Torrey - Holy Spirit -1.2- Person Pronouns

II. THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THE USE OF PERSONAL PRONOUNS John 15:26 — -"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me. John 16:7-8 — "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when he is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." John 16:13-14" Howbeit when He, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he will not speak of Himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."

First Proposition: Various pronouns that clearly imply personality are repeatedly used of the Holy Spirit.

The use of these pronouns is remarkable considering that in the Greek language the word for "spirit" is a neuter noun, and according to Greek usage, the pronouns that refer to spirit should be neuter. Yet in numerous instances a masculine pronoun is used, thus bringing out very strikingly how the Bible idea of the personality of the Holy Spirit dominates grammatical construction. There are instances, of course, where the natural grammatical usage is followed and a neuter pronoun used ( Romans 8:16,26). But in many instances this construction is set aside and the masculine personal pronoun used to refer to the neuter noun.

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS ASCRIBED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

1 Corinthians 2:10-11 — "For God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

Knowledge is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:11 — "But all these worketh that one and the self:same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."

Will is ascribed to the Spirit. Romans 8:27 — "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

Mind is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The word here translated "mind" is a comprehensive word including the ideas of thought, feeling and purpose. (Compare to Romans 8:7 — "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.") Romans 15:30 — "Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me."

Love is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Nehemiah 9:20 — "Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst."

Intelligence and goodness are ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Note that this passage is from the Old Testament, where the truth of the personality of the Holy Spirit is not as fully developed as in the New Testament. Ephesians 4:30 — "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

Grief is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit thinks, feels, purposes, knows, wills, loves, grieves.

Second Proposition: Many characteristics that only a person can possess are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

PERSONAL ACTS ASCRIBED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

1 Corinthians 2:10 — "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God. Revelation 2:7 — "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

The Holy Spirit speaks. Galatians 4:6 — "And because ye are sons. God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

The Holy Spirit cries out. Romans 8:26, R.V. — "And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered."

The Holy Spirit intercedes. John 15:26 — "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

The Holy Spirit testifies. John 14:26 — "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (Compare John 16:12-14 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." Nehemiah 9:20 — "Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.") The Holy Spirit teaches all the truth. Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

The Holy Spirit leads, or directs believers in what to do. Acts 16:6-7 — "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; but the Spirit suffered them not."

The Holy Spirit commands. Acts 13:2 — "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." Acts 20:28 — "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

The Holy Spirit calls us to work and appoints our role or office. John 15:26 — -"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

The Holy Spirit goes forth upon missions to which He is sent.

Third Proposition: Many acts that only a person can perform are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

PERSONAL OFFICE

John 14:16-17 — "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

It is the office of the Holy Spirit to be "another Comforter" (or paraclete) to take the place of the absent Savior. Is it possible that Jesus Christ could use such language in speaking of an impersonal influence or power?

Fourth Proposition: An office is predicated of the Holy Spirit that could only be predicated of a person.

PERSONAL TREATMENT ASCRIBED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Isaiah 63:10 R.V. — "But they rebelled, and grieved his holy spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them."

The Holy Spirit can be rebelled against and grieved, or offended. (Compare to Ephesians 4:30.) Hebrews 10:29 — "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he is sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace."

The Holy Spirit can perceive when people treat it with despite. Acts 5:3 — "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?"

The Holy Spirit can be lied to. Matthew 12:31-32 — "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

The Holy Spirit can be blasphemed against.

Fifth Proposition: A treatment is predicated of the Holy Spirit that could only be predicated of a person.

Concluding Proposition: The Holy Spirit is a person.

Theoretically we may believe this. Do we in our real thought of Him, or in our practical attitude toward Him, treat Him as a person? Do we regard Him as indeed as real a person as Jesus Christ — as loving, wise and strong, as worthy of our confidence and love and surrender, as He? He came to be to the disciples, and to us, what Christ had been to them during the days of His personal companionship with them ( John 14:16-17). Do we know "the communion or fellowship" of the Holy Ghost ( Corinthians 13:14)?