The Holy Spirit Pt 4: The Person

The Holy Spirit Pt 4: The Person


1 John 5:7

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

This morning we are going to focus give consideration to the doctrine of the Trinity, that God is triune in his Godhead. That both God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is ONE LORD, AS IT TELLS US IN THE SCRIPTURE;

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Deuteronomy 6:4

That Christianity consists of “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:5-6)

And yet 

16 … without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the fleshjustified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

The very nature of the Godhead is a unity in plurality, that he is three persons but ONE Lord.

Just as man cannot be defined as physical only, (the materialist religious fervour of these days want to define man as nothing more than a material product of his environment, no). Man is Body, Soul and Spirit.

So too therefore we will see this morning that God is complete in and of himself and that no part of God can be separated. The Godhead consists of three persons and yet ONE Being.

Can we understand it? Well, no, but we can grasp its central truth.

In the many passages of the Bible we see that it is the Spirit of God that intercepts and that leads, that oversees and guides. We see that the Spirit of God IS God and, through a simple process of elimination, can be nothing else.

We know that there are differing spirits in the world. We know that there is a “spirit in man”, and yet it is “the inspiration of the Almighty that giveth him understanding” (Jb 32:8). We know that some “know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (Lk 9:55). We know also that there is “that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 Jn 4:3). There was an angel who became a “lying spirit in the mouth of all” the prophets who encouraged King Ahab to fall at the battle of Ramothgilead in 1 Kings 22:20-22. 

And finally we also know that there are many diverse “Unclean spirits” in the Bible, that take possession of the lives of many of those who do not have the Spirit of God in them. 

NB: Those who have the HOLY SPIRIT of God, CANNOT BE POSSESSED of ANY unclean spirit!!!!

This morning we will see the Holy Spirit as;

The Person (1 Jn 5:7)

The Creator (Gen 1:1)

The Convictor (Jn 16:8-11)

The Comforter (Jn 16:7)


The Person Of The Holy Spirit

1 John 5:5–8

5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 

6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

We naturally begin our consideration of the Spirit of God as a PERSON and not a thing or an entity that is not understood to have the nature of a person. 

Personhood is established both in this passage and many others, and that personhood is distinct from the other two members of the Godhead.

This passage is a passage that culminates, reckons or summarises EVERYTHING we find throughout the bible concerning the relationship of the Holy Spirit of God in the Godhead, and places it into one very clear and absolute verse.

All though scripture we see the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter etc, we see him act and behave as a separate and distinct entity and yet we also see him directly involved in ALL the aspects attended to by both the Father and the Son.

From creation (Gen 1:1-2) to salvation (John 3:6), from to the raising of Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11) to giving life to all flesh (Gen 2:7, Jn 6:63), and ultimately that which we also know; that he, together with BOTH the father and the Son dwells in you (Rom 8:11). 

And it is equally intriguing that Jesus himself speaks of the greatest offence that can ever be levelled against God is Blasphemy, that which blasphemes either he or the father are forgivable, but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which those who ascribe him as INFINITELY lower as a created being risk doing, is UNFORGIVABLE (Matt 12:31). 

Somehow, that text needs to be explained if the Holy Sprit is NOT God. 

How is it possible to sin against an incorporeal entity, one that never manifests in physical form, and such a sin require forgiveness, and yet a choice made by that same incorporeal entity to deny it, if he were not God?

It has been said, and indeed has been practised, that verse 7 in this passage in 1 John 5 was added later and not found in earlier copies. It quite an astounding claim but requires qualification. 

First the Physical:

It is admitted that by strict consideration of the collated greek manuscripts to date, the passage in 1 John 5:7 is omitted, 

(I say “Collated” because there are thousands of Greek manuscripts that have NOT been Collated. Dr Jack Moorman in his book “When The KJV Departs from the Majority text, States

“It may come as a surprise that only a relative few of the … manuscripts now catalogued have been collated. High percentage of collation has been limited to the papyri fragments, earlier uncials, and those cursives which give some support to the Alexandrian text” [1]

Nevertheless, the greek manuscripts of the New Testament are not the ONLY place we find evidence. 

For example, the passage has long been quoted by 2nd, 3rd and 4th Century Church fathers, Cyprian (c 250ad), Cassiodorus (480 ad) etc. (Quite difficult to do if it never appeared until the 15th or 16th Century). How does one quote a verse that does not exist until one thousand years later?

The verse is found in thousands of early Latin manuscripts in the west, while not in the greek speaking east. According to a 19th century Scholar Robert Lewis Dabney; 

“Those who are best acquainted with the history of Christian opinion know best, that Origen (185-253 ad) was the great corrupter (in the east), and the source, or at least earliest channel, of nearly all the speculative errors which plagued the church in after ages… He expressly denied the consubstantial unity of the Persons and the proper incarnation of the Godhead—the very propositions most clearly asserted in the doctrinal various readings we have under review.” [2]

 Second, the internal.

There are many internal evidences that show the text must have been genuine from the beginning. The most significant for me is, to what are the witnesses on earth agreeing to?

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

They don’t seem to be agreeing with any other witness than themselves over that which is stated in verse 6. And how can anything agree as a witness that has no personhood if there are not persons they testify with? Verse 6 does not provide it, but verse 7 does.

For example, the altar built on the wrong side of the Jordan is said to be a “witness between us, and you, and our generations after us” in Josh 22:25. A non person witness can ONLY witness that which has person. This is seen EVERYWHERE in the Bible. The 12 stones placed in the Jordan testify to the crossing of the Jordan. The stones that witnessed the entry of Christ as king in Mark 5:5 would cry out in testimony of his presentation as King.

That is the way in which non-person items “Witness” or “Agree” with anything.

Dabney makes the note of this writing;

“if the excision is made, then the proposition at the end of the eighth verse [and these three agree in one], contains an unintelligible reference… “And these three agree to that (aforesaid) One”… What is that aforesaid unity to which these three agree? If the seventh verse is exscinded, there is none… Let the seventh verse stand, and all is clear: the three earthly witnesses testify to that aforementioned unity which the Father, Word, and Spirit constitute.”[3]

I would add the argument that the juxtaposition of those witnessing in earth with those they agree with in heaven is perfectly aligns with all of the scriptures in both the New but especially the Old Testament, as we have all the foreshadowing witnesses on earth to that which is in heaven.

There is so much more but I do not want to spend more time here.

Turn to 

John 14:15–17

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 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.

John 14:15-17 is one of the clearest passages that present the Spirit of Truth, also referred to clearly as “the Holy Ghost” in verse 26, as a PERSON. Every pronoun in the passage identifies the Spirit of God in just such a way. 

The Creator (Gen 1:1)

Genesis 1:1–2

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The first verse of the Bible is the single most important verse in the Bible. 

It gives to mankind the strongest foundation of all to build upon, teaching with absolute certainty, not only that God is, but that he created all things.

With out verse 1, we should not know that God preceeded all that exists;

In the beginning God”, speaks to the origin of TIME itself. 

Time had a beginning, in other words that was a time before the beginning of time that time was not…. Ok, not simple to understand how we can say that there was a time when there was not time, but you get my point, even if you can’t comprehend a time without time. 

The point is that the universe is NOT “all there is and all there every was or all that ever shall be”. Carl Sagan who coined that phrase of the Cosmos and died in 1996 and knows better now. 

And so science has finally caught up with the Bible to tell us what we have already long known, and that is that the universe and all we see had a beginning. TIME HAD A BEGINNING.

But that is not all; God created also the HEAVEN, and so Space had an origin also at the beginning of TIME. 

Again, it is impossible for us to comprehend an existence without  Space, we sit that and try to wonder what kind of an existence would exist if there was no space for existence to exist in….and we end up in the same place as we did contemplating a time without time.

But again, Science finally caught up with the first chapter of the Bible and came to understand that Space had a beginning and is therefore, as a result, NOT INFINITE. Space does NOT go on for every and ever, there is an end to it we do not understand. Again, what is at the end of the Universe? 

Lastly we see, in the first verse of the first book of the Bible yet another understanding of the origin of all and that is the creation of matter;

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Beloved we have not past the first ten words of the Bible and already have come to some of the most profound concepts that the secular scientific community has taken the last hundred year to comprehend. 

Paganism itself going back millennia, believing just like the secular world did in the time of Sagan and others, that time, space and matter were eternal. But they are NOT

BUT they have ALSO come to understand that TIME, SPACE AND MATTER are INSEPARABLE components of the ONE Universe, you cannot have this UNIVERSE without both TIME, SPACE AND MATTER. 

In other words, we live in a TRI-Universe.

Dr Henry Morris, in his commentary on the book of Genesis wrote;

Not only does the first verse of the Bible speak of the creation of space and matter, but it also notes the beginning of time. The universe is actually a continuum of space, matter, and time, no one of which can have a meaningful existence without the other two. The term matter is understood to include energy, and must function in both space and time. “Space” is measurable and accessible to sense observation only in terms of the entities that exist and the events that happen in space, and these require both matter and time. The concept time likewise is meaningful only in terms of entities and events existing and transpiring during time, which likewise require space and matter.[4]

He therefore refers to creation as a tri-universe, understanding and finding in it a hint of the reality of God. 

He goes on to speak of the difference between a Tri-unity and a Triad, saying

tri-unity is not the same as a triad (in which there are three distinct and separate components comprising a system), but rather is a continuum in which each component is itself coexistent and coterminous with the whole. That is, the universe is not part space, part time, and part matter, but rather all space, all time, all matter, and so is a true tri-unity.[5]

Cornelius Van-Til sees the same picture in the reality of God as a trinity, and says that in his triune nature he is perfectly  

“self-contained and self-sufficient”.[6]

But we find equally another concept as we give consideration to this triune nature of the Universe, and that is that each of the three elements of the universe that cannot exist in isolation, are also TRIUNE in nature.


TIME; Exists after its first moment as PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. We simply cannot conceive of time in any other way. (We are creatures created in time and so there is no ability to think of it differently).

SPACE: Respecting space we understand that it is measurable as both Length, Width and Depth, 3 dimensions that form ONE reality in which we all abide and exist. We cannot exist as three dimensional beings in a two dimensional plane!

Matter: also has its function in three forms, some see it composed as “Solid, Liquid and Gas”, others such as Dennis Gordon Lindsay in his book on The Origins Controversy, believes;

Matter involves these three facets: energy, motion, and phenomenon; there is nothing that exists which cannot directly be included in one of these. Each part of matter is distinct, yet each part of matter involves the whole of matter, and none of the three parts can exist by itself without the other two[7]

Whichever it is that you prefer to consider, Time, Space and Matter are a trinity of trinities and we would ask ourselves if they also potentially represent the very nature of the creator.


The Future is the unseen source of time, not manifested, that equates to the unseen Father.

The present is the manifestation and realisation of Time, that equates to the manifestation of God in the Son who SHOWS the Father.

The Past is the invisible influence that continues to affect us well after the present is experienced; like God the Spirit, who continues to both bring Glory to the Son through ongoing consequence, but also teaches us just as historic time is supposed to teach every man. 


It is through the mathematical dimensions of Space that we live and move and have our being that we can comprehend the Triune nature of God as not 1 +1 +1, for this ONLY can equal 3, Space teaches us that God is a product of himself and cannot exist BUT by the mathematical formula of 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. 

Space reveals God as three in one mathematically. God is not a composite, but a product of himself, three persons and one being.

MATTER: The components of matter can equally reveal the nature of God, whether it be in the Solid, Liquid and Gas state or as Dennis Lindsay proposes as Energy, Motion and Phenomenon. 

God is the ever present source in which the other two forms exist, if we are to take the Solid as this form. 

The Liquid may reveal the servant whom Isaiah 53 reveals “hath poured out his soul unto death: and was numbered with the transgressors” (Isa 53:12)

The divine Spirit of God as that unseen but evident gas that was first breathed into the nostrils of the first man “the breath of life” in Gen 2:7, and then breathed by Christ onto the disciples in John 20:22

And we can make analogies on varying degree on this matter also. Incredible how often it is the Spirit of God that is poured out, the Son manifesting the reality of God who is the Unseen Influence in the world etc.

The point is that both creation, the elements of creation, and the attributes of each of those elements reveal the triune nature of God.


The Convictor

John 16:7–11

7 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: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The Spirit of God does not sit idly by as the sin of the world continues to run unmolested. 

Jesus spoke of him as being active within the world and having the function on the one hadn’t to bring comfort to those who belong to Christ, but also having the eternal work of manifesting in the hearts of those now pricked in the hearts of their sin.

This is the work of the Spirit of God.

If you ever attend a Church service and are NOT convinced of sin, it may be that the Spirit of God is NOT manifesting himself in that service. 

People are Pricked and even “OFFENDED” in the hearing of their sin, and it is clearly the Spirit of God that does so.

turn to Acts 7

Now Stephen, a spirit filled deacon in the Church, was being charged with error after he was disputing with certain men who finally “set up false witness” against him in Acts 6:13 to which he gives his answer and defence in chapter 7.

Stephen expounds to the Jew their entire unfaithful history in 50 verses, showing how the Holy Spirit of God had been rejected by them all their days, and he concludes with this final word which has a notable affect on the ears of the hearers; 

Acts 7:51–60

51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. 

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The men were truthfully condemned for their sin and their resistance of the God whose only desire was to save them from their sin.

The Spirit of God is the one who pricks your hearts for your sin, but if your only response is that of stubbornness, how are you NOT rebelling against your own selves???

Jonah wrote one line that we would all do well to consider in EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES;

Jonah 2:8

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

You can read it in Jonah 2:8; but where was he when he wrote that statement? He referred to the belly of the whale as “the belly of hell” in verse 2.

Will you wait until you find yourself in the belly of hell before you realise that you have observed the lying vanities you tell yourself? Do you not yet see that it is the spirit of God that reproves you of sin and in your disregard, you forsake your own mercy?

It is the Spirit of God, not an angel, not a man that will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Jesus died for your sin. 

He gave his life for you and all you need do is believe it. The Spirit of God does not reprove sin just to make you feel bad, he does so that you may be warned of the danger you are in for your sin.

The wages of sin is death; BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:23). There is no risk in being removed of the sin you KNOW exists, but there is great risk in forsaking your own mercy.

But the Spirit of God does not only reprove the world of sin, he does so in those who ALSO belong to Christ. 

Turn to Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:17–24

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

2 Timothy speaks of the state of the Church in the last days, when “perilous times shall come” and you can read about it in 2 Tim 3:1-5. 

The behaviour is quite astonishing, but it does not occur in a vacuum

There was a gradual build up of the denial of the conviction of sin in their lives, and long have they lived lives apart from faith. They trusted long in the vanity of their minds and, like the gentiles who know not Christ, began to have their understanding darkened… because of the blindness of their heart.

This is SPEAKING OF CHRISTIANS in the book of Ephesians, not the lost!

How did this occur? 

Are you at risk of it beloved? 

Would you be willing to be tried in this matter? 

In Matthew 6:24 AND in Luke 16:13 Jesus spoke of our choice of serving only ONE out of TWO masters. We cannot serve both, and I would say most Christians deny they suffer from this sin, but their actions testify better which it is they ultimately place their trust. 

If there was ANY SIN Christians despise being reproved of, Jesus seems to have identified it;

Matthew 6:24

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Money is the final frontier of sin in the hearts of Christians. 

This is the last battle. 

Jesus identified the FINAL sin in Christians that needs to be overcome IF they are to learn to live by faith.

But if your “former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lust” will not be convicted of sin respecting the comfort with which you are comforted by the ONLY alternative to God; you risk one day having your understanding darkened.

Beloved, it is the Spirit that awakens us and bids us to turn from our old life and be comforted, for 

17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)


The Comforter

John 14:15–17

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 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.

The “Comforter: (v 15) is “Even the Spirit of truth”. In verse 26 he is most clearly identified, Jesus saying;

John 14:26–27

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. 

First we see a limitation, he is not given to all people. 

He is not for the world, the world “cannot receive” him. 

The world does not KNOW him, but YOU DO, for not only does he “dwell with you” but is “in you”.

The portion of the ministry of the Holy Spirit that is given to you when you were saved, is one of comfort! Have you availed yourself beloved of the comfort from the comforter sent by Christ?

Are you praying beloved?

When Jesus was in the garden in the greatest agony none of us have ever experienced, so great he “sweat great drops of blood”, Luke also tells us an angel appears unto him from heaven, strengthening him”. We are not told that this is the Holy Spirit, but we do know that even angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb 1:14).

But we avail ourselves of the comfort from God when we pray. 

In verse 27 of this passage Jesus added;

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The world can never know what it is like to have the peace that passes all understanding, but we do. 

Australia is largely awaiting with bated breath the outcome of the referendum we have no knowledge of, many are fearful and have no peace.

The world is turning inside out, and many have their trust in things temporal rather than eternal, they have no hope and can have none, especially if their practical trust is in those things that can so easily be taken away.

Where is your comfort beloved?

The Spirit of God is given us to bring us the true Comfort, HE is THE COMFORTER. 

The world lives in, vain hope, sorrows and daily fearing tomorrow, but we are not given a spirit of fear;

2 Timothy 1:7

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Are you availing yourself of the Comforter?

Are you practically trusting in him? Or is it the things of this world you have your trust in; the Politics, the flesh, the “mammon”?

NO, he is not to be prayed to, be careful here, remember whom the Spirit of God came to glorify, commit your prayers to God, but know that it is his Spirit that brings you comfort and joy.

He is the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

[1]. Dr Jack Moorman, When the KJV Departs From The Majority Text. Pg 4

[2]. R. L Dabney, Discursions of Robert Lewis Dabney, biographical sketch by B. B. Warfield,2 vols. (Carlisle, PA, USA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), Origen’s “opinions on the Trinity veered between Sabellianism and Arianism.’ (pp.383–84).

[3]. Ibid., p.378.

[4]. Morris, H.M. (1976) The Genesis record: a scientific and devotional commentary on the book of beginnings. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, p. 41.

[5]. Morris, H.M. (1976) The Genesis record: a scientific and devotional commentary on the book of beginnings. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, pp. 41–42.

[6]. Van Til, C. and Edgar, W. (2003) Christian apologetics. 2nd ed. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, p. 8.

[7]. Lindsay, D.G. (1991) The origins controversy: creation or chance. Dallas, TX: Christ for the Nations (Creation Series).


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