Glorious Spirit (Part One)

By Andrew Reeves

Introduction

Who is the Holy Spirit? We know from scripture that He gives birth to Spiritual people as He wills. We know that He is another Helper like Jesus and will be with us forever. We know that He is the Spirit of truth. He convicts the world because of sin. He glorifies Jesus and the Father by taking what is theirs and declaring it to us. He empowers believers for ministry. The Holy Spirit leads us in our spiritual walk and aids us in killing sin. Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God, and if sons, then heirs with Christ who will share in his glory. His presence in our lives results in fruitful living. Lastly, we know that the Word of God was written by men carried along by the Holy Spirit.[1]

These many attributes and works point to the greatness of the Holy Spirit. But there is one issue that Scripture does not speak to. Scripture never speaks of God the Father glorifying the Holy Spirit. “To my knowledge, no text says precisely that the Father or Son glorifies the Spirit.”[2] How could this be? We know that the Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies the Father and the Spirit, and the Spirit glorifies the Father and the Son.[3] But again there is no text that says the Father glorifies the Spirit. Does this mean that there exists a broken link in the Trinity? Is the Holy Spirit deficient in some way in His glory that the Father does not glorify Him? Does God the Father glorify the Holy Spirit? This is the question the Glorious Spirit blog posts will seek to answer.

Issue

We know from John’s gospel that the Father glorifies the Son. We also know that the Son glorifies the Father. We know that the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son and the Father. The Son glorifies the Spirit, because He speaks of the Spirit’s coming as advantageous for the disciples for the Spirit of Truth will indwell them. And He glorifies the Father through the Son because He glorifies the Son.[4] While we may logically conclude that the Father glorifies the Holy Spirit we still don’t have a verse of scripture that states it. If the Spirit is not glorified by the Father, does this indicate he has deficient glory? Does it indicate he has deficient deity? If the Holy Spirit is not glorified, what hope do we have of being glorified, since the Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance?

The blog posts on the Glorious Spirit will argue that, while there is no explicit scripture that says the Father glorifies the Holy Spirit, there are strong indications in Scripture that leave no doubt that the Holy Spirit is glorified by the Father. The blog posts on the Glorious Spirit will show that the Father glorifies the Holy Spirit by first looking at a number of biblical texts, draw theological conclusions, and then draw out some implications. The blogs on the Glorious Spirit will build its argument upon John 16:13-15 and Romans 8:14-17.


 

[1] John 3:8; 14:16-17; 16:8-15; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Romans 8:1-17; Galatians 5:22-23 and 2 Peter 1:21.

[2] John M. Frame, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2013), 480.

[3] John 17 and John 16:14-15.

[4] John 8:50, 54; 12:23; 16:5-17; 17:1, 4, 18.


Andrew Reeves is married to Hannah, an Arkansas native, and a student at SBTS.

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