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The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

09.24.14 | by R. A. Torrey

The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

    Chapter III. The Distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and from His Son, Jesus Christ.

    We have seen thus far that the Holy Spirit is a Person and a Divine Person. And now another question arises, Is He as a Person separate and distinct from the Father and from the Son? One who carefully studies the New Testament statements cannot but discover that beyond a question He is. We read in Luke iii. 21, 22, “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.” Here the clearest possible distinction is drawn between Jesus Christ, who was on earth, and the Father who spoke to Him from heaven as one person speaks to another person, and the Holy Spirit who descended in a bodily form as a dove from the Father, who was speaking, to the Son, to whom He was speaking, and rested upon the Son as a Person separate and distinct from Himself. We see a clear distinction drawn between the name of the Father and that of the Son and that of the Holy Spirit in Matt, xxviii. 19, where we read, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,and of the Holy Ghost.” The distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son comes out again with exceeding clearness in John xiv. 16. Here we read, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” Here we see the one Person, the Son, praying to another Person, the Father, and the Father to whom He prays giving another Person, another Comforter, in answer to the prayer of the second Person, the Son. If words mean anything, and certainly in the Bible they mean what they say, there can be no mistaking it, that the Father and the Son and the Spirit are three distinct and separate Persons.

    Again in John xvi. 7, a clear distinction is drawn between Jesus who goes away to the Father and the Holy Spirit who comes from the Father to take His place. Jesus says, “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.” A similar distinction is drawn in Acts ii. 33, where we read, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” In this passage, the clearest possible distinction is drawn between the Son exalted to the right hand of the Father and the Father to whose right hand He is exalted, and the Holy Spirit whom the Son receives from the Father and sheds forth upon the Church.

    To sum it all up, again and again the Bible draws the clearest possible distinction between the three Persons, the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son. They are three separate personalities, having mutual relations to one another, acting upon one another, speaking of or to one another, applying the pronouns of the second and third persons to one another.