The Holy Spirit, Neglected Person of the Trinity, and Women’s Leadership -- By: Pam Morrison

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 22:4 (Autumn 2008)
Article: The Holy Spirit, Neglected Person of the Trinity, and Women’s Leadership
Author: Pam Morrison


The Holy Spirit, Neglected Person of the Trinity,
and Women’s Leadership

Pam Morrison

PAM MORRISON is a Methodist clergywoman who has served five churches. She is currently on leave and is enjoying other areas of mission and ministry. Her husband David is a grant-writing consultant and former research scientist. They have two children and reside near Lawrence, Kansas.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The entire Bible refers to the ministry of the Holy Spirit and to the triune nature of the God we worship; however, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit’s influence moves from being for particular people at particular times, as in the Old Testament, to a pouring out on all flesh. The opening events of the Book of Acts lead us to the day of Pentecost and Peter’s interpretation of extraordinary happenings involving a room full of fervently praying, Christ-following men and women who become powerfully enabled by God. Through the prophecy of Joel, Peter interprets these events to a multinational crowd:

“In the last days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18)1

As Joel prophesied, the “new thing” now available to both men and women is the Holy Spirit, promised to God’s new covenant people after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Jesus spoke more than once about “another One who would be coming.” From the gospel of John, we hear Jesus promise, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). The Greek word in this passage is Parakletos, “one who is called alongside,” a comforter and advocate.2 Jesus speaks of this One as “another advocate,” Jesus’ representative, indicating that the “Holy Spirit is just like Jesus.”3

Yet, we learn, as we study Scripture, that there is so much more to know about “this One.” The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force. “He thinks (Acts 15:28), speaks (Acts 1:16), leads (Rom. 8:14), and can be grieved (Eph. ...

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