Monday, February 21, 2011

A Spirit Was Sent

Today, I felt led to study the Holy Spirit.

This study is called "pneumatology," which comes from the Greek words pneuma (meaning "spirit") and logos (meaning "doctrine").

The Hebrew word that is commonly translated "Spirit" literally means "wind" or "breath." Thus the "Spirit of God" is literally the invisible, active presence of God. You can hear the wind and see its result as it moves the branches of a tree, but you cannot see the wind itself. Similarly the actions of the Holy Spirit are evident in the lives of believers, even though we cannot see him directly.

The Spirit is a person. Before ut can be decided that the Holy Spirit is God, it must first be established that he is a person, not mere influence or divine power. And he truly is. Though the Greek term for spirit is neuter, Jesus in John 14:26 and 16:13-14 used the masculine pronoun "he" when speaking of the Holy Spirit. He also has the three essential elements of personality: intellect (1 Cor. 2:11), sensibilities (Rom. 8:27; 15:30), and will (1Cor. 12:11). He can be tempted (Acts 5:9), lied to (Acts 5:3), grieved (Eph. 4:30), resisted (Acts 7:51), insulted (Heb. 10:29), and blasphemed (Matt. 12:31-32).

The Holy Spirit is recognized as God. He is a divine person as can be shown by his attributes of diety: He is eternal )Heb. 9:14), omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10-11), omnipotent (Luke 1:35), and omnipresent (Ps.139:7-10). Works of Deity are also ascribed to him such as creation, regeneration, inspiration of the Scriptures, and raising of the dead.

Some groups (for example, the Jehovah's Witness) view the Holy Spirit as a "force" or "power", rather than as a person. However, that heresy grew largely from the translators of the King James Bible, who referred to the Spirit as "it."

The Holy Spirit has personality, as revealed by the fact that he has a will (1Cor. 12:11), a mind (Rom 8:27), knowledge (John 14:26), the ability to communicate (Acts 1:16), and emotions (Eph. 4:30). His personality is also demonstrated in the fact that he has a job: to teach, guide, restrain, comfort, and intercede on behalf of believers.

The New Testament reveals that the Spirit can be grieved, quenched, resisted, blasphemed, and insulted.

The Holy Spirit is referred to as "God" in Acts 5:3-4, as "Lord" in 2 Corinthians 3:18, ans as being equal to the Father and the Son in Matthew 28:19.

Scripture reveals the divine attributes of the Holy Spirit, referring to him as eternal (Heb. 9:14), omniscient (John 14:26), omnipotent (Job 26:13), all wise (Isa. 40:13), sovereign (1 Cor. 12:11), and the giver of life (Rom. 8:2).

I will finish this study of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday evening.

by Bonnie Calhoun