There are passages that appear to establish an identity between God and his Spirit:

24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” [John 4:24, ESV]

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. [2 Corinthians 3:17-18, ESV]

However, other passages appear to make a distinction between the two, as if God and his Spirit were different beings. The passage that is most clear in this regard, in my opinion, is 1 Corinthians 2:10-13:

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [1 Corinthians 2:10-13, ESV]

So, on the one hand, God is Spirit, but on the other hand, God has a Spirit. Does this mean that God is Spirit and has a Spirit simultaneously? Is there any difference between God and his Spirit? How can we make sense of all this?

  • This is a theological question. I'll migrate it, but you should more clearly scope it to Trinitarianism.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 10:38
  • @curiousdannii - I'm ok with the migration, but I'm not sure how the question should be edited. If you prefer to edit it, I'd be ok with that too.
    – user50422
    Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 10:41
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator You have a great question and your citation of 1Corinthians2:10-13 is parallel to "Wisdom" that is being described from Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, Sirach, etc.-Sirach1:7-9, the wisdom is created like in Proverbs8:22. This "Wisdom" is a "created Spirit", but emanates from God as same substance. This mystery is not yet settled, but science now have a way of explaining this thru the discovery of the image of "atom". and looking at the Hydrogen atom is the answer. Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 22:59
  • Your question is asking about the trinity. You should read up on what the church fathers said about the trinity. The church fathers are influential writers from the early church whose writings are highly regarded. The trinity was defended often by early theologians using the Bible and other arguments. There were many who denied the divinity of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I will leave the googling to you.
    – CBFT
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 0:37

5 Answers 5


What is the difference between God and the Spirit of God? What is the difference between Christ and the Spirit of Christ? What is the difference between the Father and the Son?

We could go on and on. If we understood this perfectly, we would be God and that is untrue so we can never understand this question finally.

The church fathers simply asserted (in their desperation to say something) that all three are of the same substance but different in function. I am unaware of any better (although hopelessly inadequate) statement.

The Bible is far more interested in explaining the Character of God as loving, kind, gracious but just (and our need to emulate that Character). It makes almost no attempt to explain the substance and makeup of God but simply asserts God's existence: "In the beginning God ..." Gen 1:1.

The closest the Bible comes to explaining anything about God is "God is Spirit"; but in reality, that tells us very little.


What is the difference between God and the spirit of God?

We'll see that the 'spirit of God' is the same as the 'Holy Spirit'. The terms are interchangeable.

  • God is the creator. The HS is not, but is prominent in God's creation process.
  • we see from John that the logos is also prominent in creation, but God is still the creator.
  • God alone is immortal, He is holy, He is spirit and invisible.
  • God expresses Himself in word and deed by His logos and spirit.

Jesus' disciples left a clear message about what they understood about God and the Holy Spirit. These are the true Church Fathers who learnt everything from Jesus.

for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 12:12

for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:20

We can see that they knew the Holy Spirit to be the same as God. So that removes the need for a lot of speculation and imaginative theology.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the holy child will be called the son of God. Luke 1:35

Here we see that the child is God's, but the HS is the power of God making it happen. Is the HS the father? No, God is. It is His spirit acting according to His will and purpose to make Mary pregnant.

We also see several verses regarding Jesus being raised from the dead. None show Jesus raising himself (well, he was dead!). There are about 30 - most say God, a few say the Father, and one I could find, 'the spirit of Him'.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Rom 8:11

The spirit isn't doing the raising independently, except as God directs and empowers things to happen by His spirit. Again, there is this firm connection in the holy text that the HS and God (or the Father) have that makes them the same. It is the spirit OF the Father, or the spirit OF God - just as the disciples have expressed.

To add to the points made earlier.

  • the HS has no name - God has plenty.
  • in every vision of heaven, we see Jesus at God's right side but no HS anywhere. Of course God is spirit and invisible, yet visions make God apparent with His son and no one else except perhaps other heavenly beings.

There is no doubt the HS is an important part of the spiritual reality - yet it is always an expression of God, the Father, and now Jesus who is ascended and exalted to eternal life.

Gal 4:6 ‘God has sent forth the spirit of His son into your hearts’.

Luke 10:22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the son, and anyone to whom the son wills to reveal Him.

Jesus ruling out a third entity here without any ambiguity. The HS, if a separate entity/identity would, must, know who Jesus is if the Father does. Of course there is no need for silly arguments about others who know Jesus. The devil knows who Jesus is, but not like the heavenly Father does and the HS would too if 'he' existed separately to the Father if God was a tripart God.

That we have 'he' and 'him' sprinkled throughout the word when 'it' and 'which' are more responsible translations, makes the whole process of seeing truth more difficult.


Briefly, what is meant by-

For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 1 Cor 2:10

This makes perfect sense if it IS God... why is it searching the depths of God?

God places His spirit in us to join with our spirit - Rom 8:9, Acts 2:38, Rom 8:16

The essence or spirit of God reaching into our lives and showing us the things we need. It is not searching out God, as if God's spirit needs to do anything in God.

It is searching out the 'things OF God' and revealing them into our minds, into our spirit - transforming our old life with the new life through the 'deposit' of God's spirit in us. (2 Cor 1:22)

This is analogous to the logos in action-

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God's word and spirit are simply the outward expression and influence of God in all creation - no separate entities or convoluted theories needed. In fact, the inspired text consistently refutes such ideas.

  • Coudn't this be formulated this way: God's logos and God's pneuma are (the two essential) attributes of God? Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 16:35
  • I don't like the word "attributes" either, I only use it for lack of a better word. The way I use it, it is a tag name for "distinct in God, not a 'person' in God". IOW, an "it", not a "he/she". Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 18:02
  • If God is infinite and eternal, can there be an ontological difference between God, God's Word, and God's Spirit? Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 17:25
  • The word does nothing unless God ‘utters’ it, the spirit nothing unless God extends it. Unless you think your word has a life of its own!
    – steveowen
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 21:10
  • This principle applies to Jesus as the ‘word’ made flesh. Although he said, he did or spoke nothing except it was from the Father, he had to ensure his own will was subdued for that to remain true.
    – steveowen
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 21:27

According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, the word God has a wide range of meanings:

STRONGS NT 2316: Θεός ...

  1. a general appellation of deities or divinities ...
  2. Whether Christ is called God ...
  3. spoken of the only and true God ...
  4. Θεός is used of whatever can in any respect be likened to God, or resembles him in any way: Hebraistically, equivalent to God's representative or vicegerent, of magistrates and judges

The word spirit also carries a diverse of meanings.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 4151: πνεῦμα

  1. a movement of air (gentle) blast;
    a. of the wind ...
    b. breath of the nostrils or mouth
  2. the spirit, i. e. the vital principle by which the body is animated ...
    there is also recognized a threefold distinction, τό πνεῦμα καί ἡ ψυχή καί τό σῶμα, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, according to which τό πνεῦμα is the rational part of man, the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence;

The term "the Spirit of God" is more particular than just the term "God". It is one of the functions of the Spirit of God that exerts its influence on our human spirits to communicate to us divine knowledge.

τιθέναι ἐν τῷ πνεύματι, to propose to oneself, purpose in spirit, followed by the infinitive (πορεύεσθαι, Acts 19:21. πνεύματα προφητῶν, according to the context the souls (spirits) of the prophets moved by the Spirit of God,

  1. The Scriptures also ascribe a πνεῦμα to God, i. e. God's power and agency — distinguishable in thought from God's essence in itself

The sentence "God is spirit" means God is spirit in essence.

Does this mean that God is Spirit and has a Spirit simultaneously?

I'd say yes if one considers the ambiguity of the word "God".

Is there any difference between God and his Spirit?

If e.g., one interprets the word God as the Father, then definitely yes.

How can we make sense of all this?

I do it by isolating the specific nuances of the words "God" and "spirit" and apply them in context. Then everything is precisely logical and I have no confusion in my brain.


God has a spirit, but He is not a spirit. John 4:24 is incorrect in the KJV. The correct translation is:

For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth. (JST)

Many traditions refer to God as a spirit. More accurately, He is the Father of spirits.

The Scriptures make it clear that there are three distinct personages identified with God, firstly God the Father, second His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, and thirdly a messenger Spirit whom the Savior calls Comforter and Witness (the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost), whose office and functions are decidedly similar to those of ministering angels, notwithstanding the Holy Ghost is not embodied as angels are, angels operate by the same power as the Holy Ghost.

These Three are responsible for all the ministrations of God in the heavens and in earth. They are distinct Beings.

The Holy Ghost is often referred to as the Spirit of the Lord, although this same term "Spirit of the Lord" may also refer to the premortal spirit body of the Savior.

There is a fourth sense in which the term "spirit" may be used, and that is when it is used to refer to the Conscience, which is not a living organism, but is the knowledge of the teachings of Christ inside of each person and perhaps within each living being.


What is the difference between God and the Spirit of God?

There is a related question on this asking, "Is the Holy Ghost the same with the Holy Spirit".

Question: "What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost?"

Answer: Of the modern English translations of the Bible, it is only the King James Version of the Bible which uses the term “Holy Ghost.” It occurs 90 times in the KJV. The term “Holy Spirit” occurs 7 times in the KJV. There is no clear reason as to why the KJV translators used Ghost in most places and then Spirit in a few. The exact same Greek and Hebrew words are translated "ghost" and "spirit" in the KJV in different occurrences of the words. By "ghost," the KJV translators did not intend to communicate the idea of "the spirit of a deceased person." In 1611, when the KJV was originally translated, the word "ghost" primarily referred to "an immaterial being."https://www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Spirit-Ghost.html

There's a lot of similar sources on different Christian site that had answered this question and unanimously answered that the "Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit", are the same, they are the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.

Another source to read is here : Is there any difference in meaning between "Holy Spirit" and "Holy Ghost"? text**

We can see, that your question if we look at all of the answer cited or referenced, the Spirit of God, is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost. But ofcourse, there are passages in scriptures that is not clear like the Book of Wisdom, Sirach and Proverbs and some passages in New Testament like the one you cited in 1Corinthians2-10-13.

So, how can be view this in light of the scriptures? One way to look at this is by using "science". Yes!, science can aid us in discovering our faith when passages in scriptures seems difficult to decipher. How can we visualize, the Holy Trinity, a "Spirit united as One" with the "Spirit of God" in a diagram?

For the sake of clarity, we can see the God, a Spirit, "breath out a "spirit" to Adam to bring divine life to him. In contrast, Jesus upon resurrection also "breathed out" a "spirit" to all the Apostles to restore back "divine life" to them.

The question is, is the spirit that God the Father and Jesus breathed out is the "Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit", the Third Person in the Holy Trinity" or it is just a "spirit that emanates from them"?

If we accept, that the "spirit" that God the Father and Jesus breathed out, is just a "spirit" that emanates in their Spirit as God, then it will be helpful in understanding the three difficult passages in Proverbs8:22, Wisdom chapter 7 particularly Wisdom7:25 and Sirach chapter1. All this passages pertain to "Wisdom" a "spirit that was created or emanates from God, and it was created.

Let's look at Wisdom7:25. As it describes that a Spirit or Wisdom emanates from God, and this is the same Spirit that God "breath in" to Adam to give him divine life.

  • For she is a breath of the might of God and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled can enter into her.(Wisdom7:25)

Book of genesis described, God breath into Adam nostrils, God breath in him a "spirit" and this emanates from God.

Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living person.

And the gospel proving that Jesus is God or the one with the Father, they are co-substantial, after His resurrection, had shown that like the Father, Jesus can also "breath out" the "spirit" thru His own power.

When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John20:22)

Therefore, we can see that both the Father and Jesus breathed out the Spirit that brings "divine life" to Adam and restore it back to the Apostles.

The confusion arises, in interpreting Proverbs8:22 and it's parallel passages in Sirach1:7-9

“The LORD created me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.


Before all other things wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity.† The root of wisdom—to whom has it been revealed? Her subtleties—who knows them? There is but one, wise and truly awesome, seated upon his throne—the Lord. It is he who created her, saw her and measured her, Poured her forth upon all his works, upon every living thing according to his bounty, lavished her upon those who love him. (Sirach1:4-10)

And in the Book of Wisdom chapter 7 it was described this way, it pertains to a "Spirit" that emanates from God.

Nature and Incomparable Dignity of Wisdom For in her is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, Manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, Never harmful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent, kindly, Firm, secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing, And pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle. For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion, and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity. For she is a breath of the might of God and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled can enter into her. For she is the reflection of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. Although she is one, she can do all things, and she renews everything while herself perduring; Passing into holy souls from age to age, she produces friends of God and prophets. For God loves nothing so much as the one who dwells with Wisdom. For she is fairer than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars. Compared to light, she is found more radiant; though night supplants light, wickedness does not prevail over Wisdom.

Now all this biblical passages can be simply put in a diagram, using science to represent the Holy Trinity like the three isotopes of Hydrogen atom, and the electron orbiting represent the "spirit of wisdom" that emanates from God.enter image description here

Also, this illustration does not comes from Catholic Church, it is my own scientific way of representing the Holy Trinity with the spirit of Wisdom emanating from them. And take note, the Father represents the proton with a positive charge or Will unlike the Logos and Holy Ghost which represented the two neutrons because they will be both sent with "no authority" on their own. And the electron represents the Wisdom, that simply possess the power like the Omnipotent God, the electron or spirit is not God, but since it is all-knowing, the spirit is just an emanation or a reflection of God.

Refer again to the passage describing the "Nature and Incomparable Dignity of Wisdom" in book of wisdom chapter 7 as described by King Solomon.

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