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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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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.

  • 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
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    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
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    @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
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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).

  • 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
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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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