The Biblical Basis for the Apostles’ Creed Pt. 2

I continue with my series on the Apostles’ Creed: https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/the-biblical-basis-for-the-apostles-creed-pt-1/.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

Seeing that the creed merely affirms belief in the Holy Spirit, and doesn’t go into details concerning his identity, I have therefore decided to provide a somewhat comprehensive case in support of the Holy Spirit being an eternal divine Person who is one in essence with both the Father and Son, and who is identified as the Spirit that belongs to both God and Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is called God

The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: He who rules over man justly, who rules in the fear of God,” 2 Samuel 23:2-3

The Holy Spirit is called Lord

“Now the Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The Holy Spirit is identified as Yahweh God of the OT

Not only does the Holy Bible identify the Holy Spirit as Lord and as the God of Israel who speaks, it even goes as far as to apply OT passages where Yahweh or Jehovah is speaking to the Holy Spirit!

For instance, the prophet Isaiah saw Yahweh in a vision where he received his commission to become Yahweh’s spokesperson to the people of Israel:

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. One cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ The posts of the door moved at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar in his hand. And he laid it on my mouth, and said, ‘This has touched your lips, and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.’ Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me.’ He said, ‘Go, and tell this people: “Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.” Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn and be healed.’” Isaiah 6:1-10

Remarkably, Paul cites Isaiah 6:9-10 as an example of the Holy Spirit speaking to the nation of Israel:

“Being in disagreement with one another, they were dismissed after Paul had said one word: ‘The Holy Spirit accurately SPOKE to our fathers THROUGH Isaiah the prophet, “Go to this people and say: You shall certainly hear, but never understand; and you shall certainly see, but never perceive; for the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”’” Acts 28:25-27

This means that the God who appeared and spoke to Isaiah was actually the Holy Spirit!

Acts isn’t the only book to do this, since Hebrews does the very same thing when it cites the following Psalm:

“O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, and as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me and tried Me, though they had seen My deeds. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ Therefore I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter into My rest.’” Psalm 95:6-11

And attributes it to the Holy Spirit:

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me and tried Me and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.” So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest.”’” Hebrews 3:7-11

The inspired writer further quotes Jeremiah 31:33-34 where Yahweh promises Israel that he will forgive their sins and be their God,

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law within them and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34

And applies it to the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit also witnesses to us about this. For after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and lawless deeds will I remember no more.’” Hebrews 10:15-17

It is interesting to note here that it is the Holy Spirit who says he will no longer remember the lawless actions of his people Israel, showing that the Spirit has the power to forgive sins.

Hence, these Biblical references prove that, as far as the inspired Biblical witness is concerned, the Holy Spirit is actually Yahweh God who spoke to and through the OT prophets.

The Holy Spirit is eternal, uncreated by nature

“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14

The Holy Spirit is the Creator

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.” Genesis 1:1-2

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.” Job 33:4

The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent and Omniscient

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, that they may take a stand there with you. And I will come down, and I will speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit which is on you and will put it on them, and they will bear the burden of the people with you, and you will not bear it by yourself.’… Moses went out, and he spoke to the people the words of the Lord and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and set them around the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and gave it to the seventy elders, and when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but did not do it again. But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other, Medad. And the Spirit rested on them. They were among those listed, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp.’ Then Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, answered and said, “My lord Moses, forbid them.’ Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Oh, that all the people of the LORD were prophets, and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!’” Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29

Where shall I go from Your spirit, or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell at the end of the sea, even there Your hand shall guide me, and Your right hand shall take hold of me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light shall be as night about me,’ even the darkness is not dark to You, but the night shines as the day, for the darkness is like light to You.” Psalm 139:7-12

Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice, and taught Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 40:13-14

“Nor will I hide My face from them anymore. For I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 39:29

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

The Holy Spirit is a Person with a mind, emotions, intellect and a will

“You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst… For many years You endured them and warned them by Your Spirit in Your prophets, yet they would not listen. Therefore, You gave them into the hand of the people of the lands.” Nehemiah 9:30

But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore, He turned Himself to be their enemy, and He fought against them.” Isaiah 63:10

“Moreover the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD which faces eastward. And at the door of the gate were twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azzur and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, officials of the people. Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these are the men who devise mischief and give wicked counsel in this city, who say, “The time is not near to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the flesh.” Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man!’ Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and He said to me, Say, Thus says the Lord: Thus you have said, O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.” Ezekiel 11:1-5

“Should it be said, O house of Jacob, ‘Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient? Are these His deeds?”Do not My words benefit him who walks uprightly?’” Micah 2:7

“While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Three men are looking for you. So rise and go down, and go with them, doubting nothing. For I have sent them.’” Acts 10:19-20

“In the church that was in Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they worshipped the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart FOR ME Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” Acts 13:1-2

“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

“But that one and very same Spirit works all these, dividing to each one individually as He will.” 1 Corinthians 12:11

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you are sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit is Israel’s Redeemer

“Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses, saying: Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in their midst, who led them with His glorious arm by the right hand of Moses, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an everlasting name, who led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As the cattle which go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused them to rest, so You led Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name.” Isaiah 63:11-14

The Holy Spirit is the Agent of the New Birth/The Cause of Regeneration

“‘And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them. And you will be turned into another man.’… And it happened, that when he turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart. And all those signs came to pass that day. When they came to the hill, a group of prophets met him. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.” 1 Samuel 10:6, 9-10

“When You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust. When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the surface of the ground.” Psalm 104:29-30

“because the palaces have been forsaken, the populated city is forsaken. The forts and towers shall be caves forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks, until the Spirit is poured on us from on high, and the wilderness is a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.” Isaiah 32:14-15

“Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean. From all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will cleanse you. Also, I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27

“Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the LORD God: Pay attention, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I the Lord have spoken and performed it, says the LORD.” Ezekiel 37:12-14

It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63

“who has made us able ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6

“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5

The Holy Spirit Empowers and Distributes God’s Gifts to Believers

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of craftsmanship to devise artistic works for work with gold, with silver, and with bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of craftsmanship. I, indeed, I have given him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, and I have given skill to all who are specially skilled, that they may make everything that I have commanded you:” Exodus 31:1-6

“Moses said to the children of Israel: See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of craftsmanship,” Exodus 35:30-31

“Now Joshua, the son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. And the children of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD commanded Moses.” Deuteronomy 34:9

“‘And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them. And you will be turned into another man. And it will be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires; for God is with you.’… And it happened, that when he turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart. And all those signs came to pass that day. When they came to the hill, a group of prophets met him. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. So when all who previously knew him saw that he prophesied among the prophets, the people said one to another, ‘What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’” 1 Samuel 10:6-7, 9-11

“and the plans, all of which were given to him by the Spirit, for the courts of the house of the LORD and for the surrounding rooms, the storehouses of the house of God, and the storehouses of the dedicated offerings… ‘All this,’ said David, ‘the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the works of this pattern.’” 1 Chronicles 28:12, 19

“And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:1-2

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,” Isaiah 61:1-2

“In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying: Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, saying: Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not, in your eyes, as nothing in comparison? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, says the LORD, and be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong all you people of the land, says the LORD. Work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Hosts. According to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.” Haggai 2:1-5

“And he said to me: ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts.’” Zechariah 4:6

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for the common good. To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But that one and very same Spirit works all these, dividing to each one individually as He will.” 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son

“But when they deliver you up, take no thought of how or what you will speak. For it will be given you at that time what you will speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you.” Matthew 10:19-20

“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me.” John 15:26

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit that lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of slavery again to fear. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:9-17

“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born from a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:4-7

“For I know that through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will result in my deliverance.” Philippians 1:19

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that should come to you have inquired and searched diligently, seeking the events and time the Spirit of Christ, who was within them, signified when He foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, concerning the things which are now reported to you by those who have preached the gospel to you through the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven—things into which the angels desire to look.” 1 Peter 1:10-12

This concludes this part of my series. Lord Jesus willing, the rest of the sections will be appearing shortly.

Further Reading

Biblical Witness to the Deity of the Holy Spirit

 

 

 

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