Father and Holy Spirit


I don’t get it; I have been trying to figure out how we came to learn that the Father and Holy Spirit are separate beings.

I can understand that Jesus is a separate being, because He became man and once lived in our world in our time.

But what’s the difference between the Father and the Holy Spirit? Why are they separate beings? I just don’t get it… :shrug:

(What is the correct terminology; Is God one being in three persons - or one person in three beings?)


Father, Son and Holy Spirit aren’t separate. They’re distinct.

Calling them “beings” is likewise inaccurate, since each is the one and only “God, whole and entire”.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct because they are mutually relative. Each is who he is because of his relation to the others.

Their distinction in Scripture is apparent especially in John 14-16. There Jesus speaks of himself, the Father and the Holy Spirit in a way that you can distinguish each. For example,
When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.

John 15:26
This might be helpful: The Dogma of the Holy Trinity


they are not separate beings. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in being, one in nature, separate in persons only.


The Son is begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.

Please don’t ask for clarification of the word proceeds… :gopray2:



The fact that the Holy Spirit is a person appears, in the first place from the titles given to him by Our Lord in his last discourse to the disciples (John 14: 15-18, 26 ; 15:26; 16: 7-15). Our Lord calls him “the Spirit,” and though the Greek word for “spirit” is of neuter gender the pronoun used in referring to it is in the masculine gender. Again, he calls him by another by another name, the “Paraclete,” which more probably means an advocate or pleader, a friend of an accused person called to testify to his character or to enlist sympathy in his favor. This term is used four times in regard of the Holy Spirit in St. John’s gospel, but occurs in his first Epistle as a title of Our Lord, who is our “Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Just” (1 John 2:1). The title, therefore, is evidently a personal one.



The same fact may be seen from a comparison between the Holy Spirit and other persons. Besides the one just mentioned, we find in the gospels a comparison between blasphemy against the Son of Man and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which brings out even more clearly the personality of the Spirit (Matthew 12:32; Luke 12:10). And the formula of baptism contained in the risen Christ’s commission to the Apostles (Matthew 28:19) associates the other two persons of the Trinity in a manner that shows clearly that he too is a person.

Thirdly, it is made clear from the attributes of the Holy Spirit, which testify to his personal character. He speaks, teaches, and testifies. “When the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth” (John 16:13). He chooses and constitutes ministers in the Church. “Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has placed you [as] bishops to rule the Church of God” (Acts 20:28). The Holy Spirit said to them: “Separate me Saul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have taken them” (Acts 13:2). He issues decrees to the Church through his Apostles. “It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28).

Moreover, the Holy Spirit is a person distinct from the Father and the Son. Apart from the evidence of the baptismal formula in St. Matthew, we may gather from St. John’s gospel that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, is sent by the Father, is demanded by the Son from the Father. Further, he receives of the Son, is sent by the Son, gives testimony of him, and takes his place. “I will ask the Father and he shall give you another Paraclete” (John 14:16). “The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name” (John 14:26). “But when the Paraclete comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he shall give testimony of me” (John 15:26). " He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine" (John 16:14). “If I not go, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

That the Holy Spirit is a divine person may be seen from the frequency with which he is identified with God. So to lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God (Acts 5:3-4), and to offend him is to offend God. Again, to be the temple of the Holy Spirit is the same as to be the temple of God. " Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).


A book often recommended here would be a great help to you: Theology for Beginners, by Frank Sheed. The section on the Most Holy Trinity is especially good.


Please allow me to ask the questions in my original posts a little differently…

Why does the Father need a helper in the Holy Spirit?
I mean, why can’t the Father just do the voo-doo that the Holy Spirt can do?


The Father doesn’t strictly NEED anyone to do anything - not Jesus, not the Holy Spirit, not us. He begets Jesus/breathes forth the Spirit/creates us out of love and chooses for us all to participate in His works and His plans out of love.


the Father does not need any help
the Holy Spirit does not practice voo-doo
You have been given an excellent introduction to the nature of God and the relationship of the 3 divine Persons in the Trinity. You have been given an excellent guide in the Frank Sheed book to the best extended explanation. You also have at hand on this site on the homepage excellent articles and references. The way you phrase your question, and your refusal to look at these resources before asking further questions, demonstrates you have not the slightest interest in a real answer, and your only motive is to insult. Good day.



Perhaps this will help you. St. Paul’s own teaching with regard to the Blessed Trinity is unequivocal, notwithstanding the rationalist contention that he makes of Christ only a celestial man, a being removed by many degrees from divinity. Writing to the Corinthians, St. Paul says: “Wherefore I give you to understand that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Spirit. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit; and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all” (1 Corinthians 3-6). In the first sentence we have a clear statement of the equality of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and then follows what has been described as at least an insinuation of the doctrine of the Trinity in Godhead, since diversities of graces are ascribed to the same Spirit (the Holy Spirit); diversities of ministries to the same Lord (Christ Jesus); and diversities of operations to the same God who worketh all in all (the Father). All these operations are divine, but by appropriation they are attributed to the different persons of the Trinity according to that peculiar fittingness which led the writers of Holy Writ, in treating of divine operations, to assign external works of power to the Father, external acts of love to the Son, and external works of sanctification to the Holy Spirit. In this particular text, it will be noticed, the three persons are mentioned in reverse order, and this, according to some commentators, with a view to emphasizing their absolute equality.

No one can fail to see the implications of St. Paul’s direct invocation of the three persons of the Trinity in the final verse of his Second Epistle to the Corinthians: “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”

In precisely the same manner does St. Peter pen the first words of his First Epistle: “Peter, and apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed . . . according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ . . .”

In the Epistles, then, as in the Gospels, the Holy and Undivided Trinity is shown forth in the bewildering multiplicity of operations outside the divine essence and in the ineffable intercommunion of the divine persons in that inner life which is from eternity unto eternity.

Explore Kelly Hansen


Sorry, puzzleannie; You’re wrong if you think I’m here to insult. My reference to “voo-doo” was merely comical - not at all sincere. And I do plan on obtaining that book, but right now I would like to continue with a friendly discussion.

Of course, I accept who the Holy Spirit is. (ie, a separate person)
I accept what the Holy Spirit is. (ie, God)
I accept how the Holy Spirit works, (ie, from the Father and Son)

I just don’t understand WHY the Father sent the Holy Spirit.


Thank you, Tomster; I will dwell on these thoughts…


This may be a bit off topic, but this type of question doesn’t warrant another thread. So:

Because it is acceptable to call Jesus, Son of God, is it okay to use the terms *Father of God *and *Holy Spirit of God *for the Father and the Holy Spirit?


Typically, you would refer to God as either “God” or “God the Father”. “Holy Spirit of God”? Not sure why you would need to do so but if you’re into creative terminology ‘just because’, have at it. :thumbsup: It is imperative that you use reverence and understanding when discussing the Holy Trinity. If you are certain to do so, you’re okay.:wink:


I think the word “Son” comes into play because Jesus had a human nature. I don’t think Father of God works in this context. :twocents:

I think I have heard the term “Spirit of God” many times. So, I think the term “Holy Spirit of God” is valid. :twocents:


Somebody led me to 1 Kings 8:27, where it reads “But can you, O God, really live on earth?” Perhaps this is why The Father sent the The Holy Spirt; perhaps our world can not contain the full presence of The Father, The Creator??? Does this make sense?


Where one Person of the Trinity is present, all three are necessarily present because omni-presence is an attribute of divinity itself and the Three Persons have one divine nature.

The answer to the question in 1 Kings, by the way, is resoundingly “Yes!” in a singular way in the Incarnation of Christ.

Creation is an action of all Three Persons, not just the Father, since the Three Persons are not divided in their activity either. It is by appropriation that the act of creating is especially attributed to God the Father even though it is the action of all the Trinity.

The “sending” of the Holy Spirit simply means that the Holy Spirit is acting on earth in a way different from how he was before. Because of who he is as the Holy Spirit, that is, because he is the one who proceeds from the Father and the Son, it was particularly fitting that he be “sent” by the Father and the Son.

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