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Names of the Holy Spirit

He is called the Spirit, according to the Scripture just now read, “For to ‎one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom.” [1 Cor. 12:8] He is called the ‎Spirit of Truth, as the Savior says, “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come.” ‎‎[John 16:13] He is called also the Comforter, as He said, “For if I go not ‎away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” [John 16:7]‎

But that He is one and the same, though called by different titles, is ‎shown plainly from the following. For that the Holy Spirit and the Comforter ‎are the same, is declared in those words, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy ‎Spirit” [John 14:26]; and that the Comforter is the same as the Spirit of Truth, ‎is declared, when it is said, “And I will give you another Comforter, that He ‎may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth.” [John 14:16,17]; and ‎again, “But when the Comforter is came whom I will send unto you from the ‎Fr., even the Spirit of Truth.” [John 15:26] ‎

And He is called the Spirit of God, according as it is written, “And I ‎saw the Spirit of God descending” [John 1:32]; and again, “For as many as ‎are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” [Rom. 8:14]. He is ‎called also the Spirit of the Fr., as the Savior says, “For it is not you that ‎speak, but the Spirit of your Fr. which speaks in you;” [Matt. 10:20] and ‎again Paul says, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Fr. of our Lord ‎Jesus Christ…that He would grant you…to be strengthened with might through ‎His Holy Spirit.” [Ephes. 3:14-16]. ‎

He is also called the Spirit of the Lord, according to what Peter spoke, ‎‎“Why is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” ‎‎[Acts 5:9]. He is called also the Spirit of God and Christ, as Paul writes, ‎‎“But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God ‎dwell in you. But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” ‎‎[Rom. 8:9]. ‎

He is called also the Spirit of the Son of God, as it is said, “And ‎because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son.” [Gal. 4:6]. He ‎is called also the Spirit of Christ, as it is written, “Searching what or what ‎manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify;” [1 Pet. ‎‎1:11] and again, “Through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus ‎Christ.” [Phil. 1:19].‎

You will find many other titles of the Holy Spirit besides these. Thus ‎He is called the Spirit of Holiness, as it is written, “According to the Spirit of ‎Holiness.” [Rom. 1:4] He is also called the Spirit of adoption, as Paul says, ‎‎“For you received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you received ‎the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Fr..” [Rom. 8:15] He is also ‎called the Spirit of revelation, as it is written, “May give you the Spirit of ‎wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” [Eph. 1:17] He is also ‎called the Spirit of promise, as the same Paul says, “In whom you also after ‎that you believed, were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” [Eph. 5:13]. ‎He is also called the Spirit of grace, as when he says again, “And have done ‎despite to the Spirit of grace.” [Ps. 115:17]. ‎

And by many other such-like titles is He named. And you have plainly ‎heard in the previous lecture, that in the Psalms He is called at one time the ‎good Spirit, [Cat. 16:28; Ps. 143:6] and at another the generous Spirit; [Ps. ‎‎51:12] and in Isaiah He was styled the “Spirit of wisdom and understanding, ‎of counsel, and might, of knowledge, and of godliness, and of the fear of ‎God.” [Is. 11:2] ‎

By all which Scriptures both those before and those now alleged, it is ‎established, that though the titles of the Holy Spirit are different, He is one and ‎the same; living and subsisting, and always present together with the Fr. ‎and the Son; not uttered or breathed from the mouth and lips of the Fr. or ‎the Son, nor dispersed into the air, but having a real substance [Cat. 11:10; ‎‎16:13], Himself speaking, and working, and dispensing, and sanctifying; even ‎as the Economy of salvation which came to us from the Fr. and the Son and ‎the Holy Spirit, is inseparable and harmonious and one, as we have also said ‎before. For I wish you to keep in mind those things which were lately spoken, ‎and to know clearly that there is not one Spirit in the Law and the Prophets, ‎and another in the Gospels and Apostles; but that it is One and the Self-same ‎Holy Spirit, which both in the Old and in the New Testament, spoke the divine ‎Scriptures…‎

The above is an excerpt from St. Gregory’s Lecture 17, printed in the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, series 2, volume 7.‎

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009