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Monday, April 28 2014

~~INTRODUCTION
The current trend of today's theological literature has been to emphasize the present work of the Holy Spirit without due consideration of His person. However, His work has no real foundation without digging deep into His Person. To this end therefore, we will begin our intense study on the Holy Spirit by considering His Personality. This will testify to the fact that the study of the Persons of the Trinity is foundational to all theological truth.

THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is a fundamental revelation in the Christian circle that the Holy Spirit is a person, just in the same sense that God the Father is a Person and God the Son is a Person. Without denial of the one Essence (nature) of the Godhead therefore, the personality of the Holy Spirit must be affirmed. We will consider the various affirmations of the personality of the Holy Spirit under different headings.

1. Personality of the Holy Spirit Affirmed By His Attributes.
The various qualities of the Person of the Holy Spirit demonstrates that personality is a necessity, the centre without which other qualities could not exist. The attributes of the Holy Spirit demand His personality. 1 Corinthians 12:11 states

"All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses [wills]."

It should be noted here that the Holy Spirit possesses the essential of mind or intelligence. The above scripture explicitly affirm that the Holy Spirit exercises a moral and sovereign will which is comparable to that of the other Persons of the Trinity. In connection with the sovereign bestowal of spiritual gifts on men, the Spirit is said to accomplish this "as He chooses" or "as He will". The essential of mind or intelligence is further confirmed by His works also. His works indicate intelligence, knowledge, and the normal functions of personality. Personality, which is an attribute of His Person, is demonstrated by the actions of the Person.

"Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny].For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
[1 Corinthians 2:10-11 AMP]

The attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge) is evidence of the existence of mind and intelligence on a platform of deity.

Also, the Holy Spirit possesses life which is an essential of personality.

"For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death." [Romans 2:2 NET]
On the human level, the possession of life is taken as proof of possession of personality, one without the other being impossible. As the Holy Spirit possesses life, personality is necessary. A mere influence (compelling force) as some believe the Holy Spirit to be or emanation, does not possess the attributes of life. Life on a moral platform is always associated with personality.
2. Personality of the Holy Spirit Affirmed By His Works.
Without any doubt, the most tangible and conclusive evidence for the personality of the Holy Spirit is found in His works. The very character of His works makes it impossible to interpret the Scriptures properly without assuming His personality. The following illustrations will be sufficient.
• His work in creation - Genesis 1:2
"Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water."
• His work in empowering - Zechariah 4:6
"Therefore he told me, “These signify the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD who rules over all.”"
• His Teaching Ministry -  John 16:13
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come."
• His Guidance - Romans 8:14
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God."
• His Comforting - Acts 9:31
"Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied."
•  His work of convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement - John 16:8
"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"
• His Prayer - Romans 8:26
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings."
• His Restraint of Sin - Isaiah 59:19
"So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives]."
• His Authoritative Commands - Acts 8:29; 13:2; 16:7
"Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot."

"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

"And when they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them."

CONCLUSION
From these citations, it should be crystal clear that personality is absolutely necessary to explain these ministeries. A mere inference to the Holy Spirit as an influence or emanation does not and can not create, empower, teach, guide, pray or command as affirmed by the works of the Holy Spirit. It will become necessary to attack the inspiration of the scriptures themselves in order to disturb the overwhelming evidence contained therein on this subject.

"Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said,
‘The LORD said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
    until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’"
[Matthew 22:43-44 NLT]

*Most part of this teaching is culled from "The Person of The Holy Spirit" by John F. Walvoord.

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:16 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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