(6) The Spirit of Jesus
Contents of (6) The Spirit of Jesus
God has given us the Spirit of His Son
The Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament
The Spirit of the Lord in Jesus
The Spirit of the Lord in Us
Selection from this book:
God has given us the Spirit of His Son
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts … (Galatians 4:6)
What a wonderful verse on the Trinity! Paul points out that God our Father has made us heirs, not slaves. He has given us the same Spirit that indwelt his Son.
“My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; 2 but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3 So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” (Galatians 4:1-7)
Luke, in The Acts, tells how the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, led Paul and his team in their journeys as they went to Troas and then on the Pilippi.
“They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8 so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas” (Acts 16:6-7).
Later, from prison, Paul wrote to the church in Pilippi:
“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:18-19).
Paul explains how the Spirit of Christ, lives in us and gives life to us:
“But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:9-11).
Peter also explains how the Spirit of Christ moved on the prophets:
“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.” (1 Peter 1:10-11 NIV)
The Holy Spirit is God. God the Holy Spirit imparts God’s love to us. “The love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit in us is also the Spirit of Jesus in us.
Scripture uses many titles and descriptions for God’s Spirit, including:
the Spirit (John 3:5, 6, 8; Romans 8:1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 23, 26, 27);
the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51:11; Luke 11:13);
God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30);
my Spirit (Genesis 6:3; Matthew 12:18);
his Spirit (Isaiah 48:16; 1 John 2:27);
the Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2);
the Spirit of the Lord (Luke 4:18);
the Spirit of his Son (Galatians 4:6);
the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9);
the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7)
the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:19)
the Spirit of truth (John 16:13);
the Counsellor, Helper, Advocate (John 14:16, 26; 16:7);
The term ‘the Spirit’ is used far more than any other in the Bible to refer to the Holy Spirit, so we use that term most in these studies. The Hebrew word ruach in the Old Testament and the Greek word pneuma in the New Testament can be translated spirit, wind, air, breath, power. Both words often refer to the Spirit of God as well as to the human spirit. In these studies, Spirit is always capitalised when referring to God.
Unfortunately many people think of the Father and the Son as personal beings and the Spirit of God as impersonal ‑ like wind, air or breath. Those symbols give us vivid pictures of the Spirit’s activity, unseen but vital and powerful, all about us and within us, giving and maintaining life. However, the Spirit is personal, not impersonal. He is the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Christ.
God is Spirit and the Holy Spirit is God within and around us ‑ the person of the Godhead who imparts God’s life and love to us. The Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, truly God, all loving, all powerful and splendid in glory ‑ the Holy Spirit of God. We can know him personally and intimately.
The Holy Spirit is God
God has given us the Spirit of his Son (Galatians 4:6). The Spirit of God is an equal part of the Trinity, not inferior. He is not just the messenger or servant of the Father and the Son, but co-equal. He delights in glorifying the Father and the Son. He is also God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus.
Many Bible passages describe the Holy Spirit as co-equal in the Trinity, fully one with the Father and the Son in the triune Godhead. Here are some examples of that Unity in Trinity.
Triune formula: baptised in the triune name:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit … “ (Matthew 28:19).
Note that baptizing is in or into the one name, not three names.
Triune speaking: the Son speaks from God in the Spirit:
“For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit” (John 3:34 NIV).
Triune promise: the Father gives the Spirit with the Son;
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you” (John 14:16-18),
Triune gift: God gives the Spirit of his Son:
And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ (Galatians 4:6),
Triune benediction: grace, love and fellowship:
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Note the beautiful description of God’s being in the benediction of 2 Corinthians 13:14. It includes the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal love of God our Father, and the intimate fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
These truths enrich our lives as we realise we have intimate fellowship with our Triune God in and through his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is a Person
The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus. has all the attributes of personality. He has
intellect, he searches everything (1Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 1:17),
emotions, he groans and grieves (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 4:30), and
will, he leads and chooses (Acts 16:6-7; 1 Corinthians 12:11).
He in not just a force but a person who restrains (Genesis 6:3), regenerates (John 3:5), teaches (John 14:26), witnesses and testifies (John 15:26), guides (John 16:13; Romans 8:14), convicts (John 16:7-8), leads (Acts 8:29), directs (Acts 13:3; 10:19-21), sends (Acts 13:4), appoints (Acts 20:28), works (1 Corinthians 12:11), searches (1 Corinthians 2:10), speaks (Revelation 2:7), and prays and intercedes (Romans 8:26).
He can be: lied to (Acts 5:3), resisted (Acts 7:51), grieved (Ephesians 4:30), quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and blasphemed (Matthew 12:31).
The Holy Spirit is the Father’s promised gift (Acts 1:4) who reveals the Father and the Son to us (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9‑10), empowers us (Acts 1:8), and works in and through us to meet the needs of people as happened fully in the life of Jesus on earth (Luke 4:16‑21).
Biblical words or terms used to describe these encounters with God’s Spirit vary greatly. We have the problem of trying to express the inexpressible!
Terms used in the Bible to describe the specific impact or filling of the Spirit include these:
the Spirit was given – Numbers 11:16; John 7:39;
the Spirit came upon ‑‑ Judges 3:10; Acts 19:5;
the Spirit took control ‑‑ Judges 6:34; 1 Samuel 11:6; 16:13;
the Spirit poured out ‑‑ Joel 2:28‑28; Acts 10:45;
the Spirit came down ‑‑ Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:22; John 1:33;
the Spirit fell (or came down) ‑‑ Acts 10:44; 11:15;
the Spirit received ‑‑ Acts 8:15‑17; 19:2;
baptised in or with the Spirit ‑‑ Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5;
filled with the Spirit ‑‑ Acts 2:4; 9:17; Ephesians 5:18.
These examples give us a wonderful picture of the way God moved consistently by his Spirit in all history, revealed most fully in Jesus and active by his Spirit in the church and in the world.