| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 50 - Page 49 of 185 Index | Zoom | |
The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
pp. 1 - 6
There is no doubt whatsoever that a knowledge of what the holy Scriptures teach
concerning the Holy Spirit is of supreme importance. The need to get a Bible-based view
of the Holy Spirit becomes more and more evident as various charismatic movements
appear on the scene. The study is indeed profound as any consideration of the great
eternal God must be. The Unitarian, who denies the deity of Christ, has the same
problem regarding the Holy Spirit. His personality is denied and He is relegated to being
merely a divine influence or a manifestation of divine power. Judged by the Scriptures,
this view is completely defective and must be rejected by all who value and want to attain
to the knowledge of God's truth.
We make no attempt in this work to deal with the Trinity. This has been done in other
studies. We would re-iterate that while the word `trinity' does not occur in the Bible, yet
the fact of it does. Owing to the way the `person' is used today, usually being
synonymous with an individual, separate from all other individuals, this word is better
avoided as far as possible in dealing with the Godhead, though it is very difficult not to
use it, as we have no satisfactory English word as an alternative.
As Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas wisely remarks,
"instead of meaning the fact of separate individuality, personality in God is
intended to convey an idea of inner distinction which exists in the unity of the
divine Nature. The facts from Scripture demand from us an acknowledgment of
the unity of the Godhead and at the same time those interior distinctions between
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which we can only express by our word `person'.
While therefore, it is true that the term is used today in connection with human
life in a way that is quite different from its use in connection with the Godhead,
it is also true that no other term has yet been found adequate to express the
essential distinctions in the Godhead" (The Principles of Theology, p.95).
Let us consider the following passages of Scripture:
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28: 19).
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the
Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (II Cor. 13: 14).
It should be obvious that both Matthew and the Apostle Paul place the same emphasis
on the Holy Spirit as they do on the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be quite
improper, irreverent and misleading to associate the Holy Spirit in this way with the
Godhead unless He was equal with the Father and the Son.
Moreover, in connection with the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, Peter accuses them of
lying to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5: 3), lying to God (verse 4), and tempting the Spirit of the
Lord (verse 9). It is obvious from this that Peter considered the Holy Spirit to be God