Wed Bible Study 12 Feb 2020
His Personality (Peter Fischer)
To many the Holy Spirit is something of an enigma seen, not as a person, but rather as an impersonal force influencing people.
We seem to have acquired the habit of regarding the Holy Spirit as a divine emanation flowing from the Father and the Son and as such devoid of any personhood or personality.
Christianity is in essence about relationships and if we fail to accept the Holy Spirit as a person we can never develop and have a personal relationship with Him
Name or Role?
We have no difficulty thinking of the Father or Son as “persons” as a reading of the Bible continually reminds us of Their ongoing involvement in our lives on a very personal basis. (The very use of the words Father or Son have a very real and personal ring about them that we can all identify with) On the other hand the works and actions of the Holy Spirit are mysterious and often far removed from anything we are familiar with as a result of which we consistently think of the Holy Spirit in impersonal terms as an “It” This problem is compounded by the use of the description Holy Ghost in older translations of the bible.
The reality is however that we profess to believe in the TRINITY of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the solemn closing benediction at the end of these very study sessions serves to remind us of what we actually believe in (2 Cor 13:14)
To have a real friendship with the Holy Spirit we must start seeing the Holy Spirit as a Person.
A person is only a person if he/she has personality.(The Cambridge and Oxford Dictionaries define personality as “a characteristic way of thinking, feeling and behaving, embracing moods, attitudes and opinions…….expressed in interaction with other people”)
Scripture clearly attributes characteristics and conduct to the Holy Spirit evidencing moods, attitudes and opinions that only a person can possess. And it is only in this context that we can have a personal relationship with Him
1.He has a soul like the Father and Son (Matt 12:18, 26:38 and Heb 10:38)(AMP)
2.He is a thinking being(1Cor 2:10)
3.He is an emotional being who can be grieved and insulted(Rom 15:30,Eph 4:30 and Heb10:29)
4.He has a will to choose(1 Cor12:11)
5.He performs many deeds that only a person can like teaching, comforting, commanding and speaking (1 Cor2:13, John 16:7, Acts 8:29, Acts13:2)
6.He can be lied to(Acts 5:3)
7. And most importantly He is part of the Godhead
A careful and considered reading of scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is in fact a person and not some force or thing And as a person in the Trinity the Holy Spirit possesses all the attributes of deity such as omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence (1 Cor 2:10-11, Psalm 139:7 and Zechariah 4:6)
7.1 He knows all things past, present and future (Psalm 147:4 , 33:13, Matt 10:30
7.2 He is all powerful (Job 42:2, Psalm 115:3 and Ephesians 3:20)
7.3 He is simultaneously everywhere and transcends time and space (Psalm 139:10)
The benediction referred to earlier invokes the “fellowship” of the Holy Spirit
The word “fellowship” is defined as “……companionship based on shared interests…. of a group of people”(Oxford Eng Dict) and whilst most biblical translation use this word, the phrase “…the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit” is preferred in The Message (MSG INT ED)
No matter what translation is used you cannot have fellowship, companionship or intimate friendship with a vague, ethereal shadow or impersonal force. The Holy Spirit is a real person who came to reside within Jesus Christ’s true followers after He ascended to heaven (Acts 2:2 and John 14:16-18) and the Holy Spirit is in every sense a person equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son.
As we cultivate a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit we will learn to hear His voice and respond to it according to His will and in the process become secure in the knowledge that He knows everything about us, what the future holds for us and how to deal with the challenges that lie ahead. The Holy Spirit is therefore most certainly not an “it” as He has personality and a soul and on top of that He wants to become your best friend.