Acts 2:24 – What are the birth pangs of death? – What gender is the Holy Spirit?

But God raised Jesus and unleashed Him from the agonizing birth pangs of death, for death could not possibly keep Jesus in its power. (Acts 2:24 the Voice).

In the novel I’m writing, Denial of the Enemy, I personify the Holy Spirit as a woman. After all, Genesis 1:27 tells us God created humanity in His image, created them male and female. Since women were also made in God’s image, shouldn’t the Holy Spirit be female if God and Jesus are both male? It makes sense to me although I’m sure most don’t agree.

Bridget Jeffries, who holds a master’s degree in American religious history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, said in an article on her website blog, that the correct translation of Acts 2:24 is “God raised Jesus, freeing him from the birth pains of death….” The Voice was the only translation that talked about birth pain in conjunction with death. Jeffries suggested that maybe early Bible translators cut that phrase because it made God too feminine for male liking.

It’s curious the Holy Spirit, moments after baptizing Peter, gave him the metaphor of the agonizing birth pangs of death which suggests pain is necessary to obtain new life.  Just as a new mother gladly goes through pain to give birth to her new child, Jesus gladly suffered so we could be born again into righteousness by God’s grace. To give Peter that metaphor, the Holy Spirit must have experienced such pain, perhaps through giving birth to our spirits (John 3:6). Since she(?) is both the Spirit of God and Jesus, perhaps she(?) felt Jesus’ pain on the cross. In either case, the Holy Spirit makes it clear she understands women’s pain.

There’s no question Peter was a better version of himself after he was baptized by the Holy Spirit. He no longer acted in haste, denied Jesus, or held out his sword ready to cut off an ear, but it took Jesus’ pain to get him and us to a better place. Since the wages of sin is death, death has no power over Jesus or us who are “born again” of the Holy Spirit because our sin is forgiven and forgotten by God. Thanks be to Him who raised Jesus, freeing Him and us from the birth pangs of death.

Father God, thank you for the perfect plan of forgiveness. I praise you for the grace you’ve given me. Fill me with the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit so I can be a better version of myself. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Acts 2:24 – What are the birth pangs of death? – What gender is the Holy Spirit?

2 thoughts on “Acts 2:24 – What are the birth pangs of death? – What gender is the Holy Spirit?

  1. I don’t know if the Holy Spirit is a male or female. When guessing the gender of a baby you have a 50% chance of being correct. I suppose that is the case here as well. I have always thought of the Holy Spirit as male but you have given me food for thought, Jody. I am praying for our pregnant relative and all of our family. Thank you for letting me know. I am praying for your health and I love you, Sis!!

    1. I love you, too, Sis. Something in the trinity has to be female if we were all made in God’s image, I think. But who knows. It may be something God has to explain to me one day.

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