SAMT

Summary Against Modern Thought: Understanding The Trinity VIII

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Stick with it! We only have a couple of more chapters on the Trinity.

THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TRUE GOD

1 One shows, of course, by clear testimonies from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is true God. For to none but God is a temple consecrated, and so the Psalmist speaks of “God in His holy temple” (Ps. 10:5). Yet there is a temple assigned to the Holy Spirit, for the Apostle says: “Or know you not that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit?” The Holy Spirit, therefore, is God. This is especially clear since our members, which the Apostle calls the temple of the Holy Spirit, are the members of Christ. For just above he had set down: “Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” (1 Cor. 6:19, 15). It obviously would be awkward (since Christ is true God, as is clear from the foregoing) to have the members of Christ a temple of the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit were not God.

Notes The argument from awkwardness is appealing, one admits.

2 Again, holy men do not give the cult of adoration except to the true God, for Deuteronomy (6:13) says: “You shall fear the Lord your God, and shall serve Him only.” But holy men serve the Holy Spirit, as the Apostle says: “We are the circumcision who serve the Spirit of God” (Phil. 3:3). And although some books have “who serve in the spirit of the Lord,” the Greek books and some Of the more ancient Latin ones have: “who serve the Spirit of God.” And from the Greek itself, this clearly must be understood as the cult of adoration which is due to God alone. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is true God to whom adoration is due.

3 Further, to sanctify men is the proper work of God, for Leviticus (22:32) says: “I am the Lord who sanctify you.” It is, of course, the Holy Spirit who sanctifies, as the Apostle says: “You are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). And in 2 Thessalonians (2:12) one reads: “God has chosen you first fruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit and faith of the truth.” Necessarily, therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.

4 And further, just as the life of corporeal nature is from the soul, so the life of justice of the soul itself is from God; and so our Lord says: “As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so He that eats Me, the same also shall live by Me” (John 6:58). Of course, this kind of life is from the Holy Spirit, and so our Lord adds in the same place: “It is the Spirit that gives life” (John 6:54); and the Apostle says: “If by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live” (Rom. 8:13). Therefore, the Holy Spirit is of the divine nature.

Notes Never stop marveling we are allowed to eat God.

5 Our Lord, furthermore, when arguing His divinity against the Jews who could not bear the fact that He made Himself equal to God, asserts that there is in Him a power of raising to life. He says in John (5:21): “As the Father raises up the dead and gives life, so the Son also gives life to whom He will.” The power of raising to life, of course, belongs to the Holy Spirit; as the Apostle says: “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you; He that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit that dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11). Therefore, the Holy Spirit is of the divine nature.

6 Again, creation is the work of God alone, as was shown above. But creation belongs to the Holy Spirit; as the Psalmist says: “Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created” (Ps. 103:30); and Job (33:4) says: “The Spirit of God made me”; and Sirach (1:9) says of God: “He created her,” meaning wisdom, “in the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, the Holy Spirit is of the divine nature.

7 The Apostle says, further: “The Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God no man knows, but the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:10-11). But to comprehend all the deep things of God is not the act of a creature. And this is clear from our Lord’s words: “No one knows the Son but the Father, neither doth any one know the Father but the Son” (Mat. 11:27). And Isaiah (24:16) says in the person of God: “My secret to Myself.” Therefore, the Holy Spirit is not a creature.

8 What is more, in the comparison by the Apostle just given, the Holy Spirit is to God as the spirit of man is to man. Now, the spirit of man is intrinsic to man and is not extraneous to him in nature, but is of his nature. Therefore, the Holy Spirit as well is not by nature extraneous to God.

9 If one further compares the just quoted words of the Apostle with those of the Prophet Isaiah, he will see clearly that the Holy Spirit is God. For Isaiah (64:4) says: “The eye has not seen, O God, besides You, what things You hast prepared for them that wait for You.” And the Apostle, indeed, when he had introduced these words (1 Cor. 7:9) adds the words just mentioned, to wit, that “the Spirit searches the deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:9-10). Manifestly, therefore, the Holy Spirit knows those deep things of God “which He has prepared for those that wait for Him.” Therefore, if none sees these besides God, as Isaiah says, clearly the Holy Spirit is God.

10 Isaiah, once again (6:8-9), says: “I heard the voice of God saying: Whom shall I send? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me. And He said: Go, and you shall say to His people: Hearing, hear, and understand not.” Now, Paul ascribes these words to the Holy Spirit; and thus we are told that Paul said to the Jews: “Well, did the Holy Spirit speak… by Isaiah the Prophet, saying: Go to this people and say to them: With the ear you shall hear and shall not understand” (Acts 28:2526). Manifestly, therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.

11 It is further apparent from sacred Scripture that it is God who speaks by the Prophets. For from the mouth of God, Numbers (12:6) says: “If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream.” And a Psalm (84:9) says: “I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me.”

But it is plain to see that the Holy Spirit has spoken in the Prophets. One reads in Acts (1:16): “The Scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David.” And in Matthew our Lord says: “How do the scribes say that Christ is the son of David. For David himself says by the Holy Spirit: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit you at My right hand.” And in 2 Peter (1:71) we read: “For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time, but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, one plainly gathers from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is God.

12 Again, that the revelation of mysteries is a proper work of God is shown in Scripture, for in Daniel (2:28) it says: “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries.” But the revelation of mysteries is seen to be a work of the Holy Spirit, for we read in 1 Corinthians (2:10; 14:2): “To us God has revealed them, by his Spirit”; and: “By the Spirit He speaks mysteries.” The Holy Spirit, therefore, is God.

13 What is more, to teach within is a proper work of God, for the Psalmist says of God: “He who teaches man knowledge” (93:16); and Daniel (2:21): “He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that have understanding.” Moreover, that such is the proper work of the Holy Spirit is plain, for our Lord speaks in John (14:26): of “the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name: He will teach you all things.” The Holy Spirit, therefore, is of the divine nature.

14 Furthermore, those who are identical in operation must be identical in nature. But the operation of the Son and the Holy Spirit is identical. For Christ speaks in the saints, as the Apostle shows in the words of 2 Corinthians (13:3): “Do you seek a proof of Christ that speaks in me?” This also plainly appears to be a work of the Holy Spirit, for we read in Matthew (10:20): “It is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” There is, then, an identical nature in the Son and the Holy Spirit and, consequently, the Father, since it has been shown that the Father and Son are one nature.

15 Moreover, to dwell in the minds of the saints is the proper work of God, and so the Apostle says: “You are the temple of the living God; as God says: I will dwell in you” (2 Cor. 6:16). But the Apostle attributes the same thing to the Holy Spirit, for he says: “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). Therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.

16 Once again, to be everywhere is proper to God, who says in Jeremiah (23:24): “I fill heaven and earth.” This belongs to the Holy Spirit, for we read in Wisdom (1:7): “The Spirit of the Lord bath filled the whole world,” and the Psalmist says: “Whither shall I go from your Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from your face? If I ascend into heaven, You are there,” and so forth (Ps. 138:7-8). Our Lord also says to the disciples: “You shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8), from which it is clear that the Holy Spirit is everywhere; He dwells in those existing in every place. The Holy Spirit, therefore, is God.

17 There is more. Scripture expressly names the Holy Spirit God, for Peter says: “Ananias, why did Satan tempt your heart, that you should lie to the Holy Spirit?” Later on, he adds: “You hast not lied to men, but to God” (Acts 5:3-4). The Holy Spirit, therefore, is God.

18 We read again, in 1 Corinthians (14:2, 21): “He that speaks in a tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God; for no one hears. Yet by the Spirit He speaks mysteries,” from which he gives one to understand that the Holy Spirit was speaking in those who spoke with different tongues. Later on, of course, he says: “In the Law it is written: In other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and neither so will they hear me, says the Lord.” Therefore, the Holy Spirit who speaks mysteries with diverse lips and tongues is God.

19 Furthermore, after a bit, this is added: “If all prophesy, and there come in one that believes not, or an unlearned person, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. The secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so, falling down on his face, he will adore God, affirming that God is among you indeed” (1 Cor. 14:24-2-5). Clearly, of course, from what he had previously set down, “the Spirit speaks mysteries,” the manifestation of the secrets of the heart is from the Holy Spirit. And this is a proper mark of divinity, for we read in Jeremiah (17:9-10): “The heart of man is perverse… and inscrutable, who can know it? I am the Lord who search the heart and prove the reins: And so from this indication even an unbeliever (cf. 1 Cor. 14:24) is said to consider carefully that He who speaks these secrets of hearts is God. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.

20 Again, a bit later, the Apostle says: “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the God of dissension, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:32-33). Of course, the graces of the Prophets which he named “the spirits of the prophets” are from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, he shows that the Holy Spirit who distributes graces of this kind in such wise that from them follows not dissension but peace is God by these words: “God is not the God of dissension, but of peace.”

21 Furthermore, to adopt as sons can be the work of no other than God. For no spiritual creature is called son of God by nature, but by the grace of adoption. Hence, the Apostle attributes this work to the Son of God who is true God: “God sent His Son that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). But the Holy Spirit is the cause of the adoption, as the Apostle says: “You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father)” (Rom. 8:15). Therefore, the Holy Spirit is not a creature, but God.

22 Again, if the Holy Spirit is not God, He must be a creature. Plainly enough, He is not a bodily creature, And neither is He a spiritual creature, for no creature is infused into a spiritual creature, since a creature is not participable, but rather participating. The Holy Spirit, of course, is infused into the minds of the saints, as it were participated by them, for we read that Christ was full of Him (Luke 4:1) and even the Apostles (Acts 7:4). The Holy Spirit, therefore, is not a creature but God.

23 But, if one says that the aforesaid works which are God’s are not attributed to the Holy Spirit in principalship as to God, but in ministry as it were to a creature, he says what is expressly false. And this is clear from the words of the Apostle: “There are diversities of operations, but the same God, who works all in all.”

Afterwards, when the Apostle had enumerated the different gifts of God, he adds: “All these things one and the same Spirit works, dividing to every one according as He will” (1 Cor. 12:6, 11). Therein clearly he has set forth that the Holy Spirit is God: not only by saying that the Holy Spirit performs the works which he said before that God performs, but also by proclaiming that the Holy Spirit performs them according to a decision of His will. Manifestly, therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.

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2 replies »

  1. “7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” 1 John 5: 7.

    God bless, C-Marie

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