Since “the only true God” is “the Father,” and since He is “holy” and He is “spirit,” He is also referred to in Scripture as “the Holy Spirit.” For further study read the Giver and His gift. The Giver is God, the only true God, the Father, the Holy Spirit. His gift is incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23), His own divine nature (2 Pet. 1:3), holy spirit (Acts 2:39). Jesus expressed this truth in John 3:6: “That which is born of Spirit [God, the giver] is spirit [His nature, the gift].” If there is no such thing as the “Trinity,” there is no such thing as “the third Person of the Trinity” known as “the Holy Spirit.” Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting articulately write about this issue:

It is going beyond the evidence of Scripture to equate the Spirit of God with a person distinct from the one God, in the same sense as the Son is distinct from the Father. There are clear differences between what the Bible says about the Father and the Son and what it says about the Spirit. God and Christ are obviously separate individuals worthy of receiving worship: the Father in His capacity as Creator, the Son Jesus as the instrument in the salvation of mankind. Yet the Holy Spirit has no personal name. Why is it that in no text of Scripture is the Holy Spirit worshipped or prayed to? Not once does the Holy Spirit send greetings to the churches. When the Apostles write to their churches, greetings are always sent from two persons, the Father and the Son. It is quite extraordinary that Paul would constantly omit mention of the third person of the Trinity, if he believed him to exist. When he charges Timothy to keep the faith, he speaks in the invisible presence of “God and of Christ and of His chosen angels.”

A leading biblical theologian of this century, and prominent member of the Church of England, appears to reject the idea that the Bible presents the spirit as a third person:

To ask whether in the New Testament the spirit is a person in the modern sense of the word would be like asking whether the spirit of Elijah is a person. The Spirit of God is of course personal; it is God’s dunamis (power) in action. But the Holy Spirit is not a person, existing independently of God; it is a way of speaking about God’s personally acting in history, or of the risen Christ’s personally acting in the life and witness of the Church. The New Testament (and indeed patristic thought generally) nowhere represents the Spirit, any more than the wisdom of God, as having independent personality.

Luke’s careful choice of words in three important passages shows how spirit and power are interchangeable terms: John the Baptist will go as a forerunner before the Messiah “in the spirit and power of Elijah.” At the conception of the Son of God, Mary is told that “holy spirit [there is no article in the Greek] will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” When Jesus annnounces the coming of the holy spirit at Pentecost, he states his intention to “send forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” The term “Spirit of God” in one passage is replaced by “the finger of God” in the parallel text. The “finger of God” hardly describes a person. [1]

When one is born again of God’s spirit, he does not receive a “Person,” but rather the divine nature of God, given to men to transform them into the image of His Son. This gift is referred to in Scripture by a number of synonymous terms, including: “holy spirit,” “the spirit,” “the spirit of God,” “the spirit of Christ,” “the spirit of the Lord,” “the spirit of truth,” “the spirit of Sonship,” and “the holy spirit of promise,” as well as “the new man” and “the divine nature.” None of these suggest that the gift is a person. Such teaching is not only biblically groundless, but also logically incomprehensible to the rational human mind. Translators, however, influenced by Trinitarian tradition, have unnecessarily muddied the clear waters of the Word in regard to the gift of holy spirit. As an example, let us once again quote Buzzard and Hunting as they write about John 14:15-18, and 26. The same understanding they set forth applies to John 15:26, 16:7, 8, and 13-15.

In Jesus’ last discourses to his disciples, he speaks of the “comforter” who will come to encourage the faithful after Jesus has been taken to the Father. Since “comforter” (parakletos) is a masculine word in Greek, translators who believed in the “third Person of the Trinity” rendered the following pronouns as “he” and “him.” The same “comforter” is, however, also “the spirit of the truth.” This title hardly suggests a person. If we do not assume the Holy Spirit to be a person distinct from the Father and Son, the texts will be rendered as follows:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments, and I will ask the Father and He will give you another comforter to remain with you until the [coming] age, the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive, because it does not see it or know it [auto, neuter agreeing with spirit]. But you know it [auto] because it remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you…But the comforter, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, it [ekeinos, masculine in Greek to agree with parakletos, but translated as “he” only if it is assumed a person is meant] will teach you all things and remind you of all things I spoke to you. [2]

Let us reiterate why the distinction between the Giver and the gift is important for practical Christian living. If one understands that he has been given the gift of God’s power, and that it is up to him to utilize it, he is more likely to aggressively do so. If, however, he believes that a mystical “Third Person” indwells him, he may very well respectfully wait for this “Person” to do for him what Scripture says is his own responsibility.

Another problem arising from the mistaken idea that “the Holy Spirit” is a separate person than God the Father is the teaching that “He” comes and goes in and out of our lives. This leads to people “inviting” “Him” into a meeting, singing songs with words like, “You are welcome in this place,” and sometimes even praying for hours to “get into His presence.” In reality, each Christian is part of “the habitation of God” (Eph. 2:22) and, via His holy spirit, both God and His Son are always with us (John 17:21).

The materials we have referenced will give you many more details about the broad subject of the relationship between the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ. Unless one uses extra-biblical terminology, he cannot explain either the “Trinity” or the many contradictions in Scripture and in logic that this doctrine brings up. Even if extra-biblical terminology is allowed, the explanation makes no sense.

On the other hand, every verse quoted by Trinitarians to “prove” the “Trinity,” or that Jesus is God Almighty, is perfectly understandable within the framework of the original languages of Scripture and the customs and culture of the time, in particular the fervent Jewish belief in “One God.” All of the more difficult verses on the subject can be understood in light of the many clear verses in God’s Word. In each case, we simply need our understanding enlightened or an error in translation corrected. Praise God that this is available.


Endnotes:

1. Anthony Buzzard & Charles F. Hunting, The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound, (Atlanta Bible College and Restoration Fellowship, Morrow GA, 1994) page 102. Close Back to top

2. Ibid., page 103,104. Back to top

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