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Who gives the word in Acts 9:15 the Father or Jesus? Or even the Holy Spirit? And if it's one of them, how could I know the letter (LORD) refers to Jesus Or Father? I feel confused to explain it to my friend. I'll wait for an answer. 

This happens after Saul meets Jesus when going to Damascus

15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: (KJV)

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    Since Christ is perceived as the embodiment of God's word (John 1), the question is somewhat meaningless.
    – Lucian
    Aug 9 at 12:48
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The answer is in the passage. v5

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting...

As there is no mention of anyone else, we have a clear answer.

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In Acts chapter 9, Ananias receives a vision and the record states what he heard: "The Lord called to him in a vision..." Ananias replies that this Saul "has done great harm to your saints in Jerusalem, and he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

The book of Acts tells us just whose name the saints in Jerusalem called on - it was the name of Jesus. Look at Acts 2:38 and compare it with verse 21 where the prophecy in Joel 2 is recited. The fulfillment of that prophecy is to call upon the name of Jesus to be saved, for "Jesus is Lord" (1 Corinthians 12:3). Interestingly, Acts 2:30 goes on to add that "The promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call." And 1 Corinthians 1:2-3 states that all Christians "call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Ananias identified the resurrected Christ as the Lord, whose servants Saul was out to persecute. When Saul sees the glorious Lord, who asks why Saul is persecuting him, Saul asks, "Who are you, Lord?" The answer is direct: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." Saul and Ananias were in no doubt that, in their respective visions, it was the risen Lord Jesus Christ speaking to them. The context given in chapter 9 makes it clear. That's how we know. Study the context.

In the New Testament, you soon spot how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit work in utter unity, co-ordinating all that they do, even though they have their distinctive roles in the Godhead. A good example of that is Ephesians 3:14-17, where the three are inter-twined in a doxology. Then a few verses on (4:3-6) it's the same again. There is one Spirit, one Lord (Jesus) and one God the Father. Again, this is stressed in 1 Corinthians 8:5-6:

"Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."

A few verses earlier the Father, the Son and the Spirit are linked (6:11). It's the same in the last book of the Bible, where God gives the risen Christ a revelation which Christ instructs an angel to give to the apostle John, and throughout, the Holy Spirit takes John into visions of the Revelation (1:1-2 & 10 plus 4:1-2 & 5:6). All three are bound up in the Revelation. Although the Holy Spirit draws all attention to Christ, here's a couple of occasions when he speaks: 1 Timothy 4:1 & Hebrews 3:7. Also, to lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God (Acts 5:4 & 9 but note that this is a different Ananias to the one in chapter 9!)

Study the context of any verse speaking of 'Lord' to establish if it is the Lord God, or the Lord Jesus, or the Holy Spirit (who is also Lord - 2 Corinthians 3:17). This is not confusing when you grasp the unity of the Godhead - the one Being of God subsisting in the three co-equal, uncreated Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When the Bible speaks of all three, Almighty God is used. But context establishes whether the word 'Lord' specifically identifies Christ, or the Holy Spirit, or the Father. This is an immensely deep and important doctrine. If you are new to the Christian faith you will need time to search the scriptures and you will need to learn how to seek the Spirit's guidance.

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  • Hi Anne, I think in Acts 2 that the Lord who is being called upon is God the Father. I think Lord generally refers to Jesus. One of the exceptions is when the New Testament quotes LORD from the Old Testament. YHWH is generally identified with the Father. I agree the unity between the three can be confusing.
    – Austin
    Aug 13 at 18:24
  • @ Austin The NT radically opens up the matter of God as Lord. It divides people into two camps: those who claim Jesus is inferior to the Father, and those who see Jesus as subsisting in the one Being of God. I found the confusion cleared up once I grasped the Trinity doctrine .
    – Anne
    Aug 14 at 11:53
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    I've found the opposite, that the Trinity doctrine obscured and distorted key scriptural truth. I found a greater understanding of the gospel once I no longer was trying to read the Trinity into scripture, using it as an explanatory filter to explain away or gloss over what the Bible was actually saying.
    – Austin
    Aug 15 at 2:28
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Throughout the New Testament in Greek, the word "Lord" (Gr. Κυρίου)(capitalized) is reserved to Jesus Christ. While it is true that Jesus says he speaks the words of the Father, and that the Father is in him, the word "Lord" consistently references Jesus.

The Father Speaking

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10, KJV)

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (John 14:24, KJV)

Distinction Between the Father and our Lord

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV)

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:6, KJV)

This distinction between the two is maintained throughout the New Testament.

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  • can I ask you how about the Holy Spirit, can the holy spirit gives word?
    – sweatyfire
    Aug 9 at 3:36
  • If we compare the Greek texts speaking of our Comforter/Advocate (Gr. Parakletos), we see who the Holy Spirit is. "But the Comforter (Gr. Parakletos), which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). So the "Comforter" (Parakletos) is the Holy Spirit. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate (Gr. Parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). And Jesus is the Parakletos.
    – Polyhat
    Aug 9 at 3:45
  • @sweatyfire Basically, Jesus was a man in whom God dwelt. That Spirit of God (the Father) indwelt the humanity of the "son of man." Hebrews 10:5 tells us that "a body" had been prepared for him. This is the very essence of the concept of incarnation -- to dwell in the flesh (carnal); and it is the essence of "Immanuel," which means "God with us."
    – Polyhat
    Aug 9 at 3:49
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    This is factually incorrect - the word kyrios is often used of God, or an angel, or even earthly masters.
    – Dottard
    Aug 9 at 5:05
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The Greek word, κύριος (kyrios), according the BDAG has the following meanings:

  1. one who is in charge by virtue of possession, owner, eg, Gal 4:1, Matt 20:8, 21:40, Mark 12:9, Luk 20:13, etc
  2. one who is in a position of authority, lord, master, eg, 1 Peter 3:6, Matt 21;30, 27:63, etc.

As such, the word can apply to:

  • earthly masters, eg, Matt 25:11, John 12:21, 20:15, Acts 16:30, Rev 7:14, Acts 25:26, etc
  • an angel, eg, Acts 10:4
  • God, eg, Luke 1:32, 68, Rev 16:7, 22:6, Acts 9:31, 1 Cor 4:9, 7:17, etc
  • Jesus, eg, Matt 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23, Acts 5:14, 9, Rom 12:11, etc.

However, the vast majority of the uses of "Lord" in the NT refer directly to Jesus as supreme master of the Christian community and Acts 9:15 is one such as confirmed by V5, 10, 13, and especially V17 -

So Ananias went to the house, and when he arrived, he placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

That is, "Lord" in Acts 9:15 is the Lord Jesus Christ.

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