Jesus IS

the “Gift” of the Holy Spirit

Part 1

 

 

 

And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38  AMPLIFIED BIBLE

 

 

 

Section Titles  (Click on a title to go directly to that section or scroll down to begin reading this study.)

 

 

Introduction

 

Jesus…the teacher and master

 

Jesus teaches us how to pray

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

I was born-again in 1975 and not long after I received the “gift” of the Holy Spirit.  I was taught the “gift” or “baptism in the Holy Spirit” was synonymous with the experience of being “filled” with God’s spirit.  In keeping with the charismatic or Pentecostal tradition, I was taught the “evidence” of being “filled” with the Holy Spirit was if a believer spoke in other tongues.

 

Ever since the time I spoke in tongues and received doctrinal instruction regarding it, I have held this was the only factual Biblical position.  Reinforcing my dogma was the verity of what I had taught and prayed for.  More than one hundred individuals I shared with and prayed for had experienced the same manifestation of speaking in unknown tongues.  This proves God works in us in spite of our wrong theology!

 

The Pentecostal churches that teach speaking in tongues as the “sign” of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit believe it is the “sanctifying work” of the Spirit.  Though different churches vary in their doctrinal positions regarding tongues, most agree that being “filled with the Holy Spirit” is a distinctly separate experience from being “saved” or “born-again.”

 

God is challenging His people to rethink their doctrinal positions.  If we cling tightly to dogma because it concurs with what our peers and church affiliation teach, we cannot grow in the knowledge of the Almighty, nor of His son Jesus.  Truth is something that each individual should pursue independently.  The motivation for seeking truth must be in keeping with a clear conscience before God.  It must stem from a desire to deepen one’s relationship with the Father and with His son Jesus.

 

I no longer believe the “gift of the Holy Spirit” is the same as being “filled” with the Spirit of God.  Rather, it is when the life-giving spirit of the glorified Son of God brings a believer freedom and moral purity in the human spirit.  I believe it is when the spirit of Christ is sent into our hearts whereby we cry, “Abba (my) Father!” 

 

This is a gift from God because He sends His son as a mediator when we call upon his name.  Jesus is our teacher, and he helps us with our moral weakness, giving us the ability to articulate in prayer when our minds are unable to understand precisely what it is that we should say (i.e. – prayer in an unknown tongue to God).  Jesus sees with perception; he has a heavenly view, and knows what the mindset of God’s spirit and our spirit is.

 

In days gone by, like so many charismatic (Pentecostal) believers, my doctrinal position on speaking in tongues alienated me from my fellow Christians who don’t speak in tongues.  This always bothered me, because I do not think speaking in tongues is necessary for a personal relationship with God.  Nevertheless, I saw the tremendous benefit that comes from prayer in tongues, and desired that all my brethren in Christ could enjoy this spiritual edification.

 

·        1 Corinthians 14:5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues… (NAS)

 

What was especially bothersome to me about the issue of speaking in tongues is how certain men of God whom I respected could be anointed and used of God without being “filled” with the Spirit.  In other words, my doctrine required every believer to speak in tongues if he or she laid claim to being “filled” with the Holy Spirit.

 

For example, the Lord has mightily used men like Dr. James Dobson and Billy Graham, and their personal lives are a righteous testimony of God.  My old-time religious tenets would not allow me to believe these men had experienced the infilling of God’s spirit because, to my knowledge, they do not speak in tongues.  Nevertheless, the fruit of the spirit was more than evident in their lives, and more so than in most Christian ministers who do speak in tongues!

 

Through much prayer, study of the scripture, and revelation given by God, I now believe the “gift” of the Holy Spirit is exactly what it implies… a GIFT!  The Greek word for “gift” means, “a gratuity; a free gift with emphasis on its gratuitous nature.”

 

The greatest of all gifts given to mankind by God the Father is His only begotten son Jesus Christ.  Jesus IS the Comforter (Greek = parakletos), because he comes alongside a believer, and helps to make intercession on his or her behalf.

Jesus is the one who helps us with our weakness; he teaches us HOW to pray, and how to articulate the deep yearnings of our human spirit. 

 

When we call, it is Jesus who comes to our aid.  When Jesus comes to us he is not alone; he comes with his Father, and together they make their abode with us.  Together, they come to bring life and light to those who believe and take hold of what they give.

 

·        John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  (NIV)

 

There is much confusion in Christendom regarding the role of the Godhead.  Most of Christianity believes in a three-person Trinity doctrine; this Triune dogma distorts and complicates what God is.  With this view, the Holy Spirit is an abstract entity of the third person of God who provides His power.  The “Holy Spirit” of the Trinity is the “person of God” that people pray to on occasions where divine influence is needed.

 

Christians who don’t ascribe to the teachings of the Trinity are commonly referred to as “Oneness Pentecostals.”  This means they reject the Trinity, but like Trinitarians, they believe that Jesus is both God and man.  To them, the Holy Spirit is the sanctifying work of God, who is the “Spirit” (i.e. -God) aspect of Jesus.

 

Both Trinitarian and Oneness camps have convoluted views about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Their deeply entrenched bias dates back many decades, and in the case of Trinitarians, many centuries.  To further confuse the issue, both groups adhere to the doctrine of dualism; that is, they believe Jesus has a “dual nature” as God and man.  This defies logic, and creates the doctrine of a schizophrenic Jesus.  It is impossible for anyone to be “fully God” and “fully man” at the same time, yet it is the belief of most Christians today.

 

There are not three persons of God, and Jesus is not God.  There is only ONE God, the Father.  God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth, and He alone made all that is in them.  He is the one who created Jesus in the womb of the virgin Mary.  Jesus is a man and he is the son of God his Father and the son of Mary his mother. 

 

Understanding there is only one God and acknowledging that Jesus is His only begotten son is the beginning of a proper relationship with each one of them.  The role that Jesus fulfills is as the mediator between God the Father and sinful mankind. 

 

The mediator aspect of Jesus is more than what he did at Calvary when he shed his blood for our sins.  The shedding of blood is for the remission (removal) of sin; that is, it justifies the believer before God the Father by providing a legal pardon for the guilt associated with sin.

 

Because Jesus advocates on behalf of those who believe, he provides access for them to his Father God.  Jesus also acts as a counselor and teacher to those whom he disciples; he interacts with their human soul, spirit and mind.  Through Jesus’ counsel we find the way to the wisdom and the power of God the Father. 

 

Jesus quickens our human spirit, and his Father God gives life to our mortal bodies.  Put another way, Jesus teaches us and guides us as a shepherd does his sheep, while God the Father provides the strength and supernatural power needed to overcome the weakness of our flesh.

 

Jesus instructed us to pray to the Father (read Matthew 6:9-15).  The Father provides us with forgiveness and our daily bread; He is our source for every need.  Since we pray and supplicate to the Father God, how then should we communicate with Jesus? 

 

One of the greatest misnomers in the Christian church today is addressing our Lord and Master as he intended us.  To begin answering the question, we must look to the scriptures.  How did Jesus’ first disciples address him?  What about those in Israel who believed in him; how did they address Jesus?

 

·        John 13:13-15 You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another's feet.  For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you.  AMP

The disciples called Jesus “Teacher” and “Master.”  A teacher is one who instructs; Jesus is the one who gives us instruction regarding the will of his God and Father.  As our teacher, Jesus is he who reveals correct doctrine (i.e. – teaching) to us from God’s word (the scriptures).  The role Jesus fulfills as our instructor is of particular importance to those men in the body of Christ who are called as teachers (masters).  Without Jesus many men have erred and created false doctrine.

 

·        1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers… (NAS)

 

·        Ephesians 4:11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.  AMP

 

·        James 3:1 NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation].  AMP

 

A teacher in the ancient rabbinic tradition and those who were contemporary with Jesus would be referred to and addressed as “Rabbi” or “Master.”  This title was assigned only to men well versed in Old Testament scripture because they had mastered the Law and the Prophets and were able to expound to others about them.  In other words, they were well versed in the Old Testament scripture, and were able to read and give explanations about it in a public forum.  Jesus began his mastery of scripture in the temple at age twelve.

 

·        Luke 2:41-47 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.  When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.  After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.  (NIV)

 

In our Western society today, an equivalent comparison to the ancient rabbi might be the university professor, but without the secular bias.  To gain further insight, we look at the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary definitions of the words “teacher” and “master.”  It is necessary to consult with an older version of the English dictionary because many of the best Greek and Hebrew reference works we use today were written in the 1800’s.  The meaning and use of words in the Nineteenth Century varies greatly from our contemporary use of the English language.  Much can be learned about the nature, character, role and function of the man Christ Jesus.  By carefully reading the attributes and characteristics of a teacher and a master below, an in-depth picture of Jesus emerges, and opens new vistas in our relationship with him and with His Father God.

 

Jesus…the teacher and master

 

TEACHER = one who teaches or instructs.

 

1.      An instructor; a preceptor; a tutor; one whose business or occupation is to instruct others.

2.      One who instructs others in religion; a preacher; a minister of the gospel.

3.      The teachers in all the churches assembled themselves.

4.      One who preaches without regular ordination (ordination means to become a licensed clergyman; appointed by decree of an established church or religion).

 

MASTER = magister, compounded of the root of magis, major, greater.

 

1.      A man, who rules, governs or directs either men or business.  A man who owns slaves is their master; he who has servants is their master; he who has apprentices is their master; he who has apprentices is their master, as he has the government and direction of them.  The man, who superintends and directs any business, is master, or master workman. 

2.      A director, head, or chief manager; as the master of a feast.

3.      The owner; proprietor; with the idea of governing. The master of a house may be the owner, or the occupant, who has a temporary right of governing it. 

4.      A lord; a ruler; one who has supreme dominion.  (e.g. - Caesar, the world's great master and his own.)

5.      A chief; a principal; as the master root of a plant. 

6.      One who has possession, and the power of controlling or using at pleasure. 

7.      The commander of a merchant ship.

8.      In ships of war, an officer who takes rank immediately after the lieutenants, and navigates the ship under the direction of the captain.

9.      The director of a school; a teacher; an instructor.  In this sense the word is giving place to the more appropriate words teacher, instructor and preceptor; at least it is so in the United States.

10.  One uncontrolled.  (e.g. - Let every man be master of his time.)

11.  An appellation of respect. 

12.  An appellation given to young men. 

13.  A man eminently or perfectly skilled in any occupation, art or science.  We say a man is master of his business; a great master of music, of the flute or violin; a master of his subject.

14.  A title of dignity in colleges and universities; as Master of Arts.

15.  The chief of a society; as the Grand Master of Malta, of Freemasons (yuck!).

16.  The director of ceremonies at public places, or on public occasions.

17.  The president of a college.

18.  Master in chancery, an assistant of the Lord Chancellor, chosen from among the barristers to sit in chancery, or at the rolls.

 

To be master of one's self, to have the command or control of one's own passions.

The word master has numerous applications, in all of which it has the sense of director, chief or superintendent.  As a title of respect given to adult persons, it is pronounced mister; a pronunciation which seems to have been derived from some of the northern dialects.

 

MASTER = to conquer; to overpower; to subdue; to bring under control.  (e.g. -Obstinacy and willful neglect must be mastered, even though it costs blows.  Evil customs must be mastered by degrees.)

 

19. To execute with skill.  (e.g. - I will not offer that which I cannot master.)

20. To rule; to govern.  (e.g. - And rather father thee than master thee.)

 

The dictionary definition of “master” is magister, compounded of the root of magis, major, greater.  Jesus made himself a servant; he did not come to be served, but to serve.

 

·        Mark 10:42-45 But Jesus called them to [Him] and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as governing and are supposed to rule the Gentiles (the nations) lord it over them [ruling with absolute power, holding them in subjection], and their great men exercise authority and dominion over them.  But this is not to be so among you; instead, whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be most important and first in rank among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for (instead of; in behalf of) many.  AMP

 

God the Father appointed His son Jesus to be first in rank among his brethren in the heavenly kingdom.  The Son of Man gave his life as the ultimate price of servitude, and so he was made to be greatest.  Jesus is chosen by the Most High to be the magistrate (or ruler) of all mankind in this creation. 

 

In other words, Jesus exists in a position to execute the Father’s will, and like a magistrate Jesus is the judge of both the living and the dead.  Jesus does not usurp the authority of the Almighty.  Rather, he has been given the authority to act on God’s behalf, while himself ALWAYS remaining in total submission to the Father.

 

To better understand Jesus as the magis, it is helpful to again consult with Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.  The meaning of words changes with the passage of time, and America’s secular influence has tainted and caused to fade the godly persuasion of our nation’s forefathers.  The following definition of the word “magistrate” denotes the position of one who leads and directs others, particularly in government, and in spiritual matters:

 

·        MAG'ISTRATE, n. [L. magistratus, from magister, master; magis, major, and ster, a director; to steer; the principal director.]  A public civil officer, invested with the executive government of some branch of it.  In this sense, a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States.  But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers, as governors, intendants {as in superintendent}, prefects, mayors, justices of the peace, and the like (e.g. - The magistrate must have his reverence; the laws their authority).

 

Jesus is subordinate to the Father and as our tutor it is his business to instruct us in matters pertaining to God.  Jesus was the one who proclaimed the gospel without the ordination of any man, because his Father in heaven sent him.

 

Jesus is the man from God who rules, governs and directs the hearts and minds of men.  He has servants that do his will, and they are like his apprentices.  An apprentice under the tutelage of Jesus is bound by the covenant he or she has made with him.  The apprentice is under the care of his master Jesus all of his or her life.

 

The apprenticeship Jesus gives is for the purpose of instruction in the knowledge of God’s word (the scriptures) and God’s will.  The covenant made with those who believe in Christ is binding because it is made with God as a witness, and with Jesus as the testator. 

 

·        Hebrews 9:15-17 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.  For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.  For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.  (NKJ)

 

When Jesus died, the terms of the covenant he made with God for man’s sake were ratified, and then put into effect when God raised His only begotten son from the dead.  Jesus is now the living testator and executor of his Father’s will for mankind, particularly those that trust in and rely upon him; he is the mediator of a new covenant.

 

After his death, but prior to his resurrection, Jesus was made alive in the spirit.  During this time Jesus preached for three days to the spirits of men imprisoned in Hades (Sheol), after which time God raised him from the dead by sending his human spirit back into his lifeless corpse (1 Peter 3:18-19). 

 

After God raised Jesus from the dead, the Teacher showed himself to be alive to his disciples for forty days.  The resurrection was proof to these disciples; it verified that Jesus was Messiah, and that God was indeed the source of power and authority behind him.  Jesus spent forty days revealing himself to the disciples with many convincing proofs, and then he was taken into the heavens to sit at his Father’s right hand.

 

·        Acts 1:1-5 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.  To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over {a period of} forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.  And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," {He said,} "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  (NAS)

 

After his final words to the disciples, Jesus ascended into heaven.  At this time he began to fulfill a new role in the kingdom of God.  No longer would he be known after the flesh, and no longer would he be addressed as the son of man.  A transformation took place at the ascension, and Jesus’ entire being had gone through a metamorphosis.  His body of corruptible flesh was transformed into imperishable and spiritual body.

 

·        1 Corinthians 15:41-50 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable {body} it is raised an imperishable {body} it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual {body.}  So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul."  The last Adam {became} a life-giving spirit.  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.  The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.  And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.  Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  (NAS)

 

Jesus is the last Adam; his whole being became a “life-giving spirit.”  This was a transformation of Jesus’ entire being and his new existence as a life giving gave access to all who call upon his name.  He is no longer limited to the one-on-one communication as he was in a body of flesh.

 

The extensive capability Jesus now has to come to the aid of all those who seek him is quite baffling, yet it is not entirely inexplicable.  Jesus is still a man, nevertheless he has been given the authority by God to teach and to shepherd every person who trusts in and is reliant upon him.  How can this be, unless he is in a realm not diminished by environmental conditions?

 

Jesus has the government of God’s kingdom on his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7).  He is the master of those who seek to be a part of the kingdom of God.  He is the way to God’s life.  Jesus is the master of the house whose Builder and Maker is God.  Jesus is in a position of governing God’s household (the church), which is made of living stones (i.e. – believers) that have been jointly fitted together.

 

·        1 Peter 2:5-6 [Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.  For thus it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen (honored), precious chief Cornerstone, and he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall never be disappointed or put to shame. [Isa 28:16.]  AMP

 

·        Hebrews 3:1-6 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.  He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house.  Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.  Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future.  But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house.  And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.  (From New International Version)

 

Jesus is the ruler; he is the one who has supreme dominion over God’s house.  Jesus is the captain of our salvation; he enjoys the rank that is highest in the ranks of God’s spiritual army. 

 

Jesus is also the “Lord”; this word lord originates from the Greek word “kurios” and is defined as, “master, owner, possessor, having absolute authority; as an honorary title of address, especially to superiors, equivalent to mister, sir, as a servant to his master.” 

 

We address Jesus with respect as the one who is in charge of God’s kingdom. 

God the Father gave authority to His son Jesus, and Jesus uses that authority to do God’s will.  Thus we address Jesus as our Lord, our Master and as the one in charge of God’s business.  Notwithstanding, we also relate to him as our friend, and as our elder brother.

 

·        John 15:13-15 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends, if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  (NAS)

 

·        John 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"  (NAS)

 

·        Hebrews 2:11-12, 17-18 For both He who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father].  For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren; for He says, I will declare Your [the Father's] name to My brethren; in the midst of the [worshiping] congregation I will sing hymns of praise to You. [Ps 22:22.]… So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people's sins.  For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].  AMP

 

It is necessary to relate to Jesus as our brother and it is appropriate to address him as, “Master.”  Like an older brother teaching the younger, Jesus teaches us how to pray, and gives us guidance and direction to understand God’s will for our lives.

 

·        Luke 11:1 … one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples."  (NAS)

 

Jesus teaches us how to pray

 

The King James Version

 

·        Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  (KJV)

 

The Appropriate Translation

 

 

Throughout the remainder of this Bible study you will find the heading of ‘The Appropriate Translation.’  This translation reflects my research using various Greek and Hebrew sources to delineate the meaning of the original ancient languages.

 

The spirit of Jesus Christ helps by taking hold of the moral weakness in us, because we do not know precisely (as needed) what thing we should wish or pray.  Those things that are of greatest importance elude us, because of our infirmity, our partiality to sin and the cunning of Satan to deceive us.  This disadvantage in prayer is especially true in the conflict between our flesh and spirit. 

 

In order for Jesus to be “taking hold of our moral weakness” we must believe he will do it, and give him permission to help.  Jesus will never force our will, but will quietly and gently offer us a helping hand.

 

Jesus is not the second person of the Trinity who, as God, became man.  Jesus IS a man; he is the glorified son of man.  Jesus is God’s son and he investigates the seat of our desires, feelings, affections, passions, and impulses (i.e. - our heart and mind).  Jesus has a view of our lives from God’s perspective.  His perception and view of us, and our situation, is from a heavenly vantage point.  He knows the will of the Father God for us.

 

·        John 5:25-27 “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.  And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”  (From New International Version)

 

In the seventh chapter of the Book of Romans we read about the internal struggle of the believer, who, desiring to do what is right, does what is evil.  This conflict is referred to as the battle between the “flesh” (the slavery to sin) and the “spirit” (obedience to God).

 

In our efforts to do the do the will of God, our passions and cravings cloud our discernment.  We make mental decisions to obey the commandments, only to find we are frequently overcome by feelings, which lure us into the familiar yet evil turf (known as the flesh). 

 

With this in mind, the eighth chapter of Romans reveals the “how to” for those willing to seek the pathway of righteousness.  This is where it is essential we communicate with Jesus, the life-giver.  Only Jesus can help us, because he has experienced firsthand the same fight and spiritual warfare.  He teaches how to pray and helps us to pray.

 

Romans 8:1-8

The New American Standard

 

1.      There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

2.      For the law of the spirit (pneumatos) of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

3.      For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did:} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

4.      in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Pneuma).

5.      For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit (Pneuma), the things of the Spirit (Pneumatos).

6.      For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit (Pneumatos) is life and peace,

7.      because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able {to do so}

8.      and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (NAS)

 

Romans 8:9-16

The Appropriate Translation

 

9.      But, you yourselves, your state of existence is not such that you remain in moral weakness; on the contrary, {you exist} in spiritual {strength; pneumati}; if believably, the Spirit (Pneuma) of God resides in you.  But if anyone does not continue holding to the spirit (pneuma) of Christ, he does not exist as belonging to Him (God).

10. But if Christ is in you, {though} the former body is dead through the act of sin, yet the spirit (pneuma) is alive through equitable (just & right) character.

11. But if the spirit (pneuma) of Him who roused up Jesus from a corpse, resides within you, He who roused up Christ from a corpse will also revitalize your mortal bodies through His Spirit (pneumatos) who occupies you as a place of settled residence.

12. Certainly then, brethren, we are morally indebted, not to the flesh, to spend {our} existence living with a tendency towards the physical and moral weakness—

13. Because if you live with a tendency towards the flesh, your expectation should be to die off; but if spiritually (pneumati) you are killing the habitual practices of the body, you will live. 

14. For as many as are being led spiritually (pneumati) by God, these exist as sons of God. 

15. For, just like you did in times past, you have NOT taken hold of a spirit (pneuma) of slavery by returning back to a former state, resulting in fear; but on the contrary, you have actively taken hold of a spirit (pneuma), to be placed as sons, {by} remaining in a position, in which we {are qualified to} call aloud, “MY Father!" 

16. The spirit (pneuma) itself testifies jointly (i.e. - corroborating in union together by the use of concurrent evidence) with our spirit (pneumati) that we are children of God,

 

Romans 8:17-18

The New American Standard Bible – Updated Edition

 

17. and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

 

Romans 8:19-22

The Appropriate Translation

 

19. For the intense anticipation of the original creation (of mankind) fully expects the disclosure of the sons of God.

20. For the original creation (of mankind) was subjected to moral depravity, not by coercion, but through the one {God} who placed it in a position of being subjected {to it}, {because He} desired that some good {would come of it}, having the expectation of obtaining {it}

21. also, because the original creation itself will be liberated and left unrestrained, to go as they please, away from the slavery of ruin into the legitimate moral freedom, {consistent with} the reputation of the children of God.

22. For we are aware that the whole original creation experiences a common calamity and experiences pain together simultaneously, sympathizing {with each other} in the expectation of relief from {the} suffering up to the present time.

23. And not merely this, but also ourselves, holding {as our} continued possession, the beginnings of the work of the spirit (pneumatos), even we ourselves, being squeezed and pressed by circumstances, sigh within ourselves (like persons in distress and affliction whose prayer is inaudible), watching for with full expectation {the} adoption (being legally placed) as sons; {to wit} riddance (deliverance; a setting free; as riddance from all adversity) of our whole {earthly, fleshly} body.

 

Romans 8:24-25

The New American Standard Bible – Updated Edition

 

24. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

25. But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.  

 

 

 

Romans 8:26-27

The Appropriate Translation

 

26. And in the same way the spirit (pneuma) helps by taking hold of the moral weakness in us, because we do not know precisely (as needed) what thing we should wish or pray for that is most important.  However, the spirit (pneuma) itself intercedes (acts as a mediator) for or in behalf of inaudible (impossible to hear) prayer, which cannot be expressed in words;

27. But the one who investigates the seat of the desires, feelings, affections, passions, and impulses, (of the heart or mind) sees, with perception, what the result of the mindset of the spirit (pneumatos) is, because, {coming} down from God, {he} meets and talks with {Him} on behalf and for the benefit and protection of the sanctified ones.

 

The “the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” is what sets us free from the law of sin and death.  We find the spirit of “life” to be synonymous with the removal of condemnation.  Condemnation is the feeling of shame we are coated with after we sin. 

 

Only the blood of Jesus can remove the filth of sin’s effect from us.  Yielding to the flesh creates a sense of disgrace and humiliation in us.  When shame is erased, our human spirit is brought back into fellowship with God’s spirit.  God sent His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk according to the spirit. 

 

We walk in the spirit of life because it is more appealing (from an eternal perspective) than fulfilling the desires of the flesh.  The mind set on the spirit is life and peace, because it is subject to God and wants to do the things that are pleasing to Him.

 

The following itemized commentary on the verses of scripture above (Romans 8:1-27) summarize what each verse means, and helps us understand the role Jesus fulfills as he teaches us how to pray, and helps us articulate our prayers with godly precision.

 

Commentary on Romans 8:1-27

 

·        Romans 8:1-2 The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death (i.e. - condemnation); this law of the spirit is synonymous with forgiveness of sin and cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-10).

 

·        Romans 8:5-8 The mind set on the spirit of Jesus is life and peace because it is subject to God’s will.  When we are reconciled with God, our mind and spirit are at peace (Romans 5:1-10).

 

·        Romans 8:9 We must continue holding to the spirit of Christ if we want God’s spirit residing within us; to accomplish this, we must NOT remain in a state of moral weakness.  Holding to the “spirit of Christ” is synonymous with taking hold of a “morally blameless spirit” or a “consecrated spirit.”

 

·        Romans 8:10 If the spirit of Christ is in you, your spirit is alive through equitable (just & right) character; in other words, you are listening to and obeying the instruction of your master Jesus.

 

·        Romans 8:11-13 If, spiritually, you are killing the habitual practices of the flesh, God will revitalize your body.  In other words, Jesus teaches us HOW to die to self and to do his Father’s will; as we practice this, God the Father furnishes us with the POWER to overcome the strong cravings of our sinful nature.

 

·        Romans 8:14 Taking hold of the spirit of Jesus the Christ is synonymous with being led spiritually by God because Jesus is one with his Father’s will.  Stated another way, Jesus is the good shepherd, and he will only lead us in the paths of righteousness; following this path we exist as sons of God.

 

·        Romans 8:15 When we actively take hold of the spirit of Christ, we take our place as sons of the Most High God.  Taking hold of the spirit of Christ implies our walk with our Father in heaven is such that it consistently demonstrates the character of the son of God (i.e. – our thoughts, words and actions align with the counsel we receive from the life-giving spirit of Jesus).

 

·        Romans 8:16 The life-giving spirit of Jesus confirms (makes more certain) what our human spirit knows and understands.  The glorified spirit of Jesus testifies jointly (in union together) with our spirit that we are children of God; Jesus uses the evidence of our testimony to corroborate our sonship.

 

·        Romans 8:17-18 Suffering plays a key role in bringing us to the place where we want to do only the will of God.  Suffering together with Jesus causes us to groan within; it brings us to the point of angst whereby our will seems subject to futility. 

 

·        Romans 8:19 The “original creation” is figurative language; it refers to the part of us we refer to as our “flesh.”  It is our tendency towards and susceptibility to sin; we despise it because it always results in futility.  We anticipate it will be done away with when we reach our final redemption of the body (i.e. – when we receive our spiritual body in eternity).  As the entire body of Christ experiences liberation from sin, this is called the “disclosure of the sons of God.”

 

·        Romans 8:20 The original creation began with Adam and Eve; they were subjected to moral depravity when exposed to the temptation of the serpent.  They were not coerced into this position, but their Creator gave them a choice (free will).  God gave them the ability to choose to obey or to disobey, anticipating that something good would come from giving them this inherent privilege.

 

·        Romans 8:21 After sin entered the world, because all have sinned; the original creation was liberated by the Lord Jesus Christ.  His sacrifice set them free to fellowship with God.  As they grow in their relationship with the spirit of Jesus, he teaches them God’s will, and they grow to maturity.  Those whose desire is to be pleasing to God are left unrestrained, to go as they please, moving away from the slavery of ruin into the legitimate moral freedom, {consistent with} the reputation of the children of God.

 

·        Romans 8:22 The “whole original creation” refers to the whole body of Christ.  Our experience with the struggle between flesh and spirit is a “common calamity.”  Those who choose to share in the flesh and blood of Christ’s spiritual body simultaneously participate in one another’s pain and suffering.  These are the ones, who like Jesus, can and do sympathize with each other in the expectation of relief from their suffering until now.

 

·        Romans 8:23 Huiothesía, the Greek word for “adoption” is a technical term used only by Paul five times (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). The word is not found in classical writers although thetós huiós (placed, set, adopted) is used for an adopted son. Paul in these passages is alluding to a Greek and Roman custom rather than a Hebrew one. Since huiothesía was a technical term in Roman law for an act that had specific legal and social effects, there is much probability that Paul had some reference to that in his use of the word. Adoption, when thus legally performed, put a man in every respect in the position of a son by birth to him who had adopted him, so that he possessed the same rights and owed the same obligations. Being a huiós, a son, involves the conformity of the child that has the life of God in him to the image, purposes, and interests of God and that spiritual family into which he is born. In eternity there will be a revelation by God, which will indicate the measure of this conformity to God (Rom. 8:19).  (From AMG WordStudy Reference Bible & CD)

 

·        Romans 8:24-25 We have faith that one day God will rid us of these earthbound bodies of flesh, laden down with susceptibility to sin.  Our faith is alive through the spirit of Jesus who teaches, comforts, counsels and sanctifies us in preparation for the day we enter into eternity.  Our hope is alive because we believe, even though our eyes cannot see what lies beyond the grave.

 

·        Romans 8:26 The spirit of Jesus takes hold of the moral weakness in us when we give him permission to do so.  Jesus intercedes for us, because in the squeeze of distress, our prayers are little more than inaudible mutterings, sighs and groans.  As the life-giving spirit, Jesus helps our human spirit articulate in prayer precisely what is needed (whether a prayer in an unknown tongue, or a prayer with the understanding).

 

·        Romans 8:27 The man Christ Jesus is a mediator who can sympathize with our feelings, passions, impulses, etc.  He is in a unique position with unique capabilities, having been made a life-giving spirit.  He sees our inner self with perception that no one else has, because he knows the mindset of our human spirit, and he understands the mindset of his Father’s spirit as well.  Because of this, Jesus meets and talks with God on behalf and for the benefit and protection of the sanctified ones.

 

Jesus is our tutor under the terms of the new covenant.  Before Jesus was the Law with its ordinances and commands.  The Law could never make men complete, because it was weak and had no life in itself. 

 

The Law was valid, and had to be fulfilled because it was the very word of God.  The Law helped distinguish right from wrong, and the Law declared the penalties for sin and the rewards for righteousness.  However, the Law with its many ordinances could never take away sin, and it was inanimate.  The law was etched in tablets of stone, and therefore it could never bring life to the human spirit.

 

God sent His only begotten son Jesus into the world to accomplished what the Law was unable to do.  Jesus was the living embodiment of the Law.  Jesus lived his life fulfilling the righteous requirements of the Law by learning obedience from the things he suffered.

 

Galatians 3:24-4:7

 

24. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

26. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

27.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

 

GALATIANS CHAPTER 4

 

1.      Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

2.      but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

3.      Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

4.      But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

5.      to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

6.      And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"

7.      Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  (NKJ)

 

Notice in Galatians that it is JESUS who cries out, “Abba (MY) Father!”  When the life-giving spirit of Jesus corroborates with your testimony, his spirit intercedes for you before the Father.  He declares before his Father that you are a son of God.  Because you are united together with the morally blameless spirit of Jesus, he speaks collectively on your behalf saying, “MY Father.” 

 

 

SELAH…Pause and reflect

 

 

Continued in Part Two

 


Links to the Entire "Jesus is the Gift of the Holy Spirit” Series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Addendum (Quick Reference Guide)

 


 

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