How Do We Know The Holy Spirit Is A Person?

Christians have always believed that the Spirit is not just the power of God in an impersonal way.  He is a Person of the Trinity in His own right.  But how do we know that from the Bible?  Here are some incredible evidences:

dove1. The Spirit teaches and reminds.  John 14:26  1 Corinthians 2:13

2. The Spirit speaks.  Acts 8:29  Acts 13:2

3. The Spirit makes decisions.  Acts 15:28

3. The Spirit can be grieved.  Ephesians 4:30

4. The Spirit can be outraged.  Hebrews 10:29

5. The Spirit can be lied to.  Acts 5:34

6. The Spirit can forbid or prevent human speech and plans.  Acts 16:6-7

7. The Spirit searches everything and comprehends God’s thoughts.  1 Corinthians 2:10-11

8. The Spirit apportions spiritual gifts.  1 Corinthians 12:11

9. The Spirit helps us, intercedes for us, and has a mind.  Romans 8:26-27

10. The Spirit bears witness to believers about their adoption.  Romans 8:16

11. The Spirit bears witness to Christ.  John 15:26

12. The Spirit glorifies Christ, takes what is Christ, and declares it to believers.  John 16:14

via Justin Taylor, read the whole thing here.

Of course, if the Spirit is a Person than He must not be merely read about but experienced.  In fact, it is the primary work of the Spirit to bring experience into our lives – like of the Father’s love, or the Son’s atonement.  Let’s open up ourselves to Him.  Come Holy Spirit!


3 thoughts on “How Do We Know The Holy Spirit Is A Person?

  1. Thanks for this Steve. I have no doubts that the Holy Spirit is a person but I do wonder if this is one person of the Trinity that may be more accurately described as “She” rather than “He”. Don’t know if that is controversial or not, but since “man” (before the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib) was created in the image of God; it seems to me that the Holy Spirit would best be the source for the qualities of God that Eve reflects?

    • Thanks for commenting, David. You raise an interesting question. The Holy Spirit (as far as I know) is, in Greek, neuter as a noun. This goes for the accompanying pronouns. In Greek, ‘it’ isn’t necessarily impersonal, while in English ‘it’ has strong impersonal connotations. This is, in part, why translation history in English has fairly unanimously used ‘he’. We need to know the Spirit is a Person!

      Whether ‘she’ should be used…I dunno. It’s pretty easy for me to read other agendas in that move. As for Adam and Eve, they both bear the image of God, that is completely true. But to ascribe the masculine to Father and Son, while the feminine gets pinned on the Spirit, that might be too artificial a distinction. What if it’s more complicated than that? What if its more mysterious?

  2. I’m sure it is way more complicated and mysterious. It seems to me English is wanting when it comes to expressing these spiritual mysteries. Thanks for getting me thinking about this, I would like to look into how the Hebrew addresses this.

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