In starting a short series on the Holy Spirit and His gifts, the deity of the Spirit is a good starting point. There are many things to consider about the Spirit, but His identity is foundational. Debated less often than the deity of Christ, the deity of the Spirit is important to the Christian faith. We believe in the triunity of God, so the divinity of the Spirit is a must doctrine for us. Here, I’d like to provide some Biblical evidence for the deity of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Is Things Only God Can Be
There are certain attributes God shares with others. We are made in His image, after all, so we should expect an ability to love, show mercy, listen, and speak. These attributes begin with God and are shared with mankind. But there are some attributes God cannot share with others. They are exclusive to divinity. They are embedded in the fabric of His being. That the Holy Spirit partakes of these attributes is an evidence for His deity. Here they are:
He is eternal. We might live eternally with God (or without God), but we have a starting point. We did not exist in eternity past. We have a beginning. The Spirit, however, does not. He is called the “eternal Spirit,” meaning He has no starting or end point (Hebrews 9:14).
He is omnipresent. God is everywhere at once. There is no place He is not. This is never said of any human or other created being, including the angelic or demonic realm. But God is omnipresent — everywhere present. The Spirit shares in this omnipresence. David asks, “Where shall I go from your Spirit?” (Psalm 139:7). He asked this because there is nowhere the Spirit is not.
He is omnipotent. God is all-powerful, unlimited in strength. The Spirit is actually referred to as “the power of the Most High” (Luke 1:35). He has and is the power of God.
He is omniscient. God knows all things. Man can learn, but our knowledge is limited, rather than limitless. The Spirit, however, “comprehends the thoughts of God” because He is “the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11). This is why He was uniquely qualified to teach the disciples all things and bring to their remembrance the words of Christ after His ascension (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit Does Things Only God Can Do
There are things God does that no man or angel or demon can do. The Spirit shares in those actions.
He creates. God is the creator of all things. Mankind is creative, but our creative powers merely assemble that which God originated. God creates something from nothing, while man creates something from something else. The Spirit shares in God’s creative ability. The Spirit was present at the beginning, hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2). He was involved when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26). As Job said, “The Spirit of God has made me…”
He authors Scripture. We know only God authors Scripture — it is all “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). But it is also clear the Holy Spirit authors Scripture — the prophets wrote: “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
He gives spiritual life. No man would ever claim to grant spiritual life. Only God can give spiritual life. The Holy Spirit partakes in this role — “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
The Holy Spirit Is Named When God Is Named
This is a rather simple point. You would never say, “In the name of the Father, Son, and Paul the Apostle” or “Father, Son, and Nate Holdridge.” No way! The third name doesn’t belong with the first two. Throughout the New Testament, there are numerous mentions of the Father, Son, and Spirit. That they are all mentioned together points to the divinity of the Spirit. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Holy Spirit Is Divinely Named
Peter refers to Him as God in his rebuke of Ananias (Acts 5:3-4). Ananias had lied to God, so he had lied to the Holy Spirit. This is very straightforward.
Why Isn’t He Spoken Of More Often?
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” (John 15:26).
If we think He should be mentioned more it might be because we don’t understand His ministry. A major function of the Spirit is to glorify Christ. He does not testify of Himself, but of Christ. I can feel this ministry in effect in preaching and teaching. There is a different kind of power when explaining and exalting the ministry and work of Christ. The energy is not human but from the Spirit. Scripture points to Christ because this is the Spirit’s book and He testifies of Jesus.
Additionally, most of our Bible is Old Testament. He is spoken of there, but He was mostly anticipated there. The prophets spoke of a new day where God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28-29, Jeremiah 31:33-34). As Ezekiel wrote, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:26–27).
This means much of the Bible was written in anticipation of the future era of the Spirit, the era we live in today. He wasn’t unavailable in that era, but He is more available today, for He lives within those who are in Christ. Much of His story is found in Acts after the Joel 2 prophecy of the pouring out of the Spirit began to come to pass.
To remember the divine identity of the Holy Spirit, that He is God, is helpful to the believer in many ways. He interacts with us, lives within us, and longs to lead our lives. We grieve Him when we resist God. He is more personal to us than any friend. He is God and is worthy of our worship and praise.