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Holy Spirit

The Spirit of God in the Old Testament

His work in general

The Spirit of God, or the Spirit of the Lord, is repeatedly mentioned in all parts of the OT. The term was never used to clearly imply that the Spirit is a Person distinct from the Father and the Son. This Trinitarian meaning, which Christians commonly assume in using the term Spirit or Holy Spirit, presupposes and rests upon the events of the Incarnation and Pentecost. In the OT, the Spirit is holy (cf. Ps 51:11), not because He is “the Holy Spirit” in distinction to the Father and the Son, but because the Spirit pertains to God and comes from God who is holy. The Spirit of God is the divine nature viewed as vital energy. This vital energy that comes from God is related both to the world, which is His creation, and esp. to man, the crown of creation. As for the world of nature, in the beginning (Gen 1) the Spirit of God brooded like a bird on the nest over the formless primeval chaos. As a result, from chaos there emerged the cosmos. The Spirit, as the source of all energy and life, impregnated, as it were, the deep nothingness or formless void, and out of it came forth at the divine behest the vast realm of the created order. Once the creation had been achieved, the same Spirit conserves, renews, and withdraws life by a continuous process in the realm of nature (Job 33:4; Ps. 33:6; 104:30). Thus the OT justifies the epithet, “the One who makes alive,” used to describe the Spirit in the Nicene Creed.

In view of these passages, it is hardly possible to suppose that the “evil spirit” sent by the Lord as a judgment upon certain wicked men (Judg 9:23; 1 Sam 16:14; 18:10) is the Holy Spirit performing a mission of penal judgment. More likely, the thought is that even an evil spirit, who inspires lying or jealousy, is under God’s control as His creature, and accomplishes His purposes. One is reminded of the saying of Luther, “The devil is God’s devil.”

His saving work

The strand of Old Testament revelation that most directly anticipated the New Testament doctrine of the Holy Spirit tells of the Spirit’s saving work. As early as the era of the judges, it is clear that salvation was wrought in Israel by the Spirit of the Lord. Without previous preparation or the possibility of resistance, unknown sons of peasants were stirred up and enabled to perform mighty acts of valor by the Spirit of God. Thus Israel was delivered from her enemies (Judg 3:10; 11:29; 14:6; 1 Sam 11:6). Chosen for a more lasting function, king|kings were anointing|anointed (1 Sam 16:13), a rite signifying a permanent endowment of the Spirit, investing them with a sacred character (1 Sam 26:11).

The salvation of Israel did not depend solely upon judges and kings empowered to deliver God’s people from their enemies. There were also seers and prophets, who by an equal charismatic endowment and sovereign constraint were lifted into communion with God and made interpreters of the divine will to their fellowmen. Primarily as a result of their teaching, Israel had a unique literature containing a message of judgment and salvation (2 Sam 23:2; Ezek 2:2; 3:12, 14; Micah 3:8. Note the frequent use of the formula, “thus says the Lord,” in Isaiah and Jeremiah).

Earthly kings, though anointed of God, were not always faithful or able to establish peace and justice in Israel. The greatest of the prophets found the people stiffnecked and unwilling to hear (Jer 17:19-23) and complained that none believed his message (Isa 53:1). Therefore, to accomplish God’s purpose of salvation, ultimately there must be one who would uniquely combine the roles of prophet, priest, and king, and who would be uniquely endowed with the Spirit of God, that is the Messiah, the Anointed One par excellence. This shoot out of Jesse’s stock, this branch out of his roots (Isa 11:1) would receive the gifts of the Spirit in their fullness (Isa 11:2; 42:1; 61:1). Thus Jesus became the ideal Prophet and King, because He was anointed with the Spirit of God above measure; this is what makes Him the Christ.

The Old Testament anticipated that when the Messiah came, the Spirit would be poured out on all flesh like the rain that gives life to the earth (Isa 32:15), as the breath of life animated dry bones (Ezek 37). This effusion of the Spirit would transform the hearts of men, making them receptive to the voice of God and spontaneously obedient to His word (Isa 59:21; Ps 143:11). This vision of the age of the Spirit remained principally a hope, not a reality, in the history of Israel. The people rebelled and grieved God’s Holy Spirit so that He was turned into their enemy (Isa 63:10). That this hope be realized, it was necessary that God should do the impossible; that He should come Himself in person. “O, that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence” (Isa 64:1).

The Apocrypha and other Jewish literature between the Testaments add nothing significant. In the Palestinian literature, references to the Spirit are uncommon. In the Alexandrian literature, the activity of the divine Spirit is underscored particularly by associating the Spirit with wisdom, an association that culminated in the writings of Philo. The Spirit promoted clearness of vision and a capacity for an intellectual knowledge of God.

The Spirit in the New Testament


Jesus and the Spirit

The Gospel age opened with a special moving of the Spirit. John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, is described as one who was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15, 80). By the inspiration of the Spirit, Simeon divined the presence of the Messiah in the person of the infant Jesus (Luke 2:25). As for the Messiah Himself, His mother was informed by an angel that her son would be conceived “of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 1:20) and thus the prior statement is explained that she was found of child by “the Holy Spirit” (Matt 1:18). The Spirit was active in the creation of a new humanity, free from the taint of human corruption. (That which was begotten of the virgin is “holy” Luke 1:35.) The true immaculate conception is not that of the virgin, but of her Son.

When Jesus was about thirty years of age, He was baptism|baptized. As He had been sanctification|sanctified in His humanity at birth by the Spirit, so at His baptism He was consecrated to the office of Messiah by the same Spirit, who descended upon Him in the form of a dove (Matt 3:16; Luke 3:22), an appropriate symbol for One who came as the “Prince of Peace.” Peter is probably referring to this event when he spoke of Jesus in his first sermon to the Gentile|Gentiles as the One whom God had anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power (Acts 10:38). John 3:34 emphasizes the plenitude of this endowment with the Spirit: “For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit.”

From the time of His baptism, the life of Jesus was filled with manifestations of the Spirit’s power. Immediately after coming up out of the waters of Jordan River|Jordan, Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness where He encountered the tempter (Mark 1:12f. and parallels). In His victory as the second Adam, the true man, He overcame the power of the Evil One by the Spirit of God. The Lord later attributed His power to exorcise unclean spirit|unclean spirits to the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:28). The same is true of His teaching; the Spirit had anointed Him to preach good tidings to the poor and to proclaim release to the captives (Luke 4:18).

Running through the Gospel account of Jesus’ public ministry are allusions to a strange power working within Him. He was seized by such a sense of urgency that men thought He was beside Himself (Mark 3:21); they were impressed with the authority of His teachings (1:22); He was sometimes seemingly forgetful of bodily needs (John 4:31); and some even supposed Him to be demon possession|demon-possessed (8:48). When the seventy returned from a successful evangelistic tour, Luke relates how Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21).

The question might well be asked, Why, if Jesus is Himself God the Son, was the power of the Spirit so necessary to carry out His mission? A part of the answer must lie in the real humanity that Jesus assumed when He became incarnate. Jesus was no less a man because He was divine, as though He were divine omnipotence masquerading as human frailty. Since God had made man by His Spirit, and since man always lived in dependence upon God’s Spirit, therefore Jesus, if He was one with mankind, must also have depended upon the indwelling Spirit of God. That is why, in the economy of salvation, He assumed the role of the Messiah, the One who was anointed by the Spirit of God. Yet He was also conscious of His own divine, absolute authority. Unlike the prophet|prophets in their dependence upon the Spirit, He did not say, “Thus says the Lord,” but “truly, I say unto you.”

The coming of the Spirit upon the disciples


John the Baptist associated Jesus’ receiving the Spirit in His fullness and His baptizing others with the same Spirit. “I myself did not know him: but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’” (John 1:33). Two events following the Resurrection mark this extension of the Messianic unction to the whole body of the disciple|disciples. The first occurred shortly after the Resurrection when Jesus breathed on the disciples, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). The other is the well-known descent of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2). In an effort to harmonize these two, it has been suggested that the former event refers to the latter, as if the Lord had breathed on them saying, “You shall receive the Holy Spirit in the near future.” It seems preferable, however, to suppose the real communication of the Spirit when Jesus breathed on His disciples, which anticipated the larger effusion of the Spirit upon the whole body of believers gathered in the upper room with the apostles fifty days later. Perhaps the “breathing on them” looked back to the original divine inbreathing of the Creator (Gen 2:7) and symbolized the infusion of a new principle of life by the risen Lord into the redeemed race, present in embryonic form in the little band of disciples.


Pentecost is an event that can hardly be overemphasized; an event of the order of importance in redemptive history as the Incarnation. The symbolism of a rushing mighty wind is clear enough in the light of the basic meaning of the word Spirit (ruach, breath) not to mention Jesus’ word to Nicodemus in John 3:8, which likened the Spirit to the wind that blows where it will. At the same time, there appeared also tongues as of fire, resting upon the heads of all, in fulfillment of the prediction of John the Baptist that Jesus should baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matt 3:11). The tongues as of fire were distributed to indicate that none should be without His portion in this new age of the Spirit, for the same Spirit divides “to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor 12:11). The gift of the Spirit, then, is both collective and individual, for the whole body of the Church and for each individual member.

The Holy Spirit in the epistles of Paul

One of the more difficult aspects of Paul’s teaching about the Spirit concerns his concept of the relation of the Spirit to Christ. As will be seen later, the universal teaching of the Church has always been that the Spirit is a distinct Person of the Godhead, as the third member of the Holy Trinity. However, upon examination of what Paul wrote about the Spirit, it is obvious that the “metaphysical” question of how God, Christ, and the Spirit are related is not a primary concern. In Romans 8:9, 10 Paul uses the expressions “Spirit of God,” “Spirit of Christ” and “Christ” as interchangeable. To “walk in the Spirit” is the same as “minding the things of the Spirit,” which is the same as “being in the Spirit.” All of these expressions are broadly synonymous with being “in Christ.” That is to say, the Spirit is the sphere in which the believer lives, a sphere of power and newness of life where “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). Is the Spirit simply the power of the risen Lord as it is manifest in the life of the Christian and in the Church? One recalls Paul’s words, “Now the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:17). Some have suggested that this sentence be reversed to read, “Now the Spirit is the Lord,” and see in it an affirmation of the sovereignty and divinity of the Holy Spirit. The context, however, shows plainly that the word “Lord” refers to Christ. He who is Lord is Himself the Spirit (see the close of v. 18). Hence it would be difficult to establish any great difference in Paul’s thought between the formula “in Christ” and “in the Spirit.” The Spirit is the glorified Lord, the Christ, as He is present and active in His Church.

If this is the case, why did Paul invoke upon his converts “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor 13:14)? Using a Trinitarian benediction, he implied there is as much of a distinction between Christ and the Spirit as there is between Christ and God His Father. The best resolution of this difficulty is to remember that in Paul’s writings the Spirit is also called the Spirit of God. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16). Or, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” (1 Cor 6:19). Paul conceived of the Spirit as the essential being of God. Where the Spirit dwells and works, God is at work, for as the spirit of man knows the things of a man, so the Spirit of God knows the things of God (1 Cor 2:11). This does not mean that there is no distinction in His mind between God, as He has revealed Himself to be the Father, and God who, as the Spirit, enables believers to cry from the depth of their hearts, “Abba, Father.” No one need suppose that Paul so identified Christ and the Spirit as to make no distinction between the Lord and the One who enables men to call Jesus Lord, that is, the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). It is because of the oneness of the work of Christ and the Spirit that his langguage reflects an identity between them. It is a dynamic identity; it is through His Spirit that the risen Lord dwells in His Church and works in the lives of men. Christ may do everything that the Spirit does; and the formula “in the Spirit” can mean the same as “in Christ.”

The majority of references to the Spirit in Paul’s espistle|epistles are concerned with His work in the spirit of men. When the Spirit “indwells” a man, there is manifest in his life the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22, 23). With these virtues and graces, which adorn the Christian life and make a man the temple of the Spirit (1 Cor 3:16), there is the firm hope of the resurrection: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.”

Where Paul was concerned with the work of the Spirit in man’s spirit, it is not easy to determine when he was speaking of the Spirit of God or when he had in mind the human spirit under the influence of the divine Spirit. This is especially true in passages contrasting the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh lusts against the Spirit (spirit) and the Spirit (spirit) against the flesh (Gal 5:17). Flesh may be understood as the weak and sinful aspect of human nature, whereas spirit may be interpreted as the human spirit, empowered by the divine Spirit in its struggle against the flesh. In other words, those whose spirit struggles against the flesh are those who live “according to the [Holy] Spirit, [and] set their minds on the things of the [Holy] Spirit” (Rom 8:5). A similar antithesis is found in 1 Corinthians 3:1f., where Paul distinguished between “spiritual men” and “men of the flesh.” A man “of the flesh” is one who is dominated by his lower nature. The spiritual man, by contrast, is one who lives by the higher nature, the spirit, as guided and dominated by the Holy Spirit. The human spirit and the divine Spirit are one in their operation (not in their essence, for Paul is not a mystic). The “Spirit-filled” man is one in whom the Holy Spirit so assumes the ascendancy that at every point his life is guided and sustained by the Holy Spirit. He is a citizen of that kingdom that is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17); he is a man who abounds in hope through the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:13).

The doctrine of Christian perfection, which is commonly regarded as the hallmark of the Wesleyan tradition, is so basic to the New Testament concept of the Christian life that it can be suppressed only by doing violence to the Christian message. Those who feel an antipathy for all forms of “perfectionism” may indeed quote the verse, “You have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). Though the root of the tree be hid from view, the fruit is there for all to see. The same apostle admonished his readers, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). If anyone is drunk, people will know it. Should they not also be able to see the difference that the Spirit makes in the life of one who is controlled, not by the destructive power of inebriation, but by the greater redemptive power of the Spirit? The note of caution that needs to be sounded is that there is no easy formula for achieving this perfection, as some who have talked about the “higher” or “victorious” Christian life have implied. Although in this life, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made men free from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:2); there yet remains another law (7:21f.). Delivery from the strength of this subtle and sinister “law of sin” is not so instantaneous and dramatic as some teachers of perfection maintain.

Another contrast beside that of “flesh” and “Spirit,” is that which Paul drew between the Spirit and the letter (gramma). Having died to the law (the written code), “we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit” (7:6). He styled himself a minister “of a new covenant, not in a written code, but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6). Not that the law is without spiritual worth (“the law is spiritual,” Rom 7:14), but viewed as an external code of conduct by which a man can be justified before God, it can only minister death; for man, being a sinner, the law can bring only the knowledge of sin, never deliverance from sin (Rom 3:20). Viewed as the Judaizers understood it, the law is in opposition to the Spirit and the Spirit to the law. He who is renewed by the Spirit and so united to Christ by faith, has died to the law as a way of salvation. Paul reminded the Galatians: “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal 5:18).

The doctrine of the Spirit in the non-Pauline documents of the New Testament

Although the other writings in the New Testament speak freely of the Spirit, they add little to Paul’s teaching. The author of Hebrews stressed the role of the Spirit in the inspiration of Scripture. When he quoted Scripture, he often did so as though it were the direct Word of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who says what the Scripture says, and the Scripture says what the Holy Spirit says (Heb 3:7; 9:8; 10:15). In this light one should understand the familiar verse where the “word of God” is described in personal categories, having the power to penetrate man’s inmost being and to discern the thoughts and intents of his heart (Heb 4:12). This power is not in the Word as such, but only as it is the Word inspired by the Spirit, and the Spirit, who inspired it, uses it as a means to convict and convert those who hear. (Note Paul’s reference to the Word of God as the sword of the Spirit, Eph 6:17.) Peter reflected the same view of the Spirit’s relation to Scripture as did the author of Hebrews, when he stated that the Spirit of Christ was in the OT prophets, bearing witness both to the sufferings and coming glories of the Christ (1 Pet 1:11). Like the author of Hebrews, Peter gave the priority, not to the human author, but to the Holy Spirit in the writing of Scripture. No prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God being moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21). In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is said of the Lord’s atoning death that He offered Himself through the eternal Spirit without blemish to God (Heb 9:14), a phrase difficult to interpret. It is probably best understood of His own Spirit as the eternal, preexistent Son of God. Unlike the animals of ritual sacrifice|sacrifices, He voluntarily offered up Himself, thus acquiescing in the redemptive purpose of the Father (note Paul’s reference to Christ as a “life-giving spirit” (1 Cor 15:45).

The last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse, speaks of the Spirit from the perspective of His role in Old Testament prophecy. The author, like the prophets of old, was “in the Spirit” on the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10), and he wrote a message in which the Spirit spoke to the churches (2:7). “The testimony of Jesus,” said the angel, “is the spirit of prophecy” (19:10); i.e., it was the same Spirit who inspired the prophets that enabled the angel to show John these things, and who enabled John to receive and write them; hence, the angel was John’s fellow servant. The Apocalypse refers repeatedly to the “seven spirits” of God (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). The number seven is generally understood as a symbol of the perfection of the Spirit in the plenitude and perfection of His universal efficacy in the Church. This interpretation is the basis of the well-known lines of the Latin hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, And lighten with celestial fire.

Thou the anointing Spirit art,

Who doest thy seven-fold gifts impart.


The Holy Spirit not only speaks to the Church, but joins His voice with the Church in calling for Christ’s return (Rev 22:17).



Scripture reveals that the Holy Spirit is divine (not a created intelligence superior to the angels but inferior to the Son, as Arius maintained); in some sense one with the Father and the Son, in another differing from them. In His work, the Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the creation of all things, and sustaining all things, esp. those creatures in which is found the breath of life. He is also intimately involved in the redemption of man, being not only the author of moral purity, but the Spirit who inspired the prophets to tell of the coming Savior. It is He who in due time anointed the Savior, resting all His fullness upon Him. In the last days He extended His gifts to the whole world that He might raise up a new Israel, an elect nation, the Church catholic, which He empowered to bear witness to Christ, and which He leads into all truth. This is accomplished by the renewal of the hearts of individual men, whom He indwells, making them His temple, purifying them inwardly, and identifying with them in their struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and in their aspiration for God. By His mighty power, with which He raised up Jesus from the dead, He will raise up the saints in the last day, a glorious company resting from their labors, whose works shall follow after them (Rev 14:13).

The Holy Spirit in the theology and life of the Church

Certain questions concerning the teaching of Scripture about the Holy Spirit have been omitted or only briefly touched upon in the above survey—matters for which more especial treatment has been reserved because of their importance or difficulty, or because they are matters on which the Christian Church has been divided, or concerning which it has an uncommon interest.

The Holy Spirit and the Trinity.

The Spirit of God is holy in the OT, but there is no doctrine of the Holy Spirit as the “third person of the Trinity.” This mode of expression, however, has had a large and varied history in Christian theology, and it is necessary to review briefly the meaning of the phrase and seek to outline the Biblical basis for a Trinitarian understanding of God.

To say that the OT contains no doctrine of the Spirit as a distinct person, does not imply that the Spirit in the OT is a vague, impersonal force. The Spirit is God’s Spirit, and because the God of Israel is a personal God, His Spiriit is invested with personal qualities and involved in personal acts. As the living energy of a personal God, the Spirit broods, rules, guides, quickens, and moves. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” asked the psalmist (Ps 139:7), implying that where God’s Spirit is, there He is personally present. The Holy Spirit of God was grieved by the rebellion of Israel (Isa 63:10). In view of this personalistic language, the promise of Jesus that when He departed from them (John 16:7), the Father would send another Comforter (Paraclete), even the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 28), is a promise in keeping with the OT teaching concerning the Spirit. Furthermore, since He had fellowship with His disciples as a person, the implication is that the Spirit, who shall take His place, must also be a person like Himself. Otherwise the promise of the Paraclete would offer little comfort to the disciples in the contemplation of their Master’s departure. Not that they would have had any clear understanding of these matters before Pentecost, but given that great revelational event, they were prepared by what they had learned from Jewish Scripture and the Lord Himself, to regard the Spirit, not simply as God’s presence, much less as some vague influence, but as a personal manifestation of God. Hence, Peter could accuse Ananias of lying to the Holy Spirit, who is God (Acts 5:3, 4). This side of the Incarnation and Pentecost, Peter could use the term Holy Spirit as distinct from both the risen Lord, who had been taken up from them into heaven (1:9), and the Father, to whose right hand Jesus had been exalted and from whom He had received the promise of the Spirit (2:33). This same hypostatic, or personal, distinction of the Spirit appears in Paul’s pronouncing of a threefold benediction upon the Corinthians: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:14).

The clearest Trinitarian statement in the NT is the Lord’s commission to His disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). One passage concerning the Spirit, which has figured largely in the debate of the Church, is John 15:26: “But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me.” As far as the doctrine of the Trinity is concerned, this passage has classically been appealed to as establishing the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit. As the Son is “begotten of” the Father, so the universal Church confesses that the Spirit “proceeds from” the Father. (Under the influence of Augustine, the Western church, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, confesses that He also proceeds from the Son, filioque, but this is not expressly stated in Scripture.)

In interpreting this text, note should be taken of the two clauses. It was the Paraclete whom the Son would send, and it is the Spirit who proceeds from the Father. The former clause seems definitely to refer to the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost in His role, or office, as Sanctifier. Since this sending of the Spirit as the Paraclete was yet future at the time Jesus spoke, He used the future tense, referring to the Spirit as the One whom “I will send.” In technical theological language, this is an “economical” clause, that is, it describes the role of the Spirit in the “economy” of redemption. The latter clause, “who proceeds from the Father,” describes, by contrast, the essential nature of the Spirit Himself, that is, it is an “ontological” clause. The Holy Spirit is the One who eternally proceeds from the Father. Not all scholars are agreed on this last point. Some would understand the proceeding from the Father and the future sending by the Son as both referring to the Spirit’s coming at Pentecost. In this case it may be maintained that from the plainly revealed fact that the Spirit was given by the Father and the Son to the Church at Pentecost, it is proper to describe His mysterious intertrinitarian relation to the Father and the Son in an analogical way. Hence, the Church speaks of His “eternal procession” from the Father and the Son after the analogy of His proceeding into the world at Pentecost from the Father and the Son.

The sin against the Holy Spirit.

Although the NT is full of the message of mercy, pardon and reconciliation, which is the Gospel, there are some sobering statements about a “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16 KJV), to have “outraged the Spirit of grace” that invites the divine vengeance (Heb 10:29), about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, a sin that shall never be forgiven (Mark 3:28, 29, and parallels), neither in this world nor in the one to come. The particular offense, which is called blaspheming against the Spirit in the gospels, is attributing Jesus’ power of exorcism to Beelzebub, the prince of the demons, as though Jesus Himself were possessed of an unclean spirit. There are many nuances of interpretation of this passage, but it surely seems that the unpardonable nature of the sin must be related to the hopeless warping and perversion of the moral nature, which would make one capable of such blindness to the truth as to attribute works of mercy having their origin in the power of God’s Spirit to a diabolic source, a malignity so deep-seated as to make one insusceptible of redeeming grace. It is not clear that the Church has the insight infallibly to perceive such a sin, much less the power to invoke the anathema upon it; but the warning clearly implies that a person may be guilty of such a sin and that he will surely have to reckon with God.

This is essentially what the apostate does (Heb 6:4f. RSV, 10:29) when having been one of “those who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,” he falls away, having “spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified and outraged the Spirit of grace.” The man who does this is one who says that the witness that the Spirit bears in his own soul is a lie, and he will not live by his original confession, and by his life declares that he does not believe what the Spirit says. Such a person cannot be renewed to repentance. On such a background one can appreciate a little more the seriousness of the sin of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) and the swift judgment that befell them. As mentioned earlier, this contributes to the evidence that the Spirit is a person. One cannot sin against an influence; sin is meaningful only in the personal dimension, in the sphere of personal relationships.

Since the sin against the Holy Spirit is the most aggravated form of sin, the conclusion is obvious, that it is a sin against a most sacred, holy, and divine person.

The Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts.

In keeping with the sovereignty of the Spirit, whom Jesus likened to the wind “that blows where it wills” (John 3:8), there seems to be no uniform modus operandi by which these gifts are given. In the initial outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, as the disciples were gathered in an attitude of expectation, suddenly the Spirit came with the sound as the rushing of a mighty wind and appeared in the form of tongues as of fire resting upon each one of them (Acts 2:1-4). At another time, while Peter was preaching the Word, the Spirit fell upon the house of Cornelius (10:44). At other times, the Spirit in His charismatic manifestations comes not by the hearing of the Word but by the laying on of hands. It is esp. interesting to note that in Samaria, Philip was endowed with certain charismata as he preached—demons were exorcised, the sick were healed (Acts 8:7, 8)—yet those who believed and were baptized did not have the Spirit fall upon them until Peter and John laid hands upon them (8:17). The Spirit was similarly mediated by Paul’s laying hands on twelve disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus (19:1-7).

The laying on of hands has become the received custom in the Christian Church for symbolically conveying the Spirit in confirmation and ordination, and in those communions where charismatic endowment is sought and manifested, this receiving of the gifts of the Spirit is generally accompanied by the laying on of hands. The hands have always been expressively used by man, and their imposition has been from ancient times a means of conveying a blessing or benediction (Gen 48:13-16; Mark 10:16). It is appropriate then that receiving this supreme blessing of the Spirit’s presence and power should be symbolized by the laying on of hands.

As for the range of spiritual gifts, they extend all the way from the most striking displays of power to humble and menial matters. Acts 19:12 reports healings by a touch of handkerchiefs and aprons used by the apostle Paul. Paul listed “helpers” and “administrators” among those gifted by the Spirit (1 Cor 12:28). It does not seem, however, that any overt, miraculous endowment is necessarily involved. Rather, those in the fellowship of believers who were endowed with wisdom in practical affairs and whose spiritual strength made them a worthy example to the weak, were regarded as having received such endowments from the Spirit as a gift, to be employed in the establishing of the Church.

As time passed on, the inspirational aspect of the ministry began to recede in favor of the institutional in the form of the offices of presbyter and deacon, and many of the supernatural manifestations of the Spirit disappeared altogether. There can be no doubt that this trend impoverished the Church, and the struggle to keep the Church from becoming a merely institutional structure within human society, with the loss of that vital inspiration that only the Spirit can give, remained a constant factor throughout the centuries of Christian history. The rise and rapid growth of Pentecostalism at the present time is a striking testimony to the need of the institutional church for spiritual renewal. Without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Church is simply a sociological phenomenon.

The gift of tongues.

In the discussions of the sovereignty of the Spirit in bestowing His gifts, of the renewal of the Church, and of the wide range of the charisma, no subject will more quickly reveal a difference of opinion on all these questions than that of the gift of tongues. Because of the present recrudescence of interest in this subject, a brief discussion is necessary from the point of view of the general treatment of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Some dismiss this question on the score that Paul evidently found the gift an embarrassment, placing it last in a list where apostleship was first (1 Cor 12:28), and exhorted his readers to covet the greater gifts (12:31), saying that he would rather speak five words in church with his understanding than a thousand in a strange tongue (14:19). On the other side, however, is the obvious fact that Paul, the chief of the apostles, recognized the gift as given by the Spirit (12:11), and thanked God that he spoke in tongues more than anyone else (14:18). The gift of tongues, furthermore, was central in the Pentecostal effusion of the Spirit and the founding of the Christian Church.

Whether the initial gift of tongues at Pentecost was the same as that later manifested in Corinth is not altogether clear. The same word, glossa, is used in both instances, and the same inspiration of the Spirit is presupposed. Even the same reaction on the part of unbelievers is possible. Some mockingly accused the apostles of being inebriated (Acts 2:13), and Paul feared that unbelievers would consider the Christians as lunatics (1 Cor 14:23). There is, however, the plain testimony in Acts that the Jews of the Diaspora heard the apostles speaking in their native dialects (Acts 2:8). Whereas the sound was described as a “tongue” from the speaker’s standpoint, it was called a “language” from the hearer’s standpoint. Such, however, was not the case with the glossolalia of Corinth. There the phenomenon was described as an “unknown tongue” both from the speaker’s and the hearer’s point of view, for an interpreter was necessary for the edification of the hearers. That Paul spoke of the ecstatic experience of tongues as praying in the spirit while the mind was “unfruitful” (1 Cor 14:14) has led many to feel that the Corinthian gift is not “language” at all, but gibberish, though this is perhaps to use a word that is too pejorative. (Some have argued that glossalalia are unknown tongues in the sense of very obscure languages, but linguistic analysis does not support this thesis.)

Unbelief will, of course, dismiss all such manifestations as mere enthusiasm, there being no need to invoke the supernatural to explain them. It must indeed be granted that the emotions are radically involved in the use of tongues, just as the glands are radically involved in the exercise of love and anger. But even as the experience of love is more than glandular secretion (“a cold sweat in propinquity”), so speaking in tongues may be more than emotion. It may be emotion evoked by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism and the Holy Spirit.

One reason that the Church in its more institutional form has shown little interest in the demonstrative evidence of the presence of the Spirit, is that the theology of the Spirit’s role in the Church and the Chrstian life has been intimately bound up with the theology of baptism. One receives the Spirit at the time of his baptism, it is taught, and needs, therefore, no other experience of the Spirit. On first consideration this might seem anomalous, since John the Baptist expressly contrasted his baptism in water with the baptism in the Holy Spirit and in fire that his successor (Christ) would perform (Matt 3:11, and parallels). How then can these two baptisms, which are so sharply contrasted by the Baptist, be associated in the teaching of the Church?

First, it must be recognized that the prophecy of baptism in the Spirit and in fire had its fulfillment at Pentecost, when the Spirit descended upon the disciples with the manifestation of tongues as of fire (Acts 1:5). There is no reason to associate this experience in any direct way with the baptism in water, which apparently took place during the earthly ministry of Christ (John 4:1). Furthermore, the outpouring of the Spirit on the household of Cornelius, which was called a “baptism of the Holy Spirit” by Peter (Acts 11:16), was obviously independent of their baptism in water that took place only subsequently, which clearly illustrates the obvious difference between baptism in the Spirit and baptism in water. Before the relationship of the Spirit to water baptism is considered, it is necessary to determine the meaning of the expression “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Does “baptism in the Holy Spirit” describe a unique event at the founding of the Church, or should Christians in all ages seek such an experience?

In the writer’s judgment, one should reserve the term “baptism in the Spirit” for the initial gift of the Spirit to the Church. The phrase used both by John the Baptist (Mark 1:8) and by the risen Lord (Acts 1:5) clearly refers to Pentecost, and Pentecost is obviously unique in redemptive history (a uniqueness that is commemorated in the Christian year in Whitsunday). How, then, does one explain Acts 11:16, where Cornelius’ house is said to have been “baptized with the Holy Spirit”? It should be noted that this incident was looked upon by Luke as unique. This is the first account of the preaching of the Gospel to Gentiles, and when Peter rehearsed the affair before the Jerusalem elders, he stressed that the Holy Spirit had now fallen on the Gentiles as “on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). Thus Peter directly linked this outpourng of the Spirit to the first outpouring at Pentecost. His hearers recognized it as such: “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.” Therefore the opening of the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles was the completion of what happened at Pentecost, since it showed that not only Jews “from every nation under heaven,” but Gentiles as well, are to be embraced in the blessings and privileges of the new dispensation of the Spirit. The Scriptures refer to both these events as the “baptism in the Spirit,” reserving the term exclusively for these events.

The baptism in the Spirit simply describes that coming of the Spirit upon the Church at the beginning in a new and permanent way, in contrast to the partial, transient, and limited manifestations of His power in the OT age. Because the Spirit has come in a final and full manifestation, He remains present in the Church in all ages to bestow every spiritual gift and blessing necessary for the life and growth of the individual Christian and the ongoing of the mission of the Church. Since the Spirit has thus come to abide with the Church forever, Christians are bidden to “walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16), and to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). They are said to have the “anointing” (charisma) of the Spirit (1 John 2:20-27); the Spirit is called the “guarantee” (arrabon) of the Christian’s inheritance (Eph 1:14). This last expression refers to a “first installment” or “down payment” or “pledge,” which obligates the one making it to make further payments. The apostle’s thought is that the Spirit is given as a first installment of the believer’s inheritance in Christ.

Although baptism in the Spirit is to be distinguished from water baptism, it by no means supersedes baptism with water (as the Quakers have taught). The work of the Holy Spirit is closely related in the NT to water baptism. To begin with, the Lord, when commissioning His disciples to baptize, told them it should be “in the name...of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). Such a command would indicate at least this much, that the baptized Christian is placed in a relationship of dependence upon the Holy Spirit throughout the remainder of his life and consecrated to the service which He inspires. Baptism itself does not effect this relationship, but there is no true baptism where this relationship between the Spirit and the one baptized is lacking.

The connection between baptism and the Spirit can be more closely defined by the account of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (John 3). Jesus traced the spiritual life of the individual back to its origins in the new birth effected by the Spirit. At the same time, He connected this inner renewal effected by the Spirit with water: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (v. 5). Whereas it would be anachronistic to say that Jesus referred expressly to Christian baptism, it would be even less plausible to suppose this Scripture has nothing to do with baptism (as is done when water is allegorized to mean the “word”). The use of water for the religious purpose of ablution and cleansing, with which Nicodemus was familiar as a Jew, was subsumed into the meaning of the Christian rite of initiation by baptism. There can be little doubt that by the time the gospel of John was written, the phrase “to be born of water” was understood of the outward sign of baptism, while “to be born of the Spirit” referred to the inward grace that is signified. It can hardly be overemphasized, however, in the light of the long history of sacramentalism, that this distinction between the outward sign and the inward grace must be carefully maintained. The symbolism and the inner reality move along parallel lines. Therefore baptism is the appropriate symbol of the inner renewal of the Spirit, but baptism itself does not effect this renewal. The new birth is the result of a supernatural work of the Spirit in the heart. (See John 6:60ff. where Jesus says that “it is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail”.) That the work of the Spirit is associated with baptism, but not dependent upon it, is seen in the Book of Acts: in Acts 8:17 (Samaritans), the Spirit came in His charismatic gifts after baptism; in Acts 9:17 (Cornelius’ house), the Spirit came in His charismatic gifts before baptism; in Acts 19:5, 6 (Ephesian disciples), immediately upon baptism.

This last instance is interesting, since Paul, when he perceived that the disciples in Ephesus did not have the Spirit, raised the question of their baptism, which he would not have done had there been no connection in his mind between the two. Having asked if they had received the Spirit, and they having professed utter ignorance of the matter, he then inquired: “Into what, then, were you baptized?” (v. 3). The naturalness with which Paul associated baptism and the receiving of the Spirit is also evident from 1 Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” The Spirit is the element in which the baptism takes place, for it is He who animates the body, that is, the Church, to which one is joined through baptism. Paul continued in the same verse to say, “we all were made to drink of one Spirit,” which may allude to the eucharist, but that seems farfetched. It is likely that the whole verse refers to baptism. Literally, Paul wrote that all were “watered,” or “saturated” with the one Spirit, by which all were baptized into one body. The figure is that of being immersed in the Spirit or drinking of the Spirit as the potion of new life, which is the experience of the baptized Christian.

Another passage that possibly indicates that Paul associated the reception of the Spirit and baptism, is found in his second letter to Corinth. He wrote to the Corinthians: “Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed (sphragizo) us, and gave us the earnest...of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor 1:21, 22 ASV). As early as the 2nd cent., baptism was called a “seal,” and it is quite possible that Paul was alluding to baptism in the figure of sealing, as that which marks, authenticates, and attests the believer’s union with Christ and the reception of His Spirit in his heart.

Perhaps the closest association in Paul’s epistles, between the outward rite of baptism and the inward receiving of the Spirit, is found in his brief letter to Titus. According to His mercy, wrote the apostle, He [God] saved men, “by the washing [or laver] of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5, 6). The language of “washing” is plainly an allusion to baptism, and “regeneration” refers to the new birth, a fundamental inner change that issues in a (progressive) “renewal of the Holy Spirit.” If this were all that Paul ever wrote about baptism and the new birth, one might conclude that the former effects the latter. But, in the larger context of his teaching on the efficacy of baptism, it is best to understand this passage in a manner that takes away neither from the meaning of the outward sign, nor from the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a washing of regeneration in the sense that it pertains to and sets forth, in a symbolic manner, the inward cleansing from the sin of the past, so that he who is baptized rises from the waters of baptism to a new life in Christ, here called the “renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit and confirmation.

Confirmation is a rite closely related to baptism and is practiced in one form or another by many Christian churches. Because of the association between the reception of the Spirit and baptism, reflected in the Scriptures that have been discussed, in ancient times the Church symbolized the receiving of the Spirit by a special rite immediately following baptism. The newly baptized confessor was “confirmed” by the laying on of hands, and his body was anointed with oil in the form of a cross on his forehead, that he might be endued with the Holy Spirit and consecrated to the spiritual priesthood of believers. This rite has been practiced down to the present time in the Eastern church. Since baptism is now commonly administered in infancy, the newborn child is anointed in token of his reception of the Spirit. In the Roman church, however, the rite of confirmation, which has attained separate status as a sacrament, is delayed until the age of puberty as “the sacrament through which the Holy Ghost comes to us in a special way to enable us to profess our faith as strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.”

The Reformers minced no words in depriving this rite of its sacramental status. Luther called it “foolery and lying prattle, devised to adorn the office of the bishop that they may have at least something to do in the church.” Yet, though divested of its sacramental status, some form of confirmation has been retained in those communions practicing infant baptism, as a sort of completion of that ordinance. When the question is asked what precisely the rite of confirmation signalizes, classically the answer has been given (esp. in Lutheran and Anglican circles), that it symbolizes the impartation of the Holy Spirit. This thought, included in the “Order of Confirmation” of the English Book of Common Prayer, has been adorned with poetic beauty in Keble’s Christian Year. Speaking of the child about to be confirmed, he sings:

Draw, Holy Ghost, thy seven-fold veil

Between us and the fires of youth;

Breathe, Holy Ghost, thy freshening gale,

Our fevered brow in age to soothe.

Whereas it is true that in two instances in the Book of Acts baptism is followed by the laying on of hands and the reception of the Spirit (Acts 8:17, the Samaritans, and Acts 19:6, the Ephesian disciples of John), there are no other instances of this exact order of events. Furthermore, in both these instances, those who were baptized were adults confessing their faith, and the coming of the Spirit involved the use of charismatic gifts. (This is not expressly said of the Samaritans, but the response of Simon Magus, as he observed the effect of the laying on of hands, implies as much.) By contrast, the present-day rite of confirmation is given to those who have been baptized as infants and it is not concerned with the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit. It is doubtful, therefore, if the view that one receives the Spirit at confirmation can be established from the NT.

The Holy Spirit and Scripture.

When Christ came, the “Word made flesh” did nothing except by the Spirit. The words that He spoke were Spirit-filled and they are life. He, in turn, promised that when He left His disciples He would send another, who would bring to their remembrance what He had said and lead them into the truth (John 14:26). The Church has universally understood this leading by the Spirit into the truth to mean that the apostles were uniquely inspired by the Spirit as witnesses to Christ and as teachers of the Church. The documents, therefore, that they and their associates wrote, are of final authority for the Church, along with the OT Scriptures.

The role of the Holy Spirit in revelation is summarized as follows: From the day of Pentecost onward, the Spirit assured the validity of the apostolic testimony to Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; 2:1f.). Illumined by the Spirit, they discovered both the significance of Jesus’ existence and the final meaning of the OT Scriptures that bore witness to Him. This truth was the object of their witness (Acts 2:22-41), a witness that has been preserved by the Church in the NT Scriptures.

The inward testimony of the Spirit.

The inward testimony of the Spirit is called by D. F. Strauss the “Achilles’ heel” of Protestant theology. When it comes to authority in matters of faith, Rome appeals to the magisterium, or teaching office, of the church; the sectarians appeal to the direct inspiration of the Spirit, which tends to merge with enlightened reason or conscience, or religious ecstasy. The Protestant church appeals to Scripture alone (sola scriptura). The doctrine of the inward testimony of the Spirit teaches that the same Spirit who spoke the Scripture, speaks in men’s hearts by and with the Scripture, to confirm and seal its truths to all who believe. This inward testimony adds nothing to the written Revelation, for outside of Scripture there is no Revelation. But it attests the Scripture to be God’s Word so that “...our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority of Scripture, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts” (Westminster Confession, I, V).

In this regard, note should be taken of John’s reference to the unction (charisma) from the Holy One that Christians have, which enables them to know all things—that is, all things necessary for their salvation (1 John 2:20). It seems best to understand this “unction,” or “anointing,” to refer to the Holy Spirit whom believers have from Christ. This anointing, wrote John, “abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him” (1 John 2:27). This is said in a larger context of admonition and warning aganst false teachers, whom John called antichrists, teachers who deny the Christ. As an inspired apostle, he wrote to his converts urging them to abide in the truth that they had heard from the beginning (v. 24). Significantly, he did not rely solely upon his own authority as an apostle, important as it was that he should exercise this authority by writing a letter to them. He appealed for the authentication of the truth of his teaching over against the false teaching of those whom he opposed, to the anointing that his readers had received as Christians. It is natural to understand this anointing by the Holy One, as the Holy Spirit. This Spirit, given by Christ, confirmed and sealed to the hearts of the Christians to whom John wrote, the truth of God’s Word as the apostle had taught it to them, so that there was no danger that they would succumb to false teaching. They had the anointing that enabled them to discern all things.

The word “witness” is an apt and Biblical term to describe this aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work, for He is the preeminent witness. As Jesus bore witness to the Father, so the Spirit bears witness to Jesus throughout Scripture. This may be the meaning of the difficult verse in 1 Timothy 3:16, which says that Jesus was “vindicated in the Spirit.” That is, Jesus, who was condemned by unbelieving men and crucified, is vindicated by the witness of the Spirit that He is the Christ, as the Scriptures testify. He seals to the hearts of believers what the Scriptures say about Jesus as the Christ.

However one may interpret 1 Timothy 3:16, the importance of the Spirit’s witness in men’s hearts, as far as Scripture is concerned, is that thereby the Bible becomes the personal address of God to man. Otherwise it remains a mere human book, to be read as one of the Great Books of the world, a masterpiece of lit. savored for its passages of great prose. When the Spirit speaks through Scripture, one discovers that the holy history, which unfolds from the first to the second Adam, engages him in his own destiny. He stands fallen in Adam and condemned; and, by the grace of God, he stands righteous in Christ. It is this inward testimony of the Spirit that transforms the formal authority of Scripture—which the Roman Catholic Church accepted as well as the Reformers—into a material authority, so that it becomes “alive and powerful” to transform lives.

John not only associated the Spirit with the proclamation of the apostles that Jesus is the Christ, as that Word is preserved in Scripture, but also with the sacraments:

This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree (1 John 5:6-8). This passage is notably difficult and the detailed interpretation offers several options. It is possible that the “water” and the “blood,” is an allusion to the baptism and crucifixion of Jesus. If so, it is difficult to know why Jesus’ baptism and death should be mentioned in this way, unless some reference to the baptism of the faithful and their eucharistic participation in Christ’s death was made, to which is enjoined the inward witness of the Spirit. When the Spirit bears witness with man’s spirit that he is a child of God, and he has the faith to confess Jesus as Lord, then the outward, sacramental signs “agree” with the inner witness of the Spirit, and the three bear a common witness to the truth.

The perennial objection to the doctrine of the inward testimony of the Spirit is that it is mere subjectivism. The question is pressed, how can one verify an inward experience? How does one know that he has to do with the Spirit of God, and not mere psychology? After all, people can be inwardly certain and convinced about some very uncertain and unconvincing things. 1 John 4:1-3 offers this answer: the way to prove a spirit, whether it be of God—for there are many false prophets in the world—is to see if one is led to confess that Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh, is of God. “By this you know the Spirit of God” (1 John 4:2). The movement of the argument, then, is from the inward conviction to the outward, external, historical event of the Incarnation. This is, indeed, an adequate criterion only for those who stand within the circle of faith. Should one press for a “neutral” criterion by which to verify the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual Christian, or the Church as a whole, there can be no other than that of love. Everyone, says the apostle, who is begotten of God, loves God, for God is love. And if a believer loves God, he will love his neighbor also, for how can he hate a brother whom he has seen, and love God whom he has not seen? If he loves God, God abides in him (1 John 4:7f.) There can be no doubt that this abiding presence of God in the heart and life is the presence of the Holy Spirit, for “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). Therefore, of all the fruits of the Spirit, love is the greatest, and is the most excellent way (1 Cor 13).

The Holy Spirit and the mission of the Church.

God entered history in Jesus Christ, He also continued to participate in history in and through the work of the Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles are the acts of the Holy Spirit in the world. As the writer of Hebrews quotes Scripture with the words, “As the Holy Spirit says,” so what was accomplished in the mission of the apostolic church may be described as “that which the Holy Spirit does.” This mission of the Church continues and will continue until the Lord shall have conquered the last enemy, death. As Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are the content of the Gospel, so it is the Holy Spirit who makes the Gospel a transforming, redeeming reality in society. Were it not for the Holy Spirit, there would be no Church in the world. It is the Spirit who speaks to the Church (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29), and it is He who thrusts the Church into the world to proclaim the Gospel (Acts 13:1-4), and empowers it under all circumstances faithfully to bear this witness (Heb 2:3, 4).


A. Murray, The Spirit of Christ (1888); H. B. Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament (1910); A. Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit (1941); T. Preiss, Le témoignage intérieur du Saint-Esprit (1946); C. K. Barnett, The Holy Spirit and the Gospel Tradition (1947); Schweizer, “Pneuma, Das Neue Testament,” TWNT (1959); J. Calvin, Institutes, Bk. I, chs. vii and xii, Bk. III, ch. i (1960); L. Berkhof, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (1964); J. L. Sherill, They Speak with Other Tongues (1964); H. Thielicke, Between Heaven and Earth, ch. V, “Speaking in Tongues” (1965).

Additional Material

Source 1

HOLY SPIRIT (Gr. pneuma hagion; in kjv of NT, Holy Ghost). The third person of the triune Godhead (Matt.28.19; 2Cor.13.14).





At Pentecost a new phase of the revelation of God to people began (Acts.2.1-Acts.2.47)—as new as when the Word became flesh in the birth of Jesus. With the rushing of a mighty wind and what appeared to be tongues of fire, the disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in foreign languages (listed in Acts.2.9-Acts.2.11). The excitement drew a crowd of visitors to the feast, to whom Peter explained that the prophecy of Joel.2.28-Joel.2.32 was being fulfilled in accordance with the salvation that Jesus of Nazareth had accomplished by dying on the cross. Another 3,000 souls were added by baptism to the 120 disciples, and thus began the fellowship of apostolic teaching, of breaking of bread and of prayer, the fellowship that is the church. When the first crisis that threatened the extinction of the early church was passed, again “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts.4.31), binding them more closely together. When the first Gentiles were converted, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them and they spoke in tongues (Acts.10.44-Acts.10.48); likewise when Paul met a group of John the Baptist’s disciples, the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts.19.1-Acts.19.7).

The NT is full of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers (Rom.8.1-Rom.8.27); e.g., he gives gifts (1Cor.12.14), our “body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1Cor.6.19), and he works in us “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal.5.22-Gal.5.23). Being “filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5.18) means that one experiences Christ living within (Rom.8.9-Rom.8.10). As the heavenly Father is God and his Son Jesus Christ is God, so the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit as well as the Son was active in creation; he was active on certain occasions in his own person in OT times and more intensively in the Gospels; and in Acts and the Epistles he becomes the resident divine agent in the church and in its members. Teaching concerning the Holy Spirit has been both neglected and distorted, but the subject deserves careful attention as one reads the NT.

Bibliography: H. B. Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament, 1909; R. B. Hoyle, The Holy Spirit in Saint Paul, 1928; H. W. Robinson, The Christian Experience of the Holy Spirit, 1928; G. S. Hendry, The Holy Spirit in Christian Theology, 1957; J. C. J. Waite, The Activity of the Holy Spirit Within the Old Testament Period, 1961; H. Berkhof, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, 1965; E. M. B. Green, I Believe in the Holy Spirit, 1975.——ER

Source 2

In the OT, the expression “Holy Spirit” is rare, but there are references to “the spirit of the Lord,” which is used of God in action, God doing something. God is, of course, to be discerned in quietness (1 Kings 19:11,12), but it is not this that is meant when “the spirit of the Lord” is used. Then it is rather the irresistible God who is in mind (e.g., 2 Kings 2:16; Ezek. 3:14). The Spirit is active in the Creation (Gen. 1:2; cf. Job 33:4). The Spirit gives life (Ezek. 37:14). The Spirit is at work in men in a variety of ways. He may give strength to Samson (Judg. 14:6) or skill to Bezaleel (Exod. 31:3). It was when the Spirit of the Lord “came upon” men like Othniel or Jephthah that they were able to do their work as judges of the people (Judg. 3:10; 11:29). The Spirit “came mightily upon” David (1 Sam. 16:13 RSV). Nehemiah (9:20) saw the knowledge that took the Israelites through the wilderness as coming from God's Spirit.

The Spirit gave Ezekiel his message (11:5; cf. 2:2; 3:24, etc.), and other prophets too, such as Balaam (Num. 24:2), Amasai (1 Chr. 12:18), Zechariah son of Jehoiada (2 Chr. 24:20). Isaiah and Micah report similar experiences (Isa. 61:1; Mic. 3:8). And the Spirit may be expected to help others than the prophets as they seek to serve the Lord (Psa. 51:11; 143:10; Ezek. 36:27).

In all this there is nothing which compels us to see the Spirit as a hypostasis in the NT manner. The full flowering of Christian teaching on the Spirit is future in the prophetic writings (Joel 2:28f.). There are hints that the Spirit may be understood as in some sense different from the Father (e.g., Isa. 48:16), but no more. But in the NT there is a very great advance.

In the early chapters of the gospels, it is true, the Spirit appears to be used in much the OT manner (e.g., Luke 1:41, 67). Throughout the lifetime of Jesus there is not much more. John explains this by saying, “Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:39). The coming of the Spirit in all His fulness was something that would follow, not precede, the passion and resurrection. But after this had occurred, the Spirit came on the infant church in a striking manifestation of enlightenment and power (Acts 2). From that time on, the presence of the Spirit is the characteristic thing about the Christian Church. It is a Spirit-filled body.

Two things are especially noteworthy about NT teaching on the Spirit: His universality among Christians, and His bringing of power for ethical achievement. First-century religions often held that a divine spirit would from time to time come upon men. But it was thought he would come only upon a few outstanding people. To be possessed by the spirit was a mark of outstanding distinction. But among the Christians the possession of the Spirit was the distinguishing characteristic. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God,” wrote Paul, and again, “If one does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Rom. 8:14, 9). This is made clear by such incidents as that in Acts 19 where, when Paul met some men who claimed to be Christian, his first question was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (v. 2). It was apparently unthinkable that anyone should be a Christian and not have the Spirit. This seems implied also throughout the epistles of the NT. The church is plainly regarded as a community indwelt by the Spirit of God. He is expected to be at work in believers constantly.

The second unusual thing about NT teaching on the Spirit is that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22,23). In the religions of antiquity generally, the divine spirit made his presence known by causing those in whom he came to engage in unusual behavior of an ecstatic kind. It was in the “whirling dervish” type of activity that the spirit's presence was to be discerned. It was something new and important when his presence was revealed rather by the manifestation of ethical qualities. The NT, it is true, does know of ecstatic gifts, such as the gift of “speaking in tongues.” But such activities are subordinated to love and the like, which represent the “most excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31).

Apart from these two points it is most important to see the Spirit in the NT as personal, not a force or an influence. Personal words are used of Him (like parakletos, “advocate”), and the activities ascribed to the Spirit are those which are normally fulfilled by persons. He gives gifts as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11), He leads believers and bears witness in them (Rom. 8:14, 16). He has knowledge (1 Cor. 2:11) and mind (Rom. 8:27). He loves (Rom. 15:30), grieves (Eph. 4:30), intercedes (Rom. 8:26f.), and cries out (Gal. 4:6).

The first Christians lived exultantly in the joy of the Spirit. But in succeeding generations the enthusiasm tended to wane, and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit was accepted formally as taught in Scripture rather than seen as a basis for living. Not surprisingly, in time there came a reaction. Montanus, a native of Phrygia in Asia Minor, who lived in the second part of the second century, put great emphasis on the Holy Spirit. He thought that revelation did not cease with the end of the NT period, and held that he himself was the source of important new revelations. As Jesus had been the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, Montanus saw himself as the incarnation of the Holy Spirit. He was supported by others, notably by two prophetesses, Priscilla and Maximilla. They thought the new Jerusalem would come down from heaven to a spot in Phrygia, and they prepared for this happy event with a strenuous asceticism. Their protest against the clericalism of the church of their day and against the lax morality of many professing Christians was important, and won them many adherents. But they were in serious error in their teaching of the new dispensation of the Spirit inaugurated by His “incarnation” in Montanus, and the church had no alternative but to condemn them.

The only other important heresy in the doctrine of the Spirit is that associated with Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople at the end of the Arian period. He accepted the full deity of the Son, but held that the Spirit was a created being, not unlike the angels. In a day when men were coming to see that the full Arian position was impossible, it seemed to many that it was a useful compromise to accept the deity of the Son (with the orthodox) but to deny that of the Spirit (with the Arians). But sound doctrine is not built up on political compromises of this sort, and Macedonianism was soon rejected.

The precise relationship of the Spirit to the Father and the Son is nowhere stated in Scripture, and it has caused discussion and even division in the church. The only passage which even appears to bear on the subject is that in which Jesus speaks of “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26 RSV). This passage does not deal with the eternal interrelationships between the persons of the Trinity, but it has given us the terminology. It has become customary to speak of the “procession” of the Spirit or of the Spirit as “proceeding.”

In the earliest statements it was customary simply to take up the passage in John's gospel and speak of the Spirit as proceeding from the Father. But the Nicene Creed came to be transmitted in the West in the form “proceeding from the Father and the Son.” It seems that this arose in the first instance from a copyist's mistake. But it became common to recite the creed in the West in this form. Not unnaturally, the Easterners demand that the creed be recited in its original form and that the double procession (i.e., procession from the Son as well as the Father) be renounced. The West's refusal was the formal cause of the break between the Eastern and Western churches.

The West has resisted the demand that it surrender the doctrine of the double procession because, however the disputed words originally got into the creed, they point to something true. The NT may not speak of the Spirit as “proceeding from” the Son, but it does link the two closely. The important point is that the Spirit is the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9; 1 Pet. 1:11; cf. Acts 16:7; Phil. 1:19). Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33), and sent the Spirit (John 20:22; Acts 2:33).

More important than the citing of any individual texts is the general thrust of NT teaching that the Spirit comes upon men as a result of what Christ has done. We know and receive the Spirit only because we have been saved by Christ's atoning death and brought into newness of life. It is in this new life that Christ brings that we know the Spirit. The doctrine of the double procession safeguards this as the single procession does not. See also Procession of the Spirit.

A. Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit (1900); H.B. Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament (1910); W.H.G. Thomas, The Holy Spirit of God (1913); H.W. Robinson, The Christian Experience of the Holy Spirit (1928); F.W. Dillistone, The Holy Spirit in the Life of Today (1946); C.K. Barrett, The Holy Spirit and the Gospel Tradition (1947); J.E. Fison, The Blessing of the Holy Spirit (1950); E.F. Kevan, The Saving Work of the Holy Spirit (1953); R. Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (1956); N.Q. Hamilton, The Holy Spirit and Eschatology in Paul (1957); G.S. Hendry, The Holy Spirit in Christian Theology (1957); E.H. Palmer, The Holy Spirit (1958); G. Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (1958); L. Morris, Spirit of the Living God (1960); J.R.W. Stott, The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit (1964); A.M. Stibbs and J.I. Packer, The Spirit Within You (1967); J.D.G. Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit (1970).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)



1. Meaning of the Word

2. The Spirit in Relation to the Godhead

3. The Spirit in External Nature

4. The Spirit of God In Man

5. Imparting Powers for Service

(1) Judges and Warriors

(2) Wisdom for Various Purposes

(3) In Prophecy

6. Imparting Moral Character

7. The Spirit in in the Messiah

8. Predictions of Future Outpouring of the Spirit


1. The Spirit in Josephus

2. The Spirit in the Pseudepigrapha

3. The Spirit in the Wisdom of Solomon 4. The Spirit in Philo


1. In Relation to the Person and Work of Christ

(1) Birth of Jesus

(2) Baptism of Jesus

(3) Temptation of Jesus

(4) Public Ministry of Jesus

(5) Death and Resurrection and Pentecostal Gift

2. The Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God (1) Synoptic Teachings

(2) In the Writings of John

(3) In Acts

(4) In Paul’s Writings

(a) The Spirit and Jesus

(b) In Bestowing Charismatic Gifts

(c) In the Beginnings of the Christian Life

(d) In the Religious and Moral Life

(e) In the Church

(f) In the Resurrection of Believers

(5) The Holy Spirit in Other New Testament Writings LITERATURE

The expression Spirit, or Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit, is found in the great majority of the books of the Bible. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word uniformly employed for the Spirit as referring to God’s Spirit is ruach meaning "breath," "wind" or "breeze." The verb form of the word is ruach, or riach used only in the Hiphil and meaning "to breathe," "to blow." A kindred verb is rawach, meaning "to breathe" "having breathing room," "to be spacious," etc. The word always used in the New Testament for the Spirit is the Greek neuter noun pneuma, with or without the article, and for Holy Spirit, pneuma hagion, or to pneuma to hagion. In the New Testament we find also the expressions, "the Spirit of God," "the Spirit of the Lord," "the Spirit of the Father," "the Spirit of Jesus," "of Christ." The word for Spirit in the Greek is from the verb pneo, "to breathe," "to blow." The corresponding word in the Latin is spiritus, meaning "spirit."

I. Old Testament Teachings as to the Spirit.

1. Meaning of the Word:

At the outset we note the significance of the term itself. From the primary meaning of the word which is "wind," as referring to Nature, arises the idea of breath in man and thence the breath, wind or Spirit of God. We have no way of tracing exactly how the minds of the Biblical writers connected the earlier literal meaning of the word with the Divine Spirit. Nearly all shades of meaning from the lowest to the highest appear in the Old Testament, and it is not difficult to conceive how the original narrower meaning was gradually expanded into the larger and wider. The following are some of the shades of Old Testament usage. From the notion of wind or breath, ruach came to signify:

(1) the principle of life itself; spirit in this sense indicated the degree of vitality: "My spirit is consumed, my days are extinct" (Job 17:1; also Jud 15:19; 1Sa 30:12); (2) human feelings of various kinds, as anger (Jud 8:3; Pr 29:11), desire (Isa 26:9), courage (Jos 2:11); (3) intelligence (Ex 28:3; Isa 29:24); (4) general disposition (Ps 34:18; 5l:17; Pr 14:29; 16:18; 29:23).

No doubt the Biblical writers thought of man as made in the image of God (Ge 1:27 f), and it was easy for them to think of God as being like man. It is remarkable that their anthropomorphism did not go farther. They preserve, however, a highly spiritual conception of God as compared with that of surrounding nations. But as the human breath was an invisible part of man, and as it represented his vitality, his life and energy, it was easy to transfer the conception to God in the effort to represent His energetic and transitive action upon man and Nature. The Spirit of God, therefore, as based upon the idea of the ruach or breath of man, originally stood for the energy or power of God (Isa 31:3; compare A. B. Davidson, Theology of the Old Testament, 117-18), as contrasted with the weakness of the flesh.

2. The Spirit in Relation to the Godhead:

Do the Old Testament teachings indicate that in the view of the writers the Spirit of Yahweh was a distinct person in the Divine nature? The passage in Ge 1:26 is scarcely conclusive. The idea and importance of personality were but slowly developed in Israelite thought. Not until some of the later prophets did it receive great emphasis, and even then scarcely in the fully developed form. The statement in Ge 1:26 may be taken as the plural of majesty or as referring to the Divine council, and on this account is not conclusive for the Trinitarian view. Indeed, there are no Old Testament passages which compel us to understand the complete New Testament doctrine of the Trinity and the distinct personality of the Spirit in the New Testament sense. There are, however, numerous Old Testament passages which are in harmony with the Trinitarian conception and prepare the way for it, such as Ps 139:7; Isa 63:10; 48:16; Hag 2:5; Zec 4:6. The Spirit is grieved, vexed, etc., and in other ways is conceived of personally, but as He is God in action, God exerting power, this was the natural way for the Old Testament writers to think of the Spirit.

The question has been raised as to how the Biblical writers were able to hold the conception of the Spirit of God without violence to their monotheism. A suggested reply is that the idea of the Spirit came gradually and indirectly from the conception of subordinate gods which prevailed among some of the surrounding nations (I.F. Wood, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, 30). But the best Israelite thought developed in opposition to, rather than in analogy with, polytheism. A more natural explanation seems to be that their simple anthropomorphism led them to conceive the Spirit of God as the breath of God parallel with the conception of man’s breath as being part of man and yet going forth from him.

3. The Spirit in External Nature:

We consider next the Spirit of God in external Nature. "And the Spirit of God moved (was brooding or hovering) upon the face of the waters" (Ge 1:2). The figure is that of a brooding or hovering bird (compare De 32:11). Here the Spirit brings order and beauty out of the primeval chaos and conducts the cosmic forces toward the goal of an ordered universe. Again in Ps 104:28-30, God sends forth His Spirit, and visible things are called into being: "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground." In Job 26:13 the beauty of the heavens is ascribed to the Spirit: "By his Spirit the heavens are garnished." In Isa 32:15 the wilderness becomes a fruitful field as the result of the outpouring of the Spirit. The Biblical writers scarcely took into their thinking the idea of second causes, certainly not in the modern scientific sense. They regarded the phenomena of Nature as the result of God’s direct action through His Spirit. At every point their conception of the Spirit saved them from pantheism on the one hand and polytheism on the other.

4. The Spirit of God in Man:

5. Imparting Powers for Service:

The greater part of the Old Testament passages which refer to the Spirit of God deal with the subject from the point of view of the covenant relations between Yahweh and Israel. And the greater portion of these, in turn, have to do with gifts and powers conferred by the Spirit for service in the ongoing of the kingdom of God. We fail to grasp the full meaning of very many statements of the Old Testament unless we keep constantly in mind the fundamental assumption of all the Old Testament, namely, the covenant relations between God and Israel. Extraordinary powers exhibited by Israelites of whatever kind were usually attributed to the Spirit. These are so numerous that our limits of space forbid an exhaustive presentation. The chief points we may notice.

(1) Judges and Warriors.

The children of Israel cried unto Yahweh and He raised up a savior for them, Othniel, the son of Kenaz: "And the Spirit of Yahweh came upon him, and he judged Israel" (Jud 3:10). So also Gideon (Jud 6:34): "The Spirit of Yahweh came upon (literally, clothed itself with) Gideon." In Jud 11:29 "the spirit of Yahweh came upon Jephthah"; and in 13:25 "the Spirit of Yahweh began to move" Samson. In 14:6 "the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon him." In 1Sa 16:14 we read "the Spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him." In all this class of passages, the Spirit imparts special endowments of power without necessary reference to the moral character of the recipient. The end in view is not personal, merely to the agent, but concerns theocratic kingdom and implies the covenant between God and Israel. In some cases the Spirit exerts physical energy in a more direct way (2Ki 2:16; Eze 2:1 f; 3:12).

(2) Wisdom for Various Purposes.

(3) In Prophecy.

There are quite perceptible stages in the development of the Old Testament prophecy. In the earlier period the prophet was sometimes moved, not so much to intelligible speech, as by a sort of enthusiasm or prophetic ecstasy. In 1Sa 10 we have an example of this earlier form of prophecy, where a company with musical instruments prophesied together. To what extent this form of prophetic enthusiasm was attended by warnings and exhortations, if so attended at all, we do not know. There was more in it than in the excitement of the diviners and devotees of the surrounding nations. For the Spirit of Yahweh was its source.

In the later period we have prophecy in its highest forms in the Old Testament. The differences between earlier and later prophecy are probably due in part to the conditions. The early period required action, the later required teaching. The judges on whom the Spirit came were deliverers in a turbulent age. There was not need for, nor could the people have borne, the higher ethical and spiritual truths which came in later revelations through the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. See 2Sa 23:2; Eze 2:2; 8:3; 11:24; 13:3;. Mic 3:8; Ho 9:7.

A difficulty arises from statements such as the following: A lying spirit was sometimes present in the prophet (1Ki 22:21 f); Yahweh puts a spirit in the king of Assyria and turns him back to his destruction (Isa 37:7); because of sin, a lying prophet should serve the people (Mic 2:11); in Micaiah’s vision Yahweh sends a spirit to entice Ahab through lying prophets (1Ki 22:19 ); an evil spirit from Yahweh comes upon Saul (1Sa 16:14; 18:10; 19:9). The following considerations may be of value in explaining these passages. Yahweh was the source of things generally in Old Testament thought. Its pronounced monotheism appears in this as in so many other ways. Besides this, Old Testament writers usually spoke phenomenally. Prophecy was a particular form of manifestation with certain outward marks and signs. Whatever presented these outward marks was called prophecy, whether the message conveyed was true or false. The standard of discrimination here was not the outward signs of the prophet, but the truth or right of the message as shown by the event. As to the evil spirit from Yahweh, it may be explained in either of two ways. First, it may have referred to the evil disposition of the man upon whom God’s Spirit was acting, in which case he would resist the Spirit and his own spirit would be the evil spirit. Or the "evil spirit from Yahweh" may have referred, in the prophet’s mind, to an actual spirit of evil which Yahweh sent or permitted to enter the man. The latter is the more probable explanation, in accordance with which the prophet would conceive that Yahweh’s higher will was accomplished, even through the action of the evil spirit upon man’s spirit. Yahweh’s judicial anger against transgression would, to the prophet’s mind, justify the sending of an evil spirit by Yahweh.

6. Imparting Moral Character:

7. The Spirit in the Messiah:

In both the first and the second sections of Isaiah, there are distinct references to the Spirit in connection with the Messiah, although the Messiah is conceived as the ideal King who springs from the root of David in some instances, and in others as the Suffering Servant of Yahweh. This is not the place to discuss the Messianic import of the latter group of passages which has given rise to much difference of opinion. As in the case of the ideal Davidic King which, in the prophet’s mind, passes from the lower to the higher and Messianic conception, so, under the form of the Suffering Servant, the "remnant" of Israel becomes the basis for an ideal which transcends in the Messianic sense the original nucleus of the conception derived from the historic events in the history of Israel. The prophet rises in the employment of both conceptions to the thought of the Messiah who is the "anointed" of Yahweh as endued especially with the power and wisdom of the Spirit. In Isa 11:1-5 a glowing picture is given of the "shoot out of the stock of Jesse." The Spirit imparts "wisdom and understanding" and endows him with manifold gifts through the exercise of which he shall bring in the kingdom of righteousness and peace. In Isa 42:1 ff, the "servant" is in like manner endowed most richly with the gifts of the Spirit by virtue of which he shall bring forth "justice to the Gentiles." In Isa 61:1 ff occur the notable words cited by Jesus in Lu 4:18 f, beginning, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" etc. In these passages the prophet describes elaborately and minutely the Messiah’s endowment with a wide range of powers, all of which are traced to the action of God’s Spirit.

8. Predictions of Future Outpouring of the Spirit:

In the later history of Israel, when the sufferings of the exile pressed heavily, there arose a tendency to idealize a past age as the era of the special blessing of the Spirit, coupled with a very marked optimism as to a future outpouring of the Spirit. In Hag 2:5 reference is made to the Mosaic period as the age of the Spirit, "when ye came out of Egypt, and my Spirit abode among you." In Isa 44:3 the Spirit is to be poured out on Jacob and his seed; and in Isa 59:20 a Redeemer is to come to Zion under the covenant of Yahweh, and the Spirit is to abide upon the people. The passage, however, which especially indicates the transition from Old Testament to New Testament times is that in Joe 2:28,32 which is cited by Peter in Ac 2:17-21. In this prophecy the bestowal of the Spirit is extended to all classes, is attended by marvelous signs and is accompanied by the gift of salvation. Looking back from the later to the earlier period of Old Testament history, we observe a twofold tendency of teaching in relation to the Spirit. The first is from the outward gift of the Spirit for various uses toward a deepening sense of inner need of the Spirit for moral purity, and consequent emphasis upon the ethical energy of the Spirit. The second tendency is toward a sense of the futility of the merely human or theocratic national organization in and of itself to achieve the ends of Yahweh, along with a sense of the need for the Spirit of God upon the people generally, and a prediction of the universal diffusion of the Spirit.

II. The Spirit in Non-Canonical Jewish Literature.

In the Palestinian and Alexandrian literature of the Jews there are comparatively few references to the Spirit of God. The two books in which the teachings as to the Spirit are most explicit and most fully developed are of Alexandrian origin, namely, The Wisdom of Solomon and the writings of Philo. In the Old Testament Apocrypha and in Josephus the references to the Spirit are nearly always merely echoes of a long-past age when the Spirit was active among men. In no particular is the contrast between the canonical and noncanonical literature more striking than in the teaching as to the Spirit of God. 1. The Spirit of Josephus:

Josephus has a number of references to the Holy Spirit, but nearly always they have to do with the long-past history of Israel. He refers to 22 books of the Old Testament which are of the utmost reliability. There are other books, but none "of like authority," because there has "not been an exact succession of prophets" (Josephus, Against Apion I, 8). Samuel is described as having a large place in the affairs of the kingdom because he is a prophet (Ant., VI, v, 6). God appears to Solomon in sleep and teaches him wisdom (ibid., VIII, ii); Balaam prophesies through the Spirit’s power (ibid., IV, v, 6); and Moses was such a prophet that his words were God’s words (ibid., IV, viii, 49). In Josephus we have then simply a testimony to the inspiration and power of the prophets and the books written by them, in so far as we have in him teachings regarding the Spirit of God. Even here the action of the Spirit is usually implied rather than expressed.

2. The Spirit in the Pseudepigrapha:

In the pseudepigraphic writings the Spirit of God is usually referred to as acting in the long-past history of Israel or in the future Messianic age. In the apocalyptic books, the past age of power, when the Spirit wrought mightily, becomes the ground of the hopes of the future. The past is glorified, and out of it arises the hope of a future kingdom of glory and power. Enoch says to Methuselah: "The word calls me and the Spirit is poured out upon me" (En 91:1). In 49:1-4 the Messiah has the Spirit of wisdom, understanding and might. Enoch is represented as describing his own translation. "He was carried aloft in the chariots of the Spirit" (En 70:2). In Jubilees 31:16 Isaac is represented as prophesying, and in 25:13 it is said of Rebekah that the" Holy Spirit descended into her mouth." Sometimes the action of the Spirit is closely connected with the moral life, although this is rare. "The Spirit of God rests" on the man of pure and loving heart (XII the Priestly Code (P), Benj. 8). In Simeon 4 it is declared that Joseph was a good man and that the Spirit of God rested on him. There appears at times a lament for the departed age of prophecy (1 Macc 9:27; 14:41). The future is depicted in glowing colors. The Spirit is to come in a future judgment (XII the Priestly Code (P), Levi 18); and the spirit of holiness shall rest upon the redeemed in Paradise (Levi 18); and in Levi 2 the spirit of insight is given, and the vision of the sinful world and its salvation follows. Generally speaking, this literature is far below that of the Old Testament, both in moral tone and religious insight. Much of it seems childish, although at times we encounter noble passages. There is lacking in it the prevailing Old Testament mood which is best described as prophetic, in which the writer feels constrained by the power of God’s Spirit to speak or write. The Old Testament literature thus possesses a vitality and power which accounts for the strength of its appeal to our religious consciousness.

3. The Spirit in the Wisdom of Solomon:

We note in the next place a few teachings as to the Spirit of God in Wisd. Here the ethical element in character is a condition of the Spirit’s indwelling. "Into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter: nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin. For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in" (The Wisdom of Solomon 1:4 f). This "holy spirit of discipline" is evidently God’s Holy Spirit, for in 1:7 the writer proceeds to assert, "For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world," and in 1:8,9 there is a return to the conception of unrighteousness as a hindrance to right speaking. In The Wisdom of Solomon 7:7 the Spirit of Wisdom comes in response to prayer. In 7:22-30 is an elaborate and very beautiful description of wisdom: "In her is an understanding spirit, holy, one only, manifold, subtle, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good, kind to man, steadfast, sure," etc. "She is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness," etc. No one can know God’s counsel except by the Holy Spirit (9:17). The writer of The Wisdom of Solomon was deeply possessed of the sense of the omnipresence of the Spirit of God, as seen in 1:7 and in 12:1. In the latter passage we read: "For thine incorruptible spirit is in all things."

4. The Spirit in Philo:

In Philo we have what is almost wholly wanting in other Jewish literature, namely, analytic and reflective thought upon the work of the Spirit of God. The interest in Philo is primarily philosophic, and his teachings on the Spirit possess special interest on this account in contrast with Biblical and other extra-Biblical literature. In his Questions and Solutions, 27, 28, he explains the expression in Ge 8:1: "He brought a breath over the earth and the wind ceased." He argues that water is not diminished by wind, but only agitated and disturbed. Hence, there must be a reference to God’s Spirit or breath by which the whole universe obtains security. He has a similar discussion of the point why the word "Spirit" is not used instead of "breath" in Ge in the account of man’s creation, and concludes that "to breathe into" here means to "inspire," and that God by His Spirit imparted to man mental and moral life and capacity for Divine things (Allegories, xiii). In several passages Philo discusses prophecy and the prophetic office. One of the most interesting relates to the prophetic office of Moses (Life of Moses, xxiii ff). He also describes a false prophet who claims to be "inspired and possessed by the Holy Spirit" (On Those Who Offer Sacrifice, xi). In a very notable passage, Philo describes in detail his own subjective experiences under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and his language is that of the intellectual mystic. He says that at times he found himself devoid of impulse or capacity for mental activity, when suddenly by the coming of the Spirit of God, his intellect was rendered very fruitful: "and sometimes when I have come to my work empty I have suddenly become full, ideas being, in an invisible manner, showered upon me and implanted in me from on high; so that through the influence of Divine inspiration I have become greatly excited and have known neither the place in which I was, nor those who were present, nor myself, nor what I was saying, nor what I was writing," etc. (Migrations of Abraham, vii).

In Philo, as in the non-canonical literature generally, we find little metaphysical teaching as to the Spirit and His relations to the Godhead. On this point there is no material advance over the Old Testament teaching. The agency of the Holy Spirit in shaping and maintaining the physical universe and as the source of man’s capacities and powers is clearly recognized in Philo. In Philo, as in Josephus, the conception of inspiration as the complete occupation and domination of the prophet’s mind by the Spirit of God, even to the extent of suspending the operation of the natural powers, comes clearly into view. This is rather in contrast with, than in conformity to, the Old Testament and New Testament conception of inspiration, in which the personality of the prophet remains intensely active while under the influence of the Spirit, except possibly in cases of vision and trance.

III. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

In the New Testament there is unusual symmetry and completeness of teaching as to the work of the Spirit of God in relation to the Messiah Himself, and to the founding of the Messianic kingdom. The simplest mode of presentation will be to trace the course of the progressive activities of the Spirit, or teachings regarding these activities, as these are presented to us in the New Testament literature as we now have it, so far as the nature of the subject will permit. This will, of course, disturb to some extent the chronological order in which the New Testament books were written, since in some cases, as in John’s Gospel, a very late book contains early teachings as to the Spirit.

1. In Relation to the Person and Work of Christ:

(1) Birth of Jesus.

In Mt 1:18 Mary is found with child "of the Holy Spirit" (ek pneumatos hagiou); an angel tells Joseph that that "which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (1:20), all of which is declared to be in fulfillment of the prophecy that a virgin shall bring forth a son whose name shall be called Immanuel (Isa 7:14). In Lu 1:35 the angel says to Mary that the Holy Spirit (pneuma hagion) shall come upon her, and the power of the Most High (dunamis Hupsistou) shall overshadow her. Here "Holy Spirit" and "power of the Most High" are parallel expressions meaning the same thing; in the one case emphasizing the Divine source and in the other the holiness of "the holy thing which is begotten" (1:35). In connection with the presentation of the babe in the temple, Simeon is described as one upon whom the Holy Spirit rested, to whom revelation was made through the Spirit and who came into the temple in the Spirit (Lu 2:25-28). So also Anna the prophetess speaks concerning the babe, evidently in Luke’s thought, under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Lu 2:36 ).

It is clear from the foregoing that the passages in Matthew and Luke mean to set forth, first, the supernatural origin, and secondly, the sinlessness of the babe born of Mary. The act of the Holy Spirit is regarded as creative, although the words employed signify "begotten" or "born" (gennethen, Mt 1:20; and gennomenon, Lu 1:35). There is no hint in the stories of the nativity concerning the pretemporal existence of Christ. This doctrine was developed later. Nor is there any suggestion of the immaculate conception or sinlessness of Mary, the mother of our Lord. Dr. C.A. Briggs has set forth a theory of the sinlessness of Mary somewhat different from the Roman Catholic view, to the effect that the Old Testament prophecies foretell the purification of the Davidic line, and that Mary was the culminating point in the purifying process, who thereby became sinless (Incarnation of the Lord, 230-34). This, however, is speculative and without substantial Biblical warrant. The sinlessness of Jesus was not due to the sinlessness of His mother, but to the Divine origin of His human nature, the Spirit of God.

In Heb 10:5 ff the writer makes reference to the sinless body of Christ as affording a perfect offering for sins. No direct reference is made to the birth of Jesus, but the origin of His body is ascribed to God (Heb 10:5), though not specifically to the Holy Spirit. (2) Baptism of Jesus.

The New Testament records give us very little information regarding the growth of Jesus to manhood. In Lu 2:40 ff a picture is given of the boyhood, exceedingly brief, but full of significance. The "child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom (m "becoming full of wisdom"): and the grace of God was upon him." Then follows the account of the visit to the temple. Evidently in all these experiences, the boy is under the influence and guidance of the Spirit. This alone would supply an adequate explanation, although Luke does not expressly name the Spirit as the source of these particular experiences. The Spirit’s action is rather assumed.

Great emphasis, however, is given to the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus at His baptism. Mt 3:16 declares that after His baptism "the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him." Mr 1:10 repeats the statement in substantially equivalent terms. Lu 3:22 declares that the Spirit descended in "bodily form, as a dove" (somatiko eidei hos peristeran). In Joh 1:32,33 the Baptist testifies that he saw the Spirit descending upon Jesus as a dove out of heaven, and that it abode upon Him, and, further, that this descent of the Spirit was the mark by which he was to recognize Jesus as "he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit."

We gather from these passages that at the baptism there was a new communication of the Spirit to Jesus in great fullness, as a special anointing for His Messianic vocation. The account declares that the dovelike appearance was seen by Jesus as well as John, which is scarcely compatible with a subjective experience merely. Of course, the dove here is to be taken as a symbol, and not as an assertion that God’s Spirit assumed the form of a dove actually. Various meanings have been assigned to the symbol. One connects it with the creative power, according to a Gentileusage; others with the speculative philosophy of Alexandrian Judaism, according to which the dove symbolized the Divine wisdom or reason. But the most natural explanation connects the symbolism of the dove with the brooding or hovering of the Spirit in Ge 13. In this new spiritual creation of humanity, as in the first physical creation, the Spirit of God is the energy through which the work is carried on. Possibly the dove, as a living organism, complete in itself, may suggest the totality and fullness of the gift of the Spirit to Jesus. At Pentecost, on the contrary, the Spirit is bestowed distributively and partially at least to individuals as such, as suggested by the cloven tongues as of fire which "sat upon each one of them" (Ac 2:3). Joh 3:34 emphasizes the fullness of the bestowal upon Jesus: "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure." In the witness of the Baptist the permanence of the anointing of Jesus is declared: "Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding" (1:33).

It is probable that the connection of the bestowal of the Spirit with water baptism, as seen later in the Book of Acts, is traceable to the reception of the Spirit by Jesus at His own baptism. Baptism in the Spirit did not supersede water baptism.

The anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit qualified Him in two particulars for His Messianic office.

(a) It was the source of His own endowments of power for the endurance of temptation, for teaching, for casting out demons, and healing the sick, for His sufferings and death, for His resurrection and ascension. The question is often raised, why Jesus, the Divine one, should have needed the Holy Spirit for His Messianic vocation. The reply is that His human nature, which was real, required the Spirit’s presence. Man, made in God’s image, is constituted in dependence upon the Spirit of God. Apart from God’s Spirit man fails of his true destiny, simply because our nature is constituted as dependent upon the indwelling Spirit of God for the performance of our true functions. Jesus as human, therefore, required the presence of God’s Spirit, notwithstanding His Divine-human consciousness.

(b) The Holy Spirit’s coming upon Jesus in fullness also qualified Him to bestow the Holy Spirit upon His disciples. John the Baptist especially predicts that it is He who shall baptize in the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11; Mr 18; Lu 3:16; see also Joh 20:22; Ac 15). It was especially true of the king that He was anointed for His office, and the term Messiah (mashiach, equivalent to the Greek ho Christos), meaning the Anointed One, points to this fact. (3) Temptation of Jesus.

The facts as to the temptation are as follows: In Mt 4:1 we are told that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Mr 1:12 declares in his graphic way that after the baptism "straightway the Spirit driveth (ekballei) him forth into the wilderness." Lu 4:1 more fully declares that Jesus was "full of the Holy Spirit," and that He was "led in the Spirit in the wilderness during 40 days." The impression which the narratives of the temptation give is of energetic spiritual conflict. As the Messiah confronted His life task He was subject to the ordinary conditions of other men in an evil world. Not by sheer divinity and acting from without as God, but as human also and a part of the world, He must overcome, so that while He was sinless, it was nevertheless true that the righteousness of Jesus was also an achieved righteousness. The temptations were no doubt such as were peculiar to His Messianic vocation, the misuse of power, the presumption of faith and the appeal of temporal splendor. To these He opposes the restraint of power, the poise of faith and the conception of a kingdom wholly spiritual in its origin, means and ends. Jesus is hurled, as it were, by the Spirit into this terrific conflict with the powers of evil, and His conquest, like the temptations themselves, was not final, but typical and representative. It is a mistake to suppose that the temptations of Jesus ended at the close of the forty days. Later in His ministry, He refers to the disciples as those who had been with Him in His temptations (Lu 22:28). The temptations continued throughout His life, though, of course, the wilderness temptations were the severest test of all, and the victory there contained in principle and by anticipation later victories. Comment has been made upon the absence of reference to the Holy Spirit’s influence upon Jesus in certain remarkable experiences, which in the case of others would ordinarily have been traced directly to the Spirit, as in Lu 11:14 ff, etc. (compare the article by James Denney in DCG, I, 732, 734). Is it not true, however, that the point of view of the writers of the Gospels is that Jesus is always under the power of the Spirit? At His baptism, in the temptation, and at the beginning of His public ministry (Lu 4:14) very special stress is placed upon the fact. Thenceforward the Spirit’s presence and action are assumed. From time to time, reference is made to the Spirit for special reasons, but the action of the Spirit in and through Jesus is always assumed.

(4) Public Ministry of Jesus.

Here we can select only a few points to illustrate a much larger truth. The writers of the Gospels, and especially Luke, conceived of the entire ministry of Jesus as under the power of the Holy Spirit. After declaring that Jesus was "full of the Holy Spirit" and that He was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness forty days in 4:1, he declares, in 4:14, that Jesus "returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee." This is followed in the next verse by a general summary of His activities: "And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all." Then, as if to complete his teaching as to the relation of the Spirit to Jesus, he narrates the visit to Nazareth and the citation by Jesus in the synagogue there of Isaiah’s words beginning, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," with the detailed description of His Messianic activity, namely, preaching to the poor, announcement of release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Isa 61:1 f). Jesus proclaims the fulfillment of this prophecy in Himself (Lu 4:21). In Mt 12:18 ff a citation from Isa 42:1-3 is given in connection with the miraculous healing work of Jesus. It is a passage of exquisite beauty and describes the Messiah as a quiet and unobtrusive and tender minister to human needs, possessed of irresistible power and infinite patience. Thus the highest Old Testament ideals as to the operations of the Spirit of God come to realization, especially in the public ministry of Jesus. The comprehensive terms of the description make it incontestably clear that the New Testament writers thought of the entire public life of Jesus as directed by the Spirit of God. We need only to read the evangelic records in order to fill in the details.

The miracles of Jesus were wrought through the power of the Holy Spirit. Occasionally He is seized as it were by a sense of the urgency of His work in some such way as to impress beholders with the presence of a strange power working in Him. In one case men think He is beside Himself (Mr 3:21); in another they are impressed with the authoritativeness of His teaching (Mr 1:22); in another His intense devotion to His task makes Him forget bodily needs (Joh 4:31); again men think He has a demon (Joh 8:48); at one time He is seized with a rapturous joy when the 70 return from their successful evangelistic tour, and Luke declares that at that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit (Lu 10:21; compare Mt 11:25). This whole passage is a remarkable one, containing elements which point to the Johannine conception of Jesus, on which account Harnack is disposed to discredit it at certain points (Sayings of Jesus, 302). One of the most impressive aspects of this activity of Jesus in the Spirit is its suppressed intensity. Nowhere is there lack of self-control. Nowhere is there evidence of a coldly didactic attitude, on the one hand, or of a loose rein upon the will, on the other. Jesus is always an intensely human Master wrapped in Divine power. The miracles contrast strikingly with the miracles of the apocryphal gospels. In the latter all sorts of capricious deeds of power are ascribed to Jesus as a boy. In our Gospels, on the contrary, no miracle is wrought until after His anointing with the Spirit at baptism.

A topic of especial interest is that of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Jesus cast out demons by the power of God’s Spirit. In Mt 12:31; Mr 3:28 f; Lu 12:10, we have the declaration that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unpardonable sin. Mark particularizes the offense of the accusers of Jesus by saying that they said of Jesus, "He hath an unclean spirit." The blasphemy against the Spirit seems to have been not merely rejection of Jesus and His words, which might be due to various causes. It was rather the sin of ascribing works of Divine mercy and power-works which had all the marks of their origin in the goodness of God--to a diabolic source. The charge was that He cast out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils. We are not to suppose that the unpardonable nature of the sin against the Holy Spirit was due to anything arbitrary in God’s arrangements regarding sin. The moral and spiritual attitude involved in the charge against Jesus was simply a hopeless one. It presupposed a warping or wrenching of the moral nature from the truth in such degree, a deep-seated malignity and insusceptibility to Divine influences so complete, that no moral nucleus remained on which the forgiving love of God might work.

See Blasphemy.

(5) Death, Resurrection and Pentecostal Gift.

It is not possible to give here a complete outline of the activities of Jesus in the Holy Spirit. We observe one or two additional points as to the relations of the Holy Spirit to Him. In Heb 9:14 it is declared that Christ "through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God," and in Ro 1:4, Paul says He was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (compare also Ro 8:11).

As already noted, John the Baptist gave as a particular designation of Jesus that it was He who should baptize with the Holy Spirit, in contrast with his own baptism in water. In Joh 20:22, after the resurrection and before the ascension, Jesus breathed on the disciples and said "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." There was probably a real communication of the Spirit in this act of Jesus in anticipation of the outpouring in fullness on the day of Pentecost. In Ac 1:2 it is declared that He gave commandment through the Holy Spirit, and in 1:5 it is predicted by Him that the disciples should "be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence"; and in 1:8 it is declared, "Ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you." It is clear from the preceding that in the thought of the New Testament writers Jesus is completely endued with the power of the. Holy Spirit. It is in large measure the Old Testament view of the Spirit; that is to say, the operation of the Spirit in and through Jesus is chiefly with a view to His official Messianic work, the charismatic Spirit imparting power rather than the Spirit for holy living merely. Yet there is a difference between the Old Testament and New Testament representations here. In the Old Testament the agency of the Spirit is made very prominent when mighty works are performed by His power. In the Gospels the view is concentrated less upon the Spirit than upon Jesus Himself, though it is always assumed that He is acting in the power of the Spirit. In the case of Jesus also, the moral quality of His words and deeds is always assumed.

2. The Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God:

Our next topic in setting forth the New Testament teaching is the Holy Spirit in relation to the kingdom of God. Quite in harmony with the plenary endowment of Jesus, the founder of the kingdom, with the power of the Spirit, is the communication of the Spirit to the agents employed by Providence in the conduct of the affairs of the kingdom. We need, at all points, in considering the subject in the New Testament to keep in view the Old Testament background. The covenant relations between God and Israel were the presupposition of all the blessings of the Old Testament. In the New Testament there is not an identical but an analogous point of view. God is continuing His work among men. Indeed in a real sense He has begun a new work, but this new work is the fulfillment of the old. The new differs from the old in some very important respects, chiefly indeed in this, that now the national and theocratic life is wholly out of sight. Prophecy no longer deals with political questions. The power of the Spirit no longer anoints kings and judges for their duties. The action of the Spirit upon the cosmos now ceases to receive attention. In short, the kingdom of God is intensely spiritualized, and the relation of the Spirit to the individual or the church is nearly always that which is dealt with.

(1) Synoptic Teachings.

We consider briefly the synoptic teachings as to the Holy Spirit in relation to the kingdom of God. The forerunner of Jesus goes before His face in the Spirit and power of Elijah (Lu 1:17). Of Him it had been predicted that He should be filled with the Holy Spirit from His mother’s womb (Lu 1:15). The Master expressly predicts that the Holy Spirit will give the needed wisdom when the disciples are delivered up. "It is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit" (Mr 13:11). In Lu 12:12 it is also declared that "The Holy Spirit shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say." Likewise in Mt 10:20, "It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you." In Lu 11:13 is a beautiful saying: If we who are evil give good gifts to our children, how much more shall the "heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." This is a variation from the parallel passage in Mt (7:11), and illustrates Luke’s marked emphasis upon the operations of the Spirit. In Mt 28:19, the disciples are commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This passage has been called in question, but there is not sufficient ground for its rejection. Hitherto there has been almost no hint directly of the personality of the Spirit or the Trinitarian implications in the teaching as to the Spirit. Here, however, we have a very suggestive hint toward a doctrine of the Spirit which attains more complete development later.

(2) In the Writings of John

In the Gospel of John there is a more elaborate presentation of the office and work of the Holy Spirit, particularly in Joh 14-17. Several earlier passages, however, must be noticed. The passage on the new birth in Joh 3:5 ff we notice first. The expression, "except one be born of water and the Spirit," seems to contain a reference to baptism along with the action of the Spirit of God directly on the soul. In the light of other New Testament teachings, however, we are not warranted in ascribing saving efficacy to baptism here. The "birth," in so far as it relates to baptism, is symbolic simply, not actual. The outward act is the fitting symbolic accompaniment of the spiritual regeneration by the Spirit. Symbolism and spiritual fact move on parallel lines. The entrance into the kingdom is symbolically effected by means of baptism, just as the "new birth" takes place symbolically by the same means.

In Joh 6:51 ff we have the very difficult words attributed to Jesus concerning the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood. The disciples were greatly distressed by these words, and in 6:63 Jesus insists that "it is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing." One’s view of the meaning of this much-discussed passage will turn largely on his point of view in interpreting it. If he adopts the view that John is reading back into the record much that came later in the history, the inference will probably follow that Jesus is here referring to the Lord's Supper|Lord’s Supper. If on the other hand it is held that John is seeking to reproduce substantially what was said, and to convey an impression of the actual situation, the reference to the Supper will not be inferred. Certainly the language fits the later teaching in the establishment of the Supper, although John omits a detailed account of the Supper. But Jesus was meeting a very real situation in the carnal spirit of the multitude which followed Him for the loaves and fishes. His deeply mystical words seem to have been intended to accomplish the result which followed, namely, the separation of the true from the false disciples. There is no necessary reference to the Lord’s Supper specifically, therefore, in His words. Spiritual meat and drink, not carnal, are the true food of man. He Himself was that food, but only the spiritually susceptible would grasp His meaning. It is difficult to assign any sufficient reason why Jesus should have here referred to the Supper, or why John should have desired to introduce such reference into the story at this stage.

In Joh 7:37 ff we have a saying of Jesus and its interpretation by John which accords with the synoptic reference to a future baptism in the Holy Spirit to be bestowed by Jesus: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water." John adds: "But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified." No doubt John’s Gospel is largely a reproduction of the facts and teachings of Jesus in the evangelist’s own words. This passage indicates, however, that John discriminated between his own constructions of Christ’s teachings and the teachings themselves, and warns us against the custom of many exegetes who broadly assume that John employed his material with slight regard for careful and correct statement, passing it through his own consciousness in such manner as to leave us his own subjective Gospel, rather than a truly historical record. The ethical implications of such a process on John’s part would scarcely harmonize with his general tone and especially the teachings of his Epistles. No doubt John’s Gospel contains much meaning which he could not have put into it prior to the coming of the Spirit. But what John seeks to give is the teaching of Jesus and not his own theory of Jesus.

We give next an outline of the teachings in the great Joh 14 to 17, the farewell discourse of Jesus. In 14:16 Jesus says, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter" (parakletos; see Paraclete). Next Jesus describes this Comforter as one whom the world cannot receive. Disciples know Him because He abides in them. The truth of Christianity is spiritually discerned, i.e. it is discerned by the power and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In the name of "reality," science sometimes repudiates these inner experiences as "mystical." But Christians cling to them as most real, data of experience as true and reliable as any other forms of human experience. To repudiate them would be for them to repudiate reality itself. The Father and Son shall make their abode in Christians (14:23). This is probably another form of assertion of the Spirit’s presence, and not a distinct line of mystical teaching. (Compare Woods, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, 243.) For in 14:26 the promise of the Spirit is repeated. The Father is to send the Spirit in the name of Christ, and He is to teach the disciples all things, quickening also their memories. In the New Testament generally, and especially in John’s and Paul’s writings, there is no sense of conflict between Father, Son and Spirit in their work in the Christian. All proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is accomplished in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. As will appear, Christ in the believer is represented as being practically all that the Spirit does without identifying Christ with the Spirit. So far there are several notes suggesting the personality of the Holy Spirit. The designation "another Comforter," taken in connection with the description of his work, is one. The fact that He is sent or given is another. And another is seen in the specific work which the Spirit is to do. Another is the masculine pronoun employed here (ekeinos). In Joh 14:26 the function of the Spirit is indicated. He is to bring to "remembrance all that I said unto you." In 15:26 this is made even more comprehensive: "He shall bear witness of me," and yet more emphatically in 16:14, "He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you." The sphere of the Spirit’s activity is the heart of the individual believer and of the church. His chief function is to illumine the teaching and glorify the person of Jesus. Joh 15:26 is the passage which has been used in support of the doctrine of the procession of the Spirit. Jesus says, "I will send" (pempso), future tense, referring to the "Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father" (ekporeuetai); present tense. The present tense here suggests timeless action and has been taken to indicate an essential relation of the Spirit to God the Father (compare Godet, Commentary on John, in the place cited.). The hazard of such an interpretation lies chiefly in the absence of other corroborative Scriptures and in the possibility of another and simpler meaning of the word. However, the language is unusual, and the change of tense in the course of the sentence is suggestive. Perhaps it is one of the many instances where we must admit we do not know the precise import of the language of Scripture.

In Joh 16:7-15 we have a very important passage. Jesus declares to the anxious disciples that it is expedient for Him to go away, because otherwise the Spirit will not come. "He, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (16:8). The term translated "convict" (elegksei) involves a cognitive along with a moral process. The Spirit who deals in truth, and makes His appeal through the truth, shall convict, shall bring the mind on which He is working into a sense of self-condemnation on account of sin. The word means more than reprove, or refute, or convince. It signifies up to a certain point a moral conquest of the mind: "of sin, because they believe not on me" (16:9). Unbelief is the root sin. The revelation of God in Christ is, broadly speaking, His condemnation of all sin. The Spirit may convict of particular sins, but they will all be shown to consist essentially in the rejection of God’s love and righteousness in Christ, i.e. in unbelief. "Of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more" (16:10). What does this mean? Does Jesus mean that His going to the Father will be the proof of His righteousness to those who put Him to death, or that this going to the Father will be the consummating or crowning act of His righteousness which the Spirit is to carry home to the hearts of men? Or does He mean that because He goes away the Spirit will take His place in convicting men of righteousness? The latter meaning seems implied in the words, "and ye behold me no more." Probably, however, the meanings are not mutually exclusive. "Of judgment because the prince of this world hath been judged" (16:11). In His incarnation and death the prince of this world, the usurper, is conquered and cast out.

We may sum up the teachings as to the Spirit in these four chapters as follows: He is the Spirit of truth; He guides into all truth; He brings to memory Christ’s teachings; He shows things to come; He glorifies Christ; He speaks not of Himself but of Christ; He, like believers, bears witness to Christ; He enables Christians to do greater works than those of Christ; He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He comes because Christ goes away; He is "another Comforter"; He is to abide with disciples forever.

These teachings cover a very wide range of needs. The Holy Spirit is the subject of the entire discourse. In a sense it is the counterpart of the Sermon on the Mount. There the laws of the kingdom are expounded. Here the means of realization of all the ends of that kingdom are presented. The kingdom now becomes the kingdom of the Spirit. The historical revelation of truth in the life, death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus being completed, the Spirit of truth comes in fullness. The gospel as history is now to become the gospel as experience. The Messiah as a fact is now to become the Messiah as a life through the Spirit’s action. All the elements of the Spirit’s action are embraced: the charismatic for mighty works; the intellectual for guidance into truth; the moral and spiritual for producing holy lives. This discourse transfers the kingdom, so to speak, from the shoulders of the Master to those of the disciples, but the latter are empowered for their tasks by the might of the indwelling and abiding Spirit. The method of the kingdom’s growth and advance is clearly indicated as spiritual, conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment, and obedient and holy lives of Christ’s disciples.

Before passing to the next topic, one remark should be made as to the Trinitarian suggestions of these chapters in John. The personality of the Spirit is clearly implied in much of the language here. It is true we have no formal teaching on the metaphysical side, no ontology in the strict sense of the word. This fact is made much of by writers who are slow to recognize the personality of the Holy Spirit in the light of the teachings of John and Paul. These writers have no difficulty, however, in asserting that the New Testament writers hold that God is a personal being (see I. F. Woods, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, 256, 268). It must be insisted, however, that in the New Testament, as in the Old Testament, there is little metaphysics, little ontological teaching as to God. His personality is deduced from the same kind of sayings as those relating to the Spirit. From the ontological point of view, therefore, we should also have to reject the personality of God on the basis of the Biblical teachings. The Trinitarian formulations may not be correct at all points, but the New Testament warrants the Trinitarian doctrine, just as it warrants belief in the personality of God. We are not insisting on finding metaphysics in Scripture where it is absent, but we do insist upon consistency in construing the popular and practical language of Scripture as to the second and third as well as the first Person of the Trinity.

(3) In Acts.

The Book of Ac contains the record of the beginning of the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit. There is at the outset the closest connection with the recorded predictions of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels. Particularly does Luke make clear the continuity of his own thought regarding the Spirit in his earlier and later writing. Jesus in the first chapter of Ac gives commandment through the Holy Spirit and predicts the reception of power as the result of the baptism in the Holy Spirit which the disciples are soon to receive.

The form of the Spirit’s activities in Ac is chiefly charismatic, that is, the miraculous endowment of disciples with power or wisdom for their work in extending the Messianic kingdom. As yet the work of the Spirit within disciples as the chief sanctifying agency is not fully developed, and is later described with great fullness in Paul’s writings. Some recent writers have overemphasized the contrast between the earlier and the more developed view of the Spirit with regard to the moral life. In Ac the ethical import of the Spirit’s action appears at several points (see Ac 5:3,9; 7:51; 8:18 f; 13:9; 15:28). The chief interest in Ac is naturally the Spirit’s agency in founding the Messianic kingdom, since here is recorded the early history of the expansion of that kingdom. The phenomenal rather than the inner moral aspects of that great movement naturally come chiefly into view. But everywhere the ethical implications are present. Gunkel is no doubt correct in the statement that Paul’s conception of the Spirit as inward and moral and acting in the daily life of the Christian opens the way for the activity of the Spirit as a historical principle in subsequent ages. After all, this is the fundamental and universal import of the Spirit (see Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes, etc., 76; compare Pfleiderer, Paulinismus, 200).

We now proceed to give a brief summary of the Holy Spirit’s activities as recorded in Acts, and follow this with a discussion of one or two special points. The great event is of course the outpouring or baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost followed by the completion of the baptism in the Holy Spirit by the baptism of the household of Cornelius (2:1 ff; 10:17-48). Speaking with tongues, and other striking manifestations attended this baptism, as also witnessing to the gospel with power by the apostles. See Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring is declared to be in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and the assertion is also made that it is the gift of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ (2:17,33). Following this baptism of the Holy Spirit the disciples are endued with miraculous power for their work. Miracles are wrought (Ac 2:43 ), and all necessary gifts of wisdom and Divine guidance are bestowed. A frequent form of expression describing the actors in the history is, "filled with the Holy Spirit." It is applied to Peter (4:8); to disciples (4:31); to the seven deacons (6:3); to Stephen (6:5; 7:55); to Saul who becomes Paul (13:9). The presence of the Spirit and His immediate and direct superintendence of affairs are seen in the fact that Ananias and Sapphira are represented as lying to the Holy Spirit (Ac 5:3,9); the Jews are charged by Stephen with resisting the Holy Spirit (Ac 7:51); and Simon Magus is rebuked for attempting to purchase the Spirit with money (Ac 8:18 f).

The Holy Spirit is connected with the act of baptism, but there does not seem to be any fixed order as between the two. In Ac 9:17 the Spirit comes before baptism; and after baptism in 8:17 and 19:6. In these cases the coming of the Spirit was in connection with the laying on of hands also. But in 10:44 the Holy Spirit falls upon the hearers while Peter is speaking prior to baptism and with no laying on of hands. These instances in which the order of baptism, the laying on of hands and the gift of the Spirit seem to be a matter of indifference, are a striking indication of the non-sacramentarian character of the teaching of the Book of Acts, and indeed in the New Testament generally. Certainly no particular efficacy seems to be attached to the laying on of hands or baptism except as symbolic representations of spiritual facts. Gunkel, in his excellent work on the Holy Spirit, claims Ac 2:38 as an instance when the Spirit is bestowed during baptism (Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes, etc., 7). The words of Peter, however, may refer to a reception of the Spirit subsequent to baptism, although evidently in immediate connection with it. The baptism of the Holy Spirit clearly then was not meant to supplant water baptism. Moreover, in the strict sense the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a historical event or events completed at the outset when the extension of the kingdom of God, beginning at Pentecost, began to reach out to the Gentile world.

See Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In Ac the entire historical movement is represented by Luke as being under the direction of the Spirit. He guides Philip to the Ethiopian and then "catches away" Philip (8:29,39). He guides Peter at Joppa through the vision and then leads him to Cornelius at Caesarea (10:19 f; 11:12 f). The Spirit commands the church at Antioch to separate Saul and Barnabas for missionary work (13:2 ff). He guides the church at Jerusalem (15:28). He forbids the apostle to go to Asia (16:6 f). The Spirit enables Agabus to prophesy that Paul will be bound by the Jews at Jerusalem (21:11; compare also 20:23). The Spirit appointed the elders at Ephesus (20:28).

One or two points require notice before passing from Acts. The impression we get of the Spirit’s action here very strongly suggests a Divine purpose moving on the stage of history in a large and comprehensive way. In Jesus that purpose was individualized. Here the supplementary thought of a vast historic movement is powerfully suggested. Gunkel asserts that usually the Spirit’s action is not conceived by the subjects of it in terms of means (Mittel) and end (Zweck), but rather as cause (Ursache) and activity (Wirkung) (see Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes, etc., 20). There is an element of truth in this, but the idea of purpose is by no means confined to the historian who later recorded the Spirit’s action. The actors in the spiritual drama were everywhere conscious of the great movement of which they as individuals were a part. In some passages the existence of purpose in the Spirit’s action is clearly recognized, as in His restraining of Paul at certain points and in the appointment of Saul and Barnabas as missionaries. Divine purpose is indeed implied at all points, and while the particular end in view was not always clear in a given instance, the subjects of the Spirit’s working were scarcely so naive in their apprehension of the matter as to think of their experiences merely as so many extraordinary phenomena caused in a particular way.

We note next the glossolalia, or speaking with tongues, recorded in Ac 2, as well as in later chapters and in Paul’s Epistles. The prevailing view at present is that "speaking with tongues" does not mean speaking actual intelligible words in a foreign language, but rather the utterance of meaningless sounds, as was customary among the heathen and as is sometimes witnessed today where religious life becomes highly emotional in its manifestation. To support this view the account in Ac 2 is questioned, and Paul’s instructions in 1Co 14 are cited. Of course a man’s world-view will be likely to influence his interpretation in this as in other matters. Philosophically an antisupernatural world-view makes it easy to question the glossolalia of the New Testament. Candid exegesis, however, rather requires the recognition of the presence in the apostolic church of a speaking in foreign tongues, even if alongside of it there existed (which is open to serious doubt) the other phenomenon mentioned above. Ac 2:3 ff is absolutely conclusive taken by itself, and no valid critical grounds have been found for rejecting the passage. 1Co 14 confirms this view when its most natural meaning is sought. Paul is here insisting upon the orderly conduct of worship and upon edification as the important thing. To this end he insists that they who speak with tongues pray that they may also interpret (1Co 14:5; chapter 13). It is difficult to conceive what he means by "interpret" if the speaking with tongues was a meaningless jargon of sounds uttered under emotional excitement, and nothing more. Paul’s whole exposition in this chapter implies that "tongues" may be used for edification. He ranks it below prophecy simply because without an interpreter "tongues" would not edify the hearer. Paul himself spoke with tongues more than they all (1Co 14:18). It seems scarcely in keeping with Paul’s character to suppose that he refers here to a merely emotional volubility in meaningless and disconnected sounds.

See Gift of Tongues.

(4) In Paul’s Writings.

The teachings of Paul on the Holy Spirit are so rich and abundant that space forbids an exhaustive presentation. In his writings the Biblical representations reach their climax. Mr. Wood says correctly that Paul grasped the idea of the unity of the Christian life. All the parts exist in a living whole and the Holy Spirit constitutes and maintains it (Wood, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, 268). In fact a careful study of Paul’s teachings discloses three parallel lines, one relating to faith, another to Christ, and the third to the Holy Spirit. That is to say, his teachings coalesce, as it were, point by point, in reference to these three subjects. Faith is the human side of the Divine activity carried on by the Holy Spirit. Faith is therefore implied in the Spirit’s action and is the result of or response to it in its various forms. But faith is primarily and essentially faith in Jesus Christ. Hence, we find in Paul that Christ is represented as doing substantially everything that the Spirit does. Now we are not to see in this any conflicting conceptions as to Christ and the Spirit, but rather Paul’s intense feeling of the unity of the work of Christ and the Spirit. The "law" of the Spirit’s action is the revelation and glorification of Christ. In his Gospel, which came later, John, as we have seen, defined the Spirit’s function in precisely these terms. Whether or not John was influenced by Paul in the matter we need not here consider.

(a) The Spirit and Jesus

We begin with a brief reference to the connection in Paul’s thought between the Spirit and Jesus. The Holy Spirit is described as the Spirit of God’s Son (Ro 8:14 ff; Ga 4:6), as the Spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9). He who confesses Jesus does so by the Holy Spirit, and no one can say that Jesus is anathema in the Holy Spirit (1Co 12:3). Christ is called a life-giving Spirit (1Co 15:45); and in 2Co 3:17 the statement appears, "Now the Lord is the Spirit." All of this shows how completely one Paul regarded the work of Christ and the Spirit, not because they were identical in the sense in which Beyschlag has contended, but because their task and aim being identical, there was no sense of discord in Paul’s mind in explaining their activities in similar terms.

(b) In Bestowing Charismatic Gifts

In the above manifestations of the Spirit, as enumerated in Paul’s writings, we have presented in very large measure what we have already seen in Acts, but with some additions. In 1Co 14 and elsewhere Paul gives a new view as to the charismatic gifts which was greatly needed in view of the tendency to extravagant and intemperate indulgence in emotional excitement, due to the mighty action of God’s Spirit in the Corinthian church. He insists that all things be done unto edification, that spiritual growth is the true aim of all spiritual endowments. This may be regarded as the connecting link between the earlier and later New Testament teaching as to the Holy Spirit, between the charismatic and moral-religious significance of the Spirit. To the latter we now direct attention.

(c) In the Beginnings of the Christian Life

We note the Spirit in the beginnings of the Christian life. From beginning to end the Christian life is regarded by Paul as under the power of the Holy Spirit, in its inner moral and religious aspects as well as in its charismatic forms. It is a singular fact that Paul does not anywhere expressly declare that the Holy Spirit originates the Christian life. Gunkel is correct in this so far as specific and direct teaching is concerned. But Wood who asserts the contrary is also right, if regard is had to clear implications and legitimate inferences from Paul’s statements (op. cit., 202). Ro 8:2 does not perhaps refer to the act of regeneration, and yet it is hard to conceive of the Christian life as thus constituted by the "law of the Spirit of life" apart from its origin through the Spirit. There are other passages which seem to imply very clearly, if they do not directly assert, that the Christian life is originated by the Holy Spirit (1Th 1:6; Ro 5:5; 8:9; 1Co 2:4; 6:11; Tit 3:5).

(d) In the Religious and Moral Life

Paul contrasts the Spirit with the letter (2Co 3:6) and puts strong emphasis on the Spirit as the source of Christian liberty. As Gunkel points out, spirit and freedom with Paul are correlatives, like spirit and life. Freedom must needs come of the Spirit’s presence because He is superior to all other authorities and powers (Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes, etc., 95). See also an excellent passage on the freedom of the Christian from statutory religious requirements in DCG, article "Holy Spirit" by Dr. James Denney, I, 739.

(e) In the Church.

(f) In the Resurrection of Believers

The Spirit also carries on His work in believers in raising the body from the dead. In Ro 8:11 Paul asserts that the present indwelling in believers of the Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead is the guarantee of the quickening of their mortal bodies by the power of the same Spirit. See also 1Co 15:44 f; Ga 5:5. We have thus exhibited Paul’s teachings as to the Holy Spirit in some detail in order to make clear their scope and comprehensiveness. And we have not exhausted the material supplied by his writings. It will be observed that Paul nowhere elaborates a doctrine of the Spirit, as he does in a number of instances his doctrine of the person of Christ. The references to the Spirit are in connection with other subjects usually. This, however, only serves to indicate how very fundamental the work of the Spirit was in Paul’s assumptions as to the Christian life. The Spirit is the Christian life, just as Christ is that life.

The personality of the Spirit appears in Paul as in John. The benediction in 2Co 13:14 distinguishes clearly Father, Son and Spirit (compare also Eph 4:4). In many connections the Spirit is distinguished from the Son and Father, and the work of the Spirit is set forth in personal terms. It is true, references are often made to the Holy Spirit by Paul as if the Spirit were an impersonal influence, or at least without clearly personal attributes. This distinguishes his usage as to the Spirit from that as to Christ and God, who are always personal. It is a natural explanation of this fact if we hold that in the case of the impersonal references we have a survival of the current Old Testament conception of the Spirit, while in those which are personal we have the developed conception as found in both Paul and John. Personal attributes are ascribed to the Spirit in so many instances, it would seem unwarranted in us to make the earlier and lower conception determinative of the later and higher.

In Paul’s writings we have the crowning factor in the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. He gathers up most of the preceding elements, and adds to them his own distinctive teaching or emphasis. Some of the earlier Old Testament elements are lacking, but all those which came earlier in the New Testament are found in Paul. The three points which Paul especially brought into full expression were first, the law of edification in the use of spiritual gifts, second, the Holy Spirit in the moral life of the believer, and third, the Holy Spirit in the church. Thus Paul enables us to make an important distinction as to the work of the Spirit in founding the kingdom of God, namely, the distinction between means and ends. Charismatic gifts of the Spirit were, after all, means to ethical ends. God’s kingdom is moral in its purpose, "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Christianity is, according to Paul, inherently and essentially supernatural. But its permanent and abiding significance is to be found, not in extraordinary phenomena in the form of "mighty works," "wonders," "tongues" and other miracles in the ordinary sense, but in the creation of a new moral order in time and eternity. The supernatural is to become normal and "natural" in human history, therefore, in the building up of this ethical kingdom on the basis of a redemption that is in and through Jesus Christ, and wrought out in all its details by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(5) The Holy Spirit in Other New Testament Writings.

There is little to add to the New Testament teaching as to the Holy Spirit. Paul and John practically cover all the aspects of His work which are presented. There are a few passages, however, we may note in concluding Our general survey. In He the Holy Spirit is referred to a number of times as inspiring the Old Testament Scriptures (Heb 3:7; 9:8; 10:15). We have already referred to the remarkable statement in Heb 9:14 to the effect that the blood of Christ was offered through the eternal Spirit. In 10:29 doing "despite unto the Spirit of grace" seems to be closely akin to the sin against the Holy Spirit in the Gospels. In Heb 4:12 there is a very remarkable description of the "word of God" in personal terms, as having all the energy and activity of an actual personal presence of the Spirit, and recalls Paul’s language in Eph 6:17. In 1Pe we need only refer to 1:11 in which Peter declares that the "Spirit of Christ" was in the Old Testament prophets, pointing forward to the sufferings and glories of Christ.


I. F. Wood, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature; article "Spiritual Gifts" in EB; Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des heiligen Gelstea; Gloel, Der heilige Geist in der Heilsverkundigung des Paulus; Wendt, Die Begriffe Fleisch und Geist im biblischen Sprachgebrauch; Weinel, Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister; Dickson, Paul’s Use of the Terms Flesh and Spirit; Smeaton, Doctrine of the Holy Spirit; Walker, The Spirit and the Incarnation; Denio, The Supreme Leader; Moberly, Administration of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ; Hutchings, Person and Work of the Holy Spirit; Owen, Pneumatologia; Webb, Person and Office of the Holy Spirit; Hare, The Mission of the Comforter; Candlish, The Work of the Holy Spirit; Wirgman, The Sevenfold Gifts; Heber, Personality and Offices of the Holy Spirit; Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament; Moule, Veni Creator; Johnson, The Holy Spirit Then and Now; Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit; Biblical Theologies of Schultz, Davidson, Weiss, Beyschlag, Stevens; list appended to the article on "Holy Spirit" in HDB and DCG; extensive bibliography in Denio’s The Supreme Leader, 239 ff.

E. Y. Mullins