Designations Applied to the Holy Spirit


     Introduction:  There is perhaps less known about the Holy Spirit than of the Father and the Son. One way we learn of the Father and the Son is through designations or terms applied to them. For instance, God is referred to as Jehovah-Jireh, "the Lord will provide" (Gen. 22: 13, 14). Therefore, God will take care of his children. Jesus is said to be the "door of the sheep" (Jn. 10: 7). It is through and in Jesus that we become God's children. Not only is Jesus vital to our relationship with the Father, but he partakes of the Father's nature. We know this to be the case because he is called "the Son of God" (Jn. 3: 16, 10: 36). Let us now determine some of the terms applied to the Holy Spirit and the associated lessons to help us learn more about the Holy Spirit.

1. The Spirit is referred to as the Comforter.

  A. Jesus promised the apostles that the Comforter would come. Jesus explained, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things…" (Jn. 14: 26). "Comforter" is from parakletos, called to one's side or aid.

  B. There is obvious similarity between Jesus as comforter and the Holy Spirit as comforter. Jesus referred to the Spirit as "another Comforter" (Jn. 14: 16). "Another" is from the Greek allos, which mean another of the same kind. The Holy Spirit himself is deity (cp. Acts 5: 3, 4). Hence, Jesus could speak thus, "And I will leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (Jn. 14: 18).

  C. The Holy Spirit comforts through the teaching of the word that he gave to man (I Cor. 2: 13, cp. 2 Thes. 3: 16, 17; I Thes. 4: 13-18; I Jn. 2: 12, 3: 1, 5: 11).

11. Law of the Spirit of Life.

  A. Paul wrote, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8: 2). There are two important truths herein declared relative to the Holy Spirit.

    a. First, the Spirit has law. Many mistakenly believe we are not under any law today. They think to be under grace means there are no restraints or laws to govern us. Not so, we are under the "perfect law of liberty" (Jas. 1: 25, see Gal. 6: 2, I Cor. 9: 21). If there were no law, there would be no sin (Rom. 5: 13). Sin is a violation of law (I Jn. 3: 4).

    b. In the second place, Paul affirms that the Spirit imparts life (Jn. 6: 63). Notice how the Spirit imparts life through "the words."

III. The Spirit of truth.

  A. Jesus promised the twelve, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…" (Jn. 16: 13). Jesus used the strong masculine pronoun ekeinos to identify the Holy Spirit. Hence, apparently stressing the being and individuality of the Spirit. In the Spirit being the "Spirit of truth" there is the matter of the Spirit bringing to their remembrance the truths the Spirit had heretofore taught them. Also, the Spirit would guide them into "all truth" (Jn. 16: 13).

  B. The truth, all truth, is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1: 20, 21, cp. Jude 3).

IV. The Spirit of grace.

  A. The writer of Hebrews sought to dissuade those to whom he wrote from falling away from Christ. To accomplish this, he often mentions the terrible consequences of apostasy. In the text of Hebrews 10, he mentions three results of leaving Christ: trodden under foot the Son of God; counted his blood of covenant an unholy thing; and done despite unto the Spirit of grace (vs. 29).

  B. We are under a system of grace today. Therefore, salvation is by grace (God's part) through faith (man's part, Eph. 2: 8). The designation of "Spirit of grace" identifies the Holy Spirit as primarily involved in providing the grace of God that brings salvation (Tit. 2: 11).

V. The Spirit of glory.

  A. The scriptures teach that the Christian will suffer in view of his allegiance to Christ (2 Tim. 3: 12). Peter taught it is a privilege to suffer as a Christian. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God restest upon you…" (I Pet. 4: 14). Many scholars believe "Spirit of glory" is a reference to the Holy Spirit.

  B. There is a certain glory associated with being connected with Christ (cp. Matt. 17: 2). The saved shall experience "glory, honor, and peace" (Rom. 2: 10).

     Conclusion:  Perhaps these descriptive designations pertaining to the Holy Spirit will enhance our understanding and appreciation of the Spirit. Notice the fact that these designations of the Spirit do not convey or confirm the modern view of the Spirit working unintelligibly and separate from the word (cp. Eph. 5: 18, Col. 3: 16). In view of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit, it was very appropriate that Paul conclude his Second Corinthian Epistle as follows: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen" (2 Cor. 13: 14).