The Spirit’s Deity and Divine Attributes

Renewalists believe that the Spirit has the divine nature and attributes of God. This post summarizes Scripture references and has a summary table of the attributes that the Father, Son, and Spirit share.

For clarity and conciseness, let’s use the outline format.

I… The Spirit has the divine nature of God.

A.. He is called God.

In Luke 1:32 Gabriel says that Mary will conceive a child by the Spirit, and then goes on to say he will be the son of the Most High God. Yes, this speaks of the Father, but the Spirit was the agent for impregnation, because 1:35 confirms that the Spirit was the Most High. Specifically, the Spirit will come upon Mary, and the Most High will overshadow her. It was not the Father who overshadowed her. (Luke 1:32, 35)

In Acts 5:3-4, Peter said that Ananias lied both to God and the Spirit, equating the two.

B.. The Holy Spirit is identified with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus.

When Paul and his team wanted to go into Asia, the Holy Spirit did not permit them, and then he was called the Spirit of Jesus. (Acts 16:6-7)

Paul easily and skillfully goes from the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, which implies the Triunity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:9)

Then he repeats this theology of unity by saying the Spirit cries in our hearts Abba father, because we have received the spirit of sonship. This means the Triunity of God. (Rom. 8:13-14)

In 2 Cor. 3:17 Paul says “the Lord is the Spirit,” indicating the close connection of the Spirit with the other two persons of the Triunity and the Spirit’s deity.

C.. He is united with the Father and Son.

In this great Triunity formula, Jesus said believers should go forth in all the world and baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19)

Paul believed early on in the Triunity of God: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14)

II… He has the characteristics of God.

A.. He is eternal.

Christ offered his blood in place of the blood of animals, through the eternal Spirit, so he can present us with clean consciences (Heb. 9:14). In v. 12, Jesus obtained eternal redemption. Our salvation, thanks to Jesus and the Spirit, are eternal.

B.. He is present everywhere (omnipresent).

David asked of God: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Then he answered in the following verses that he can go nowhere without the Spirit caring and seeing him (Ps. 139:7-10)

C.. All-knowing (omniscient).

The Spirit searches the deep things of God, and since it is clear the Father is omniscient, the Spirit is too. (1 Cor. 2:10-11)

D.. He has great power.

In a moment of clarity, one of Job’s comforters says that God the Spirit is Almighty. (Job. 33:4)

This power comes upon believers, who do not become omnipotent, but they can share in the Spirit’s power (Acts 1:8).

The Spirit worked signs and wonders, which is just a small taste of his omnipotence—when diseases get healed, for example (Rom. 15:19).

E.. He raised Christ from the dead.

Yes, the Spirit raised Christ from the dead, but it is wonderful that the verses goes on to say that this same Spirit lives in us and gives life to our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11).

Jesus was put to death in his body, but was raised to life by the Spirit (1 Pet. 3:18).

F.. He performs miracles.

Jesus said he drove out demons by the Spirit of God. Jesus was anointed with the Spirit at his baptism, so he is called the Messiach or the Christ, both meaning the “Anointed One” (Matt. 12:28).

And we just saw that the Spirit worked signs and wonders through Paul’s ministry (Rom. 15:19).

G.. He created.

The Spirit brooded over the waters when God made the heavens and the earth. Often the Hebrew word ru’ach can be translated as “wind,” but readers of the New Covenant, which fulfills the Old Covenant Scriptures, see the Spirit working here (Gen. 1:2).

H.. He gives spiritual life to us.

The Spirit gives life (John 6:63). The Father and Son gives life (John 5:21). Once again the Triunity works together in perfect harmony.

Let’s summarize the above attributes and then add more of them which all three persons of the Triunity share.

ATTRIBUTES OF THE TRIUNE GOD

Attribute Father Son Holy Spirit
Life Jos. 3:10 John 1:4 Rom. 8:2
Omniscience Ps. 139:1-6 John 4:17-18 1 Cor. 2:10-12
Omnipotence Gen. 1:1 John 1:3 Job. 33:4
Omnipresence Jer. 23:23-24 Matt. 28:20 Ps. 139:7-10
Eternity Ps. 90:2 John 1:1 Heb. 9:4
Holiness Lev. 11:44 Acts 3:14 Matt. 12:32
Love 1 John 4:8 Rom. 8:37-39 Gal. 5:22
Truth John 3:33 John 14:6 John 14:17
Glory Ex. 16:7 1 Cor. 2:8 1 Pet. 4:14
Wisdom Job 9:4 Col. 2:2b-3 Eph. 1:17
Graciousness Is. 30:18 Eph. 2:4-9 Heb. 10:29
Peacefulness Rom. 15:13 Eph. 2:14 Rom. 6:6
Goodness Exod. 33:19 John 10:11, 14 Gal. 5:22-23
Patience Rom. 2:4 1 Tim. 1:16 Gal. 5:22-23
Faithfulness 1 Cor. 1:9 Rev. 19:11 Gal. 5:22-23
Righteousness Rom. 3:21-26 Acts 7:52 Rom. 14:17
Joy Neh. 8:10 John 17:13 Rom. 14:17

In the right column, Gal. 5:22-23 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. The main point is that if the Spirit produces those fruits, then he must have them in his person.

How does this post help me get closer to the Spirit?

One of the many drawback of the Web—and there are many good things about it—is that anyone can blurt out their ideas, without thinking too much about them. They don’t reflect on the issues. One of the deeper issues is the Triunity (also called the Trinity). It says that one God exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons share the same attributes or divine nature. This sharing one divine nature revealed in those numerous attributes means that they are deity. In other word:

One Divine Nature in Common = One God or Unity

Three persons who share this one divine nature = Tri

Tri + Unity = Triunity.

So Christians are monotheists, but hold to a very special monotheism—we are Trinitarian monotheists.

You can get to know all three persons of the Triunity. You can know the Father. You can get to know Jesus more intimately. And you can know the Spirit more intimately.

Written by James Malcolm

SOURCES

Works Cited at Renewal Theology

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