Sinclair on the gift of the Spirit

2 12 2012

On page 71 of his book, “The Holy Spirit” (IVP 1996), Sinclair B. Ferguson reminds us of the incredibly close connection between Jesus and his Spirit:

We have seen the same point made by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45. Christ has become ‘life-giving-Spirit’. Having the Spirit is the equivalent, indeed the very mode, of having the incarnate, obedient, crucified, resurrected and exalted Christ indwelling us so that we are united to him as he is united to the Father.

It is in this sense that John sees the difference that Pentecost signals in the ministry of the Spirit. Now, as the bond of union to God, the Spirit indwells all who believe as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a development of epochal proportions. The Spirit who was present and active at Christ’s conception as the head of the new creation, by whom he was anointed at baptism (Jn. 1:32-34), who directed him throughout his temptations (Mt. 4:1), empowered him in his miracles (Lk. 11:20), energized him in his sacrifice (Heb. 9:14), and vindicated him in his resurrection (1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:4), now indwells disciples in this specific identity. This is the meaning of our Lord’s words, otherwise impossible to comprehend: ‘It is for your good that I am going away’ (Jn. 16:7).

Or as the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.


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2 12 2012

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