The Personality of the Holy Spirit

April 14, 2011

In addition to the texts typically presented in the discussion concerning the proofs of the personality of the Holy Spirit, three other texts that have not at times been considered also deserve attention as well: Acts 10:20; 13:2; 1 John 4:4.

Acts 10:20
Luke records the Spirit’s speaking directly to Peter following his vision (10:19-20). The Spirit informed him that three men were seeking him and that Peter should go meet them and accompany them, doubting nothing because He had sent them. The Greek text shows that the Spirit used an emphatic first-person personal pronoun (ἐγὼ) to speak of His sending them, which points directly to His personality:

BGT Act 10:20 ἀλλὰ ἀναστὰς κατάβηθι καὶ πορεύου σὺν αὐτοῖς μηδὲν διακρινόμενος ὅτι ἐγὼ ἀπέσταλκα αὐτούς.

NAU Act 10:20 “But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.”

SCR Act 10:20 ἀλλὰ ἀναστὰς κατάβηθι, καὶ πορεύου σὺν αὐτοῖς, μηδὲν διακρινόμενος• διότι ἐγὼ ἀπέσταλκα αὐτούς.

KJV Act 10:20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

Acts 13:2
Luke’s record of the church at Antioch includes a report of their ministering and fasting to the Lord. While they were doing so, the Spirit spoke to them to set apart to Him Barnabas and Saul for the work to which He had called them. The Greek text shows that the Spirit again used a first-person personal pronoun (μοι) to refer to Himself, which points directly to His personality.

BGT Act 13:2 Λειτουργούντων δὲ αὐτῶν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ νηστευόντων εἶπεν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον• ἀφορίσατε δή μοι τὸν Βαρναβᾶν καὶ Σαῦλον εἰς τὸ ἔργον ὃ προσκέκλημαι αὐτούς.

NAU Act 13:2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

SCR Act 13:2 λειτουργούντων δὲ αὐτῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ καὶ νηστευόντων, εἶπε τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, Ἀφορίσατε δή μοι τόν τε Βαρνάβαν καὶ τὸν Σαῦλον εἰς τὸ ἔργον ὃ προσκέκλημαι αὐτούς.

KJV Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

1 John 4:4
Contextually, the discussion here is about testing the spirits that are indwelling people and leading to their confession either that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh or that He has not come in the flesh. Those who confess the former have the Holy Spirit in them, while those who confess the latter have the spirit of the antichrist in them. Thus, verse 4 should be understood as referring to the Holy Spirit (cf. 4:6):

BGT 1Jo 4:4 ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστε, τεκνία, καὶ νενικήκατε αὐτούς, ὅτι μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ.

NAU 1Jo 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

SCR 1Jo 4:4 ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐστε, τεκνία, καὶ νενικήκατε αὐτούς• ὅτι μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ.

KJV 1Jo 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

John’s use of the masculine article in ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν to refer to the Holy Spirit when he could have phrased it as τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν shows that he viewed the Holy Spirit as a Person. Explaining the masculine article as a reference to Christ or God as the One whom John has in view in verse 4 does not fit the context and doing so is not demanded by any other consideration.

Thus, Acts 10:20, 13:2, and 1 John 4:4 all teach the personality of the Holy Spirit!

Rajesh

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