The authority of God
3) authority of the Spirit


You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

- Nehemiah 9:6 NIV


2.4 God the Spirit: the messenger of authority.

The Holy Spirit is the person of the Godhead through whom God chiefly interacts with mankind. The Spirit indwells believers so that they may become empowered for service and godly actions. The Spirit intercedes to help us in our prayers (Rom. 8:26, 27), and is given to us at our rebirth as a guarantee of our inheritance of eternal life (Eph. 1:13,14).

In terms of authority, the most important aspects of God's Spirit are the Spirit's ministry of revealing God to us (Eph. 1:17), and giving glory to and testifying about the Son (John 15:26, 16:14). The Spirit compels, warns, and gives insight to the believer in accordance with God's will and to the extent to which the believer is living in submission to that will. It was the Spirit who moved men to speak God's words and to permanently record them in the books and letters of the Bible:

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say: 'This is what the Lord says...' (Ezekiel 11:5 NIV, see also Matthew 10:19b, 20, and 2 Peter 1:21).

Because God's character is one of perfect and permanent integrity, so his words perfectly and permanently convey his divine authority. Not only are his words authoritative, but the Spirit conveyed God's words to the ancient writers in like manner because the Spirit is, in nature, God.

Notice how the Spirit is described:
as the Creator -

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4 NIV);

as ever-present -

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there," (Psalm 139:7-8 NIV);

and as the Giver of life -

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (John 3:6 NIV).

The Spirit is also described as having made men overseers of the church (Acts 20:28) and as being the only one to know the thoughts of God (1 Cor. 2:11).

Finally, the Spirit is not only God in nature, but the Spirit is intimately identified with the other members of the trinity:

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14 NIV).

...Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ... (1 Peter 1:2a NIV).

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19 NIV).


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NEXT: The authority of God - part four

See also:

The authority of the Bible

Biblical authority and humanity

Conclusion: A story of the S.S. Titanic

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This chapter briefly describes the authority of God as Scripture applies it to God the Spirit.