One of the greatest revelations in the life of a believer is awakening to the fact there is Another who has come to live within you. The Attributes of Personhood – Christ in You is the second in The Attributes of Personhood articles. Christ in you is our hope of glory1 made possible by the same Holy Spirit who lived in Jesus.
There remains ahead the culmination of all that is in the mind and will of God. Differing opinions and doctrines abound, but I do believe we can agree on one thing: we are not there yet. How like the Father’s heart to give us the Gift whose companionship His Son enjoyed, whose power He relied upon, and in whose strength He took comfort and courage – the Person of the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit is here with us and active for the length of our personal days, and to the end of this age of grace.
Few will dispute that Jesus was a real person who walked this earth in a physical body such as we have. The same five senses common to physical makeup – hearing, eyesight, taste, touch, and smell – are the attributes of corporeality: operating in a physical body. Think of them as hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, etc. Useful or incapacitated, they are mere appendages without the attributes of personality in operation.
We hear and may have said ourselves: It’s not what you do, but who you are. Instinctively, we celebrate the one who has overcome loss of limbs or senses and gone on to live a large life from the depths of who they are. Strength of spirit shines bright as a result of the soul working through the physical and mental challenges that come through loss and devastation. Likewise, we admire those who, though rich in material blessings, have learned and modeled a loose hold upon earthly gain for the sake of the greater riches of a good name.2
Some may never journey through either extreme. However, life has a way common to humanity: every individual has their own flavor of obstacles, growth opportunities, trials and tests to navigate, learn, and overcome. Life’s challenging deposits leave layers of veiling that can and does obscure not only the “Christ in you”, but the redemptive gifts of our design as well. That is why we not only need a Savior, but why the Savior promised He would not leave us alone. He knew that to live an overcoming and redemptive life in the flesh, we need a Teacher.
Don’t let the fact that Holy Spirit is not a flesh and blood person confuse you. Holy Spirit is the fullness of God’s personality come to dwell within us. That is why I testify that it is in learning who He is, we learn who we are.
Corporeality points to physical characteristics – which is how, as described in The Attributes of Personhood, we typically recognize someone, ie. by their face, form, or voice. The attributes of Personality are generally defined and accepted as intellect, volition, and emotions. Or, knowledge (mind), will, and feelings. What makes a person a person is one who thinks, feels, and exercises their will. That describes you and me. And Holy Spirit.
When one day we are absent from these earthly bodies and present with the Lord,3 we will not cease to be persons. We will be very much alive in the presence of the Lord without the restraints of our mortal vessel.
Jesus was obediently responsive to the Father living in him, which is why He could say that he only did what He saw his Father doing and only said what his Father was speaking.4 The Spirit of the Father was living in the Son; and if the same (Holy) Spirit of the Father who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, the Father will give life to our mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in us. (Romans 8:11) The blessed Trinity of our Divine Someones!
Holy Spirit, Divine Person
Knowledge, will, and emotions are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures.
Knowledge is attributed to the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 2:11 which reads, “Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” Holy Spirit knows the things of God and reveals them to us. A precious promise Jesus gave His disciples before He led them out to a vineyard, is found in John 14:26 –
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Volition or Will of Holy Spirit is described in the scriptural passages that teach us about the gifts of the Spirit:
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
I Corinthians 12:11 (NASB)
Emotion and Feeling is attributed to Holy Spirit in Romans 15:30, Paul’s appeal to the Romans for prayer:
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit,
that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
Romans 15:30 (KJV)
The love of the Spirit
Years ago when I first read through her study that led to this writing of The Person of the Holy Spirit, my heart skipped a beat at a question Fuchsia Pickett asked: “Have you ever thanked the Holy Spirit for His love?”
She went on to share an insight I think will resonate with many believers in Father God and Jesus the Son:
Our thoughts of and thanks to God the Father who “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”5
And, speaking of Jesus’ love for the Church being so great that he suffered outside the city wall that he might sanctify (purify, consecrate, set apart) unto Himself a glorious Church.6
We are not strangers to thanking our heavenly Father for His great love to us, or to Jesus for loving us enough to die upon a cross in payment for our sin. Then there is the question above that Dr. Pickett asked, and framed:
“Yet we owe our salvation as truly to the love of the Spirit as we do to the love of the Father and the Son. If the Holy Spirit had not become the willing Servant to come to the world and seek out our lost condition and bring conviction to us, we could not have come to the Savior…We have not fully understood the love He has for us, and the hurt-love He still experiences as a servant bringing us back to the Father’s house.” 7
And so is laid a brief foundation for all that is to come as our study of Holy Spirit’s mission of love unfolds.
1 Colossians 1:27 in context of 1:24-29
2 Proverbs 3:4, 22:1, Ecclesiastes 7:1
3 II Corinthians 5:84
4 John 14:10-11
5 John 3:16
6 Hebrews 13:12
7 Presenting the Holy Spirit, pg. 8
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