by H.H. Pope Shenouda III
The Divinity of the Holy Spirit
St. Peter said that to lie to the Holy Spirit means to lie to God (Acts 5:4), and since He is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of the Lord, so He is God (Job 33:4, 2 Cor. 3:3; Isa. 61:1).
This Comforter, the Holy Spirit descended and came upon the Apostles in the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). He is the One, God promised to send in the book of Joel, "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions" (Joel 2:28-32), and St. Peter mentioned that this prophecy was fulfilled in the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16, 17).
He is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of His Son as well (Gal. 4:6), "the Spirit of Christ" (1 Peter 1:11). He is also the "Spirit of Truth" (Jn. 14:17), "When He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth..." (Jn. 16:13).
The evidence of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit that He is One of the Holy Trinity: He is One with the Father and the Son. The Lord said to His disciples, "Make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). Notice here it is said, "in the name" and not the names (also I Jn. 5:7). His Divinity is proven also, that He is the Spirit of Life (Rom. 8:2; Ezek. 37:9, 10), and who can raise the dead except God alone. He is described in the creed by the title “The Life Giver.” Also, He is the source of inspiration and in the Creed, He is the "Speaker in the prophets". That agrees with what St. Peter said in his letter, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21, see also 2 Tim. 3:16; Acts 28:25).
Resisting the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit works within us, but He does not cancel our freedom. He leads us to do good, but He doesn't force us. He gives us strength and we are still free to choose whether or not to use it. If anyone lives in complete obedience to the Holy Spirit and in strong fellowship with Him, he should be a saint and grow to the highest degree of holiness. However, many times one does the opposite and takes negative attitudes towards the Holy Sprit. The Bible gives us some examples of that...
Sins Against the Holy Spirit
- Quenching the Spirit: The right spiritual life is to be "fervent in spirit" (Rom. 12:11), but this fervency may not continue for internal or external reasons. For the internal causes, the apostle Paul says, "Do not quench the Spirit" (I Macc. 5:19).
- Grieving the Holy Spirit: When a man falls in sin, he grieves the Holy Spirit who dwells in him. The Bible says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were scaled for the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). Yet, God, in His love, when we fall, He tries to restore us again. His Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8). Therefore, His Spirit works within us to lead us to repentance. So we have to yield to the Holy Spirit and not to resist Him.
- Resisting the Spirit: If anyone rejects the work of the Holy Spirit, he is resisting the Spirit. Likewise if a person takes a negative attitude and fights against the work of the Holy Spirit, he is resisting the Holy Spirit and will be in danger of a worse sin against the Holy Spirit which is:
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit:
This sin has no forgiveness. It is not denying the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, for those who renounced the Divinity of the Holy Spirit in the 4th century at the time of Macdonius’ heresy then returned to the right faith and the church accepted them. It is rejecting every work of the Holy Spirit in the heart, mind and will, a complete rejection throughout one’s lifetime, which leads to God's rejecting this person and the devil