The Holy Spirit Is a Person

    The Spirit is a person and not some sort of force of nature or divine energy. Jesus speaks of the Spirit, as recorded in the Gospel of John.

"And I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you." (Jn 14:16-17 There are similar passages in Jn 15:26, 14:26, 16:7-15)

    The Spirit also leads, speaks, inspires, and teaches, which are the actions that persons can do, but things cannot. He does this from within. That is, when he speaks, he speaks through humans or directly to humans. When he leads, he leads people to take certain actions. The Spirit communicates with us directly. This is like prayer, but it is the Spirit speaking to us, rather than the other way around. I will list some examples:

As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, "How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit, said:

    'The Lord said to my lord,

    "Sit at my right hand

        until I place your enemies under your feet." '

David himself calls him 'lord'; so how is he his son?" [The] great crowd heard this with delight. (Mk 12:35-37; parallels in Mt 22:41-45; Lk 20:41-44)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Mt 4:1; parallel in Mk 1:12-13)

During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place). He said, "My brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus." (Acts 1:15-16)

"It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell." [In a letter from the apostles to Antioch] (Acts 15:28-29)

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas. (Acts 16:6-8)

"Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood." [Paul is speaking] (Acts 20:28)

As Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said [to him], "There are three men here looking for you. So get up, go downstairs, and accompany them without hesitation, because I have sent them." (Acts 10:19-20)

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:2)


This section describes on aspect of the nature of the Holy Spirit.

This page was last changed on 2011/08/28