You're here: » Articles Home » C.I. Scofield » Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit » 1. The Holy Spirit As A Divine Person

Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit: 1. The Holy Spirit As A Divine Person

By C.I. Scofield

      The complete demonstration of this fundamental fact would require the citation of every passage in the Scriptures relating in any way to the Holy Spirit, since every reference to Him implies or asserts both His personality and His Deity. It must, therefore, suffice to gather under convenient heads, examples of such passages.

      First: The Holy Spirit is a Person, as distinguished from an influence, emanation, or manifestation.

      This appears from the following considerations: (1) The same words, implying Personality, are used of Him in Scripture which are used of other persons.

      The following may suffice as examples of this class of passages, and to these the reader may add largely. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:16,17 and John 14:26. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgement. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John 16:7,8 and John16:13-15

      (2) Men are said to act toward Him in ways which would be impossible or absurd if He were not truly a Person.

      Of this class of passages, also, a few examples must suffice. "But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them" Isaiah 63:10. "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." Matthew 12:31. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30 "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?" Hebrew 10:29

      (3) The Holy Spirit is said to perform actions which would be possible only to a person.

      The following passages sufficiently illustrate this: "That which is born of flesh is flesh; John 3:6. But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26 (see also passages quoted above under sub-head [1]). "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot." Acts 8:29. "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee." Acts 10:19. "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul. Acts 13:2. "And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26. "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden ot the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not." Acts 16:6-7

      Here the Spirit is represented as the active agent in the believer's re-birth; as teaching, reproving, guiding, speaking, receiving, shewing, as giving active and specific direction to the service of saints, and as praying. It would be difficult to say how the idea of personality could be more elaborately presented.

      Secondly: the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person; in the proper sense, Deity.

      Let it be noted: (1) He is called God. "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me. And he said, Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not." "Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear and not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive." Isaiah 6:8-9 and Acts 28:25-26.

      The bearing of these two passages is obvious. Isaiah says he heard the voice of the Lord, Luke that the Holy Ghost spake; the completed truth being that God the Holy Ghost spake. (See as another like instance, Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15.)

      "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18. "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." Acts 5:3-4.

      The declaration is explicit: to lie to the Holy Ghost is to lie to God.

      (2) The Scriptures constantly ascribe to the Holy Spirit the attributes of God, as omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence, and also His highest perfection, holiness. Holiness, indeed, is the emphatic mark of the Spirit. And this not as having been made or become holy, but as being holy, and Himself the producer of holiness.

      "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there]. [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." Psalms 139:7-10. "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2. "By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." Job 26:13. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. I Corinthians 2:9-11. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14.

      (3) He is represented as performing works possible only to Deity. This is shown by every one of the passages quoted in the preceding paragraph, to which may be added the following: "The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4 "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." Psalms 104:30. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Romans 8:11. "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. I Corinthians 6:11. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost." II Peter 1:21. "Men [and] brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus." Acts 1:16. "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and [unto] magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. Luke 12:11-12. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28. "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." I Corinthians 12:8-11.

      Surely it would be impossible intelligently to impute to a mere influence such definite personal acts as these; or to suppose one less than absolute Deity able to perform them.

      In conclusion it is enough to say that further proofs both of the personality and Deity of the Spirit may be found in the facts that it is possible to sin against him; that He is joined on terms of perfect equality with the Father and the Son in the baptismal formula; and that in seven remarkable passages in the second and third chapters of the Revelation, we are commanded to "hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." There is no biblical reason for believing in the Deity and personality of the Father or of the Son, which does not equally establish that of the Spirit.

Back to C.I. Scofield index.

See Also:
   1. The Holy Spirit As A Divine Person
   2. The Holy Spirit Before And Since Pentecost
   3. The Holy Spirit Before And Since Pentecost, Part 2
   4. The Filling With The Holy Spirit
   5. The Filling With The Holy Spirit Is Indispensable


Like This Page?

© 1999-2016, All rights reserved.