It is a pet peeve of mine when people refer to the Holy Spirit as a force or energy and not as a person and I’ve had to correct a few people who should have known better on this point. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, as is reveled in scripture, He is referred to as a councilor, teacher, helper, He causes us to be born again, He convicts us of sin and is responsible for our progressive sanctification, meaning He conforms us more and more to the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a divine electricity, or the energy of God, He is a person with thoughts, feelings, a will for us and while He is mysterious and likes to hang out in the background, He is an active participant in our faith journey.
Here are just a few verses proving the Holy Spirit is a person.
John 14:26 “These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
Romans 8:26 “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;”
2 Samuel 23:2 “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.”
Matthew 12:32 “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come.”
I can keep going, but you get the point. The Holy Spirit can teach us, intercede for us, speaks through the prophets and other writers of scripture and can be blasphemed, all of which an impersonal active force like electricity cannot do, thus the Spirit of God is a person.
The Holy Spirit has the role in the Trinity to bring attention to the Father and the Son, that is why He remains mysterious and is not as prominent in scripture (of which He is also the author) as the Father and the Son is.
The early Church defined the Trinity as being three persons sharing one being. This means that the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit and the Spirit is not the Father, yet they all share the same being, so they are three “who’s” and one “what”. The Church defined the Trinity in the famous Athanasian Creed, which is the most detailed and coherent explanation of the doctrine of the Trinity ever produced.
From the Athanasian Creed:19-28
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.
But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.
So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
Are you treating the holy Spirit like a person or divine electricity? How is that impacting your relationship with God?