In this article I will answer the following question I have been asked:
Dear pastor, please explain to me whether it is possible in 2 Corinthians 3:17: “For the Lord is the Spirit; and where is the Spirit of the Lord, there is freedom,” because there are some who claim that the Holy Spirit is the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
I invite you listen to the answer for this question in this video:
My dear, I want to tell you that this statement is not true. One of the foundational teachings of Holy Scripture is the teaching of the Holy Trinity. Even if we do not find this term in the Bible, it is a well-reasoned teaching with arguments from many Scripture texts. This doctrine teaches that there is one God. Unlike people who are one being, one person, God is one being in three persons. These three people are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
This verse strengthens the doctrine of the divinity of the Holy Spirit, because there are many heresies that reject the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Many cults and denominations teach many mistakes. One of them is that the Holy Spirit is just a power, not a person.
The Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are not one and the same person
In chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul contrasts his ministry with that of the other apostles, which he calls the ministry of the Spirit. He contrasts it with the ministry of the Old Testament Law. The Apostle Paul calls the ministers of the church the ministers of the Spirit. Starting with verse 14, he speaks of Jews who have not yet received the Lord Jesus Christ and who refuse to receive Him, and here is what he says:
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:14-18) (NASB)
These Jews read the Old Testament and believe in it, but it contains many prophecies about the Lord Jesus Christ. The central person of the Old Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ, but they have been slow of mind and do not see this. So, he says that to this day, when reading the Old Testament, this veil remains unlifted, because the veil that makes them not see is the Law, but it can be taken away through Christ Jesus.
I want to draw your attention to the fact that these two persons are clearly identified here: Jesus Christ and the Spirit of the Lord. It is not spoken about the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit as one and the same person.
This verse is not proof that the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ are one and the same
I want to tell you one more thing, it is forbidden to take one verse from the Bible, and based only on that verse to build a doctrine, because this is a basic doctrine about the nature and ministry of God. So this verse is not proof for those who want to teach a heresy that says that the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ are one and the same person The Holy Spirit is a person, the Lord Jesus the second person and God the Father is the third person. All three of these make up the Godhead, The Holy Trinity.They are part of one being who is God.
One of God’s great ancient men told about the Holy Trinity that it is a teaching which, if you try to grasp it with your mind, you could lose your mind, because it is a tough teaching. If anyone rejects this teaching, then he risks to lose his salvation. Therefore, my dear ones, we must believe and stick to what it is written in Holy Scripture in which this teaching is well argued.
We are now celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Moldova Crestina portal. During these 10 years many articles have been written with answers to various questions. Here you will find articles about the Holy Trinity, argued with verses from the Holy Scripture.
I recommend that you read the following articles on this topic:
Now, turning to the verse of 2 Corinthians 3:17, I can say that this can not be the Lord Jesus. If anyone would try to build doctrine on this verse only, that the Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same with the Holy Spirit, as if it were a breaking, an abusive approach. More truths about this theme can be found on this video:
May God guard you against heresies, because they are a great danger for our souls and eternity. God help you stay healthy in faith, that is, to remain in the sound teaching of the Holy Scriptures. May God help us to study the Scripture deeply.
Translated by Didina Cravcenco