Whenever setting out talk about or study something, it is helpful to develop some idea of what or who the entity is. This pertains to the Holy Spirit.
The answers to who or what the Spirit is have not proven easy because the Holy Spirit is not discussed in a detailed and systematic way in Scripture. There are inferences and hints, and some open statements, but there is not much concrete imagery. Even language is a problem as in the KJV use of the word “Ghost.” (What concept has that left us with?)
Historically, not much was said about the Holy Spirit during the first century of Christianity. Then there emerged an emphasis on the divinity of the Spirit. Precipitated from great Christological debates of the 4th and 5th centuries was the classical and full doctrinal understanding of the Holy Spirit. Since that time, various Christian notables have emphasized various aspects of the Spirit.
The classical understanding is that the Holy Spirit is both divine and personal.
Consider the following passages in connection with the deity of the Spirits:
- What instances do you find where the Spirit and God are put in parallel constructions?
- What do we learn about the power of he Holy Spirit?
- What personal pronoun does Paul use when speaking of the Holy Spirit?
The Personality of the Spirit:
Questions for Discussion:
- How would life and faith change if the Holy Spirit were simply a force of some kind?
- How is your sense of relationship affected by the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is an eternal being?
- What metaphors or models can you think of that helps us understand the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?