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Biblically there's is a phrase for the Spirit of God the Father and the Spirit of Christ the Son. And the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

How about the "Spirit" of the Holy Spirit? Looking at it, it seems that, the thing called "spirit" do not point to the Three Person in the Triune God. The phrase would mean as if the Triune God has a "spirit" that animates the three person namely, Father Son and the Holy Spirit.

God is a Spirit, how come God who is a Spirit also has a "spirit"?

Comparing to a created man who is composed of body and soul. The soul animates the body and the spirit animates the soul.

Is God who existed in eternity as Spirit animated by "spirit" too?

What is the logical and biblical understanding of the "spirit" of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit?

Catholicism is preferred but a Christian biblical understanding is also welcome.

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  • christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/35189/…. This link is related but I'm hoping somehow a new answer might provide a much better explanation. Feb 7 '20 at 21:09
  • There are three distinct Persons in One God. Think of it like a clover: each of its three leaves is that clover yet distinct.
    – user96931
    Feb 7 '20 at 22:51
  • @user96931 I am asking for the prefix word "spirit" in referring to the "spirit' of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit which are all spirit as God is a spirit. Feb 7 '20 at 22:55
  • In that case, the same word is used with two meanings. God the Spirit refers to one Person of the Holy Trinity, whereas "spirit of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" refers to an immaterial Being.
    – user96931
    Feb 7 '20 at 22:56
  • 1
    @user96931: Good to know. If you like satire, here is a link to a funny take on the theology of the trinity: youtube.com/watch?v=eBRpeq9dVe4 By the way, I should have linked your clover analogy to the error of partialism, not modalism. Don Feb 17 '20 at 1:07
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Jesus said :

Pneuma 'o Theos [John 4:24 TR]

Spirit the God (literally)

This is an equivalence. He is saying that 'God' means 'Spirit'. The nature of deity is a spiritual nature. The scripture (written by Paul the apostle) also says (of the Son of God, Jesus Christ) :

... being in form, of God ... Philippians 2:6 (literal)

The form of God is spirit. God is a spirit.

This is a matter of the nature of Deity.

This nature is shared. From the beginning the plural (or 'composite') term Elohim is used in Genesis to express Deity. It is a matter of union. A perfection of unity within Deity.

The term 'Spirit of Christ' is used in scripture (I Peter 1:11, for example) and the term 'Spirit of the Father' is also used (Matthew 10:20, for example). But the term 'Spirit of the Holy Spirit' is never used.

Thus we learn that the Holy Spirit acts on behalf of the Father and on behalf of Christ.

By carefully observing such expressions we may understand more of the revelation of God by his own word.

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  • 1
    Another scripture that may be relevant, substantiating your penultimate sentence, is Romans 8:9 - "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The verses following also show this 'perfection of unity within Deity', i.e. the Godhead.
    – Anne
    Feb 10 '20 at 10:30
  • @Nigel J pneuma ho theos means "God is a spirit," and not "Spirit the God." Likewise, en morphe theou hyparkon means "subsisting in the form of God." Feb 16 '20 at 23:51
  • The genitive for God is theou; here it is in the nominative theos. You don't use an article in this construction en morphe theou... May I suggest you have not grasped the Greek language quite sufficiently yet? Feb 17 '20 at 14:25
  • "Pneuma 'o Theos [John 4:24 TR]" Feb 17 '20 at 20:38
  • You said, "The form of God is spirit. God is a spirit." Yet Jesus (the form) said he was not a spirit and only a man. By only a man, he never said anything about being God and in fact, has a God. You are 'reading all that other stuff in' - there's a word for that...
    – steveowen
    Sep 13 at 5:58
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The simplest answer is that God is Spirit ontologically and Triune practically. Therefore it is logical and biblical to say that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all operate according to the Spirit of God.

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I consulted the Encyclopedia of Theology - a concise Sacramentum Mundi edited by Karl Rhaner, where it distinguishes between what Catholicism says about God's spirit, and the Holy Spirit.

There is a section in that highly acclaimed Catholic work under SPIRIT, and another section under HOLY SPIRIT. It is a mistake to confuse the two.

Under the HOLY SPIRIT, (pp 642-648) it explains how the OT gradually expanded on the understanding of this aspect of God, not using the phrase 'Holy Spirit' until the NT. It would likely be true that, in the OT, references to God's spirit would not so much speak of a someone, as of a something. Your copy of your Bible would show exactly the same thing. Thus, if you stopped at the end of the OT for your understanding of God's spirit, you would be in the same situation as are Jewish people who do not consider the NT and who, the apostle Paul tells us, are devoid of God's Holy Spirit. Virtually all NT texts on the Holy Spirit show His divine personality, Jesus even warning that the only unforgivable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. You cannot blaspheme against a thing – only a person.

It's usually the case that those who are, themselves, devoid of God's Holy Spirit try to run the Holy Spirit down by treating 'it' as a commodity, a 'thing' that they can obtain more of by doing certain things themselves. Then they wonder why they cannot understand Christian writings about the Holy Spirit.

All Catholic writings about the Holy Spirit state him to be the third co-equal, uncreated person of the Godhead. I am not a Catholic, by the way, but Protestants are agreed on this. The Bible has much to say about 'spirit' as compared with the Holy Spirit.

Also, in Revelation chapter 4 it speaks of the one throne of God in heaven, which has "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God" (vs. 5). However, seven is the symbolic, biblical number of heavenly perfection, so this depicts the perfect Holy Spirit as surrounding the throne of God, wherein we are told is both God, and "the Lamb at the center of the throne". This Lamb is the resurrected Christ who is said to have seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent into the whole earth" (5:6). This clearly shows the distinctions that must be made between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, while simultaneously holding the three together as in utter unity in the Godhead. Indeed, those chapters in Revelation show all heaven gazing in wonder and worship at this glorious throne where all three are centered. The seven-fold Spirit of God is not looking inwards towards that throne, but surrounding it protectively, perhaps, "Thus far, and no further"?

So there is an answer that both gives some Catholic explanation, and gives biblical explanations too. But that's not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the subject of the Spirit of God! It is too vast to do justice to here.

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Good question. God is Holy. God is Spirit. God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the son of God, received the Spirit at baptism. John 1:32, and Acts 2:33 was given the Holy Spirit to give to others, and Luke 23:46 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!'Interesting that it goes to the Father...

The Holy Spirit is mostly referred to as God in action, in presence... does not speak of himself John 16:13, does not have a place on the throne via Stephen's vision, John/Revelation, does not have a name. (which raises the question of equality which seems to be arbitrarily decided on rather than revealed by the word.)

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Jesus first introduced the idea of “another Counselor”, the “Spirit of Truth” who will live inside the believer in John 14. Take a very careful look at what He is saying from the beginning of that chapter. {emphasis mine}

14:7

If you know me, you know the Father. From NOW on you do KNOW Him and have SEEN Him.

14:9-11

how can you say, ‘show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?…it is the Father, living in me, who is doing the work..believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves

14:15-18

if you love me you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another {of the same kind} Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither SEES him nor KNOWS him. But you KNOW him for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans: I will come to you.

Notes:

  1. at the end of verse 17, pause and consider: the only One they have known, seen and been around has been Jesus. He already revealed to them that they have seen and know the Father as well just by knowing Jesus. Also, the Father is given credit for the miraculous work Jesus has been doing when previously in the gospels this work has been attributed to the “Holy Spirit”. )

  2. At the end of verse 18, pause and consider: Jesus just told them that the Holy Spirit who they know will be in them and immediately after tells them that He Himself will be in them.

14:20

On that day you will REALIZE that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you

14: 23

if anyone loves me he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come and make our home with him.

The same disciple, John, goes on to write (1 John 3:24):

“The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Note: Jesus said if we obey, He and the Father come to live inside of us — in the same chapter that He said the Spirit will live in us.

Brother Paul is clear that we received ONE Spirit. (1 Corthians 12:13.) Jesus already told us God is Spirit and His worshipers must worship Him in Spirit and truth. Those are the type of worshipers the Father is looking for (John 4:23-24). So is the Father the One Spirit? Take a deeper look

This is what Jesus said of his relationship with the Father:

  • “ I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
  • “ I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one" John 17:22

How can they be one?

We know Jesus was the Word made flesh, so He wasn’t flesh before coming to earth but instead became man. When He was glorified after resurrection Jesus lost the earthly limitations He had taken on. Could it be that this is why Jesus said it was best that He go away so that the Counselor would come to them? Did this have to do with ridding himself of the earthly limitations?

This is what Paul has to say about Jesus 1 Corinthians 15:45,47

“So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit…The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.’

2 Corinthians 3:17-18,4:5

“ Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit … For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

Colossians 1:27

“ …God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Jesus is the only way to the Father. He said so Himself. This must be the reason why Paul wrote to the Ephesians (2:18):

“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

Jesus is our connection to the Father. Jesus is now Spirit, glorified with the glory He had with the Father before the world began (John 17:5) He is back in the Spirit state with the Father. Being in the same form- God. Since Jesus is the exact representation of the Father, it makes sense that the Father is another (of the same kind) counselor. From now on the Father wasn’t just going to be with them by proximity (by Him living inside Jesus) but because Jesus lives in us and the Father is in Jesus, the Father is also living in us (like nesting). This is why Paul goes back and forth in Romans 8

Vs 9 "Spirit of God lives in you….Spirit of Christ"

Vs 10 "if Christ is in you"

Vs11 "Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you."

The Holy Spirit is God the Father and Son living inside a believer. The Holy Spirit is God who is holy. God does not have a Spirit. God IS spirit and is holy.

2 John 1:9

“ Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”

1 John 5:20

“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

The Father and Jesus are One. The Father is Spirit. Jesus was Spirit, made flesh, and made the life-giving Spirit when glorified (1 Cor. 15:45; John 17:5). We receive One Spirit. The same Spirit who was inside of Jesus and raised Him from the dead. The same Spirit that performed the miracles. The Spirit of the Son who cries Abba Father.

John 17:26

“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you know. In order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them

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  • I think I followed everything except, "He wasn’t flesh before coming to earth but became man". Who is this 'He'?
    – steveowen
    Sep 13 at 6:04
  • 2
    Jesus, the Word, became flesh and made His dwelling among man (John 1:1,14; Philippians 2:5-6) “ The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son” ?” Hebrews 1:3,5 Sep 13 at 6:09
  • Are you saying "Jesus" pre-existed his flesh/birth as Jesus?
    – steveowen
    Sep 13 at 6:15
  • 1
    Yes, the one people called Jesus in the flesh pre-existed. John 12:40 is a quote from Isaiah 6:10…when Isaiah saw The Lord (Adoni) enthroned. John continues to say “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him” John 12:41 Sep 13 at 6:23
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    @KorvinStarmast Thank you for the feedback. I'm still new to this site. This was my first post done on a small phone. I'm now on a computer and can see how confusing the formatting is so I appreciate you mentioning it and cleaning it up. I will try to go back in and follow suit. Sep 18 at 13:59

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