Spirit

Spirit

Galatians Part 5

We say someone has spirit, we comment on a spirited performance. Oyr spirit is where our drive and energy come from.

I said earlier that I was going to comment on what Paul said about the Holy Spirit in Galatians Chapter 3. It isn’t that far from what I’ve said above.

 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? vv2&3

…so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. v14

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. 4:1-7

We have got used to seeing spirit, with a small s, used for a man or woman’s spirit and Spirit, with a large S, for God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit. So used are we to this convention that it can be a shock to find out that this is not actually found in Bible Greek. Paul does not distinguish between the two meanings, you have to work it out by context. In some passages theologians differ as to wheter Paul is talking about God’s Spirit or the human spirit in some passages. It is so important I’ll say it again: spirit and Spirit are the same in scripture.

But why does Paul introduce spirit at this point?

It is as if what he has been saying so far about the Jewish Law and faith has been leading up to something. That is the Holy Spirit.

They have received the word through the Spirit working through Paul’s preaching.

They have experienced the Spirit, ans seen people healed by the Spirit.

They should then continue in the Spirit. Because in the Christian life the Spirit is everything.

God’s Spirit speaks to our spirit. The combination is where our drive and energy comes from. This should not be just the start of a Christian journey but the whole of it, living in and by the spirit (or should that be Spirit? It gets conusing). The Spirit in everything and everything by the Spirit.

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