Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Part 1: Third Person of the Trinity

today we begin a new section in

defenders class before we do so let's

step back and reconnoiter so that we see

the big picture

for the last year or so we've been

studying the doctrine of God the

existence and nature of God and the

first subject that we looked at under

this general heading was the attributes

of God and we looked at such properties

as omniscience omnipotence SAT eternity

holiness love and so on then we did an

excursus on natural theology looking at

arguments for God's existence such as

the cosmological argument the moral

argument the teleological argument and

then as looked at arguments against

God's existence as well finally most

recently we just finished a subsection

on the doctrine of the Trinity and today

we want to start with a new subsection

of the doctrine of God of the Holy

Spirit theologians often refer to this

area as the area of new mythology that

comes from the Greek word pneuma which

means spirit or wind obviously the word

from which we get our word pneumatic as

in a pneumatic drill or do pneumatic

hammer and so we're going to be studying

together now pneumatology or the

doctrine of the holy spirit the holy

spirit has rightly been called The

Forgotten person of the Trinity

when you look at the early post

Apostolic fathers it seems that they

were virtually by net Aryans rather than

Trinitarians they believed in God the

Father and his word or lo Gauss who

proceeded from the Father but there was

almost nothing said about the person of

the Holy Spirit and the Trinitarian and

Christological controversies that

dominated the early church for centuries

precluded any in-depth discussion of the

person of the Holy Spirit and so for

example in the Apostles Creed all you

find with regard to the Holy Spirit is

the statement I believe in the Holy

Spirit which begs the question well what

do you believe about the Holy Spirit or

in the Nicene Creed it's even briefer

after saying I believe in the father and

the son and those persons who explained

it says and in the Holy Spirit he's sort

of thrown in there at the end for good

measure and even today I find that the

Holy Spirit seems to be neglected by

many Christians for example in my own

seminary education one of the courses

that we took as part of our core

curriculum in the Master of Divinity

program was a systematic theology course

entitled God man and Christ

and when you think about it that's very

odd is that a new sort of unholy trinity

of God man and Christ what happened to

the Holy Spirit he was sort of left out

I'm afraid and so we want to spend a

little time talking about the person and

work of the Holy Spirit now who is the

Holy Spirit well the Holy Spirit is the

third person of the Trinity and as such

he is co-equal with God the Father and

with God the Son the Holy Spirit is God

we've already looked at some of the

verses on the deity of this spirit but

let's just look

acts 5:3 and for once again Acts chapter

five and verses three and four there

Peter says to Ananias who has attempted

to keep some of the proceeds of the land

that he sold Peter says Ananias why has

Satan filled your heart to lie to the

Holy Spirit and keep back part of the

proceeds of the land while it remained

unsold did it not remain your own and

after it was sold was it not at your

disposal how is it that you have

contrived this deed in your heart you

have not lied to men but to God so in

verse three he says Satan has filled her

heart to lie to the Holy Spirit in verse

five he says you have lied to God

himself so the Holy Spirit is God the

Holy Spirit is not the ghost of Jesus as

might be suggested by the unfortunate

archaic translation the Holy Ghost the

Holy Spirit is not Jesus ghost who's

somehow still roaming the earth after

Jesus is departed to to heaven rather

the Holy Spirit is the third person of

the Trinity as such the Holy Spirit is a

person a self conscious rational

individual the Holy Spirit is not and it

we should never refer to the Holy Spirit

as it because he is not an impersonal

force the Holy Spirit is a who not a

which look for example at Acts chapter

13 and verse 2 Acts chapter 13 and verse

2 while they were worshiping the Lord

and fasting the Holy Spirit said set

apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the

work to which I have called them here

the Holy Spirit speaks and uses first

and pronouns in reference to himself me

and I which only a person can do look

also in the Gospel of John at John

chapter 14 and verses 15 to 17 John

chapter 14 verses 15 to 17 here Jesus

says if you love me you will keep my

Commandments and I will pray the father

and he will give you another counselor

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 here

jesus promises the advent of the

counselor the Holy Spirit who will come

in his place and will in dwell believers

and as I explained when we looked at the

doctrine of the Trinity John actually

violates Greek grammar in this verse in

using a masculine pronoun for the Holy

Spirit the word spirit in the Greek is

neuter and yet John uses a masculine

pronoun he with respect to the Holy

Spirit then reading further in verses 25

to 26 verses 25 to 26 we read these

things I have spoken to you while I am

still with you but the counselor the

Holy Spirit whom the father will send in

my name he will teach you all things and

bring to your remembrance all that I

have said to you here we have the

teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit

which obviously again shows that he is a

person since he is going to be teaching

Jesus followers

the teaching that Jesus has given them

and then in John 16 the next chapter

verses 17 through 7 to 15 John 16 verses

7 to 15

Jesus expands on this he says

nevertheless I tell you the truth it is

to your advantage that I go away for if

I do not go away the counselor will not

come to you but if I go I will send him

to you and when he comes he will

convince the world concerning sin and

righteousness and judgment concerning

sin because they do not believe in me

concerning righteousness because I go to

the Father and you will see me no more

concerning judgment because the ruler of

this world is judged I have yet many

things to say to you but you cannot bear

them now when the spirit of truth comes

he will guide you into all truth for he

will not speak on his own authority but

whatever he hears he will speak and he

will declare to you the things that are

to come he will glorify me for he will

take what is mine and declare it to you

all that the father has is mine

therefore I said that he will take what

is mine and declare it to you here Jesus

again describes the Ministry of the Holy

Spirit to the church after Jesus is

ascended to the Father and he makes this

very remarkable statement that it is

actually to our advantage

that Jesus depart and the Holy Spirit

come in his place what could be more

profitable you would think than having

the personal presence of Jesus himself

with us but Jesus said no it's actually

better for you it's to your advantage

that the Holy Spirit will come and he

will declare to you the truth about me

and will convict the world of sin and

righteousness and judgment so it shows

the importance and personal nature of

the Holy Spirit also take a look at

Romans chapter 8 verses 26 and 27 Romans

chapter 8 verses 26 and 27 here we have

described the intercessory prayer

ministry of the holy spirit on behalf of

believers romans 8:26

227 paul says likewise the spirit helps

us in our weakness for we do not know

how to pray as we ought but the Spirit

Himself intercedes for us with sighs too

deep for words and he who searches the

hearts of men knows what is the mind of

the Spirit because the spirit intercedes

for the saints according to the will of

God here the Holy Spirit is clearly a

person because he intercedes for the

saints according to God's will and it

refers to the mind of the Spirit that

God the Father knows what is the mind of

the Spirit and the spirit intercedes for

us according to God's will so once again

I think it's very clear that we're not

dealing here with some kind of

impersonal force or energy or power this

is a person it is God himself it is the

third person of the Trinity and finally

this person is distinct from the father

and the son this is not the father or

the son in a different guise or

different role this is a different

person Matthew 28:19 lists all three of

the persons together one of the great

Trinitarian verses in the New Testament

Matthew 28:19 this is part of the Great

Commission Jesus says go therefore and

make disciples of all nations baptizing

them in the name of the Father and of

the Son and of the Holy Spirit so all

three of the persons are named in this

baptismal formula the father

son and the Holy Spirit similarly in

first Corinthian Corinthians rather

second Corinthians 13 and verse 14 we

have all three of the persons mentioned

in the same verse 2nd Corinthians

chapter 13 and verse 14 the last

benediction of this letter the grace of

the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of

God and the Fellowship of the Holy

Spirit be with you all here as is

typical God refers to God the Father the

Lord refers to Jesus Christ and then the

Holy Spirit is mentioned so these are

three distinct persons of the Trinity

equally divine equally personal any

comment or discussion of that first

point on who the Holy Spirit is so in

terms of the holy is so in terms of the

Holy Spirit being God actually one of my

favorite verses to go to is in Hebrews

chapter 10 verses 15 through 17 where I

give us a chance to turn to that Hebrews

Hebrews 10 verses 15 through 17 okay

yeah where it says and the Holy Spirit

also bears witness to us 4 after saying

and then it gives a quote from the old

test and I think it's Jeremiah or it

says this is the Covenant that I will

make with them after those days declares

the Lord I will put my law on their

hearts and write them on their minds

then he adds I will remember their sins

and their lawless deeds no more so I

find it interesting that it's says the

holy spirit says this and then it gives

a quote from the Old Testament that

specifically is talking about yahuwah in

fact where it says Lord yeah on the Old

Testament uses the Tetragrammaton right


so it's seems pretty clear for me what

it's specifically saying is that's

identifying the Holy Spirit as Yahweh

there's also why I like to use this

first when talking to Jehovah's

Witnesses as well I find it very

effective yeah good okay thank you very

controversial here yeah yeah like you


predecessor's classified her named it is

like the the Holy Ghost and I think this

probably because of the John 16:7 which

says he's been with us but then if I go

he can come in us and so there's there's

more to it than just say it there's more

to the Trinity than we know right now


sixteen seven and John says if I go I

will send him to you and as we read he

says he he is with you but he will be in

you and I take it that the difference

there is not in the Holy Spirit himself

but rather in the fact that in the Old

Covenant people were not in dwelt with

the Holy Spirit on a sort of ongoing

basis we talk about this more later on

the role of the Holy Spirit in the Old

Covenant it would seem that the Holy

Spirit would come upon people like the

judges like Samson or Gideon to do some

great Act some great feat but then he

would leave them and so David can pray

in the Psalms Lord take not thy Holy

Spirit from me I don't think any

Christian could pray that prayer in the

New Covenant because the Holy Spirit now

indwells us that's the change that

happened at Pentecost and so the Holy

Spirit Himself doesn't change but I

think his relationship to the believer

undergoes a fundamental change at

Pentecost and that he now becomes the

permanent indwelling presence within the

life of the believer that wasn't true

before I agree with all that what I'm

pointing out is it says he can't come in

us until Christ leaves okay alright so

the two words overused word for God as

they are sorry

curious that they yes yeah and then what

is what would be the holy spirit for

Greek okay

spirit is Ponemah Hagios the holy spirit

so Thais is God kurios is Lord and top

pneuma hagion is the holy spirit thank

you another great Trinitarian verses in

in Hebrews as Hebrews 9:14 or sixteen

how much more than will the blood of

Christ who through the Eternal Spirit

offered himself unblemished to God

cleansing our conscious conscience is

from acts that lead us to death so that

we might serve the Living God so you

have you have a Trinitarian formula in

that verse as well oh yes I see yes the

blood of Christ through the Eternal

Spirit offered himself to God and so you

have the Trinitarian formula there too

yes good actually this should be hagion

because it's neuter not masculine so

alright let's talk then about some of

the attributes that the Holy Spirit

possesses and keep your finger right

there on Hebrews 9 and verse 14 that

Bruce just read because I want to

highlight the Holy Spirit's attribute of


to read the verse again how much more

shall the blood of Christ who through

the Eternal Spirit offered himself

without blemish to God

purify your conscience from dead works

so here the attribute of being eternal

is referred to with respect to the Holy

Spirit omnipresence is described in

Psalm 139 and verse 7 the spirits being

all present Psalm 139 and verse 7

whither shall I go from thy spirit or

whither shall I flee from thy presence

if I ascend to heaven thou art there if

I make my bed and she all though out

there hear he cannot escape the presence

of the Spirit no matter where he goes

God the Holy Spirit is present there

omniscience is attributed to the Holy

Spirit 1st Corinthians chapter 2 verses

10 and 11 first Corinthians chapter 2

verses 10 and 11 here he says God has

revealed to us what he's speaking of in

the previous verse through the spirit

for the spirit searches everything even

the depths of God for what person knows

a man's thoughts except the spirit of

the man which is in him so also no one

comprehends the thoughts of God except

the Spirit of God this is a remarkable

verse where Paul says that the spirit

searches even the depth

of God and that the Spirit comprehends

encompasses takes in understands the

thoughts of God himself

so this would indicate that we're

dealing here with someone who is

omniscient fourth holiness is an

attribute of the spirit that's obvious

just in the name itself the holy spirit

but we have this referred to

specifically for example in Romans 1:4

Romans chapter one and verse four speaks

of how Christ is designated son of God

in power according to the spirit of

holiness by his resurrection from the


so here the holy spirit is referred to

as the spirit of holiness and finally

the holy spirit is ascribed the

attribute of love in Romans 5:5 Romans

chapter five and verse five paul says

hope does not disappoint us because

God's love has been poured into our

hearts through the Holy Spirit which has

been given to us so the Holy Spirit is

not simply the source of power or

guidance or strength E is also the

source of love it is through the Holy

Spirit that God's love is poured into

our hearts so I think you can see that

the attributes of deity are ascribed to

the Holy Spirit attributes like eternity

omnipresence omniscience holiness and

love thereby underlining the deity of

the holy spirit any comment on that

brief overview of the attributes of God

ascribed to the holy spirit all right

what we'll do next time then is begin to

look at the relationship of the third

person of the Trinity the Holy Spirit to

the second person of the Trinity Christ

and then examine the work of the Holy

Spirit and if you've not been through

this material before I think you're


to be very surprised to see how vitally

involved the person of the Holy Spirit

is in our Christian lives that we live

today so let's close with a benediction

shall we and now may the love of God be

poured into our hearts through the Holy

Spirit who has been given to us to the

praise of our God and Father through

Jesus Christ our Lord amen