In the previous study, “the Spirit OF God,” we saw that the Spirit is always called the Spirit of God and of Christ. In fact, the Bible never once refers to the Spirit as “God the Spirit.” Consider these verses:
“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit,” 1 John 4:13.
Why hasn’t man seen God? The main reason is that our sin has separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2), but the other is that God, our heavenly Father, is in heaven (Matthew 6:9). Yet the Bible tells us that He can be in us. How is He able to be in you and me and every believer and yet be in heaven? The answer is through His Spirit which is His omnipresence.
There are a lot of questions we could have about how this works exactly, but the Bible is somewhat silent on much of this and as such is a mystery. Yet God has revealed what we need to know:
- The Spirit is the Spirit of God.
- The Spirit originates with God the Father.
- The Spirit is the omnipresence of the Father.
- The Father is in His Son through His Spirit.
- The Spirit comes to believers from the Son and can therefore be called the Spirit of Christ.
- Christ teaches us and brings things to our remembrance through His Spirit.
- It is through the indwelling Savior (Christ in us by His Spirit) that we get victory over sin.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father,” Galatians 4:6. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…” Ephesians 3:16.-17.
When you search the Scriptures with an open heart, you will find that the vast majority of the Bible supports the understanding that there is one true God (the Father), that Jesus is the literal Son of God begotten in eternity past, and that the Spirit of God is Their omnipresence through which They work. Yet there are a few prominent verses that seem to contradict the rest of the Bible. Does God contradict Himself? No; therefore, when there seems to be a contradiction, we must go with the weight of the Biblical evidence and then consider why there seems to be a contradiction. So let’s look at some of the questions that people often have.
Doesn’t Jesus talk about the Holy Spirit in the third person?
Yes, He does, but Jesus talks about Himself in the third person, too. For example, it is Jesus that said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth IN HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here Jesus talked about God’s Son and said we must believe “in him.” So was Jesus talking about someone else who is the Son of God that we must believe in? He is talking in third person language. Is He talking about someone other that Himself?
And what about in John 4:10, where Jesus said, “If thou knewest THE GIFT of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink: thou wouldest have asked OF HIM and HE would have given thee living water”? We know that Jesus is talking about Himself, but He uses words like “the gift,” “of him,” and “he.”
He also said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, THE SON can do nothing of HIMSELF, but what HE seeth the Father do; for what things woever he doeth, these also doeth THE SON likewise. For the Father loveth THE SON, and sheweth HIM all things that himself doeth…” John 5: 19-20. Jesus didn’t say, “for the Father loves me and shows me all things,” but “the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things.” The examples of Jesus talking about Himself in the third person go on and on. So just because Jesus talks about the Spirit in the third person doesn’t mean He’s not talking about Himself.
What about Matthew 28:19, where Jesus commanded His disciples to “go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”? Did Jesus really command this?
Actually, probably not. It’s widely believed among theologians across denominational lines that this text has been modified and most likely originally stated only to be baptized in the name of Jesus. If you look at the history of the early church in Acts, you won’t find one example of anyone ever being baptized into the trinity. Instead, in every example, they were baptized into Jesus.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” Acts 2:38.
“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.),” Acts 8:16.
“And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days,” Acts 10:48.
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus,” Acts 19:5.
So in all these accounts of baptisms, were the disciples disobeying Jesus’ direct command? No, they were obeying Him by baptizing people in the name of Jesus (Yahushua in Hebrew), as they were commanded.
Aren’t there three Gods spoken of in 1 John 5:7-8? “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
Again, the answer is no. You can do a quick internet search (or long, since there is so much commentary on this) and find that most theologians agree that this is not an authentic scripture and was added to the Bible in the 1500’s. It cannot be found in the earlier copies of the Bible, and many believe that it was added to support the Catholic doctrine of the trinity.
But wasn’t the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ baptism? Read Matthew 3:16-17.
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
This inspired account of Jesus’ baptism actually confirms the Bible teaching that there are two Divine Beings, God and His Son, and that God’s Spirit flows from the Father to the Son.
Keeping this in mind, consider all of the greetings from Paul in his letters. Here are three:
“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 1:3.
“Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Corinthians 1:2.
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,” Galatians 1:3.
In Paul’s greetings, we always and only see two Divine Beings, God and Jesus, but notice that something comes from the Father and Jesus to us: grace and peace. Is it possible that this grace and peace is referring to the Spirit which is the power and presence of God?
Does anyone else love e-Sword? It’s such an amazing Bible study tool! Let’s look at the Greek word that has been translated as grace. It is G5485 in the Strong’s Concordance and is χάρις, which is charis (khar’-ece). Here’s the definition: From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): – acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).
Is this grace referring to the power to overcome sin and live a victorious life? And that this victory is possible through the divine presence of Christ influencing our actions? I think it’s likely. Consider this verse:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16. This sounds like the divine influence in our heart that shines through in the way we act in difficult situations. “Christ in you, the hope of glory (the shining reflection of His character in us),” Colossians 1:27.
What about the word peace? Is this another aspect of the Spirit?
Interestingly, this word is the same word used in the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,” Galatians 5:22-23. This form of the word peace is the Greek word G1515, εἰρήνη, which is eirēnē (i-rah’-nay). Here’s it’s definition: Probably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: – one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.
Could this be talking about the oneness that Jesus prayed we would have with God and Himself in John 17:21? “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…” Or the oneness we see in “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen,” Romans 15:33, and “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you,” 2 Corinthians 13:11. Again, it seems possible.
Now consider, Ephesians 2:15-22, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making PEACE; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached PEACE to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;…In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
This is the great news of the Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15)! We’re no longer separated from God by our sins. Through Christ we have been reconciled to God, and we’ve been given the ministry of reconciliation, to tell others that we have been made one with God through Their Spirit.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God,” Matthew 5:9.