At the core of the Christian faith is the conviction that the Holy Spirit is not a mere spiritual being or angelic spirit but God himself. He is fully God, along with the Father and the Son.
In the words of the Nicene Creed (around AD 381):
“And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.”
Why do Christians believe this?
The answer is simple – scripture points in that direction.
Several times, attributes which are unique to God are applied to the Holy Spirit including eternity (Hebrews 9:14), omnipotence (Zechariah 4:6; Luke 1:35), omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10), and omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10).
Also, at several points, we see the Holy Spirit performing or being said to perform actions which can only be attributed to God. In various ways, He demonstrated such knowledge and authority which can only be predicated of God.
- The Spirit knew where to direct Philip to witness of Jesus (Acts 8:29)
- The Spirit sent out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries (Acts 13:4)
- The Holy Spirit prevented Paul from going to certain places (Acts 16:6-7). Paul was on God’s errand; the Holy Spirit couldn’t prevent him if He wasn’t God.
- The Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts to believers (I Corinthians 12:4-11)
- Jesus warned of the gravity of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, a sin which is only possible if He is divine (Matthew 12:31)
- Ananias (Acts 5:1-4) was said to have lied to God because he deceived the Holy Spirit.
- Believers are said to be the temple of God because the Holy Spirit dwells in them (Ephesians 2:22).
- In 1 Corinthians 2:10-12, Paul spoke of the Holy Spirit as searching and comprehending all things, including the deep things of God.
This is the testimony of the Bible. We do well to give the Holy Spirit the honour he deserves.