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Is the Holy Spirit a Person or a Thing?

A point of confusion for many Christians, particularly new Christians, is whether the Holy Spirit is an actual person or if the reference is simply to the force of God. This is an important point. However, it shouldn’t be confusing at all because the bible actually answers the question.

Why is it an important question to begin with? For one thing, if the Spirit is simply the force of God, it isn’t separate from God. If it isn’t separate from God, there can’t be a trinity or triune Godhead.

The bible doesn’t actually say, “The Holy Spirit is a person.” It doesn’t need to. If you read the bible, you’ll find that every single time a pronoun is used for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit is referred to as “He”. If the Spirit was a force, that would be a thing rather than a person, so the pronoun used would be “It”.

There is more that shows that the Spirit is a person and not a thing. For instance, the Spirit is alive. In fact, He is called the Spirit of life in the book of Romans. Romans 8:2 (KJV) says:

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Some people may wonder how one person, the Spirit, could be inside of another person, the Christ Jesus. However, the Spirit is a spiritual person, while Jesus was a flesh and blood person. This passage shows that the Spirit has a life.

Like you and me, the Holy Spirit also has emotions. Ephesians 4:30 (New International Version) says:

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

If the Spirit wasn’t a person with emotions, there wouldn’t be a way to grieve Him.

The Spirit has a will and can make a determination. 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV) says:

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

The King James version of the same scripture is:

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

A force has neither will nor determination, however, a person has both.

The bible is pretty plain that the Holy Spirit is a person and is the third part of the Trinity. This means that He is an equal of God the Father and of Jesus. He is our helper, advisor, mediator, advocate, and intercessor. In fact, Jesus specifically sent the Spirit to us. I’ll leave it to you to read John 14:16-18, where this is explained. In fact, I encourage you to read the bible and to not just take my word for it.

Before the death of Jesus, people could only speak to God indirectly, usually through a high priest or prophet. Jesus changed that. Through Him, the Spirit lives within us and the Spirit is a person, not just a thing or a force.

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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • The bible actually says that the Holy Spirit would be given to all people and it was Jesus who said that. I’d disagree that He is in everything, though He certainly has the power to manifest Himself in anything since the bible clearly shows that He’s part of the triune and Godhood.

    • That might be true if it was just one scripture or one book, but it isn’t. When something is repeated many times, by different writers, spanning a great deal of time, in a collection of books that have never been proven false, it leads a person to believe that it is true.

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