The Way to Pentecost
Chapter 11: The Spirit of Life
Truth and Life are the distinctive features of the Spirit emphasized in the Nicene Creed. He is said to be the Lord and Giver of Life . who spake by the Prophets. The Lord and Giver of Life! Our Lord said that He was the Life, and the Spirit is said to be the Spirit of Life, just as our Lord is the Truth and the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The Eternal Word, the Living Spirit, and the Tongue of Fire are a trinity in the Unity of the Revealed Word; and so it is with the Creation, Lordship, and Perfecting of Life. Our Life is in Christ. It is in Him, and from Him, and by Him, and to Him. "In Him was life." "For as the Father hath life in Himself, even so gave He to the Son to have life in Himself." He came that through Him men might have life, and have it abundantly. Life is the gift of God in Christ Jesus. The Divine Spirit is the Spirit of Life.
The Lord and Giver of LifeAll life is due to the direct action of the Spirit of God. He is its medium and its Lord. The phrase "Spirit of Life" is a comprehensive phrase indicating His relation to all life. By Him came the life of the world. Through all the seasons and millenniums, the earth has been renewed and replenished by the Eternal and Living Spirit of God. To Him the Bible attributes the whole life of man, From Him is every intellectual and artistic gift, every emotional and volitional capacity every gift of grace and love. The Spirit is associated with the whole man. Apart from Him men are dead. It is the coming of the Spirit that gives Life.
That He is the Spirit of Life cannot mean less than that He is the Life-giving Spirit. It cannot mean less than that in the Spirit of the Living God is the Source, Medium, and Agent of living energy, the expression of revealed truth, the secret of divine power, and every other quality and function of Life. The source and seat of all life is in and through Him, for all life is of the Spirit. The Spirit is the Giver of Life, and where the Spirit is not, there is no Life. Life has been defined by the scientists as the dynamical condition of an organism, but the definition confuses more than it makes plain. Life is in its essence of the Spirit, spiritual. It is more than a dynamic, separate from conditions, and distinct from its organism. Life is in itself spirit, and the true life is from the Spirit of Life. It is more than existence, for the Bible speaks of those who are dead while they live. Life has its seat in man's spiritual nature; in his self-conscious reason, his moral sense, and his capacity for the knowledge of and fellowship with God. Life is more than animal existence, just as death is more than physical dissolution. The Spirit of God quickens into life the spirit of man. The body of man is the temple of the Holy Ghost, but He does not dwell in the flesh. Spirit dwells in spirit. The Spirit of God dwell, in the spirit of man; and from that center of life and power He quickens, directs, controls, and sanctifies the whole man. He indwells sanctified men and women. He becomes the spirit of their spirit, the mind of their mind, the heart of their heart, the strength of their strength, and the life of their life.
The sphere of the Spirit is in the realm of life. He gives the Life that is in Christ, and in all things He works through the law of the Spirit of Life. He works and fashions the outward from the inward, and the material through the spiritual. He functions through Life.
The Spirit giveth Life, and the Spirit working through the Life strengthens, directs, and transforms. He reveals the Face of Christ, and transforms into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit All understanding of the Truth as Truth is in Jesus, is by the Lord and Giver of Life Who spake by the Prophets, and is given to guide believers into all the Truth. All Christlikeness of life and character is by the transforming power of Life through the Spirit of the Living God, the Lord and Giver of Life. That is why the work of God in the Church depends upon the Life of the Church. The City of the Living God comes through the Spirit of the Living God. That is why an ecclesiastical dignitary may know less about conversion than a Hallelujah lass of the Salvation Army! That is why spiritual power is so often in inverse ratio to scholastic accomplishments! It is not by might of carnal strength, nor in the power of organized authority, but by the Spirit of the Lord. Life is greater than all the resources of material power.
Life in the SpiritThe Holy Spirit is emphatically both Giver and Lord of the Life that is in Christ "His action covers the whole life from first to last He is the Spirit of Life for regeneration (John 3:5, 8); the Spirit of Sonship for adoption (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6); the Spirit of Holiness for sanctification (Rom. 8:5); the Spirit of Glory for transfiguration (11 Cor. 3:18; I Peter 4:14); and the Spirit of Promise for resurrection (Eph. 1:13; 4:30)." The Believer is born of the Spirit, he believes in the Spirit, prays in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit. From first to last he is sphered in the Presence of the Spirit, and the Spirit dwells in him; just as in his natural life he lives in the air, and the air dwells in him.
Delivered from the flesh, he lives in the Spirit And what is the life in the Spirit? It is a life lived in the realm of the spiritual. It is a life in which there is no condemnation. Guilt is purged, sin is cleansed away, carnality is destroyed. There is not only an imputed righteousness by grace, but a realized righteousness through faith. The things that bring condemnation have been put away, and life stands approved and accepted in the will of God. Instead of condemnation there is the assurance of Sonship and Heirship in Christ Jesus. The Life of Prayer finds a new intelligence, intensity, and power. The Spirit prays in the praying heart, and prayer in the Spirit prevails. Conquest takes the place of defeat, and the Spirit-filled life prevails in conflict as it prevails in prayer. Consequently there comes to the heart a deep sense of security in the love of God, and a Christlike compassion for the souls of the lost. The Spirit of Christ brings the mind of Christ, and baptizes us into the fellowship of His redeeming love. This is the abundant life Christ came to bring -- the life filled with His Spirit.
The Law of the Spirit of LifeThe Spirit is the Ruler, as well as the Giver of Life. Rule means law, and there is a law of the Spirit of Life. There is no escape from law. There is a law of the flesh, a law of the mind, a law of sin, and a law of death. There is no escape from law in the life that is unregenerate. Neither is there any escape for those who live in the Spirit. It is another law, but it is still law. There is a law of faith, a law of grace, a law of truth, a law of life, and a law of the Spirit.
Continue to Chapter 12: The Spirit of Truth