The Spirit Imparts Life

The Gift of the Spirit is clear evidence that a person has been justified by God and made a part of His covenant people. In Galatia, “false brethren” were preaching “another gospel,” one that claimed Gentiles must be circumcised to “complete” their faith. Paul would have none of it, and he appealed to the presence of the Spirit among uncircumcised Gentiles as proof positive of their justification and acceptance by God.

Since Gentile believers had received the Gift of the Spirit already, adding circumcision would accomplish nothing. “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, will you now be made complete in the flesh?” – (Galatians 3:1-5).

Wildflowers - Photo by Angelo Casto on Unsplash
[Wildflowers - Photo by Angelo Casto on Unsplash]

Jesus redeemed his saints from the curse of the Law so the “
Blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through him, and we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith,” and so, Paul linked the Spirit with the promised Blessing of Abraham for the nations - (Galatians 3:6-14, Genesis 12:1-3).

The Mosaic legislation was not against the promise, but its purpose was never to justify men before God. It was added after the Abrahamic covenant to expose sin for what it is - the “transgression” of God’s commandments. It cannot justify anyone since the Law “cannot make alive” or “quicken,” unlike the Life-Giving Spirit.

It is the Spirit that gives life, and Paul presents “being quickened” by the Spirit as synonymous with being “justified from faith.” It is the Spirit that imparts life, and there is no everlasting life or forgiveness of sin without being justified by the Living God - (Galatians 3:21).

This principle is attested elsewhere in the New Testament. “It is the spirit that quickens”! The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead will also “quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in us” when Jesus “arrives on the clouds of Heaven” - (John 6:63, Romans 8:11-23).

The letter of the Law kills, but under the New Covenant, the Spirit “quickens” the people of God. Jesus was put to death “in the flesh” on our behalf but made “alive the in spirit.” To be fleshly-minded is death, “but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace.” Life and Spirit are inseparable - (Romans 8:11, 2 Corinthians 3:6, 1 Peter 3:18).

The Spirit of God imparted life when He created the universe.  The Earth was “without form and void,” but the “Spirit of God hovered upon the face of the waters.” Several of the Psalms highlight this Life-Giving power of the Spirit, for example, By the word of Yahweh, the heavens were made, and by the spirit of his mouth, all their host” - (Genesis 1:1-3, Job 33:4. Psalm 33:6, 104:29-30).

THE QUICKENING SPIRIT


The Spirit of God not only imparts life but also causes it to abound. Yahweh promised to “pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground, to pour His Spirit upon man’s seed and my blessing upon his offspring” - (Isaiah 44:3).

In the Book of Ezekiel, God promised that He would “sprinkle clean water” to cleanse Israel from her uncleanness and give her children new hearts, and He would put His Spirit in them and thereby establish His “everlasting covenant” - (Ezekiel 36:16-38).

Paul applied this promise to the Assembly in Corinth. “But such confidence as this we have through Christ towards God. Not that of our own selves sufficient are we, to reckon anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, who also has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive” - (2 Corinthians 3:3-6).

The Spirit or “breath of God” creates, sustains, and restores life, both individually and corporately, biological as well as spiritual, and the withdrawal of His Spirit means the cessation of life, namely, Death.

God promised the restoration of Israel when He cleansed His people and inaugurated the New Covenant, then His presence would dwell among them.  That promise was made in the Mosaic Law, but the nation’s sin prevented its realization - (Leviticus 26:12 - “I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people”).

Rainbow Panorama - Photo by Andi Kleeli on Unsplash
[Rainbow Photo by Andi Kleeli on Unsplash]

In the New Covenant, this promise is actualized by Jesus through his death and resurrection, and therefore, he has been exalted as the Sovereign over all things, the One who baptizes – “
immerses” - his people in the Spirit, providing them with abundant life and empowering them to bear witness before the nations.

The receipt of the Spirit by believers is the indisputable proof of their acceptance and justification by God, and of who will inherit everlasting life and who will not. It is His Spirit that creates, sustains, and restores life; hence there is no true and enduring life or salvation apart from the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit - (John 1:14, Colossians 2:9-10, Revelation 21:3, 21:22).



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Definitive Evidence - (The Spirit imparts life, especially the everlasting life of which the Gift of the Spirit is the First Fruits, foretaste, and guarantee)
  • The Life-Giving Spirit - (Jesus dispenses the Life-Giving Spirit without which there is no enduring life. His words are spirit, and they are life)
  • The Promise of the Father - (With the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the blessings for all nations promised to Abraham commenced)


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