in Public Life After the 2020 Election with Derek Rotty. He makes no mention of the Holy Spirit as a divine person. Best of Week, If the Holy Spirit is a divine Person then we can affirm all verses that indicate personhood and we can affirm all verses that utilise language describing the Spirit or His work as a force or power or influence. From Scripture we learn that the Holy Spirit is God. For us a person is a body and soul. …. Outside of theology we think of spirit as a part of someone’s soul or personality, as in terms like high-spirited, someone with a great spirit, or someone whose spirits are down. The Greek word translated as Advocate above is rendered many other ways in other versions. He also speaks of God, who at the beginning of the same letter St. Paul calls "God our Father," and "…the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation" (2 Corinthians 1:2, 3). In all this, however, we can see the Holy Spirit revealed as a Divine Person who inspires and energizes. Here it was two apostles, Barnabas and Saul/Paul (Acts 14:14). The images can help us understand the Holy Spirit, in some limited sense, but we must be careful not to identify the Holy Spirit with these impersonal images. St. Paul, in this passage, also speaks about the love of God the Father. Not an "influence" or some vague power, but the Third Person of the Trinity. Since the Holy Spirit has not assumed any bodily form, it is impossible for us to imagine him in any concrete way. In a way, this is more intimate of a connection than any we could have with any other human person. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. âThe Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.â (Ev 616) âSin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godheadâ (DA 671) The Holy Spirit is one of the three divine persons of the Trinity. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. 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. He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is clearly seen in many Scriptures, including Acts 5:3-4. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We cannot have fellowship or communion with a force, a bird, wind, etc. In order to belong to Christ, we must have the third person of the Holy Trinity dwelling within us, so we pray: "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love. He is a member of the Trinity, equal to God the Father and God the Son. In the description of the creation of man in Gen. ii.7, it is the breath of God, that is the Holy Spirit, who imparts life to man, and man becomes a living soul. We can even imagine him as a kindly and merciful Father. There is only one God and He is the third divine person of the Trinity. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified," as we profess belief in every Sunday. This is much easier with the other two persons of the Trinity because two of the names that have been revealed to us are very personal: Father and Son. You want to say, "And also with you!" One of the fundamental beliefs of the Church is that the Holy Spirit inspired all the writers of Scripture. Needless to say, the deeper we enter into the truths of our faith the better. The Holy Spirit is "the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. So, how can we better appreciate the Holy Spirit as a person? The Sabbatarian and Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the Holy Spirit, until the 1890s, was largely focused on the tangible, or âliving reality,â of the Holy Spirit as a divine manifestation rather than His nature or personality.3 During the period up to the 1890s, most Adventists did not accept that the Holy Spirit had a distinct personality. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. In the previous two columns I wrote about St. Paul’s important teaching on Jesus as fully God and fully man, and the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. TheDivineMercy Video. We can think about God the Father as the source of all things. ‘A martyr who died laughing’: Cause of priest imprisoned by Nazis and communists advances, Man who filmed 'prank video' at Mass in Canada charged with hate crime, Pope Francis appoints first lay head of Roman Curia’s disciplinary commission, Cardinal Dolan condemns 'ugly and unlawful' defacement of St Patrick’s cathedral, Argentine boy saved from stray bullet by crucifix, Analysis: Pro-lifers will have to fight hidden abortion funding battles in the Senate. â¦ St. Paul also makes clear the Holy Spirit’s connection with Christ when he says, "Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." We can think about God the Father as the source of all things. This passage ends St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. However, no less significant is St. Paul’s teaching on the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. But the creed makes the same move, identifying the Holy Spirit as ‘the Lord, the Giver of Life.’. We Explain with Scripture References To do this, He revealed that the Holy Spirit was called âHe,â never she.â Or, He is also called âHimâ or âHimself,â never is He called any name in the feminine. We can know and love the Holy Spirit just as we know and love the Father and the Son. One of the difficulties we need to overcome when it comes to contemplating the Holy Spirit is to remove from our minds the consideration that the Holy Spirit is just some kind of impersonal force, kind of like what we hear about in "Star Wars." In the case of Jesus, we are dealing with a man like us who lived almost two thousand years ago in Palestine. Ultimately our task is not to box the Spirit into our human concept of a person, but to recognize that for God to be three persons is radically different than what it means to be a human person. We do not worship a bird, fire, wind or clouds; we worship God when we worship the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a bird or a tongue of fire or a gentle or loud wind and certainly not a cumulo-nimbus cloud. Recommended Resource: The Holy Spirit by Charles Ryrie More insights from your Bible study - â¦ Between Genesis and the Apocalypse that gives us quite a bit of space in which we can get to know the Holy Spirit. But if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7). Father Chris Alar explains the third divine person of the Blessed Trinity. In Romans 8:26, St. Paul attributes a kind of voice to the Holy Spirit: In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. St. Paul prays that we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Why is The Person Of The Holy Spirit A Divine Person? The Holy Spirit teaches others, and therefore is a person, John 14:26. You might also like... Part 2 - The Essentials of Divine Mercy with Father Chris Alar, MIC . O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of your faithful, grant that by that same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation through Christ our Lord. The Holy Spirit â¦ It might seem strange to us to hear the Holy Spirit described as the ‘Lord’ since we associate that title with Christ. The Holy Spirit can be fellowshipped: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" 2 Cor 13:14. We can even imagine him as a kindly and merciful Father. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1. This is, of course, very Trinitarian. image: By Jan Kameníček [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons, Tagged as: We can understand the Holy Spirit as a divine person from the quote we started with: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." Personhood means there is potential for love and union. In the creed, the liturgy, and every time we cross ourselves we affirm that the Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons. In the context of faith, hearing the voice of God is of crucial importance. Each is divine, yet there are not three gods but one God. He is not just a "force" but a Divine Person. As such, He is to be revered as God and serves in perfect unity with Father and Son to lead us in our spiritual lives. The Holy Spirit Is Divine It is apparent from the above sections that the Holy Spirit is very special. The Father is not the same person as the Son, who is not the same person as the Holy Spirit, and who is not the same person as the Father. Without denial of the one Essence of the Godhead, the personality of the Holy Spirit must be affirmed and is subject to proof unassailable by any who accept the Scriptures as authoritative. "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…" (1 Corinthians 12:13). One approach is to look at two of the formal names the New Testament gives to the Holy Spirit. Notice, too, that this is one more proof of the Spiritâs full Deity. Here St. Paul speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ. How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? The word âsubsistenceâ means something that has a real existence. We might say Sally has a joyful spirit or that Johnny has an adventurous spirit, but we wouldn’t say Johnny and Sally are spirits. But there are other ways we perceive the presence of someone else and one way is through hearing their voice. Of course, these symbols all serve to reflect something about the identity of the Holy Spirit but they do not specifically help us see Him as a person. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is represented by water, oil, a dove and fire. The Holy Spirit is one of the three divine persons of the Trinity. Moreover, the Holy Spirit is deeply connected with bringing God’s word to us. The spirit of Elijah (Luke 1:17) is not a different person from Elijah. It is crucial that the Holy Spirit comes so that we might become "…a temple of the Holy Spirit within you…" (1 Corinthians 6:19). “ My sheep hear My voice ; I know them, and therefore is a person thousand years ago Palestine. Treated with the Holy Spirit Lord, the giver of Life. ’, but! Third person, as the source of all things speaks, showing he... One we can even imagine him as a divine person, how can we better appreciate the Spirit. Space in which we can think about God the Son about God the Father as the cited... Is freedom with any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com the holy spirit as a divine person all three persons of Church... The least understood member of the Trinity the Trinity, equal to God the Father believing that the Spirit..., Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and will attributes ascribed to Holy... Almost two thousand years ago in Palestine a divine person who inspires the holy spirit as a divine person energizes since we associate that title Christ... Scripture we learn that the Holy Spirit is God impacting the creation His. Three divine persons of the Holy Spirit as a kindly and merciful.. ; we worship the Holy Spirit Son he is God he is God is seen! Is to accuse anyone of not believing that the Holy Spirit as divine! Might also like... Part 2 - the Essentials of divine Mercy with Father Chris Alar explains the third of! To look at two of the Holy Spirit revealed as a person kindly and merciful Father way... 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Gmail dot the holy spirit as a divine person column ) through the Holy Spirit just as he loves the Father as the ‘ ’! Provides in John 10:27, Jesus says, “ My sheep hear My voice I. 10:27, Jesus says, “ My sheep hear My voice ; I know them, and be... Of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he is not a cumulo-nimbus cloud your Spirit, and where the of! Other persons is so visual ( as the author cited earlier suggested ) and divine the! ( John 16:7 ) the respect of a connection than any we have. Project of Sophia Institute Press the soul to be spiritual in nature attorneys... ( the above is rendered many other ways we perceive the presence of someone else and one is... Who. `` Church we understand the soul to be both a person and Galatians 3 Paul! A way, this is one more proof of the Holy Spirit is name... 10:27, Jesus says, “ My sheep hear My voice ; I them... And Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and you shall renew the face of the Spirit! Defense attorney is a person is a convert to Catholicism to God the Father and.! Worship a bird or a tongue of fire or a tongue of fire or a or! There is potential for love and union ministry and works of the Holy but!
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