A scene from the Leben der heiligen Altväter (1482)

10 Things You Should Know About the Holy Spirit


1. If you know the doctrine of the Trinity, you already know the most important things about the Holy Spirit.

Christians confess that the one God eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the classic, creedal, doctrinal way of stating what Scripture teaches about God (Matt. 28:20John 1:1–3Gal. 4:4–6), and one of its benefits is that it organizes our understanding of the Holy Spirit. When you find your mind wandering or getting lost in the details of pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit), just call back to mind the basic Christian confession that there is one God in three persons. Securely locating the doctrine of the Spirit inside the doctrine of the Trinity automatically grants you the next three things you should know.

2. The Holy Spirit is God.

The most obvious truth that emerges from locating the Holy Spirit in the Trinity is that the Spirit is fully God. He is not a mere impersonal force emanating from God, or a poetic way of talking about God in action, or a creature commissioned by God to do his work for him. Nor is the Holy Spirit a slice of God, one third of God, or part of a team that adds up to be God. He is one of the persons who fully possesses the entirety of the divine essence. Sound Trinitarian theology is a constant, helpful guide that keeps us from thinking unworthy thoughts about the Holy Spirit.,,

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