Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spirit of God and of Christ

A number of points in the NT and Phil. 1:19 make me think that Paul is speaking of the holy spirit when he talks about "the spirit of Jesus Christ."

(1) Paul says that both the prayers of the brothers and sisters as well as the spirit of Jesus will "result in his deliverance" (Emphatic Diaglott) or his "salvation" (NWT). Scholars are not sure whether the SWTHRIAN mentioned refers to eternal salvation, deliverance from prison, or vindication in a legal sense. But regardless of what "salvation" Paul is talking about, he most certainly has in mind his eternal destiny as well as a possible release from prison (this may be an example of deliberate ambiguity). But how would this "release" come about? Would it happen through the mental disposition of Christ manifested by Paul or through the holy spirit that God vouchsafed to Christ? In answer to this question, notice that Paul associates the spirit of Jesus with the prayers of the first century brothers and sisters in Philippi(Cf. Acts 4:23-31).

But why didn't Paul call the "spirit of Jesus Christ" God's spirit if they are in fact one and the same? Well, it is interesting that Paul entreated the Lord three times, begging God to remove a thorn that apparently plagued Paul for quite some time (2 Cor. 12:8). What was the result of this prayer? Jehovah told Paul that his power was perfected in Paul's weakness. Consequently, the Apostle said that he would boast in his weakness, "so that the POWER of the Anointed" would abide upon him (2 Cor. 12:9 Emphatic Diaglott).

Notice that DUNAMIS is first described as God's power, then it is called "the POWER of the Anointed" (Christ). But how would Paul be infused with the Anointed One's power? Acts 1:8; 10:38; Eph. 3:16ff all indicate that the power of God is communicated via His holy spirit. I therefore conclude Paul believed that God and Christ work so closely together as they imbue believers with the holy spirit that to desire the spirit of Jesus Christ is to desire the spirit of God.

Furthermore, it seems that Paul most certainly refers to God's spirit as the spirit of Christ in Rom. 8:9-11. Those verses dovetail with Titus 3:5-6.

But notice closely what Gal. 4:6-7 also teaches us. It is not God's sons who cry out in 4:6, but the spirit of God's Son (cf. Romans 8:14-17). And note that it cries out, "Abba, Father!" I would submit that the spirit of 4:6 is thus the holy spirit that engenders a conviction of sonship in God's children. Thus, while all Christians have (or are supposed to have) the dominant mental attitude of Christ, not all Christians have the conviction of sonship. So that makes me wonder: since the spirit in 4:6 cries "Abba," how could it refer to Christ's mental disposition? Why would Christ's mental disposition cry Abba in a worshiper of Jehovah? Surely it is not Christ's "mind" that produces God's sons, is it?


Matt13weedhacker said...

The parallelism in describing who the Sender of the spirit is:

Galatians 4:4(B) "ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ"

“( He ) who is the definitive [Or: “definitively”] God, has sent forth ( His ) Son [Lit., “the Son of Him”]”

Galatians 4:6(B) "ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν"

“( He ) who is the definitive [Or: “definitively”] God, has sent forth the spirit of ( His ) Son [Lit., “of the Son of Him”] into our hearts.”

Note the two: "has sent forth" of both the Son and the Spirit. The: "His" in "( His ) Son" = the Father. Compare 2nd John 1:3 “the Son ( of the Father )”.

Compare Psalm 104:30 with John 14:26 "the Father will send" and John 15:26 "that proceeds [Gk., ( EKPOREUETAI ) Or: "issues forth" “flows forth”] from the Father." Note the Gk., ( EK ) prefix in the compound Gk., ( EKPOREUETAI ).

Compare 1st Corinthians 2:12 “We, moreover, did not receive that spirit which is ( of ) the world, but we received the spirit that [Gk., ( EK )] originates from out of God, for the reason that we may know the things that have been kindly given to us by God.”

It cannot be ignored by Tri{3}nitarians that ultimately it is the Fathers will that controls where and to whom the spirit is given, (i.e. "sent forth").

Ephesians 3:11 NASB "This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which ( He carried out ) -( in )- Christ Jesus our Lord."

Acts 5:32 "the holy spirit, which ( God has given ) to those obeying him as ruler," (compare "obedient unto death" Phil. 2:8; "he learned obedience" Heb. 5:8; Jesus "Your [= the Father] holy servant" Acts 3:13; Acts 3:36; Acts 4:26-27).

I like the way you picked up on Titus as well.

Titus 3:4-7 NWT 1986 “However, when the kindness and the love for man on the part of our Savior, God, was manifested, 5 owing to no works in righteousness that we had performed, but according to ( His ) mercy ( He ) saved us through the bath that brought us to life and through the making of us new by holy spirit. 6 This spirit ( He poured out ) richly upon us ( through Jesus Christ ) our Savior.”

You can't miss the "He" in "( He ) poured out through Jesus" in verse six, obviously referring to the Father, and note the: "through" "through" "through".

Acts 2:32-33 “This Jesus, God caused to rise [from the dead], of which, we are all witnesses. [33.] Consequently, he has been exalted to the right hand of He that is definitively God. Additionally, he has received from the Father, that which was promised, the spirit of holiness, which he has now poured out abundantly. This is what you are now both seeing and hearing.”

The Father "sent forth" the spirit, the Son "received" the spirit, the Father in effect poured it out "through Jesus" as His subordinate agent, (i.e "holy servant"), and agency of His will.

I personally see absolutely nothing in the Bible that says Jesus has to be, or must of necessity be equal with the Father in order for him to be CAPABLE of being in and at any sort of unity with the Father, in order to do the Father's will, to work in harmony with the Father's purpose, or in order to do the Father's work.

If the Father gives: "ALL" the power and authority necessary to a "Servant", His: "Holy Servant Jesus", in order for him to carry out His will, counsel, good pleasure, purpose, and work, then who NEEDS to be the Father's equal?

That's the way I see it anyway. I enjoyed your post.

Edgar Foster said...

Seems like strong parallels to me with Gal 4:4, 6-7 and Ps 104:30; John 14:26. Excellent observation on Titus 3:4-7 too.