The Third Person in the Trinity: Scriptural Data


I was contacted by someone in close proximity of the leadership of a group that I tagged as a group to stay away from (here). I was very appreciative for the e-mail – both for its humility and desire to explain the position of Pastor John’s House group.

I don’t carry on ongoing one-on-on correspondence with females who are not my wife. And I thought it best to respond to this person’s questions by addressing my readers so they are able to understand the third person of the Trinity better.

The e-mailer said:

“For some reason, I have been thinking about the Trinity a lot this week… just how it seems to me to have such clearly pagan roots.  And I was thinking about Paul’s letters.  I just recently noticed for the first time that all of them start off with something like, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”  It seems like if the Spirit was a person equal to Jesus and the Father that Paul wouldn’t have dared to leave Him out.  What do you think?” (original emphasis).

As regards pagan roots, the same has been said of the Christians’ claim that Jesus is divine. Christians, however, submit to the Scriptures. So what do the Scriptures say about the Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Here are some scriptural attestations to the Holy Spirit’s person and equivalency to the Father and Son with some thoughts by your truly:

Acts 5.3 – Ananias & Sapphira lie to the Holy Spirit (who is God). Note that Peter tells them that they have lied to God in v.4, while in v.3 he tells them they lied to the Holy Spirit

Mt 28.18-20 – The Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just as this Trinitarian formula has been one of the texts used to explain Jesus’ divinity, so it is used for the 3rd person of the Trinity. Note the use of the singular word “Name” of God…not names (highlighting their unity as God)

Jn 14.16 – A Helper of the same kind. The Greek word used here is ἄλλος , which means “another of the same kind” whereas the Greek word ἕτερος means “another of a different kind” (see Mt 6.24)

More to come…

Comments 3

  1. God the Father is the Holy Spirit and his Spirit he shares is called the Holy Spirit

    When eleven disciples were given the command by Jesus, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, ” (Mathew 28:19) did the disciples understand this to be three separate Deities as the Trinity theory like you to believe? In Acts 2, was it not these same eleven disciples who went to Jerusalem? They just received the Holy Spirit. And Peter speaking by the Holy Spirit explained it to the thousands of Jews who had just gathered in Jerusalem. He quoted the book of Joel:
    “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. ” This is how the eleven disciple understood the Holy Spirit as being poured out from the Father and not a separate God the Holy Spirit. In the same speech Peter also states at Acts 2:33 “he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” These statements are direct and there are no interpretations that have to be made. From reading these statements God is a witness and the eleven disciples. And the three thousand people who were baptized that day believed in this fact. (Act 2:40) Also I like to draw your attention to fact the Peter also calls God the Father at Acts 2:33 which backs up his belief of saying to Jesus “You are Christ the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:14-16) Jesus called God his Father. ( John 8:54-55. John 17:3) Paul did likewise. (1 Cor 8:4-6, Gal 1:1-5) In fact every book that the apostle Paul has written in his introductions proclaims God as the Father. You have to understand that God is the Father before you can understand the Holy Spirit. At Acts 5:3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” If Jesus believed that God is the Father, and Paul believed that God is the Father and finally Peter believed that God is the Father at Act 2:33, so if Peter here said that “you have lied to the Holy Spirit” and then said “You have not lied to men but to God.” I like to proclaim that the Father is the Holy Spirit and his spirit he poured out is called the Holy Spirit. This is not a third Deity.

  2. Your presupposition has convoluted the biblical, orthodox teaching. You have come to the text assuming that what orthodoxy has taught is that there is a third deity. This is a horrible mis-read. The Church Fathers labored diligently to show that there are three persons and one nature/essence.

    With your proposal, there is a confusion between the Spirit and the Father. I would venture to say there is confusion between the Father and the Son as well! Given your hermeneutic, you would have serious problems with Jesus’ statement, “The Father and I are one;” or “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Identification does not equal equivocation. This is essential so that one does not make the same mistake Arius and the Novatians made.

    Read the rest of my posts as to why the Holy Spirit is a person and not merely an emanation of the Father. I would like to hear your reply to http://offthewire.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/distinct-personality-of-the-spirit/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *