The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

09.15.14 | by R. A. Torrey

The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

    Chapter II. The Deity of the Holy Spirit

    In the preceding chapter we have seen clearly that the Holy Spirit is a Person. But what sort of a Person is He? Is He a finite person or an infinite person? Is He God? This question also is plainly answered in the Bible. There are in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments five distinct and decisive lines of proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

    I. Each of the four distinctively Divine attributes is ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

    What are the distinctively Divine attributes? Eternity, omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. All of these are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible.

    We find eternity ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Heb. ix. 14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

    Omnipresence is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Ps. cxxxix. 7-10, “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the [pg 026]sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.”

    Omniscience is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in several passages. For example, we read in 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Again in John xiv. 26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Still further we read in John xvi. 12, 13, R. V., “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak: and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come.”

    We find omnipotence ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Luke i. 35, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

    II. Three distinctively Divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

    When we think of God and His work, the first work of which we always think is that of creation. In the Scriptures creation is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We read in Job xxxiii. 4, “The Spirit of Godhath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” We read still again in Ps. civ. 30, “Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth.” In connection with the description of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, the activity of the Spirit is referred to (Gen. i. 1-3).

    The impartation of life is also a Divine work and this is ascribed in the Scriptures to the Holy Spirit, We read in John vi. 6, A. R. V., “It is the Spirit that giveth life: the flesh profiteth nothing.” We read also in Rom. viii. 11, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” 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. 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.” The Greek word which is rendered “spirit” means “breath” and though the Holy Spirit as a Person does not come out distinctly in this early reference to Him in Gen. ii. 7, nevertheless, this passage interpreted in the light of the fuller revelation of the New Testament clearly refers to the Holy Spirit.

    The authorship of Divine prophecies is also ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We read in 2 Pet. i. 21, R. V., “For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost.” Even in the Old Testament, there is a reference to the Holy Spirit as the author of prophecy. We read in 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3, the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”

    So we see that the three distinctly Divine works of creation, the impartation of life, and prophecy are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.