CHAPTER II.

THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD.[1]

When we have ascertained that there is a person to whom the name Holy Spirit is applied, we can have little difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that he is a divine person. The following arguments establish this truth.

1. In the commission he is equally included with the Father and the Son, in the name into which we are baptised. If he is not God when we devote ourselves to him in our baptism, we are guilty of idolatry. It is no objection to this argument, that Paul says the Israelites were baptised unto Moses.[2] A formal baptism in the name of Moses is neither affirmed nor intended. An analogy is exhibited between the course of a believer who dedicates himself to Christ in baptism, and the course of the Israelites, who gave themselves up to the guidance of Moses, from the Red Sea to the promised land: but an analogy only is all that is intended. The Corinthians were not baptised in the name of Paul;[3] though it was their duty to follow him as he followed Christ: and the Israelites were not baptised in the name of Moses; though they followed him as their leader. The Angel, in whom the name of God was, went before them, in the pillar of cloud and fire; and Moses, equally with all the rest, followed his guidance, and acknowledged his authority.

2. In the benediction, the Spirit is named, equally with the Father and the Son, and regarded as the source of spiritual blessings. The words may be considered a prayer to the Holy Spirit, for the bestowment of these blessings.

3. When the bodies of believers are called the temple of the Holy Ghost,[4] the deity of the Holy Ghost is recognised. They to whom temples of wood or stone were erected, were regarded as deities: and he to whom the bodies of the saints are temples, must be God. But we are not left to our own inference on this subject. Paul has drawn the conclusion for us: for after having stated that the bodies of the saints are the temples of the Holy Ghost, he speaks of them as belonging to God;[5] and in another place, when speaking of the saints as a temple, he calls the building a "habitation of God through the Spirit."[6] The same view is presented in 1 Cor. iii. 16: "Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." So the heathen deities were imagined to dwell in the temples dedicated to them; and so God was in his holy temple at Jerusalem.

4. The heinousness of the sin against the Holy Ghost, is proof of his divinity. When Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost, Peter explained the enormity of their sin in these words: "Thou hast not lied to men, but to God."[7] To sin against the Holy Ghost, is to sin, not against a creature, but against God. This argument acquires greatly increased force, when we consider the words of Christ: "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.[8] Whatever be the reason that renders blasphemy against the Holy Ghost unpardonable, it must include in it that he is God. If he is not God, sin committed against him would be less heinous than that committed against the Father and the Son.

5. Passages of the Old Testament which speak of Jehovah, the Supreme God, are, in the New Testament, applied to the Holy Ghost.[9]

6. The attributes of God are applied, in Scripture, to the Holy Spirit.

Eternity. "Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God."[10]

Omnipresence. "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? and whither shall I flee from thy presence?"[11]

Omniscience. "The Spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God."[12]

7. Divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

Creation. "The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters."[13] "By his Spirit he garnished the heavens.[14]

Providence. "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth."[15]

Miracles. "If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you."[16] "To another is given the working of miracles by the same Spirit."[17]

Resurrection of Christ. "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."[18] "Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."[19]

Resurrection of believers. "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."[20]

[1] Matt. xxviii. 19; Heb. ix. 14; Ps. cxxxix. 7; 1 Cor. vi. 19; 2 Cor. vi. 16; Acts v. 3, 4.

[2] 1 Cor. x. 2.

[3] 1 Cor. i. 13.

[4] 1 Cor. vi. 19.

[5] 1 Cor. vi. 20.

[6] Eph. ii. 22.

[7] Acts v. 3, 4.

[8] Matt. xii. 31.

[9] Ex. xvii. 7 compared with Heb. iii. 9; Isaiah vi. 8, with Acts xxviii. 25; Jer. xxxi. 31-34, with Heb. x. 15-17.

[10] Heb. ix. 14.

[11] Ps. cxxxix. 7.

[12] 1 Cor. ii. 10.

[13] Gen. i. 2.

[14] Job xxvi. 13.

[15] Ps. civ. 30.

[16] Matt. xii. 28.

[17] 1 Cor. xii. 10.

[18] Rom. i. 4.

[19] 1 Pet. iii. 18.

[20] Rom. viii. 11.