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I know that as Trinitarians, we believe that God exists as one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

That God the Father is God is patently obvious from the entire Old Testament.

That God the Son is God is made forcefully in John, Colossians, and throughout the New Testament.

We also know that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, but...

Where in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is God?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

In Acts 5:1-4 it says Ananias has lied to the Holy Spirit and has therefore lied to God:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God."

In 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 we see the Spirit is the Lord:

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The bold text is my emphasis of course.

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Also plenty of other places where the Holy Spirit is described as having 'personal' characteristics. – DJClayworth Jan 23 '12 at 14:44
In regards to the scripture in Acts, one could argue that the passage could mean the person lied to the Holy Spirit and to God (not that I believe they are separate, but just pointing that out). – Nick Rolando Jan 25 '12 at 1:35
@Shredder: I suppose. The original question had the implication that the Trinity is God in 3 persons so this passage makes sense in that context (by lying to 1 person in the Trinity, you are also lying to the whole: God). An analogy could be parents: by lying to your mother you are also lying to your parents. – styfle Jan 25 '12 at 4:54
Along those same lines, Jesus is recorded as having warned against blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10). This would seem to indicate that Jesus considers the Spirit holy, indeed. There's also the commission from Jesus for the apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), which implies a divine triune unity of the persons mentioned. – Steven Jan 25 '12 at 17:33
@Shredder: I completely agree. I think people could come up with a reason to explain that away if they wanted to, but as far as biblical evidence goes, those examples seem to be along the same vein of styfle's answer...or at least they raise some good questions for people who might deny the Trinity: why would Jesus suggest forgiveness for blaspheming his name, but not the Spirit; and why would Jesus suggest baptizing in the Spirit's name? – Steven Jan 25 '12 at 19:16

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2 (KJV)

The "Spirit of God" must be referring to the Holy Spirit (I don't know what else it could be).

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Spirit of God, or God's Spirit, (if it is referring to the Holy Spirit here) would imply that it is indeed God Himself. – Nick Rolando Jan 25 '12 at 18:51

We can know that the Holy Spirit is God both from his attributes (nature) and actions (function) which are inseparable in the relationship he has with the Father and the Son.In other words, we can know that the Holy Spirit is God within the doctrine known as Trinity.

The Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit ( Greek: Pneuma ” wind, breath, spirit”; Hagios ”Holy, set apart”).

The title Holy Spirit belongs to the third person in the Triune God ( Matthew 28:19).

Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Spirit is the one Spirit of both the Father and the Son.

John 15:26 (NASB)

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

Galatians 4:6 (NASB)

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

The Holy Spirit is a Person

The HS is a person based on the very definition of “Person” as a rational individual who has the following: mind(intellect), volition ( will) and passion ( emotion).

  • The Holy Spirit has a mind (Romans 8:27).

  • The Holy Spirit has a will ( 1 Corinthians 12:11).

  • The Holy Spirit has an emotion ( loves, Romans 15:30; grieves, Ephesians 4:30).

The Functions of the Holy Spirit show that He is a Person

  • Comforter (John 14:16).

  • Teacher (John 14:26).

  • Intercessor ( Romans 8:26).

The name of the Holy Spirit shows that He is a person.

The name of the Holy Spirit is Yahweh (2 Samuel 23:2-3; Matthew 28:19).

Premise 1: Yahweh is a person.

Premise 2: The Holy Spirit is Yahweh.

Conclusion: Ergo, the Holy Spirit is a person.

Other biblical proofs that the Holy Spirit is a person:

Can be blasphemed - Matthew 12:39

Contrasted with evil spirits - Mark 3:22-23; Matthew 12:32; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4. If "unholy or evil spirits" are persons, then the Holy Spirit is a person.

In Revelation 22:17, both The Spirit and the Bride say "come." This verse clearly equates the two as persons who uttered a same invitation.

The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit is identified as ‘God’ in Acts 5:1-10 , John 3:5-8 and 1 Corinthians 3:16.He is identified as 'Yahweh'(Jehovah) in 2 Samuel 23:2-3 and Matthew 28:19.

The Holy Spirit is God by nature. He has all the complete divine nature:

  • Eternality ( Hebrews 9:14)

  • Omniscience ( 1 Corinthians 2:10).

  • Omnipotence ( Jb 33:4, Psalm 33:6).

  • Omnipresence ( Psalm 139:7-8)

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Mostly the answers here were using ignorant comprehension. This is common in Seminary with this issue. (no offense) If one goes through the entire Bible in English and Greek, you come up with an entirely different answer. For instance the personality of the Spirit is not Unique apart from God. The Bible references no verse that the Spirit desires (personhood) it also doesn't define the Spirit is a He, She or It. The word we translate He means any of them. The word is used to describe ownership and normally if the Spirit is a "He" and not an "It" the words in Greek would be "He Himself". However nowhere is scripture does it declare the Spirit definitively as a "He", although when you understand what the scriptures say the Spirit "is", it's obvious that we can apply He to what the Spirit "says." But this does not mean the Spirit is a "Person." The only thing that defines personhood is a "Name". And since the Spirit has no name it is referred to as a "the". You don't see "Spirit said ..." the same as you would see "Jesus said ..." and, since you don't know the Spirit's name you can't understand the text. Jesus is the Spirit. But the Spirit is not Jesus. We do not pray to the Spirit, or Worship it. Nowhere in scripture does it ever say to pray to the Spirit, ask the Spirit etc. The Spirit does not respond the way a person does. There are only 2 verses in scripture that define the Spirit and I'm sure you have heard 1 of them but you ignore what it means when you read it. Most Christians refuse to believe what the text is clearly saying. The Spirit is the Living Word of God. In the first century the Word came upon believers supernaturally. Therefore, Christians are not immediately indwelled by the Spirit in current times since that was a first Century happening. Today we must study the Word. Eph 6:17 many people try and say the Word is the Spirit's sword. But they play grammatical games that do not exist in the text. And we would have to say the belt, was only a part of truth, the helmet only a piece of salvation. And implies something is missing.

John 6:63 clearly states "My (Jesus) words are the Spirit." The Spirit is always about speaking, reading etc. Hebrews 3:7 and repeated in 4 references the Spirit spoke in the Old Testament in the Psalms. Does that mean:

  1. "He only has some influence in Scripture" like Psalms
  2. "All scripture is the Spirit", the Word is the Spirit?
  3. "The Spirits sword speaks?"

Obviously only #2 can be correct. The Words and Spirit of the message can be spoken outside of the pages of the Scriptures as it is living and active. But try and reconcile "He (it) will remind you of all that Jesus said." I know no other method to know what Jesus said. Do you believe you don't need the Bible? What the implication is, you can't know God, outside of the Bible. Especially when pastors can distort the truth you should never rely on people to explain the truth. Verify it for yourself.

  • How can you lie to the Word of God? By correctly understanding the Greek: You have contradicted the Word.
  • How can you grieve the Spirit? In the same way correctly understanding the Greek: frustrating the movement of the living aspect of the Work of the Spirit in other Christians
  • How can you quench the Spirit? By refusing to listen to the Word or Shutting down someone speaking the Word.

Consider now... - Deu 8:3 (you must have all the words of God).
- What is Baptism of the Holy Spirit? - How are you filled with the Spirit? - Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood? John 5: You refuse to come to me for that life. (Jesus claims to be the scriptures) - How are you enabled with the Gifts of the Spirit? - and Many more...(like what did it look like in Genesis? vyalar "He read (not "said"): Light" etc.)

Conclusion: These are ONLY done by personal reading and study of Scripture. I don't believe it happens well when you are being taught in directed learning (as it is not personal and often over your head). My personal recommendation is to read as many translations as you can when detail matters. Learn to read Greek and Hebrew or at least look up definitions and original texts to see if the implications exist in Greek/Hebrew (they often don't).

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It clarifies first that the Spirit's exsistence did not begin after the Ascension of Christ. Since His words were the Spirit. Just like David's words, the other prophets, the OT cannon. etc. In 1 Cor 13:10 it says the supernatural methods of transmission (tongues, prophecy etc) would cease when the [Spirit] was perfected i.e., the New Testament Cannonization. My proof for that is of course after the fact. Tongues ceased and therefore "Perfection came." Similar to the Daily sacrifice was cut off, therefore the Messiah came. (Dan 9) – user2366911 Oct 1 '14 at 17:33
I think you started out pretty good, except for the parts about "ignorant comprehension." Then you really lost track and sort of rambled on. It's hard to see what you're getting at after the first paragraph and even seems to contradict itself. I think you have much to offer the site, but academic is what we are shooting for, so quite a few of us do actually have formal theological training. – fredsbend Oct 1 '14 at 19:32
Now, on to how you answered the question. The scope of the question assumes the Trinity, as traditionally defined, is accurate and is basically asking for the reasons that we should believe that the Spirit is indeed a person of the Trinity and is God. You have seemingly answered with reasons that you should not believe that. So this is an answer to a very similar question, but not this one. If that other question exists, you can post this there, but clean it up a bit first. If not, then you can ask it and self-answer. – fredsbend Oct 1 '14 at 19:33
If John 16:13 doesn't definitively show that the Spirit is a he, then nothing can. You aren't learning from the Bible but forcing it to fit your pre-existing beliefs. – curiousdannii Oct 1 '14 at 23:28
Reading comprehension is a problem with many Seminary students and the reliance upon what everyone else thinks is bordering on idol worship. For instance, it is common for a Seminary or formal Bible student to claim the reason for the Gospel of John writing the book is to quote Chapter 20- "So that you may believe" however this is a horrible comprehension that is a commonly taught and clung to reality. It's used out of context and completely incoherant to the content of John. – user2366911 Oct 3 '14 at 16:49

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