Some in our church are teaching that the Holy Spirit is neither a person nor a member of the Godhead. Is that true?
Some Adventists have discovered that practically all of our pioneers were anti-Trinitarian and have concluded that the church today should reject the doctrine of the Trinity. The truth is that the Lord guided this movement to a more biblical understanding of God. Today, based on the Bible, we affirm the truth of one God in a plurality of Persons. I mention here just some of the biblical support available.
1. The Spirit as Power. The opinion that the Spirit is not a person is partially based on the fact that very often He is described as a power coming from God, falling on people, and enabling them to do certain tasks (e.g., Judges 3:10; Acts 2:4). Moreover, the Greek word for “spirit” (pneuma) is neuter, that is to say we can refer to the Spirit as “it,” implying that He is not a person. But that is a phenomenon of Greek grammar that doesn’t necessarily have any theological significance.
2. The Spirit and Jesus. With the coming of Jesus our understanding of the Godhead was greatly enriched. Because Jesus was God in human flesh (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13), distinct from the Father (Matt. 3:17) yet one with Him (John 14:10), His followers began to realize that there was in the mystery of God a plurality of persons. The mystery increased when Jesus described the Spirit not as something but as Someone, who would take His place in the experience of the disciples: “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor . . . the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16, NIV).