HE: The Holy Spirit is a Person, not energy.

Jamie Johnson 05.29.2007

I've heard the Holy Spirit referred to as "It." However, the proper reference is "He." The Holy Spirit is a Person of the Trinity. Some, even today, support the old heresy that the Holy Spirit is energy and not an actual Person of the Trinity. However, Scriptural references support that the Holy Spirit is a Person of the Trinity.

According to Matthew 28:19, we are commanded to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Notice how the Holy Spirit is listed along with the Father and the Son.

Paul mentions the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians 13:14, and this after he mentions "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" as well as "the love of God." He lists the Holy Spirit among the other Persons of the Trinity, also mentioning an attribute just as he does with the other Persons.

Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as "another Counselor" and "Him," one who "lives" in John 14:15-17.

Matthew 1:20 mentions that Mary will conceive by the Holy Spirit and Luke 1:35 also implies this.

In Mark 3:29, the eternal sin - blasphemy of the Holy Spirit - is mentioned. This implies that the Holy Spirit can be blasphemed. Note that blasphemy is defined primarily as "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God; the act of claiming the attributes of deity" (Merriam-Webster). This suggests that the Holy Spirit is God.

Ephesians 4:30 suggests that the Holy Spirit can be grieved and also refers to Him as "whom." Energy cannot grieve and wouldn't be referenced as "whom."

In Revelation 3:6, the Spirit speaks.


Here's some additional informative information. The following useful material was gathered, quoted, or paraphrased from Wikipedia:

The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the Paraclete. "Paraclete" comes from the Greek word παρακετος (Parakletos) (Strong's G3875) meaning "one who consoles - a comforter" or "one who intercedes on our behalf - an advocate." It may reflect the Hebrew nahhem "comforter."

'Paraclete' appears in the New Testament in the Gospel of John (14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7), where it may be translated in English as "Counselor", "Helper", or "Comforter". The Early Church identified the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5, 1:8, 2:4, 2:38) and Christians continue to use Paraclete as a title for God's Spirit.

In 1 John 2:1 "paraclete" is used to describe the intercessory role of Jesus Christ. And in John 14:16 Jesus says "another paraclete" will come to help his disciples, implying Jesus is the first paraclete.

According to trinitarian doctrine, the Paraclete or Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity who among other things provides guidance, consolation and support to people. Other titles for the Holy Spirit include 'Spirit of Truth', Lightfull Spirit of God Almighty, Holy Breath, Almighty Breath, Giver of Life, Lord of Grace, Helper, 'Comforter', 'Counsellor' and 'Supporter'.

Rene Girard, a Christian anthropologist / philosopher, argues that Paraclete ought to be translated as the Defense Attorney who is defending human beings against the assaults of Satan (the Prosecuting Attorney, the Accuser, the fomenter of violence). See Girard's book I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, pages 189-90, for his argument.


Other views exist, but there is compelling support for the Holy Spirit being a Person of the Trinity. Some may say that's interpretation, but it is not only the words used to support arguments, but also the context and language.

So, from the material (and supported by the Scriptures) above, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit …

  1. has a Name.
  2. is associated with Fellowship.
  3. is listed along with and treated as the other Persons of the Trinity.
  4. is referenced in roles that a living being (i.e., a Person) would play: Comforter, Advocate, Counselor (See Paraclete above).
  5. is referenced by "Him."
  6. is alive.
  7. conceived the baby Jesus in Mary.
  8. can be blasphemed.
  9. can be grieved.
  10. is referenced by "whom."
  11. speaks.
  12. gives gifts.

We know that energy cannot and does not have these properties, but that a Person does. The Holy Spirit is indeed a Person. To argue otherwise is not only heresy, but it requires an active resistance to the clear teaching of Scripture.

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