The Nature of the Holy Spirit
A. The Spirit's Equality with the Trinity
The Holy Spirit is equal in His divine nature to the Father and the Son. In His GreatCommission, Jesus calls on His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and HolySpirit (Matthew 28:19), thereby putting the Spirit on the same level as the Father and Sonwithin the Trinity. When in the Upper Room Discourse Jesus promises the disciples to send “another” helper (John 14:16-17), He is speaking of someone of the same essence as He,thus affirming the equality of the Spirit with himself.The New Testament writers assume the Holy Spirit is divine. In Acts 28:25-27, Paul quotesIsaiah 6:9, stating that it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to Isaiah. When we refer to theoriginal text of Isaiah, however, we see that Isaiah attributes these words to Yahweh.Therefore, Paul clearly sees the Holy Spirit to be the same as Yahweh himself. The writer of Hebrews does the same in Hebrews 10:15ff, when quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34.While He is equal, the Spirit, in His humility, does nothing of His own initiative (John 16:13).He does not move on His own, but is sent from the Father at the request of the Son (John15:26). Furthermore, the Spirit does not seek to glorify Himself, but only to glorify the Son(John 16:14).
B. The Spirit as the Executive of the Trinity
Equality, however, does not mean that the Holy Spirit has the same roles. Indeed, the HolySpirit's role within the Trinity is to be the “mover and shaker” of the Trinity. He is the powerand executing force within the Godhead. Charles Hodge states:
The Spirit is the executive of the Godhead. Whatever God does, He does by the Spirit.
This is seen in the Holy Spirit's was involvement in creation (Genesis 1:2, Psalm 104:30).The Spirit was also involved in the immaculate conception of Christ in Mary (Matthew 1:18).
C. The Spirit's Ministry to Christ
The Spirit's role as executive is most tangibly seen in the Spirit's ministry to Christ. Jesusentire ministry is conducted in the power of the Spirit and in response to the leading of theHoly Spirit. Jesus' earthly ministry does not take place until His baptism, at which the Spiritdescends upon Him like a dove (Luke 3:16). Immediately following His baptism, Jesus, fullof the Holy Spirit, is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to face temptation (Luke 4:1).Jesus teaching and healing ministry throughout Galilee was done in the power of the Spirit(Luke 4:14). Jesus also affirms that his ability to cast out demons comes not from the devil,but through the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:28).
III. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
A. The Spirit's Proclaiming Ministry