The Holy Spirit is God’s instrument to impart divine love and nature into human souls, transforming the soul from just a divine image into divine substance. The Spirit is eternal and omnipresent, but is not God or a part of a divine trinity. Also referred to as the Comforter, it is the spirit of truth, love, life, hope, holiness, and adoption – making humans into true children of God.
Additionally, in the Bible, the Holy Spirit has the following descriptive titles: the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, the Spirit of promise, the Spirit of glory, and the Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. It is also spoken of as the Spirit of God the Father, Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of Christ. (See Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 10:20; 28:19-20; John 15:26; Acts 5:3-4, 9; Romans 1:4; 5:5; 8:2, 9, 15; Hebrews 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:7.)
It is possible that some of the above descriptors refer to God’s Spirit rather than the Holy Spirit, which is the part of God’s Spirit that exclusively conveys the Divine Love into human souls. The Holy Spirit is God’s messenger for this purpose and is not God’s creation, as is Jesus and the rest of humanity. It is merely an energy of the soul of the Father, conveying His Love. The Spirit is not a separate entity but is entirely dependent upon the powers of the Soul of the Father for its existence.
By contrast, God’s Spirit demonstrates to humans the operation of God’s Soul in other directions and for other purposes. His creative spirit, His caring spirit, and the spirit maintaining the operation of the universe through God’s laws and designs are not the Holy Spirit. They are, however, equally a part of God’s Soul and necessary for the manifestations of God’s powers and the exercise of the energies of His Soul. Dealing with matters of the universe, they are not involved in the interrelationship between the Soul of God and human souls.
Holy Spirit References as Divine Love References
As God’s instrument which imparts the transforming divine love and nature into the souls of those who desire and pray for it, the Spirit acts as a bridge between the believer and God the Father. In the Bible, in many instances, the Holy Spirit can be seen as synonymous with the divine love.
With the above in mind, we can learn the following about the Holy Spirit / divine love: It is always with God’s children and communicates to them the deep things of God, which of and by themselves they could not understand. It dwells in believers’ souls and imparts the qualities listed as the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It guarantees both the present status as a child of God and a future inheritance in the kingdom of God (Celestial Heavens). Those born of the Spirit (born anew through the divine love) become heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ – who was the first to be born in this way. Finally, through the Holy Spirit / divine love, God’s very divine substance comes to dwell in the soul of the converted (transformed, born anew) person. (See John 3:5-8; 14:20-23; 16:13; Romans 8:15-18; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; Galatians 4:6-7; 5:22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 13:5.)
In addition, the Spirit is described in the following ways, which could also apply to the divine love / nature or promptings from God Himself. It strives, convicts, directs, teaches, helps, intercedes, and inspires. It also manifests as a power that anoints, renews, fills a person, and is given or poured out as a gift. (See Genesis 6:3; Luke 1:15, 41, 67; 12:12; John 14:16-17; 16:8; Acts 2:38; 10:38, 44-45; 11:15; 13:2-4; Romans 8:26; Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21.)
Holy Spirit Analogies as Applicable to Divine Love
Several physical analogies for the Holy Spirit in the Bible illustrate its characteristics and abilities – which again would also apply to the divine love. These include water, fire, wind (or breath), and oil. Analogous to water, the Spirit revives those who were dead in sins, washes away sins, brings about spiritual growth, and is essential for eternal life. Akin to fire, the Holy Spirit purifies hearts, transforms minds, and gives spiritual enlightenment. Similar to wind or breath, the Spirit sustains life. Comparable with oil, the love and uniting power of the Holy Spirit smooth friction among people. (See Matthew 25:1-13; John 3:8; 7:38-39; 14:12; Acts 1:8; 2:2-4; Romans 8:9-11; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Ephesians 1:17-19; 2:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 3:12; 1 Peter 1:21-23; 2 Peter 3:18.)
Work of the Holy Spirit / Divine Love in Believers
The Bible speaks of individuals being called or drawn by God. This drawing awakens interest in the things of God, convicts people of having come short of God’s requirements (which is sin), and leads them to repentance and turning to God (conversion). When the soul is thus open and receptive to the divine love, the Holy Spirit imparts God’s love and nature, and the believer becomes a new creation. This progressively results in a new perspective on life and how it is lived – in Bible language, walking in the Spirit – being at one or in harmony with God. (See John 6:44, 63; Acts 2:38; 5:32; John 14:16-17, 26; 1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-7; 2 Peter 1:4.)
The Holy Spirit / divine love fills the hearts / souls of believers, empowering them to overcome the downward pulls of human nature and ultimately to do even greater works than Jesus did while on the earth. The Spirit helps Christians as a comforter, counsellor, and intercessor, and also provides the assurance of adoption as children of God. They are led into deeper truth and gradually transformed into the likeness of Jesus – the first recipient of the divine love in his soul, who gained immortality and is now the Master of the Celestial Heavens. (See John 14:16-20, 25-26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Romans 8:5-7; 13-16, 26-29; 1 Corinthians 2:13-14; 12:3; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 4:4-7; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:6.)
Christians are to be filled with the Spirit / divine love – literally, to keep on being filled – and to walk in the Spirit / love. Implied is a prayerful relationship with God and seeking to be in tune with the leading of the Spirit / love nature within – that is, working toward having love as the guiding motivation in each area of life. No one is a true child of God without the Holy Spirit / divine love dwelling in them. Finally, God’s children are admonished not to resist, grieve, or quench the Spirit by following their sinful nature. (See John 15:1-8; Acts 7:51; Romans 8:9-16; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:30; 5:8-10, 18-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:15-24.)
By the power of the Holy Spirit / divine love within, the children of God will be raised from the dead which means being given immortality and glory when they shed the physical body at death and enter the spirit world. They will have imperishable and incorruptible bodies like Jesus Christ’s body and become more and more like him in their new state as divine angels. They will then see him as he is, the one who interceded for them, and helped them during their physical lives. (See Romans 8:10-18; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 15:51-57; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 3:2.)
© 2014 by Eva Peck
For a related discussion on the concept of the divine love in the Bible, see Gospels Reflection.