B. The personality of the Holy Spirit:
Personality refers to things as emotions and feelings. We reveal our personality by the way we respond to others and situations in which we are involved. Therefore, when we seek to explain the personality of the Holy Spirit, we are often explaining who He is after the characteristics of our own personal behavior. As an eternal personality, the Holy Spirit can be grieved (Ep 4:30), vexed (Is 63:10), lied to (At 5:3), resisted (At 7:51; 1 Th 5:19), despised (Hb 10:29), blasphemed, and sinned against (Mt 12:31,32; Mk 3:28,29).
All the preceding explain the affect of our sin on the person of the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit was an impersonal entity, then these human reactions against the Spirit would make no sense. The fact that the Spirit is a being with emotion is revealed in the fact that we can sinfully work against Him and cause this emotional response in Him. The Holy Spirit, therefore, responds to our sin in a manner that is similar to someone sinning against us.
C. The gender of the Holy Spirit:
God the Father is called the Father. God the Son was named Jesus, and thus was Jesus the Christ who fulfilled all prophecy in reference to the Messiah of Israel. However, God the Holy Spirit has no name. Spirit is what He is as God. The word “holy” refers to the eternal Spirit as One who is distinct from the Father and Son. But the reference “Holy Spirit” is not a name. It is a reference to who and what God the Spirit is.
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal “it.” Though Deity has no gender in the sense of male or female, the masculine gender is used in the Bible to refer to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus said to the apostles, “He [the Holy Spirit] will teach you all things” (Jn 14:26). “He will testify of Me” (Jn 15:26). “He will speak and He will tell you all things” (Jn 16:13).
Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome concerning the Spirit, “He who searches the hearts …. He makes intercession” (Rm 8:27). The Spirit said in Antioch, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (At 13:2). The Holy Spirit, therefore, is not an impersonal influence. He is not a mystic force or ghostly nudge floating through the air. He is “person” or “personality” in the masculine gender as the Father and Son.
D. The eternal attributes of the Holy Spirit:
In Acts 5:3 Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit. However, in verse 4 it is said that they lied to God. The Holy Spirit is God, and when one lies to the Spirit, he lies to God the Holy Spirit (Gn 1:1,26). The Spirit is of the eternal Godhead who existed before the creation of the material world (Jb 26:13; Hb 9:14). The Spirit is not a minor God who is inferior to the Father and Son. All the nature we would attribute to the Father and Son we must also attribute to the Holy Spirit (See Mc 3:8; Rm 8:26,27; 1 Co 2:10-13).
The Holy Spirit manifests the same divine characteristics as God. The Spirit is omniscient (all-knowing) in that He “searches all things” (1 Co 2:10). He is omnipresent in that one cannot escape His presence (Ps 139:7-10). When Paul spoke of the presence of God to the men of Athens, explained that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (At 17:28). We live within the realm of God, which includes the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is thus mentioned in the presence of the eternal Father and Son (Mt 3:13-17; 28:19,20; 2 Co 13:14). The Spirit is one with the Father and Son and shares the same eternal attributes as a part of God.
[Next in series: May 5]