BIBLE FINGERPOST No. 20
THE Lord Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, which is also called "the power of the Most High" (Luke 1:35). The same power raised him from the dead; and by the same power those who are faithful to him will be made immortal when he comes again. Paul speaks of the "exceeding greatness" of God's power towards those who believe, "according to the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead" (Eph. 1:19-20, R.V.). Believers will be "changed", so that their "vile body" is "fashioned like unto his glorious body"; and this is spoken of as the work of Christ, "according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself" (Phil. 3:20-21).
We learn, then, that (1) the "Spirit" and "power" of God mean the same, (2) this "power" raised Christ, and (3) will raise believers; (4) the power will be so under Christ's control that what is done is spoken of as his own action.
"Spirit" and the words it is used to translate all have the same root meaning of "breathing" or "blowing". By a figure of speech they are used for the "outbreathing" of God's power and being. They may also stand for mind and disposition, as when we say a man shows "a good spirit".
1. The Spirit of God flows from Him. -- "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created" (Psa. 104:30).
2. The Spirit is God's active Power. -- In the creation, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2). "By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens" (Job 26:13). "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4).
3. The Spirit is the Principle of life. -- "He giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein" (Isa. 42:5). "The Lord God ... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" (Gen. 2:7). "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:25).
4. God is universally present through His Spirit. -- "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? ... If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. If I ... dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me" (Psa. 139:7-10). "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth?" (Jer. 23:24).
5. God, through His Spirit, is the source of all things that are, and through the universal Spirit all things are sustained in being. -- "Of him are all things" (literally, "out of him") (1 Cor. 8:6). "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
6. The Spirit is also equivalent to the mind of God. -- "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Gen. 6:3). "They rebelled, and grieved his holy spirit" (Isa. 63:10, R.V.). "Grieve not the Hoiy Spirit of God" (Eph. 4:30).
7. When God communicates His mind to men, it is spoken of as communicating His Spirit. -- "I will pour out my spirit unto you. I will make known my words unto you" (Prov. 1:23). ". . . Rebellious children ... that take counsel but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit" (Isa. 30:1).
8. The Spirit may rest on chosen men, so that with a power not their own they speak things beyond human knowledge. -- "The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward" (1 Sam. 16:13). "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said . . ." (2 Sam. 23:23). "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).
9. When God led Israel out of Egypt, He manifested Himself through an angel filled with His Spirit; and this is described as "putting His Holy Spirit in the midst of them". -- "Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy spirit in the midst of them? that caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses?" (Isa. 63:11-12, R.V.).
IO. Jesus was filled with the same spirit power. -- "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me . . . " (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18). "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power" (Acts 10:38).
11. Receiving authority so to do as a gift from his Father, Christ bestowed the power of the Spirit on his apostles after his ascension. -- Peter said at Pentecost: "Therefore being at the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear" (Acts 2:33; compare R.V. margin).
12. By this Christ fulfilled the promise of a "Comforter" to lead the disciples into all truth and empower them in their mission. -- "The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things . . ." (John 14:26, 16; 15:26; 16:13).
13. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God specially directed to the work of redemption: and all references which name the three together show the Father as source and origin, the Son as the means, and the Holy Spirit as the operative power, in this work of redemption. -- Read carefully Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:30- 35; 1 Cor. 12:3-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2.
"God", it is said, "is spirit" (John 4:24). The Spirit is the being and power of God, both universally and in particular manifestation. Father and Son are completely at one in mind and purpose, and -- since Christ was glorified -- in nature; together they exercise the power which is termed Spirit. There is a profound unity between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but, as will be seen from these passages, it is not the mysterious "Trinity in unity" of three co-equal and co- etemal persons.
["Holy Spirit" should be read throughout the New Testament for "Holy Ghost".]