The trinity of God is a beautiful yet difficult concept. Actually, it may be better to say that the concept is beautifully simple, though difficult to wrap our heads around.
It’s easy to say that God exists in three, distinct persons equal in attributes.
It’s a bit harder to comprehend the miracle of all of that.
The Spirit as One Person of Our Triune God
The study of the Holy Spirit is sometimes neglected in modern Christianity. Perhaps because His work often happens hidden within hearts or maybe because He didn’t walk the earth in human form, the Spirit sometimes takes a backseat to God the Father and Jesus Christ (God the Son).
I love how the lyrics to Martin Luther’s hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy remind us that God exists in a triune manner:
Holy, holy, holy
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning my song shall rise to thee
Holy, holy, holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons, blessed Trinity…
God in three persons. Yes – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
And while the word “trinity” is not found in Scripture, the principles and concepts of the trinity are.
In Acts 16:7, the Holy Spirit is told to be the Spirit of Jesus:
And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. (Acts 16:7)
And in the latter part of 1 Cor 6:11, the Holy Spirit is said to be the Spirit of God:
But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:11)
John 14:16-17 tells us that Jesus would ask the Father to send another Helper (the Holy Spirit) to live in us. While this passage points more toward the concept of the indwelling of the Spirit, it also points to the deity of the Spirit. The word another used in verse 16 is the Greek word allos which means “another of the same kind; another of a similar type.” (HELPS word studies.)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
Another set of passages that clearly show that the Holy Spirit of the New Testament is the very same God of the Old Testament is Isa 6:8-9 and Acts 28:25-26. These passages are almost identical. In Acts, Paul is referencing the passage in Isaiah but specifically attributes the voice that inspired Isaiah as the voice of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah simply refers to this voice as the “voice of the Lord.”
…they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet…” (Acts 28:25)
The same voice, the same God.
Attributes and Actions
Since all three persons are God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit contain the same attributes.
“While the three members of the Trinity are distinct, this does not mean that any is inferior to the other. Instead, they are all identical in attributes. They are equal in power, love, mercy, justice, holiness, knowledge, and all other qualities.” Matt Perman, What is the Doctrine of the Trinity.
So we’ve established that the Holy Spirit has the same attributes of the Father and the Son. But what are those attributes?
We’ll delve further into some of the those attributes and actions later this month. I don’t want to spoil anything, but no discussion of of the Deity of the Holy Spirit would be complete without at least touching on these topics.
A basic study of theology would reveal the “three omni’s” of God.
- Omnipotent – all-powerful
- Omniscient – all-knowing
- Omnipresent – everywhere at the same time
And because the Holy Spirit is God, He also has each of those attributes. The Spirit is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere at the same time.
Of the Spirit, Charles Ryrie says, “…He also possesses attributes which only God has which shows, therefore, that He is Deity.” (Basic Theology, emphasis mine.)
Later this month we’ll discuss several of the works of the Spirit. Again, I don’t want to cover topics here that my teammates will write about, but I’ll touch on one miraculous work of God that personally floors me and is specifically attributed to the Holy Spirit.
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Let those verses sink in deep. It’s absolutely amazing, isn’t it? The Holy Spirit (God) came to the young virgin, Mary, and impregnated her with the Son (God), whose Father was God.
Awe and wonder bubble up in my heart to think that this could even be possible. And not only was it possible for our omnipotent God, He did it all because He loves us enough to pursue us at the greatest cost! It is truly incredible.
Again, the concept of the trinity is simple, but difficult to wrap our minds around.
One thing that’s not so difficult though, is to understand the Deity of the Holy Spirit.