Who or What is the Holy Spirit

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There is a doctrine stating that the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is the third person of a trinity godhead; whatever a trinity godhead is. The idea of the Holy Spirit as the third person of God was not conceived until about a hundred and fifty years after the death of Christ, It was not until the Synod of Alexandria in 362 A. D. that this hypothesis became doctrine. The following is from the church that gave us the trinity doctrine.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Trinity: The Dogma of the Trinity:
The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion-the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are THREE PERSONS, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these THREE PERSONS being truly distinct one from another. The Persons are CO-ETERNAL and CO-EQUAL: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent. In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Divine Persons are denoted together. The word TPIAS (of which the Latin TRINITAS is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180. He speaks of “the TRINITY of God [the Father], His WORD and His WISDOM” (“AD. AUTO1”., II, 15, P.G., VI, 1078). The term may, of course have been in use before his time. Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of TRINITAS in Tertullian (“De pud”, c. xxi, P.G., II 1026). In the next century the word is in general use. It is found in many passages of origin. The writers of this school contend that The doctrine of the Trinity, as professed by the Church, is not contained in the New Testament, but it was first formulated in the second century and recieved final aprobation in the fourth century, as the result of the Arian and Macedonian controversies.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia - 1967, VOL. XIV, PAGE 299:

The formulation “one God in three Persons" was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the fourth century. But it is precisely this formulation that first claimed to title “The Trinitarian Dogma.” Among the apostlic fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.

There is not a specific scripture in the Bible that says, “the Holy Spirit is” and proceeds to define it for us. However, we can determine the nature of the spirit through comparative study.

There are more than a half dozen Hebrew and Greek words in the Old and New Testaments translated as spirit, ghost, or soul. All of them have to do with the blowing of the wind or the breath of a living creature. In Genesis, one of these words, neshamah, was translated breath. Nephesh, became soul, meaning a breathing creature.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit], and man became a living soul [a living, breathing creature]. Genesis 2:7

In this instance, spirit and soul is simply the essence of being alive. Jesus compared the Spirit to wind in John.

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:1-8

Although it was not a mystery to Jesus, the wind was a mystery to people in those days. Today we understand the causes of the wind, “whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.” The spirit, however, is still a mystery.

Concerning being “born again,” Jesus said, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Except for God and Jesus, we do not know anyone who is spirit. Everyone we know is flesh. In this sense, no one is yet born again. The resurrection is when we will be born again. I Corinthians 15:42-45 says,

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown m dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

The last Adam was Jesus! “To quicken” means to keep alive or make alive. So spirit, in general, is the power from God that gives and sustains life (the breath of life). The Holy Spirit is the power from God that leads to eternal life. Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to water in the Gospel of John. He was speaking to a Samaritan woman of whom He asked a drink.

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John4:13-14

The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit in many ways. Study these various characterizations of the Spirit. They will help you understand the nature of the Holy Spirit.

Here is a list of references to the Spirit: Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, the Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus Christ, Spirit of the Lord , Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the living God, Spirit of our God, Spirit of your Father, holy Spirit of God, Spirit which is of God, Spirit of His Son, his Holy Spirit, My Spirit, His Spirit, the Lord is that Spirit, Spirit of grace, holy Spirit of promise, Spirit of adoption, Spirit of life in Christ, Spirit of life from God, the Spirit itself.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Jesus. It is through the Spirit that God is omnipresent. This is how the church, although many individuals, is one body. Christ is the head of that body. Their Spirit is our connection to Them and to other Christians. The apostle Paul gives the best explanation of this connection to God.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. I Corinthians 12:12-13

For through him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:18-22

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:16-21

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:17-18

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. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:9-11

Jesus’ own words betray the essence of the Holy Spirit.

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:5-13

God will give to each of us a portion of His Spirit if we ask with Importunity. “Ask, and it shall be given you.” The gift of the Holy Spirit to us is an “earnest” or down payment on eternal life. II Corinthians 1:21-22 says,

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Speaking of the promise of eternal life, II Corinthians 5:5 says,

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

Concerning Christ, the spiritual blessing that He bestowed upon us, and being predestined to become children of God, Ephesians 1:11-14 states,

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We are “the purchased possession” “sealed with the Holy Spirit promise.” We will be redeemed in the resurrection. Payment in full!

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