Bible Question:

Is the Holy Spirit a person or a power? What is the Holy Spirit?

Bible Answer:

Is the Holy Spirit a person or a power? That is the question which is answered in this brief study. Also, some people wonder what is the Holy Spirit? What follows explains that the Holy Spirit is a person in the trinity. He has intellect, will, and emotion. Those are  characteristics possessed by every person.

Is the Holy Spirit a person or a power?

Holy Spirit Is God

The first important truth about the Holy Spirit is that He is God. In Acts 5:3-4, the apostle Peter told a man named Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Spirit in verse 3. Then Peter told the man in verse 4 that He had lied to God.

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Acts 5:3-4 (NASB)

That helps us understand that the Holy Spirit is God. Another indication that the Holy Spirit is God, is that He was involved in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:1). Another very clear passage is Matthew 12:31-32 which teaches that a person can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. That means the Holy Spirit is God. Also at the baptism of Jesus, He and the God the Father were present (Matthew 3:13-16; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). In Matthew 28:19 and 1 Corinthians 13:14, the Holy Spirit is spoken of in connection with God the Father and God the Son. That is, all three members of the Godhead are together. For more information, visit the Suggested Links below. Now why did we start with the point that the Holy Spirit is God? The reason is that God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ, are persons. Since the Holy Spirit is also God, He is a person too! For there is only one God and not three (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; James 2:19).

Holy Spirit Has an Intellect

Another proof that the Holy Spirit is a person is that He has intellect. Isaiah 11:2 tells us that He gives wisdom, counsel, and knowledge. Romans 8:27 clearly reveals He has a mind.

He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is . . . Romans 8:27 (NASB)

Consequently, He can teach believers the meaning of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). For He possesses wisdom, counsel, and knowledge.  Also, He moved men to write the Scriptures (1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Romans 8:26 says He helps believers pray.He provides truth (John 14:17, 26; 15:26; 16:13). He speaks (Acts 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2; Revelation 2:7; 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). This reveals the Holy Spirit is a person not an inanimate force or a power.

The Holy Spirit Has a Will

A third proof the Holy Spirit is a person is that He has a will. Genesis 6:3 states the Holy Spirit can strive with men. In Acts 16:6-7, the Holy Spirit gave direction to the apostle Paul. He gives spiritual gifts to believers as He desires (1 Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 2:4).

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NASB)

Finally, He regenerates unbelievers at the moment of saving faith (John 3:7-8; Titus 3:5).

The Holy Spirit Has Emotion

The fourth proof the Holy Spirit is a person is that He has emotion. He experiences joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6), can be grieved (Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30), and be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Holy Spirit can be insulted (Hebrews 10:29). Finally, the Holy Spirit loves (Romans 5:5; 15:30; Galatians 5:22).

Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,  Romans 15:30 (NASB)


We have discovered that God the Holy Spirit is a person. We will finish with John 14:26.

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. John 14:26 (NASB)

This verse clearly reveals that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is called the Helper! He teaches, and helped the disciples remember what Jesus had taught them. He is a person just as Jesus or God the Son, is a person!

Suggested Links:

The Holy Spirit – Discipleship Series
Receive the Holy Spirit — When does a person receive the Holy Spirit?
Was the Holy Spirit created by God? What does the Bible say?
What is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
How To Be Filled With The Spirit
Is anointing oil symbolic of the Holy Spirit?
When did the Holy Spirit come, after Jesus or before?
What is the fresh anointing or new anointing from the Holy Spirit?
Did the Holy Spirit come upon or fill the Old Testament saints?
What does it mean “Do not quench the Spirit?”