Q&A: The Holy Spirit's Interaction with Creation

The Holy Spirit's Interaction with Creation

How does the Holy Spirit, as a person of the Godhead, interact with God's creation?

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Answer

Yeah, we look for what the Father, Son and Spirit are doing, and we don't have as much clarity about the Holy Spirit, so we wonder, what is his role particularly in creation, because there's a lot said about him touching creation and indwelling people and acting in particular ways. And so, the general principle seems to be that he is the agent of the three that are the Triune God that touches creation. So, any work that God is going to do in creation is the Spirit's job. So, God speaks to create, but it's the Spirit who is hovering over the face of the deep. God saves us, but it's the Spirit who applies that to us. Jesus comes to us and won't leave us as orphans, but it's the Spirit who is going to indwell us. And God sanctifies us, but it's the Spirit who is the one who comes in. So, it seems to be that when God works in creation, it's the Spirit's job as the one who carries that out. He is the doer of the works of God and can be spoken of in a generic way in the Old Testament — "The Spirit of God does this and this" — and then the New Testament gives more personality, where he has a masculine pronoun that is making choices, and he is relating to us, and he is sent on mission by the Father and the Son to come in and work with us. So, in some ways he is the one that we encounter the most among the three. The Father is very much God over us, the Son is God with us by incarnation, but the Spirit is God in us to work and be nearest to us.

Answer by Dr. John McKinley

Dr. John Mckinley is the Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola Universtity in La Mirada, California and is affiliated with the Evangelical Theological Society.