"There are three Prosoopa [or Persons]…in God…. The Father, Son and Spirit are one God…. The Son is not the Father nor the Spirit the Son… Each has His peculiar subsistence… I say Each of the three Subsistences, while related to the Others, is distinguished by…Own properties.”2 On I Cor. 2:10-16, Calvin rightly comments: “We have the Spirit of God as Witness. For in God, there is nothing too deep for Him [the Spirit] to penetrate…. Only the Spirit knows
3 Comm. on I Cor. 2:10,15,16. 4 Ib. I:13:18,24 & 14:20. 5 Ib. I:13:22. 6 W.C.F. II:3 & W.L.C. Q. 10.
Himself; and it is His personal function to separate His Own things from those of Others…. The Spirit of God judges everything…. Who has been God's Counsellor? Who has weighed His Spirit…in the creation of the world, and in His other works…?"3
Calvin maintains4 that "the eternity of the Father is also the eternity of the Son and Spirit — since God never could be without His own wisdom [alias His Son] and energy [alias His Spirit]…. The Scriptures teach that there is essentially but one God — and therefore that the essence both of the Son and Spirit is unbegotten…. God — by the power of His Word, and His Spirit -created the heavens and the earth out of nothing [Gen. 1:1]" and by His Own Will (cf. Rev. 4:11).
Calvin adds: "There is no mention made of the Spirit [nor of the Father nor the Son] antecedent to the account of the creation [Gen. 1:1ff]." Yet He is not there introduced as a shadow, but as the essential power of God — where Moses relates that the shapeless mass was upborne by Him (Gen. 1:2). It is quite "obvious that the eternal Spirit always existed in God — seeing He cherished and sustained the confused materials of heaven and earth, before they possessed order or beauty."5
As the Calvin-istic Westminster Standards have so clearly put it: "In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost (I John 5:7; Matt. 3:16-17 & 28:19; II Cor. 13:14)…; the Holy Ghost [or the Divine Spirit] eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son (John 15:26 & Gal. 4:6)…. It is proper…to the Holy Ghost [or Spirit] to proceed from the Father and the Son, from all eternity."6
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John Calvin not only believed that the Holy Ghost has always been God. The great Protestant Reformer also believed that the eternal Spirit of God was constantly active during our world's formation — and throughout its subsequent maintenance.
Indeed, Calvin not only keeps on "asserting the Divinity of the Spirit" — from all eternity past, and unto all eternity future. The great Swiss theologian also refers to the constant work of the Spirit in His universe — from its very beginning, right down to the present time.
"In the history of creation [Gen. 1:2ff],” maintains John Calvin, “the Spirit of God was expanded over the abyss or shapeless matter…. The beauty which the world displays, is maintained by the invigorating power of the Spirit [Ps. 33:6 cf. 104:29-30]….
7 Ib. I:13:14, French version. 8 Comm. On Gen. 1:2-3. 9 Inst. II:2:16. 10 Comm. on Acts 17:28. 11 Comm. on John 5:17. 12 Inst. I:13:14. 13 Comm. on Gen. 1:1.
"Even before this beauty existed, the Spirit was at work — cherishing the confused mass, so as to prevent its being annihilated instantly."7 On Gen. 1:2, he adds: "This rude and unpolished, or rather shapeless chaos…, before God perfected the world…, was an indigested mass… The power of the Spirit was necessary to sustain it…."8