(Article for publication week of 3-23-2011 AD)
“Even the Spirit of Truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17).
We are interjecting into our series of articles on the holiness of God, some brief articles on the Holy Trinity. The Deity and Personality of the First Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son are generally perceived by Christians, but sometimes harder to perceive regarding the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Last week we showed briefly the indisputable fact of the Deity of the Holy Spirit and this week we shall briefly prove the Personality of the Holy Spirit.
Note well that in our text the personal pronoun “he” is used concerning the Holy Spirit. This in itself proves that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not some impersonal force. As we continue reading through John 14, 15, and 16, we see our Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly using the personal pronoun regarding the Holy Spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ is well qualified to tell us of the Holy Spirit because He and His Father are one with the Holy Spirit. (See I John 5:7). The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26). We can take our Lord Jesus’ words as solid proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit.
Not only does the use of the personal pronoun prove the personality of the Holy Spirit, but the scriptures repeatedly and continually ascribe to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of personality. For example, right here in our opening text our Lord tells us we may “know” the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but the text says that the Holy Spirit “dwells” with believers, something that is only possibility for a person. We never speak of, nor think of “knowing”, or “dwelling with” and impersonal force (for example gravity). The Holy Spirit may be known and dwelt with; therefore we understand that he is a Person.
Not only that but the scriptures tell us that believers have communion with the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 13:14). Communion, or fellowship is only possible between persons. If you are a Christian, then you are experimentally acquainted with what that communion is. When you were born again, or regenerated, the Holy Spirit began to indwell you and supply redeeming grace to your poor soul. We who are believers have felt and known the working of the Blessed Holy Spirit testifying the truth of Christ and His gospel to us inwardly.
Further, we read that the Holy Spirit can be “grieved” (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit is saddened when His people sin, and this is one reason Christians hate sin so bad and flee from it. We do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit and sadden Him so that he withdraws the light of His countenance from us. As William Cowper so wonderfully describes it in one of his hymns, “return, oh Holy Dove return, sweet messenger of rest. I hate the sins that made Thee mourn, and drove Thee from my breast.” An impersonal force cannot be grieved, but a Person can, and so we know the Holy Spirit is a Person.
The personality of the Holy Spirit is a vital doctrine of God’s word; therefore we must believe it and take it most seriously, eternally seriously. The Holy Spirit is the Representative of Christ on earth today. He is active in regenerating and sanctifying the people of God and applying the saving power of Christ’s redemptive work in our souls. We are having sweet communion with Him and delight in His Presence. May the Lord bless you all my dear readers.