1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Who is the Holy Spirit

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by elephunky, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. elephunky

    elephunky Previously known as dgirl1986

    Messages:
    5,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith:
    Humanist
    I have been reading through different forums in relation to the trinity, different concepts within christianity, teachings and also listening to an interesting podcast.

    One thing that I have come across is the idea that the Holy Spirit is a feminine being rather than a masculine being. I also noticed whilst trying to find the gospel I found a while ago where Jesus talks of the earthly mother he calls the spirit his mother. What are your thoughts on this concept?

    Also, from my limited understanding of the Holy Spirit...it is among us on earth. My second question is who really is the Holy Spirit? Not so much what does the Holy Spirit do or what has it done, but more what is its purpose? Is it possible that the Holy Spirit, being that it is meant to be all around us, is in fact the spirit of earth/nature?
     
  2. sunsong12

    sunsong12 Guest

    I believe the Holy Spirit is the Paraclete of the trinity. While I also believe that we all have Spirit within us, that is different from the Holy Spirit. With that said, I don't think Jesus was referring to His mother as the Holy Spirit.

    I haven't thought about the Holy Spirit as having a particular gender, however, my first reaction to this would that the Holy Spirit is not one that can be referred to either gender.

    I believe the Holy Spirit's purpose is to advocate and help us achieve God's will in our lives so long as we are willing.
     
  3. Tigger45

    Tigger45 One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church Supporter Angels Team CF Ambassador

    Messages:
    7,854
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    Faith:
    Christian
    My understanding is the personal pronoun in the original language is of a neutral gender but english doesn't have singular neutral pronouns, it uses only male or female. English only has a plural neutral personal pronoun {they}. Obviously useing a plural personal pronoun would cause other problems so the translators stayed with the masculine personal pronoun {he} to correspond with the personal pronouns {he} used for God the Father and His son Jesus.
     
  4. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis De profundis clamavi et exaudisti me.

    Messages:
    12,353
    Likes Received:
    71
    Gender:
    Male
    Faith:
    Lutheran
    The best way to know how Christianity has historically understood the Holy Spirit would be to go to the horse's mouth. The Nicene Creed is a definite good start, though the statement about the Spirit in the Creed isn't terribly expansive. St. Basil the Great's On the Holy Spirit is probably one of the most important treatments of Pneumatology (theology on the Holy Spirit) in Christian history.

    But for a basic summary:

    The Spirit isn't a distinct or separate "being", as the Three in the Trinity are all one Being, God. The Spirit therefore shares in the same Being as the Father and the Son. Namely, the Holy Spirit is the one, undivided God. He's neither male nor female, since God has no gender.

    Christian theologians traditionally, when talking about the Trinity, discuss the Trinity in two ways:

    The Ontological Trinity: This refers to how the Three relate to one another, the Father's fatherliness toward the Son, etc.

    The Economic Trinity: This refers to how the Three relate to us and vice versa.

    When talking about the ontological Trinity certain relational terms get used. We speak of the Son being eternally begotten of the Father for example. In the case of the Spirit we say that He eternally proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. The Spirit flows out from the Father into the Son, and from the Son back again to the Father. An ebb and flow, a breathing, between the Father and the Son, and the Spirit is in both, as the very Breath of the Father and the Son.

    A lesson can be learned from the episode from Jesus' baptism, where it's said that the Father speaks to His Son, and the Spirit descends in the form of a dove. The Spirit emerges from the Father, moving toward the Son; and as the Father gives all things to the Son, so He also gives the Son His Spirit. The Spirit of the Father, therefore, is also Spirit of the Son.

    It is this three-fold interconnectivity, this mutual indwelling of the Three in one Another that forms the basis of the notion of Perichoresis, where the Oneness of the Three is described as a dynamic movement, a living in and into the Other. The word perichoresis itself means "to dance around [in a circle]"

    Understanding this, we can speak of the "Economic Trinity", how we relate to God. Here we speak of Christ breathing the Spirit upon His apostles, giving them the authority to pronounce forgiveness of sins; or how the Spirit is poured out upon all flesh on Pentecost--who comes like a storm-squall transforming a gathering of people into the Church. Because He has been given to us, He dwells in us, giving life and uniting us human beings to the very life of God. The Spirit in us means that we are Christ's, and if Christ's then we are the Father's. The Spirit in us means that we are joint heirs, adopted children, with Christ the Son; and therefore His Father is our Father, His life is our life.

    I know this is extremely wordy, and I apologize for that.

    In short, the Spirit is the breath and love shared reciprocally between Father and Son; He is real, actual, not simply a force or feeling. He exists "between" Father and Son, and He in us means us in God, dwelling in the innermost intimacy of the one God.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  5. GrayAngel

    GrayAngel Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    13
    Faith:
    Baptist
    What you're describing makes it sound like the Holy Spirit is a separate god from the Father and Jesus. They're all one God.

    God is not a man, either (with the exception of the human body of Jesus'). Neither the Father or the Spirit are male or female. When spoken of in masculine terms like "Father," it's for the convenience of it, and the kind of meaning those words had back then. Certain character traits that are seen as masculine or feminine exist in God, just as they do all of us.

    In short, the Holy Spirit is not female, but He's not male either.

    As for who the Holy Spirit is, each of the Trinity can be thought of as holding different roles. The Holy Spirit draws the elect to Jesus. Jesus redeems people and brings them to the Father. The Father sees the saved in the same way He sees Jesus, as His own children.
     
  6. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

    Messages:
    9,366
    Likes Received:
    74
    Faith:
    Christian
    One way of expressing it is: the Father is God above us, Jesus is God beside us, the Holy Spirit is God within us.
     
  7. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me

    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Faith:
    Christian
    Hi,

    What interest you about the trinity. Or is it just a study topic. If you want my take on it go to Know God Personally there is a detailed document on there about the trinity. It is a link half way down the page.

    As for gender God is always seen in the masculine, spoken of as he. Jesus came as a man not as a woman. Women are very important in God's eyes, and Jesus spent a lot of time talking to women, but God is not female.
     
  8. crixus

    crixus The truth shall set you free!

    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Faith:
    Christian
    The Holy Spirit is the third link of the Holy Trinity.

    Father, Son and Holy Spirt, three in ONE.
     
  9. elephunky

    elephunky Previously known as dgirl1986

    Messages:
    5,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith:
    Humanist
    Thanks for all the responses. After reading them I have the following to say and ask...(I apologize if you have already covered this and I have misunderstood).

    Firstly, I believe that God and Jesus are connected but not the same God if that makes sense. I, of course, realize this is not a popular view. So I am trying to get an understanding of the holy spirit.

    In response to the question posted by FutureAndHope...this is kind of a bit of both.

    When is the concept of the Holy Spirit conceived? At the beginning of creation? At the time of Moses?

    Given some of the responses in regards to what the holy spirit did in bible times, what would its role be now? Assuming that the holy spirit is not the same as the spirit within us.
     
  10. Marahuta

    Marahuta Newbie

    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Jesus is God.
    Jesus is God's Word and Spirit which has been put in a human body. Jesus is God spiritually. (I think ofit like having a bowl of water (God) then you take some of that water and you put it in a plastic bag (human body). Not a very precise description, but it helps me.

    Here are some interesting sites which would cover the issue better than I would.
    Reformation Theology: The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
    What was the role of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament?
     
  11. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis De profundis clamavi et exaudisti me.

    Messages:
    12,353
    Likes Received:
    71
    Gender:
    Male
    Faith:
    Lutheran
    The Holy Spirit's role today is the same as two thousand years ago. He dwells in us, having received Him in Baptism, and works in us both individually and corporately as the Church to bring us into conformity with Jesus Christ. He sanctifies us, He draws us toward Christ. He is the dowry or down payment of the hope we have in Christ; namely this: the Spirit living in us is a foretaste of the coming day when our mortal bodies will be raised up and transfigured into immortal bodies, given immortal and eternal life by the Spirit of God who dwells in us.

    Christ and His Father have poured out the Holy Spirit on us that we might partake in the Divine Life of God.

    St. Athanasius famously wrote, "[God] became man so that man might become God." The Spirit brings us into Christ, and in Christ, sharers of all the things of Christ; and that means ultimately sharing in and with Him in His Divinity--to the glory of God His Father.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  12. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me

    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Faith:
    Christian
    The Holy Spirit was never conceived, he Holy Spirit since the creation has always existed, He is the same spirit that was in the old Testament, and he is the same spirit that indwells the believer. The Holy Spirit according to scripture is seven fold, is made up of seven spirits, that is why creation occured in seven days, and why the number seven is used so much in the bible.

    As for how did the Holy Spirit or God come to exist, who knows, it is beyond our human minds to know it. Some how something has always existed. A person who believes God evolved in an evolutionary sense believes there was nothing, then something was created out of nothing. But this is not really feasible as how can nothing create something. Something has always existed, although it is beyond our mind to comprehend, who can comprehend such mysteries. But be assured the Holy Spirit is unchangable, and the same Spirit that dwelt in Christ and now dwells in us.
     
  13. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

    Messages:
    9,366
    Likes Received:
    74
    Faith:
    Christian
    There are many hymns about the role of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost):

    O Holy Ghost,
    Revival comes from Thee;
    Send a revival,
    Start the work in me.
    Thy Word declares
    Thou wilt supply our need;
    For blessings now,
    O Lord, I humbly plead.
    -- from SEARCH ME, O GOD

    Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove,
    With all Thy quick’ning powers;
    Come, shed abroad the Savior’s love
    And that shall kindle ours.
    -- from COME, HOLY SPIRIT, HEAVENLY DOVE

    Spirit of God, that moved of old
    Upon the waters’ darkened face,
    Come, when our faithless hearts are cold,
    And stir them with an inward grace.
    -- from SPIRIT OF GOD, THAT MOVED OF OLD
     
  14. salida

    salida Veteran

    Messages:
    4,574
    Likes Received:
    2
    Faith:
    Christian
  15. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian

    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    2
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Answer to part of question by Dgirl in post #9

    quote:

    When is the concept of the Holy Spirit conceived? At the beginning of creation? At the time of Moses?

    There is an apocryphal book, although it is part of the Bible of the Church of Ethiopia, called Enoch which is basically accepted as parts being written in the 2nd & 1st c. BC & a chapter from that book outlines the Trinity & the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Lord of Spirits see below:




    Enoch Chapter 48

    Enoch 48:1 In that place I beheld a fountain of righteousness, which never failed, encircled by many springs of wisdom. Of these all the thirsty drank, and were filled with wisdom, having their habitation with the righteous, the elect, and the holy.
    Enoch 48:2 In that hour was this Son of man invoked before the Lord of spirits, and his name in the presence of the Ancient of days.
    Enoch 48:3 Before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of heaven were formed, his name was invoked in the presence of the Lord of spirits. A support shall he be for the righteous and the holy to lean upon, without falling; and he shall be the light of nations.
    Enoch 48:4 He shall be the hope of those whose hearts are troubled. All, who dwell on earth, shall fall down and worship before him; shall bless and glorify him, and sing praises to the name of the Lord of spirits.
    Enoch 48:5 Therefore the Elect and the Concealed One existed in his presence, before the world was created, and for ever.
    Enoch 48:6 In his presence he existed, and has revealed to the saints and to the righteous the wisdom of the Lord of spirits; for he has preserved the lot of the righteous, because they have hated and rejected this world of iniquity, and have detested all its works and ways, in the name of the Lord of spirits.
    Enoch 48:7 For in his name shall they be preserved; and his will shall be their life. In those days shall the kings of the earth and the mighty men, who have gained the world by their achievements, become humble in countenance.
    Enoch 48:8 For in the day of their anxiety and trouble their souls shall not be saved; and they shall be in subjection to those whom I have chosen.
    Enoch 48:9 I will cast them like hay into the fire, and like lead into the water. Thus shall they burn in the presence of the righteous, and sink in the presence of the holy; nor shall a tenth part of them be found.
    Enoch 48:10 But in the day of their trouble, the world shall obtain tranquillity.
    Enoch 48:11 In his presence shall they fall, and not be raised up again; nor shall there be any one to take them out of his hands, and to lift them up: for they have denied the Lord of spirits, and his Messiah. The name of the Lord of spirits shall be blessed.



    From this you can tell that a coeternal & coexistent Trinity was known among some Hebrews before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The translation above is from the 1st English translation of 19th c. Anglican Bishop Richard Laurence & some scholarly criticism exists towards his translation but his translation is genuine; he did not have a bag of tricks to render wreckless insertions & his overall translation is the standard for others. This book was lost for over 1000 years among most Christians & rediscovered by a Scottish scholar in the late 18th c. Additionally there is a second non Christological book of Enoch that was written later but close in time to the genuine that was preserved in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Some info on Bishop Richard Laurence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Laurence
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  16. GrayAngel

    GrayAngel Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    13
    Faith:
    Baptist
    The Holy Spirit has many roles. He's called Comforter and Councilor to name a few. The "gifts of the Spirit" are called so because the Holy Spirit provides them to us. When we pray, but we don't have the words to express what we want to say, the Holy Spirit is said will translate our groanings for the Father to hear. He is the intercessor between us and the Father.

    Jesus is also said to be our intercessor, but in a different way. He is our advocate, standing between us and Satan's constant accusations. He has taken the role of the high priest in justifying us before the Father.