Needless to say, the deeper we enter into the truths of our faith the better. In Romans, St. Paul says, "…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). According to the doctrines of the Christian faith, the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son.The divine works of the Holy Spirit.are described in both the Old and New Testaments. In all this, however, we can see the Holy Spirit revealed as a Divine Person who inspires and energizes. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified," as we profess belief in every Sunday. The core difficulty, I believe, is in thinking of the Holy Spirit as a person. We can even imagine him as a kindly and merciful Father. Without denial of the one Essence of the Godhead, the personality of the Holy Spirit must be affirmed and is subject to proof unassailable by any who accept the Scriptures as authoritative. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And the Spirit loves us just as He loves the Father and the Son. In the context of faith, hearing the voice of God is of crucial importance. The Holy Spirit is a person, and should be treated with the respect of a divine person. In order to belong to Christ, we must have the third person of the Holy Trinity dwelling within us, so we pray: "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love. The exact words are, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." I know! The word “subsistence” means something that has a real existence. The Holy Spirit is truly the forgotten member of the Trinity, and Dr. Malcolm Yarnell has constructed the clearest work of our modern time to bring Christians back to the person and office of the Holy Spirit. Again, none of this is to accuse anyone of not believing that the Holy Spirit is a person. This metaphor obviously brings us closer to our objective of understanding the Holy Spirit as a person. Between Genesis and the Apocalypse that gives us quite a bit of space in which we can get to know the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is one of the three divine persons of the Trinity. Ultimately our task is not to box the Spirit into our human concept of a person, but to recognize that for God to be three persons is radically different than what it means to be a human person. Still, a defense attorney is a job title and doesn’t carry the same personal intimacy as the names Father and Son. Orthodoxy, Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. St. Paul also makes clear the Holy Spirit’s connection with Christ when he says, "Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." He makes no mention of the Holy Spirit as a divine person. You want to say, "And also with you!" The Holy Spirit acts as a person by giving commands, Acts 16:6-7. In the description of the creation of man in Gen. ii.7, it is the breath of God, that is the Holy Spirit, who imparts life to man, and man becomes a living soul. The Holy Spirit is one of the three divine persons of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit has the Attributes of a Person The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity–equal with the Father and Son in essence. There is only one God and He is the third divine person of the Trinity. For them, the Godhead included the Father (who was omnipotent and omniscient), the pre-Incarnate begotten Divine Son, and the Holy Spirit as a mani­festation of the prese… Each is divine, yet there are not three gods but one God. In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. Love is intimately linked to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given to us through baptism. In the creed, the liturgy, and every time we cross ourselves we affirm that the Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that told you. Here St. Paul speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ. As one Catholic educational site puts it, Of the three divine Persons, the most mysterious one and the most difficult one for us to think about is the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is a divine Person then we can affirm all verses that indicate personhood and we can affirm all verses that utilise language describing the Spirit or His work as a force or power or influence. He is depicted as “bear[ing] witness,” “establish[ing] a covenant,” is referred to as “the Lord,” “puts [his] laws on [our] hearts,” and even forgives sins. image: By Jan Kameníček [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons, Tagged as: This passage ends St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. The Holy Spirit is one member of the Holy Trinity. Of course, these symbols all serve to reflect something about the identity of the Holy Spirit but they do not specifically help us see Him as a person. Nor is the Spirit of God a different person from the Father. The Holy Spirit guides believers, and is therefore a person, John 16:13. … In Romans 10 and Galatians 3 St. Paul says that faith comes through hearing. Not an "influence" or some vague power, but the Third Person of the Trinity. In Romans 8:26, St. Paul attributes a kind of voice to the Holy Spirit: In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. The Holy Spirit is the operational presence of God, His mind and character. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. (We will come back to the sacraments in a later column). The Sabbatarian and Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the Holy Spirit, until the 1890s, was largely focused on the tangible, or “living reality,” of the Holy Spirit as a divine manifestation rather than His nature or personality.3 During the period up to the 1890s, most Adventists did not accept that the Holy Spirit had a distinct personality. The spirit of Elijah (Luke 1:17) is not a different person from Elijah. The word “person” denotes individuality and self-awareness. Finally he speaks of the Holy Spirit. The images can help us understand the Holy Spirit, in some limited sense, but we must be careful not to identify the Holy Spirit with these impersonal images. Since one of the major aspects of God’s nature is that he is a person, it follows that the Holy Spirit is a person. The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is clearly seen in many Scriptures, including Acts 5:3-4. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He grieves, He knows, He is eternal, He encourages, He gives understanding, He gives peace, He comforts, He directs, and He can be prayed to. Moreover, the Holy Spirit is deeply connected with bringing God’s word to us. He is not a person of flesh and blood, but a person of spirit. We know that the Holy Spirit is not an "it," but a person, a "who.". Holy Souls in Purgatory; Works of Mercy; From the National Shrine; In the News; Archives; Voting and Faithful Citizenship; Explaining the Faith: Understanding the Holy Spirit. There are three individual subsistences or persons. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and undoubtedly the least understood member of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is not a bird or a tongue of fire or a gentle or loud wind and certainly not a cumulo-nimbus cloud. 5 The Holy Spirit has intellect, emotion, and will. He is a gift of God, lives within us, gives us life, guides us to the truth, and is a person. The Holy Spirit Is Divine It is apparent from the above sections that the Holy Spirit is very special. We do not worship a bird, fire, wind or clouds; we worship God when we worship the Holy Spirit. Personhood means there is potential for love and union. We can understand the Holy Spirit as a divine person from the quote we started with: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." So, how can we better appreciate the Holy Spirit as a person? We Explain with Scripture References To do this, He revealed that the Holy Spirit was called “He,” never she.” Or, He is also called “Him” or “Himself,” never is He called any name in the feminine. For if I do not go, the Advocate [Holy Spirit] will not come to you. "'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts" - Zechariah 4:6 One issue for us is that our initial perception of other persons is so visual (as the author cited earlier suggested). So we have to return to the verse in John, which makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is a very special kind of Paraclete—He will work on our intellects to both teach us and remind of Christ’s words to us. As such, He is to be revered as God and serves in perfect unity with Father and Son to lead us in our spiritual lives. One approach is to look at two of the formal names the New Testament gives to the Holy Spirit. Notice, too, that this is one more proof of the Spirit’s full Deity. However, I am not writing on the Mass. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. The Holy Spirit can be fellowshipped: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" 2 Cor 13:14. Christians can easily identify with God the … The Father, through the death, resurrection and ascension of his Son, freely gives us the Spirit so that we might become adopted sons and daughters of the Father (cf. When a person becomes born again by believing and receiving Jesus Christ 4, God resides in that person through the Holy Spirit. • The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, classically defined as: “There is one God, ... • The Holy Spirit exercises the divine prerogative of calling and sending out ministers. Since the Holy Spirit has not assumed any bodily form, it is impossible for us to imagine him in any concrete way. In the previous two columns I wrote about St. Paul’s important teaching on Jesus as fully God and fully man, and the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of your faithful, grant that by that same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation through Christ our Lord. N. At times He restricts us from certain actions. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:13). Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1. Father Chris Alar explains the third divine person of the Blessed Trinity. We can think about God the Father as the source of all things. “The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.” (Ev 616) “Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead” (DA 671) * Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency. However, many of us probably struggle to think of the Holy Spirit as a person. We cannot have fellowship or communion with a force, a bird, wind, etc. The Greek word used here is "koinonia," which can also be translated "communion." Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. With consideration for the Spirit’s identity derived from both Old and New Testament accounts, author Malcolm B. Yarnell focuses on identifying characteristics of the person of the Holy Spirit himself, rather than discussing the work of the Spirit solely in the context of … We can think about God the Father as the source of all things. You might also like... Part 2 - The Essentials of Divine Mercy with Father Chris Alar, MIC . That He is the third Person of the Holy Trinity is made clear by His inclusion with the Father and the Son in such Bible passages as Matthew 28:19. The Father is not the same person as the Son, who is not the same person as the Holy Spirit, and who is not the same person as the Father. This is much easier with the other two persons of the Trinity because two of the names that have been revealed to us are very personal: Father and Son. He is a member of the Trinity, equal to God the Father and God the Son. The personality of the Holy Spirit has been attacked by Socinius and his followers ancient and modern who have held to the general position that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal energy proceeding from God… Best of Week, In fact, the Holy Spirit inspires by distributing various gifts to various people, enhancing both the individuality of people and our connectedness as we exchange these inspired gifts to each other. (Romans 8:9b). The Holy Spirit is a person, as Scripture makes clear. We can know and love the Holy Spirit just as we know and love the Father and the Son. In the case of Jesus, we are dealing with a man like us who lived almost two thousand years ago in Palestine. As the creed itself says, He is the one ‘who spoke by the prophets.’ This fact leads to an extraordinary conclusion: it means that each time we are reading Scripture we are hearing what the Spirit says to us. The first is the name which is the name that Jesus provides in John 14:26. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. Galatians 4:6). It is a fundamental revelation that the Holy Spirit is a Person, in the sense that the Father is a Person, and the Son is a Person. The Holy Spirit is "the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. In the ancient Greek world, a paraclete was a kind of legal advocate, analogous to defense attorneys in our society. How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? holy spirit, In the creed, the liturgy, and every time we cross ourselves we affirm that the Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons. It is crucial that the Holy Spirit comes so that we might become "…a temple of the Holy Spirit within you…" (1 Corinthians 6:19). However, many of us probably struggle to think of the Holy Spirit as a person. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is represented by water, oil, a dove and fire. We are not saying that the word fellowship itself, demands the Holy Spirit is a person, but that a word that normally, but not always implies personality, is used in conjunction with two other known persons. 6. These comparisons would make no sense if the Holy Spirit were a person, as the Trinity doctrine teaches. But there are other ways we perceive the presence of someone else and one way is through hearing their voice. What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit speaks, showing that He is a person, Acts 13:2. But there is a point at which we have to face the truth: the difficulties we have in approaching the Holy Spirit as person reminds us of the mystery and absolute otherness of God, as the first quotation in this article stated. This is, of course, very Trinitarian. One of the fundamental beliefs of the Church is that the Holy Spirit inspired all the writers of Scripture. We can even imagine him as a kindly and merciful Father. In this verse Peter confronts Ananias as to why he lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him that he had “not lied to men but to God.” He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. However, no less significant is St. Paul’s teaching on the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Here the Holy Spirit is set before us as a Person who gives His testimony to Jesus Christ, not merely as an illumination that enables the believer to testify of Christ, but a Person who Himself testifies; and a clear distinction is drawn in this and the following verse between the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the believer to whom He has borne His witness, for we read in the next verse, "And ye … A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. We might say Sally has a joyful spirit or that Johnny has an adventurous spirit, but we wouldn’t say Johnny and Sally are spirits. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”. The final book of the Bible (and the last to be written) describes “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1 Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. This Bible study will explore in brief the ministry and works of the Holy Spirit. Here it was two apostles, Barnabas and Saul/Paul (Acts 14:14). In the Catholic Church we understand the soul to be spiritual in nature. The Greek word translated as Advocate above is rendered many other ways in other versions. Outside of theology we think of spirit as a part of someone’s soul or personality, as in terms like high-spirited, someone with a great spirit, or someone whose spirits are down. But if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7). As a Person, the Holy Spirit is one we can be in relation with. Amen.". The Holy Spirit is "the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will. The Holy Spirit teaches others, and therefore is a person, John 14:26. In the end, we should aim to get to know the Holy Spirit as a person on his own terms, not our own. © Copyright 2021 Catholic Exchange. It might seem strange to us to hear the Holy Spirit described as the ‘Lord’ since we associate that title with Christ. He also speaks of God, who at the beginning of the same letter St. Paul calls "God our Father," and "…the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation" (2 Corinthians 1:2, 3). And all the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The expansive category of divine person effortlessly and naturally accounts for the narrower category of power or influence. | R. Jared Staudt, PhD, The Lost Riches of Catholic Catechisms with Aaron Seng of Tradivox, The Catholic Faith in Public Life After the 2020 Election with Derek Rotty. Of the three divine Persons, the most mysterious one and the most difficult one for us to think about is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is revealed here to be both a person and divine. But the creed makes the same move, identifying the Holy Spirit as ‘the Lord, the Giver of Life.’. He is God living inside of those who have accepted Christ as their Savior. TheDivineMercy Video. One of the difficulties we need to overcome when it comes to contemplating the Holy Spirit is to remove from our minds the consideration that the Holy Spirit is just some kind of impersonal force, kind of like what we hear about in "Star Wars." 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