BY REV. R. A. TORREY, D. D.
IMPORTANCE OF THE DOCTRINE.
One of the most characteristic and distinctive doctrines of the Christian faith is that of the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is of the highest importance from the standpoint of worship. If the Holy Spirit is a divine person, worthy to receive our adoration, our faith and our love, and we do not know and recognize Him as such, then we are robbing a divine Being of the adoration and love and confidence which are His due.
The doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is also of the highest importance from the practical standpoint. If we think of the Holy Spirit only as an impersonal power or influence, then our thought will constantly be, how can I get hold of and use the Holy Spirit; but if we think of Him in the Biblical way as a divine Person, infinitely wise, infinitely holy, infinitely tender, then our thought will constantly be, “How can the Holy Spirit get hold of and use me?” Is there no difference between the thought of the worm using God to thrash the mountain, or God using the worm to thrash the mountain? The former conception is low and heathenish, not differing essentially from the thought of the African fetich worshipper who uses his god to do his will. The latter conception is lofty and Christian. If we think of the Holy Spirit merely as a power or influence, our thought will be, “How can I get more of the Holy Spirit?”; but if we think of Him as a divine Person, our thought will be, “How can the Holy Spirit get more of me?” The former conception leads to self-exaltation; the latter conception to self-humiliation, self-emptying, and self-renunciation. If we think of the Holy Spirit merely as a Divine power or influence and then imagine that we have received the Holy Spirit, there will be the temptation to feel as if we belonged to a superior order of Christians. A woman once came to me to ask a question and began by saying, “Before I ask the question, I want you to understand that I am a Holy Ghost woman.” The words and the manner of uttering them made me shudder. I could not believe that they were true. But if we think of the Holy Spirit in the Biblical way as a divine Being of infinite majesty, condescending to dwell in our hearts and take possession of our lives, it will put us in the dust, and make us walk very softly before God.
It is of the highest importance from an experimental standpoint that we know the Holy Spirit as a person. Many can testify of the blessing that has come into their own lives from coming to know the Holy Spirit, as an ever-present, living, divine Friend and Helper.
There are four lines of proof in the Bible that the Holy Spirit is a person.