Q&A: The Holy Spirit in the Farewell Discourse

The Holy Spirit in the Farewell Discourse

How do Jesus words in the Farewell Discourse in John 14 - 16 point to the deity and distinct personhood of the Holy Spirit?

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Answer

You know, when we come to the New Testament there are a number of texts that clearly address the person of Christian and focus and emphasize his deity. I think of John 1, Philippians 2, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1. So then people often ask me the question, Well, do we have similar texts that address the Holy Spirit in terms of his deity? And the answer is no, but. If you go to the Upper Room Discourse, the farewell discourse of John 14 through 16, you actually find there the most sustained argument for the person and the deity of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, for example, speaks of him not as an "it" but as a "he." He is a distinct personality, he's not a force or a power like electricity or something of that nature, but he is a real person. Furthermore, he has a ministry and assignment that exactly parallels that of the Lord Jesus Christ, which clearly again would imply deity. Within that passage of Scripture he refers to him specifically as the Spirit of God, and in a number of instances calls him the Comforter "like I've been comforting you." And so, you find there both a focus upon his personality, you also find a focus upon his deity. And then you also find a emphasis that why did he come? Did he come to draw attention to himself? No. That's one of the problems with some of our neo-Pentecostal and Charismatic brothers and sisters. They give more attention to the Holy Spirit than they do Jesus, and that is never the intention of the Holy Spirit. He came specifically to bring glory and honor to the Son, and he delights in doing that. So, you see this beautiful dynamic in the Upper Room Discourse, not just between the Spirit and the Son but also the Father, so that that is not only rich territory for talking about the person and the deity of the Holy Spirit, it's also very rich material for thinking about the triune God as well.

Answer by Dr. Danny Akin