It’s clear that the early church believed in the divinity of the Holy Spirit, and even affirmed it in the Apostles’ Creed.
The deity of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures.
- First, the fact that the name “Holy Spirit” is used interchangeably with God. We see that in Acts 5.
- Second, the fact that attributes of God are attributed to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s omniscience is attributed to the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2, omnipotence in Luke 1:35, eternality in Hebrews 9:14.
- Third is the fact that the Holy Spirit is included in the single name in which followers of Christ are baptised.
Works that demonstrate the deity of the Holy Spirit:
- First, in John 16 we are told that the Spirit judges. Yet, we know that judgment is a prerogative that belongs only to God.
- Second, we note in Psalm 33:6 that the Spirit is involved in creation. And yet the act of creating is something only God can do. In John 3 we see that the Spirit regenerates, that he brings about the new birth, and yet this is something that only God can do.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 that the Spirit inspires the Scriptures. And yet only God can reveal Himself to us. Together all of these factors point to the deity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s divinity can be shown and demonstrated through his work in creation, through his work in Scriptures, through his work in salvation.
In creation the Spirit is mentioned alongside God — who we would say, “God the Father” — as one who is present and participating in creation. And only God creates. And so the Spirit’s presence and participation helps us understand that He is divine. And then in the inspiration of the Scriptures.
The Scriptures are the Spirit’s book, but we speak of it as God’s Word. And yet it is inspired and providentially superintended, put together, by the Holy Spirit. And then in salvation, divinity is implied or demonstrated by God’s participation in salvation and the way the Holy Spirit participates, He was active in the conception of Christ, he empowered Christ’s ministry, he raised Christ from the dead, He made Christ’s atoning sacrifice powerful and possible. So that amplifies our understanding of His divinity. So, not only in providing salvation, but in producing the church.
The Holy Spirit birthed the church. The Spirit empowers the church. The Spirit makes the church into the body of Christ. Individually in our salvation, the Holy Spirit is active. The active regeneration is spoken of as being “born of the Spirit.” The Spirit empowers us. The Spirit produces the character of Christ in us. The Spirit raises us on the last day. So, corporately and individually, salvation is very much the work of the Spirit amplifying and demonstrating his divinity.
It is very important for us to believe that Holy Spirit is God; the Holy Spirit is God the third person. And we can see that through the works, the mighty works that he does in the world and in our lives. First of all, the Bible tells us very clearly in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” So everything that happens in our lives and in the world is sovereignly designed, ruled over, by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit rules over everything that happens in our lives. He is God. He is not some liquid, some gas. He’s not just a wind, even though that is His name. The Holy Spirit is a person who is involved in everything that happens in the world. A bird falls to the ground; one of our hairs falls off our head; the Holy Spirit is there. God, in his eternal plan, had planned that event, and God is there when it happens to rule over it.
The fact that some of us trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of our sins and receive baptism and join the church, for example, that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. He turns that stony, that hard hardened heart of ours, and gives us a new one so that we are now enabled to repent of our sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, repentance and faith are gifts, they are the results of the work of the Holy Spirit. Again, the Holy Spirit is God. He is the one who changes our nature, our minds, our wills, our hearts from deep within. The Holy Spirit not only begins that work in us — in the fact that we are born again, in regeneration — the Holy Spirit not only gives us a new heart, he continues to change us as we live out of that new heart.
He gives us the strength to say “no” to sin, and so, “yes” to God — say “yes” to God — and to say “yes” to obedience. And only God can do that. The Holy Spirit is God, and he does those mighty works in our lives and in our world. He rules over every event. He saves us, literally. He brings salvation that Jesus Christ earned into our lives and makes it ours. And He continues to change us until we meet Jesus someday.