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The Holy Spirit is called by a number of different titles. They include the “Spirit of Jesus Christ,” the “Spirit of Jesus,” and “the Spirit of the Son.”
The Old Testament has eighty-eight specific references to the Holy Spirit. In these references, there are eighteen names applied. The New Testament refers to the Spirit two hundred and sixty-four times and uses thirty-nine names. Five names are common to both Testaments, which leaves fifty-two different appellations (titles, names) for the Spirit. Seventeen appellations express his relation to God, five his relation to the Son, five indicate his divine nature, seven describe his own character, and seventeen are used to indicate his relation to man. He is called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of his Son, the Lord, Truth, Grace, Holiness, Glory, and of Adoption. He is called the Comforter, but this term never denotes his general relation to man. It always describes a special relation to the apostles and their work.
We read in the language of Jesus that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matt. 12:31). “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”—Luke 12:10.
Whatever else these terrible warnings may teach, they undoubtedly teach that the greatest care should be taken by those who venture to discuss this subject or investigate such discussion. Therefore, let both writer and reader cast aside any flippancy of spirit, preconceptions, or prejudices and say like young Samuel of old: “Speak, Jehovah, for your servant hears.”
The subject may be made plain or simple according to the manner we may treat it. If we view it in the light of psychological manifestation in our own hearts or in the lives of those around us, which are ascribed to the Spirit, we shall find ourselves wandering in a maze of mystery. If we follow the word of God, which is the only source of knowledge, we shall find ourselves walking in a light that shall grow brighter as we proceed. It is impossible in a book the size of this to treat all the many passages that refer to the Holy Spirit, but we shall give those that have an important bearing upon the subject.
Philippians 1:19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Either the supply furnished by the Spirit, or the supply which is the Spirit. It is better to take it as including both. The exact phrase, Spirit of Jesus Christ, is found only here. Spirit of Christ occurs Rom. 8:9; 1 Pet. 1:11. The Holy Spirit is meant; called the Spirit of Jesus Christ because through the Spirit Christ communicates Himself to His people. “The Spirit is the living principle and the organ of the proper presence of Christ and of His life in them” (Meyer).—Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 3 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 423.
And the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. In order for Paul to be unrelenting in his fight to maintain his integrity. We have a difficult interpretive challenge here. Albert Barnes writes, “To sustain me, and to cause those happy results to come out of these trials. He needed the same spirit which Jesus Christ had, to enable him to bear his trials with patience, and to impart to him the consolations which he required. He had no idea that these trials would produce these effects of their own accord, nor that it could be by any strength of his own.”—Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 154.
The Spirit of Jesus Christ, a phrase which in this form occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The most obvious meaning is that Jesus Christ sends the Holy Spirit. John 15:26 says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, that one will bear witness about me.” What Jesus said to Peter and James and John and Andrew also applied to Paul, “And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11) It is also clear that Paul saw the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ. (e.g., Rom. 8:9f.; Gal. 4:6; cf. Acts 16:7; 1 Pet. 1:11) This is easily understood, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.’” (Matt. 28:18) Paul further explains this in First Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep in death. 21 For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ at his coming, 24 then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For he put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who put all things in subjection to him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.
What Paul is saying here is verifying what Jesus said, after Jesus ascension, ‘all authority was given to him in heaven and on earth,’ and even though the Father normally sends the Holy Spirit, it has been since the ascension and up to the end of the millennium, being sent by the Son. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul describes the reign of Jesus Christ during his presence; see the footnote on 1 Cor. 15:23 below. Jesus has this authority and the sending of the Holy Spirit until the last enemy, death, is abolished. This is at the end of his thousand-year reign; he “hands over the kingdom to the God and Father.” “Then the Son himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.”—1Co 15:21-28.
Romans 8:9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.
The word Spirit is used in various significations in the Scriptures. It most commonly in the New Testament refers to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. However, the expression “the Spirit of Christ” is not, I believe, anywhere applied to him, except it may be 1 Pet. 1:11. He is often called the Spirit of God (Matt. 3:16; 12:28; 1 Cor. 2:11, 14; 3:16; 6:11; Eph. 4:30), but not the Spirit of the Father. The word spirit is often used to denote temperament and mental disposition; thus, we say, a man of a generous spirit, or of a revengeful spirit, etc. It may possibly have this meaning here and denotes that he who has not the temper or disposition of Christ is not his or has no evidence of piety. But the connection seems to demand that it should be understood in a sense similar to the expression “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus” (ver. 11); and if so, it means the Spirit which Christ imparts, or sends to accomplish his work (John 14:26), the Holy Spirit, sent to make us like Christ, and to sanctify our hearts. And in this sense, it evidently denotes the Spirit which Christ would send to produce in us the views and feelings which he came to establish and which shall assimilate us to himself. If this refers to the Holy Spirit, then we see the manner in which the apostle spoke of the Savior. He regarded “the Spirit” as equally the Spirit of God and of Christ, as proceeding from both, and thus evidently believed that there is a union of nature between the Father and the Son. Such language could never be used except on the supposition that the Father and Son are one, that Christ is divine. — Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Romans, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 176.
I, Edward D. Andrews, would agree with much of what Albert Barnes has said here, except that applying the Holy Spirit to “us” Christians means that we are letting the spirit of Christ fill our inner selves. We have the “same mental disposition” as Christ.
Galatians 4:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
The spirit of the Lord Jesus; the spirit which animated him, or which he evinced. The idea is that as the Lord Jesus was enabled to approach God with the language of endearment and love, so they would be. Being the true and exalted Son of God, he had the spirit appropriate to such a relation; they, being adopted, and made like him, have the same spirit. The “spirit” here referred to does not mean, as I suppose, the Holy Spirit as such; nor the miraculous endowments of the Holy Spirit, but the spirit which made them like the Lord Jesus; the spirit by which they were enabled to approach God as his children, and use the reverent, and tender, and affectionate language of a child addressing a father. It is that language used by Christians when they have evidence of adoption; the expression of the warm, and elevated, and glowing emotions that they have when they can approach God as their God and address him as their Father.—Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: II Corinthians & Galatians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 361.
Again, here it means that God is sending the spirit of his Son into our hearts. We have the “same mental disposition” as Christ.
Acts 16:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 And when they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them.
In saying that this second prohibition was imposed by “the Spirit of Jesus,” does Luke suggest some significance in the change of terminology? It was the same Spirit who forbade them to “speak the word in Asia,” but the fact that on this occasion he is called “the Spirit of Jesus” may indicate that his guidance was now given through a prophecy uttered expressly in the name of Jesus. Paul and Silas were both prophets, and available for use by the Spirit or by the exalted Lord for the declaration of his will.—F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988), 307.
The translation of the last clause of this verse, namely, the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, involves the same problems as in verse 6 with the phrase the Holy Spirit did not let them. The Greek verbs in question are different (one is positive and the other negative), but the meaning is essentially the same and should be handled in the same general manner.—Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1972), 311.
1 Peter 1:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 searching for what time or what particular time the Spirit of Christ which was in them [ancient prophets] did point to as it testified beforehand about the sufferings of Christ and the glories after these things.
This does not prove that they (ancient prophets) knew that this was the Spirit of Christ but is only a declaration of Peter that it was actually so. It is not probable that the prophets distinctly understood that the Spirit of inspiration, by which they were led to foretell future events, was peculiarly the Spirit of Christ. They understood that they were inspired, but there is no intimation, with which I am acquainted, in their writings, that they regarded themselves as inspired by the Messiah. It was not improper, however, for Peter to say that the Spirit by which they were influenced was in fact the Spirit of Christ, so-called because that Spirit which suggested these future events to them was given as the great Medium of all revealed truth to the world. Comp. Heb. 1:3; John 1:9; 14:16, 26; 16:7; Isa. 49:6. It is clear from this passage (1) that Christ must have had an existence before his incarnation; and (2) that he must have understood then what would occur to him when he should become incarnate; that is, it must have been arranged or determined beforehand.—Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: James to Jude, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 121.
SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST: The Spirit as identified with Jesus Christ.
The most important development and element in earliest Christian understanding of the Spirit is that the Spirit is now the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:7; Rom 8:9; Gal 4:6; Phil 1:19; 1 Pt 1:11; see also Jn 7:38; 15:26; 16:7; 19:30; Rv 3:1; 5:6). The Spirit is to be identified as the Spirit that bears witness to Jesus (Jn 15:26; 16:13–15; Acts 5:32; 1 Cor 12:3; 1 Jn 4:2; 5:7–8; Rv 19:10), but also, and more profoundly, as the Spirit that inspired and empowered Jesus himself. This Spirit became available to the believers after Christ’s resurrection.
The apostles John and Paul were quite clear in their writings about Christ becoming spirit through resurrection. The keynote verses penned by John are John 6:63; 7:37–39; 14:16–18; 20:22; and 1 John 3:24; 4:13. The critical passages written by Paul are Romans 8:9–10; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 3:17–18; and 1 Corinthians 6:17.
Revelation concerning the Spirit of Jesus is progressive in the Gospel of John. John does not tell us from the beginning that people could not actually receive eternal life until the hour of Christ’s glorification. Throughout the Gospel, Jesus declares to various people that he can give them eternal life if they would believe in him. He promises them the water of life, the bread of life, and the light of life. But no one could really partake of these until after the Lord had risen. As a foretaste, as a sample, they could receive life via the Lord’s words because his words were themselves spirit and life (Jn 6:63); however, it was not until the Spirit would become available that believers could actually become the recipients of the divine, eternal life. After the Lord’s discourse in John 6, Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing” (v 63). In the flesh Jesus could not give them the bread of life, but when the Spirit became available, they could have life. Again, Jesus offered the water of life—even life flowing like rivers of living water—to the Jews assembled at the Feast of Tabernacles. He told them to come and drink of him. But no one could, then and there, come and drink of him. So John added a note: “But this he spoke concerning the Spirit, for the Spirit was not yet because Jesus was not yet glorified” (7:39). Once Jesus would be glorified through resurrection, the Spirit of the glorified Jesus would be available for people to drink. In John 6, Jesus offered himself as the bread of life to be eaten by people; and in John 7, he offered himself as the water of life to refresh men. But no one could eat him or drink him until he became spirit, as was intimated in John 6:63 and then stated plainly in John 7:39.
COMMUNITY OF THE SPIRIT
The two-volume work of Luke the Evangelist, Luke–Acts, presents the church as that community of people in which, and through which, the Spirit of God is working. Insofar as the church is that, it is an extension of a reality already begun by Jesus of Nazareth. In Luke’s Gospel, John the Baptist announces the coming of one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:16). In Acts, this promise is seen fulfilled in the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 1:5). As Jesus was empowered for his mission by the Spirit (Lk 3:21–22), so the early Christian community was empowered for its witness in the world (Acts 1:8). As Jesus, the man of the Spirit, was confronted at the outset of his ministry with great obstacles (the temptation, Lk 4:1–13), so the church, as the community of the Spirit, faced the temptation to yield to pressures that would compromise its mission (Acts 2:12–13; 4:1–22; 5:27–42). As Jesus, empowered by the Spirit, proclaimed the Good News and touched the lives of people with reconciliation, release, and restoration (Lk 4:18–19), so the church was empowered by the Spirit to become a caring and sharing community (Acts 2:43–47; 4:33–37). As Jesus, the man of the Spirit, reached out to the weak, poor, and rejects of the Palestinian society (this is a special emphasis throughout Luke’s Gospel), so the community of the Spirit was concerned with taking care of people’s needs (Acts 4:34; 5:1–6). These parallels illustrate Luke’s understanding of the oneness of Jesus’ ministry with that of the church—all because the Spirit of Jesus was, and is, in his church.
In John 14:16–18, Jesus went one step further in identifying himself with the Spirit. He told the disciples that he would give them another Comforter. Then he told them that they should know who this Comforter was because he was, then and there, abiding with them and would, in the near future, be in them. Who else but Jesus was abiding with them at that time? Then after telling the disciples that the Comforter would come to them, he said, “I am coming to you.” First he said that the Comforter would come to them and abide in them, and then in the same breath he said that he would come to them and abide in them (see 14:20). In short, the coming of the Comforter to the disciples was one and the same as the coming of Jesus to the disciples. The Comforter who was dwelling with the disciples that night was the Spirit in Christ; the Comforter who would be in the disciples (after the resurrection) would be Christ in the Spirit.
On the evening of the resurrection, the Lord Jesus appeared to the disciples and then breathed into them the Holy Spirit. This inbreathing, reminiscent of God’s breathing into Adam the breath of life (Gn 2:7), became the fulfillment of all that had been promised and anticipated earlier in John’s Gospel. Through this impartation, the disciples became regenerated and indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This historical event marked the genesis of the new creation. Jesus could now be realized as the bread of life, the water of life, and the light of life. The believers now possessed his divine, eternal, risen life. From that time forward, Christ as spirit indwelt his believers. Thus, in his first epistle John could say, “And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he gave to us” (1 Jn 3:24), and again, “Hereby we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (4:13).
Edward D. Andrews Note: The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter, the Helper, but this term never denotes his general relation to man. It always describes a special relation to the apostles and their work. We are letting the spirit of Christ fill our inner selves. We have the “same mental disposition” as Christ. The Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of the Son are the same as the Holy Spirit that inspired the Word of God. However, occasionally, he is not talking about the Holy Spirit but rather having the same mental disposition as Jesus Christ. And again, there is no miraculous implanting of what the Scriptures mean into the minds of the believers. Otherwise, why are there hundreds of verses about the need to study, search, seek, dig, and so on? And the fact that we have 41,000 different denominations all believing different is evidence that we do not get an understanding miraculously from God’s Word. There are 66 different denominations that are Baptist alone, all believing differently. Even if we just picked out one Baptist church of 500 members, the pastor would not believe the same as the assistant pastor or any deacons. And all members would believe differently. We do not gain Bible knowledge miraculously through the Holy Spirit but rather through the study of the Spirit-inspired Word of God. This is why hundreds of verses mention the importance of reading, studying, digging deeper, searching, seeking, and so on. There is no indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the way some think. See the linked article below.
The apostles had quite an adjustment to make after Christ’s resurrection. They had become so accustomed to his physical presence that it was difficult for them to learn how to live by his spiritual, indwelling presence. All through the 40 days after his resurrection, from the time the apostles received the inbreathing of the Spirit, Christ was teaching the disciples to make the transfer. He would physically appear and then disappear intermittently. His appearances were very frequent in the beginning and then they steadily diminished. His aim was to guide the apostles into knowing him in his invisible presence. However, this was so new to them that he had to keep appearing to them in order to strengthen and reassure them. But his real desire was to help them live by faith and not by sight. When he appeared to the disciples as they were all together the second time, with Thomas present, he chided Thomas for his unbelief. Then he prounounced this blessing, “Blessed are those who do not see me and yet believe” (Jn 20:29).
The apostle Paul was such a “blessed” one. He did not know Christ in the flesh. He knew only the risen Christ (2 Cor 5:15–16). In this regard, he had an advantage over the early apostles. They had a great adjustment to make, but from the very beginning, Paul knew the risen Christ as Spirit. Paul became the forerunner of all those Christians who have never seen Jesus in the flesh and who have come to experience him in the Spirit. Yes, Paul had seen the risen Lord; he was the last one to do so (1 Cor 15:8). And from that time onward he realized that Jesus was a glorified man, exalted far above all. Paul wrote much concerning this, but his writings did not leave the far-above-all Jesus far away because this was not what Paul experienced. Any experienced Christian should be able to testify that the Christ in the heavens is also the Christ in the heart.
In his writings, Paul often speaks of the Spirit and Christ synonymously. This is evident in Romans 8:9–10. The terms “Spirit of God,” “Spirit of Christ,” and “Christ” are all used interchangeably. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ is Christ. In these verses, it is evident that Paul identified the Spirit with Christ because in Christian experience they are absolutely identical. There is no such thing as an experience of Christ apart from the Spirit. The separation and/or distinction does exist in Trinitarian theology—and for very good reasons—but the separation is nearly nonexistent in actual experience. Several of Paul’s statements are written from the vantage point of experience.
In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul says that the risen Jesus became life-giving spirit. Notice the verse does not say Jesus became the Spirit, as if the second person of the Trinity became the third, but that Jesus became spirit in the sense that his mortal existence and form were metamorphosed into a spiritual existence and form. Jesus’ person was not changed through the resurrection, only his form. With this changed spiritual form, Jesus regained the essential state of being he had emptied himself of in becoming a man. Before he became a man, he subsisted in the form of God (Phil 2:6), which form is Spirit and thereby was united to the Spirit (the third of the Trinity), while still remaining distinct. Thus, when the scripture says that the Lord “became life-giving spirit,” it does not mean that the Son became the Holy Spirit. But it does indicate that Christ, via resurrection, appropriated a new, spiritual form (while still retaining a body—a glorified one) that enabled him to commence a new spiritual existence (see 1 Pt 3:18).
In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul explains that the NT ministry is a ministry carried out by the Spirit of the living God (v 3), who is the Spirit that gives life (v 6). In fact, the whole NT economy is characterized as “the ministry of the Spirit” (v 8). At the same time, Paul emphasizes that the function of the NT ministry is to bring God’s people to see and experience the glorious Christ (3:3, 14, 16–18; 4:4–6). It is in this context that Paul boldly declares, “The Lord is the Spirit” (3:17). He who turns his heart to the Lord is, in effect, turning his heart to the Spirit. lf the Lord were not the Spirit abiding in the believers, how could they turn their hearts to him? And how could they be transformed into the same image? Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face mirroring the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord-Spirit.” According to the Greek, the last phrase of this verse could be rendered “the Lord, the Spirit” (see asv) or “the Lord, who is the Spirit” (see rsv, niv) because the expression “the Spirit” is in direct apposition to “the Lord” (i.e., it is a further description of the Lord). Thus, the Lord is the Spirit.
In conclusion, when the Scriptures identify the Spirit with Christ and vice versa, the identification is not equivocation. Christ is not the Holy Spirit. Christ and the Spirit are distinct persons of the Trinity, as is affirmed by the overall teaching of the Word. But the Scriptures do identify Christ and the Spirit in the context of Christian experience. It would be accurate to say that Christians experience Christ through his Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. One cannot know Jesus apart from the Spirit or other than through the Spirit. — Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 1220–1221.
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 Lit (κεκοιμημένων kekoimēmenōn) having fallen asleep, i.e., asleep in death
 Presence; Coming: (παρουσία parousia) The Greek word which is rendered as “presence” is derived from para, meaning “with,” and ousia, meaning “being.” It denotes both an “arrival” and a consequent “presence with.” Depending on the context, it can mean “presence,” “arrival,” “appearance,” or “coming.” In some contexts, this word is describing the presence of Jesus Christ in the last days, i.e., from his ascension in 33 C.E. up unto his second coming, with the emphasis being on his second coming, the end of the age of Satan’s reign of terror over the earth. We do not know the day nor the hours of this second coming. (Matt 24:36) It covers a marked period of time with the focus on the end of that period. – Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6-7; 10:10; Php 1:26; 2:12; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:2.