Is the Holy Spirit an Impersonal Force?


Though the Holy Spirit is all-powerful he is not an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit is not an "it." The Bible uses personal pronouns such as "whom" and "he" to describe him (John 14:16-17, 26).

In Acts 15:28, the Holy Spirit is said to have a decisive opinion. So, the Holy Spirit "thinks" (cg. Isa 40:13-17) and even has infinite "knowledge" (1 Cor 2:10-11). In 1 Corinthians 12:11, we observe the Holy Spirit has a "will" and even has "feelings" (Isa 63:10; Eph 4:30; Heb 10:29). He "hears" (John 16:13-14) and "speaks" (Acts 2:4; 8:29; 13:2; 20:23). The Holy Spirit also "intercedes" for the children of God (Rom 8:26) and "instructs" them (Neh 9:20). He is also a "comforter" (John 14:26) to the saints. He is said even to "strive" (Gen 6:3) with mankind.

These activities - thinking, knowing, willing, feelings, hearing, speaking, interceding, instructing, comforting, and striving - each speak of Personhood, not 'ithood.'

Each of the attributes of God the Father - knowledge, wisdom, goodness, love, holiness, righteousness, veracity, and sovereignty - apply to the Holy Spirit as well. See "What are the Attributes of God?" below. It is the person of the Holy Spirit that gives "new birth" (John 3:5, 7) to each of God's elect. "Its" aren't living, so they can't give birth.

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He is very God of very God.

Related Topics:

The Holy Spirit in the Westminster Standards?
What are the Attributes of God?
What are the Names of God?
What are the Wills of God?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).