10 - The
Person of the Holy Spirit
1. The other Paraclete (Consoler)
Our Lord Jesus Christ, just prior to His venerable
Passions, promised His disciples the following:
I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another
Paraclete, to abide with you forever: the Spirit of
truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither
sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells
with you and will be in you» (John
the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will
send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring
to your remembrance all the things that I said to you»
when the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from
the Father - the Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the
Father - He will testify of Me"» (ÉùÜííçò 15,26).
if I do depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has
come, He will judge the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do
not believe in Me"; [...] “I still have many things to
say to you, but you cannot bear them yet. However, when
He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you
into all truth; for He will not speak on His
own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and
He will tell you the things that are to come. He will
glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and
declare it to you» (John
All the above passages of the Holy Bible clearly reveal
the Person of the Holy Spirit.
We need to underline this fact, because there are
heretical people who deny that the Holy Spirit
constitutes a particular Person.
When referring to the Person of the Holy Spirit, the
«He, Him, His»
14:26, 15:26, 16:13), and He also speaks of «another Paraclete» (John 14:16)
- that is,
of a specific Person - Who is clearly distinguished from
the Father and the Son (John 14:26). This was the
Paraclete that Christ saw when He was in the Jordan,
descending upon Him «like
a dove» (Matthew 3:16).
2. The Holy Spirit - the third Person
of the Holy Trinity
no one can say that Jesus is Lord except in the Holy
Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same
Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the
same Lord. And there are diverse kinds of of activities,
but it is the same God who works all in all. But the
manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the
profit of all..."» (1
The Third Person of the Holy Trinity is defined in the
Symbol of Faith (Creed) as «...the
Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds
from the Father, Who together with the Father and the
Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke through the
These all denote the faith of our Church in the divinity
of the Holy Spirit. In all of its passages that we
mentioned pertaining to the Trinitarian God, the Holy
Bible certifies the divinity of the Third Person of the
Holy Trinity; however, certain ill-intentioned people
maintain that the Holy Spirit is not God, but an
"energy" of the Father, or even of the Son also.
This is not possible, because the Lord Himself referred
to the Holy Spirit as «another Paraclete
(Consoler)» (John 14:16), Who is «sent by the
Father» in the name of Christ (John 14:26).
Additionally, the Lord distinguished between the Holy
Spirit and the Person of the Son, when He said:
anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will
be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the
Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven» (Luke
12:10; cmp Hebrews 10:29).
The Holy Spirit cannot possibly be a mere "energy" of
the Father, because then, how is it that the Apostle
refers to the Spirit as
of the Son», Whom God sends to our hearts and Who cries
out «Abba, the Father»? (Galatians 4:6; cmp.1 Peter
1:11). How, then, does the Lord say that the Spirit is sent «in His
(John 14:26) and that the Spirit will take from whatever is of the Son and
3. Other testimonies of the Holy Bible
one of the seraphim was sent to me, and he had in his
hand a live coal that he had taken from the altar with
the tongs. And he touched my mouth and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips, and it will take
away your lawlessness and purify your sins.”
I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
should I send, and who will go to this people?”
am I; send me!”
he said, “Go, and say to this people:
will hear by listening but you will not understand; and
by looking you will see but you will not perceive; for,
this people’s heart has grown fat, and with their ears
they have heard heavily, and they have shut their eyes
so that they might never see with their eyes and hear
with their ears and understand with their heart and
return and I heal them.”» (Isaiah 6,6-10)
You will hear clearly, but you will not understand; you
will observe carefully, but you will not see; because
the hearts of the people have become insensitive and
they listen heavily with their ears and they keep their
eyes partly closed, for fear that they will hear with
their ears and perceive with their heart and repent, and
be healed by Me....
The Apostle Paul refers to this excerpt and underlines
that it was the Holy Spirit Who spoke to the Prophet
Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to
our fathers, saying, "Go to this people"» (Acts 28:25-27).
But, we know that the Prophet had received the
instruction to preach repentance to the people, on
Lord Sabaoth», Whom he had seen «sitting
on a throne, lofty and raised up,
and Who was
surrounded by seraphim around Him, which kept
their faces covered in the presence of the Lord's
glory, while they chanted: “Holy, holy, holy is
the Lord Sabaoth; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
As mentioned, this passage is a testimony of the Old
Testament regarding the Triadic status of God.
This Trinitarian interpretation of the passage is fully
aligned with the proclamation by the Apostle that it was
Spirit» Who spoke to the Prophet (Acts 28:25).
The Spirit, therefore, speaks with the Father and the
Son to the Prophet Isaiah; or, better still, the Father
speaks "through the Son, in the Holy Spirit". And
elsewhere, the Apostle mentions characteristically:
Lord is the Spirit» (2
The passage that we mentioned from the Prophet Elijah is
not unique in the Old Testament. In the Prophet Jeremiah
days are coming, quoth the Lord, and I will make a new
covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Iouda».
will give my laws in their mind, and I will engrave them
on their hearts [...] and I will remember
their sins no more» (Jeremiah 38:31-34; Hebrew
When referring to this passage the Apostle Paul observes
that here, witness is given by «the Holy Spirit» (Hebrews 10:15-17).
This same Person of the Holy Trinity we also observe in
the New Testament as giving instructions to the Apostles
(Acts 13:2, 20:22-23). The Apostle Paul writes to
the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit «...For
the Spirit searches all things, yes, even the depths of
Corinthians 2:10); while in Ephesians he writes
«And do not grieve
the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the
day of redemption» (Ephesians 4:30).
Finally, the Apostle Peter explicitly refers to the Holy
Spirit as «God» (Acts 5:4; cmp. John 4:24).
4. The deniers of the Holy Spirit
But one cannot reach this truth on his own. He
must be guided by the Holy Spirit Himself. Of
course, «the Spirit blows where He wills» (see
John 3:8) and we cannot place any limitations on Him.
But we also cannot separate the Holy Spirit from the
Father and from the Son. "The Father can never be
considered without the Son", says Saint Gregory of
Nyssa, "nor the Son without the Holy Spirit.
Just as it is impossible for one to ascend to the Father
if one is not elevated through the Son, in the same way
it is impossible for one to call Jesus 'Lord' except
only in the Holy Spirit"...
no one can say that Jesus is Lord except in the Holy
Therefore, it is not possible for one to have the Spirit
of God outside of Christ - that is, outside of the
Church. It is, as we said, that which the Lord
Himself underlines when He says that the Holy Spirit is
sent by the Father, in the name of the Son (John 14:26).
We must bear the name of Christ - we must become members
of the Church - in order to acquire the Holy Spirit.
you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know
says the Apostle John when addressing the members of the
Church (1 John 2:20). The Apostle Paul adds the
Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation (Christ); in
Whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the
Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the betrothal of our
inheritance until the redemption of the purchased
possession (i.e. the people of God), to
the praise of His glory» (Ephesians 1:13-14.
People who are outside of the Church are not in a
position to receive the Spirit, because «they do
not see Him, nor do they know Him» (John 14:17).
That is the reason they deny His divinity.
Christians (the members of the Church) however do know
Him, «because He dwells inside them»
(John 14:17). That is the reason they believe and confess the divinity of
the third Person of the Holy Trinity.
5. The opus of the Paraclete (Consoler)
the spirit of the Lord fills the world and that which
holds all things together has knowledge of what is said»,
mentions the Holy Bible (Wisdom of Solomon 1:7. Cmp.12,1;
Acts 2:2), while our Church chants the following:
Spirit provides everything; He exudes prophecies, He
perfects priests, He taught wisdom to the illiterate, He
proved fishermen to be theologians, bringing together
the whole institution of the Church. O Paraclete,
Thou of the same Essence and co-enthroned with the
Father and the Son, glory to Thee».
The opus of the Holy Spirit is to guide the faithful -
through sacred Baptism - to Christ; to incorporate them
into His holy Body - that is, into the Church (1
Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 2:18, 4:4); to distribute
the various charismas (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians
4:4-13) and to compose and build up through them the
whole institution of the Church (1 Corinthians 14:4,
no one can say that Jesus is Lord except in the Holy
This primeval truth we can see being applied, even in
those very Apostles.
As we know, the Lord's disciples abandoned their
crucified Master and fled (Matthew 26:56), because they
had not understood the warnings that He had given them
regarding His Passion and His Resurrection (John
3:14-15, Matthew 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:18-19, Mark
8:31, 9:31, 10:33-34, Luke 9:22, 44, 18:31-33). The significance of the
Lord's words «was
hidden from them, and they did not know the things which
were spoken» (Luke 18:34).
After the Resurrection, Christ «opened»
the minds of the disciples «that
they might comprehend the Scriptures»
(Luke 24:45) and He promised them that they would receive «power from
«when the Holy
Spirit has come upon you» (Luke 24:49,
Acts 1:8). Christ also promised them that He (the
Paraclete) would testify about Him (John 15:26, 1 John
5:6); that He would «remind» them of
everything He (Christ) had taught them (John 14:26) and
He would reveal His (Christ's) glory (John 16:14), so
that the Apostles would be rendered «witnesses of
Christ» (Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8).
Indeed, on the Day of the Pentecost, the disciples «...were
all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance»
(Acts 2:1-4. Cmp. Acts 2:17, 33, Joel 3:1-5).
«filling» by the Holy Spirit had rendered them capable of
believing absolutely in the name of the Lord (1
The Holy Spirit therefore leads one towards the faith in
the Person of Christ and in the "in-Christ" way of life.
That is why The Holy Spirit is also referred to as «Spirit
of the Son» (Galatians
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit
[...] and I will give my spirit in you and will
act so that you walk in my statutes and keep my
judgments and perform them», said the mouth of
God through the Prophet Ezekiel
The presence of the Holy Spirit inside the heart of the
faithful person constitutes a
«sign» - the characteristic mark of the reborn person - and at
the same time, the commencement of the Kingdom of God. «For,
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons
of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage
again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption
by Whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”...» (Romans 8:14-16):
You, however, have received the Spirit of adoption which
renders you children of God, so that with every
familiarity you can cry out to God: Abba, Father!
Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God» (Romans
8:16). In fact, at another point the Apostle says that the Holy Spirit
Himself - Who was sent to us by God - «cries out
inside our hearts "Abba, Father"» (Galatians 4:6).
Thus, the holy Spirit is the cause and the source of a
person's spiritual life (cmp. Romans 5:5, Galatians 5:22-25).
For a person to be Spiritual, he must be «drawn»
- led - by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit must be,
according to Saint John the Chrysostom, the governor of
his life, in the manner of the captain of a ship and the
charioteer of a chariot.
When we live «in the Spirit», we become a «Temple
of the Holy Spirit» (1 Corinthians
6:19) and we are built «on
the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the
whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy
temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built
together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit» (Ephesians 2:18-22).
That is when man fulfils the end purpose of his life and
is actually redeemed, because he will have returned to
his primeval unity with the Trinitarian God, from Whom
he had distanced himself on account of the Fall.
you are not 'in the flesh', but (rather)
'in the Spirit', if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in
You are not carnal, but rather you are spiritual, if of
course the Spirit of God dwells inside you, as the
Apostle Paul characteristically says (Romans 8:9).
Spirit, Who dwells in us, yearns jealously».
The Spirit, Who has resided inside us, desires to a
jealous degree says the Apostle James (James 4:5);
therefore, there is no place inside us for the spirit of
the world, «because the Lord your God, Who is
present with you, is a jealous god. Lest the Lord your
God, being angered with wrath against you, destroy you
utterly from the face of the earth» (Deuteronomy 6:15).
That is, if a Christian has become the dwelling-place of
the Holy Spirit (Ephesians
2:18-22, Romans 8:9), it is impermissible for him to obey any other "spirit";
he must be «drawn», be led only by the
Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).
submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from
you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and
purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Lament and mourn and weep!… »,
concluded the Apostle James (James 4,7-9).
whatever you ask in My name, that I will do...».
the Lord promised characteristically (John 14:13).
However, our petitions to the Lord must be made «in
the Spirit» (Jude 20), or, rather, together with
the Spirit, Who dwells inside us.
the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not
know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit
Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which
cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows
what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes
intercession for the saints according to the will of God»
ask and you do not receive»,
says the Apostle James (James 4:3), which means that we
are not being «drawn» - we are not
allowing the Holy Spirit lead us into prayer (Romans 8:14)
- but instead, we are drawn by our own wills, and do not
pray "in the Spirit".
All the above make it clear why a contemporary saint of
our Church - Saint Seraphim of Sarov - used to say that
the true purpose of Christian living is to acquire the
Holy Spirit. Saint Makarios the Egyptian adds that
Grace develops within the person who becomes the
dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit and becomes one with
His essence, just like leaven with dough.
That is why our Church names the Holy Spirit «God and
Deifier» (Hymn of the Pentecost) and chants the
following during Matins on Sundays:
the Holy Spirit every soul is animated and through
cleansing is elevated, illuminated by the Triadic One,
In other words, each soul acquires life through the Holy
Spirit; it is elevated through catharsis (cleansing) and
is brightened mystically through the illumination of the
Holy Trinity's light.