In the first few articles in this series, we followed several lines of evidence to show that the Holy Spirit is a Person. We move now into the biblical evidence that this same Holy Spirit (also called the Holy Ghost) is a full member of the Trinity along with the Father and the Son.
If you have been following along, by now you should be familiar with that passage in John 14 where Jesus promised His disciples He would send them “another Advocate,” (Comforter, Counselor, Companion, Helper, etc., depending on your translation), who would be with them forever. The Phillips translation says it this way:
“If you really love me, you will keep the commandments I have given you and I shall ask the Father to give you someone else to stand by you, to be with you always. I mean the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, for it can neither see nor recognize that Spirit. But you recognize him, for he is with you now and will be in your hearts. I am not going to leave you alone in the world—I am coming to you. In a very little while, the world will see me no more but you will see me, because I am really alive and you will be alive too. When that day come, you will realize that I am in my Father, that you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:15-17).
We know that the Holy Spirit was visibly manifest at Pentecost when “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:2-4).
But this is not the first time we see the Holy Spirit in the Bible. In fact, His influence is seen throughout the Old Testament. In a far from exhaustive list, we see the Holy Spirit mentioned in these verses:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. (Psalm 104:30)
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)
The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue. (2 Samuel 23:2)
Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 63:10)
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. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear. (Haggai 2:5)
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6)
You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. (Nehemiah 9:20)
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10)
Now, to be sure, we have not proved the deity of the Holy Spirit. We have merely illustrated that He is present not only throughout the Bible, but was there at the creation event. We will spend several articles looking at various indicators that the Holy Spirit is revealed as divine and as part of the Trinity. For now, though, consider these statements with supporting verses:
1. There is only one true God: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5; cf. Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4; Isaiah 43:10).
2. The Father is God: “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live;…” (1 Corinthians 8:6; cf. John 17:1-3; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Philippians 2:11; Colossians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:2).
3. Jesus Christ, the Son, is God: “For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18; John 20:28; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1).
4. The Holy Spirit is God: “Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit,… You have not lied just to human beings but to God” (Acts 5:3-4).
5. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons with equal authority:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30).
“May 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 13:14).