The Holy Spirit: I Get Emails

I get emails –

Brother Guin, in your book, The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace, page 23, you state that Jesus told his apostles that he would send “him” not an “it” in John 14:17.  However when the Greek text is examined it is observed that the pronouns are neuter not masculine.  So the translation would not be “him.”

Also you make the statement that the advocate would be “with you forever,” indicating that the advocate would be with all Christians forever, according to your interpretation.  Should this be accurate, Christians today should be able to have the same help as they did. Please clear this up for me. Of course, it all depends on what assumptions are held with regard to the Holy Spirit.  Thanks so much.

[Lightly edited for grammar.] Let’s take the questions one at a time.

Is the Spirit “it” or “him”?

Let’s check out some translations of John 14:17 –

ESV John 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

KJV John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

NAS John 14:17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.

NET John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.

NIV John 14:17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

The translators are remarkably consistent in translating “him” rather than “it.”

What does the Greek say? Well, the translation notes at the Net Bible (a great resource, by the way, and easily found for free on the Internet) speak of the pronouns as “he.”

However, if you look at the actual Greek, it’s true that the pronouns for the Spirit in John 14:17 are neuter, but this does not indicate the gender of the Spirit. The word “Spirit” in Greek is neuter (there is no masculine or feminine version available), and therefore Greek grammar demands a neuter pronoun. But this has nothing to do with the gender of the Spirit.

As ably discussed at the Catholic Exchange,

Sometimes people will make arguments from scripture that the Holy Spirit should be addressed as “she” based on the fact that some of the descriptions of the Holy Spirit are grammatically feminine in the original Biblical languages. This argument however carries very little weight. Any expert in languages will tell you that grammatical gender has no direct correlation to masculinity or femininity of the thing that the word represents. For instance, the Hebrew word for army is tsavah which is feminine — though the ancient armies were comprised entirely of men. Moreover the Hebrew word for spirit, ruach is feminine but the New Testament Greek equivalent pneuma is neuter. Jesus’ description of the spirit as “paraclete” uses the Greek word parakletos which means advocate or lawyer; this word is masculine. Even if one insists on connecting grammatical gender to personal gender, the evidence simply does not support any conclusion about the “gender” of the Holy Spirit.

There is however scriptural support for identifying the Holy Spirit as “he” based not on the gender of nouns which are fixed by the norms of the language, but rather based on pronouns which vary according to the gender of the noun represented. In at least one case in John 16:13 the demonstrative pronoun referring to the spirit is “he” rather than “she” or “it,” despite the fact that pneuma the referent word in Greek for “spirit” is neuter. This suggests a deliberate choice on the part of the inspired author to use a masculine pronoun to refer to the Holy Spirit. Thus Christians ought not to refer to the Holy Spirit as “she” since this is neither the way the Bible reveals the Spirit nor is it the way the Church speaks of Him.

I have vastly better access to Greek resources than I had when I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace. I’d have done better to cite John 16:13 for the point I made (which I took from notes taken in Harvey Floyd’s class on the Holy Spirit taught at David Lipscomb many long years ago).

But the point of the argument is not the gender of the Spirit but to point out that the Spirit is a person. The Scriptures make this point in many ways, but most plainly by referring to the Spirit with terms that refer to a person.

For example, in John, Jesus calls the Spirit a paraclētos — an advocate or helper. It’s a Greek word for a person who helps another person. The Spirit not only helps, the Spirit can be “grieved” (Eph 4:30; Isa 63:10). In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of blaspheming the Spirit, but one blasphemes a deity. You can’t really blaspheme an impersonal force.

In Gen 6:3, the Spirit is said to “strive” with man. In 2 Sam 23:2, the Spirit is said to “speak.” In Rom 8:16, the Spirit “bears witness.” In Rom 8:26, the Spirit “helps.” In 8:27, the Spirit “intercedes.” In 1 Cor 2:13, the Spirit teaches. 1 Cor 3:16, the Spirit “dwells.” And on and on and on it goes.

The Scriptures repeatedly and plainly refer to the Spirit as a person who does the things a person does. This fact governs, not the grammatical fact that pneuma is a neuter word in Greek or that ruach is a feminine word in Hebrew.

Therefore, every single translation I can lay my hands on translates the pronouns referring to the Spirit in John 14:17 as “he.”

Will the Spirit be with us “forever”?

Well, yes. The text plainly says so.

(John 14:16-17 ESV) 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

The counter-argument made by the writer is –

Should this be accurate, Christians today should be able to have the same help as they did.

Really? Why? The promise is that the Spirit will be with God’s people forever, not that the Spirit will do exactly the same thing for everyone at every time at every place. Indeed, if we take in the wider context of what the Bible says about the Spirit, we see that the core work of the Spirit is not inspiration, tongues, or prophecy, but writing God’s laws on our hearts
– which he very much still does.

Consider –

(Heb 8:8-10 ESV)  8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,  9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.  10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The author of Hebrews is quoting Jeremiah 31, who prophesied a “new covenant.” Jesus spoke of the “new covenant” when he instituted the Lord’s Supper. And the new covenant promises God’s direct operation on our hearts to write his laws there.

Just so, Ezekiel prophesied,

(Eze 36:27 ESV) And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

The parallel is obvious. There is much more that could be said (and that I’ve covered here many times before). The point is that the new covenant is tied to the work of the Spirit in our hearts to transform us to be an obedient people. (Understand this, and Romans 8 becomes much clearer.)

This is the thought behind such passages as –

(Rom 2:28-29 ESV) 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.  29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

(2Co 3:18 ESV)  18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

(Phi 2:13 ESV) 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

The promise — going all the way back to Deuteronomy 30:6 — is that when the Kingdom comes, God will directly transform our hearts, and he revealed in Ezekiel, Joel, and other prophets that this would be by the Spirit.

The New Testament writers had faith to believe it. And they repeated God’s promises that the outpoured Spirit would be with God’s people forever. After all, it’s not as though we no longer need the help.

Avatar of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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73 Responses to The Holy Spirit: I Get Emails

  1. Jerry says:

    In all this we must remember that we can resist the Spirit and frustrate His work in us. The work of the Spirit in us is not irresistible and inevitable.

  2. Helpful post. Thanks for all the research, Jay. I appreciate your work.

  3. Sorry, Jay, but the title cracked me up. “The Holy Spirit: I Get Emails” I get regular input from the Holy Spirit as well, but never directly to my Gmail account. I am somewhat envious.

  4. From Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit in the discourse recorded in John 14-16, we can take three things, at least. One is His work as the revelator of Christ, another is the “forever” -and thus ongoing- nature of this work, and third is His leading role, rather than a mere passive informative role, in our lives. I will agree with Jay that the description given does not require the Holy Spirit to do things in exactly the same way in all places and times as we see Him doing in Acts. However, I also do not see how a reasonable reading of Jesus’ explanation can be boiled down to the idea that the vast majority of the work of the Holy Spirit was accomplished when the Council of Hippo signed off on the canon. The Bible is revelation, not Revelator. A book can never take the place of its living author.

  5. laymond says:

    NIV – Mat 22:30 – At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

    What does this mean Jay. will we as spirits be gender neutral, is Paul right when he said we will be raised a spiritual body, — What is it that determines the gender of a person, if not the body?

  6. hank says:

    Jay, isn’t it at least possible that when Jesus said that the HS would be “with you forever”, he meant that he would be with the ones he was talking to when he said it? Clearly, when talking to the apostles, some of the things he told them were for them alone, and other things were for them and all others after. But, in Jn 14, when talking about the HS, it seems to me that his promise was to and for the apostles, and not for all believers even today. Remember, he also promised that’s he (the HS), would teach them “all things” and bring to their remembrance all of the things Jesus had said to them when he was with them.

    Jn 14 seems special, specific, and limited.

  7. hank says:

    Too, the Holy Spirit sure hasn’t brought to my remembrance all of the things that Jesus said to the apostles…

  8. John says:

    When I was a young preacher nearly 35 years ago I changed from holding to the “word only” position to literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I knew all the scriptures dealing with the indwelling. But, believe or not, it was the defense of the “word only” position by its champions that made me realize how ridiculous it was.

    However, over the years I have ceased to believe, like many who hold to a literal indwelling, that the Godhead is three distinct beings, with the Son seated at the right side of literal throne of the Father, while the Spirit is off at work within creation.

    God is ONE, manifested and revealed, as described in scripture, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To the human heart it is the love of parent, child and guide. At different times in my day God, the ONE God, who indwells his own, is revealed in these three ways; my parent, teacher and protector; my sibling, my example; and my guide who still speaks, in a gentle whisper, the comfortable and uncomfortable truth.

  9. Hank, is John 14:3 also limited to the apostles? If those “many rooms” in the Father’s house are just for the Twelve, it seems it would be the size of a large bed-and-breakfast….

    Oh, and ten thousand preachers owe the bereaved about a million apologies for using verse 3 in all those funeral sermons.

  10. hank says:

    Charles, I believe that the “many rooms” would apply to all of the faithful. Remember, I did not say that EVERYTHING said to the apostles in Jn 14 applied only to them, I said that SOME things did. In fact, this is what I wrote — “Clearly, when talking to the apostles, some of the things he told them were for them alone, and other things were for them and all others after.”

    Now, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that when Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would teach them “all things” and bring to their remembrance everything Jesus said when he was with them applies to you?

    In another situation, Jesus told them to “take no thought” in how to answer their persecutors because the Holy Spirit would speak through them in that hour without them taking any thought on their own. Do you believe that that applies to you as well?

    Finally, do you believe that everything Jesus promised to and for the apostles has been equally promised to and for you today? Because, I do not.

    But some things have. Like the “many rooms”…

  11. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    Consider how John uses “forever” — aionios

    (Joh 12:34 ESV) So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”

    (Joh 8:35-36 ESV) 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    (Joh 6:58 ESV) 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

    (Joh 6:51 ESV) 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

    (Joh 4:14 ESV) 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

    It hard to imagine a Greek reader getting to John 14:16 and concluding the “forever” refers to anything other than forever as applied to all who will be in God’s kingdom. The word literally means “for the ages” — aion means “age”. In each of these cases, the word refers not only to “forever” but to the forever that will be enjoyed by God’s children or by God’s Messiah. It’s never used of just the apostles.

    More importantly, the over-arching narrative of the Spirit from Deuteronomy to the NT is that Spirit will not be a one-generation gift (contrary to much teaching). For example –

    (Act 2:39 ESV) 39 “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

    Clearly, this refers to more than one generation, and “children” is used as a metaphor for descendants, as was a common Jewish idiom. Surely, Peter wasn’t saying that their grandchildren could not receive the Spirit!

    (Isa 44:3 ESV) 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

    Isaiah’s use of “descendants,” of course, explains Peter’s meaning beyond reasonable doubt.

    Jesus may well have borrowed “forever” from –

    (Isa 32:14-17 ESV) 14 For the palace is forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks; 15 until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. 16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. 17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

    You see, the “word only” theory — which is nearly Deistic — assumes a modern worldview that demands that God not be active in a way that violates the laws of science — as though somehow God should be subject to the laws by which he governs nature. It’s okay to let God act miraculously safely in the distant past, but the modern, scientific mind rebels at the idea of God working on the human heart today. No, it must all be scientific cause and effect.

    It’s a strange theory for a supposedly religious people. Why on earth would we defend the truth of the Virgin Birth and First Century miracles to the death, and then insist that God not be allowed to act like God today? Did the birth of Newton and Darwin sent God and his Spirit into hiding! Do we really believe those who insist that everything that happens today is purely natural cause and effect — and deny that God is active in this world today?

    Or, frankly, for some it reveals a lack of faith — a refusal to count on prayer in preference to self, a fear that God might say no. It just seems to be a means of keeping God at bay — as merely a purveyor of post-death salvation but having nothing to say about life in this world other than moralisms. Yes, God commands us to be good and do right, but he doesn’t actually descend to earth to help us. We’re on our own!

    What a sad, joyless worldview! My God lives and is active and empowering and transforming. And my God loves me so much that he’s come to dwell within me to help me and advocate for me — through his Spirit — because that’s how very important it is that I make to the end to be with God forever and ever.

  12. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Laymond,

    Are you arguing against the resurrection? It’s not a doctrine invented by Paul. If you are a truly serious student of the Scriptures, I refer you to The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3) for the most thoroughly researched book on the topic of the bodily resurrection.

  13. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Charles,

    Pretty sure this particular email didn’t come from On High. But every once in a while, I’m sure the Spirit does move someone to send me a note. It’s amazing how, when I’m the most discouraged, the most ready to give up, I receive an email of encouragement from a perfect stranger. It’s happened enough times now that I’m no longer surprised. I just thank both the kind reader and He who moves among us as a Helper.

  14. hank says:

    Jay, you write, ” Yes, God commands us to be good and do right, but he doesn’t actually descend to earth to help us. We’re on our own!

    What a sad, joyless worldview!”

    Assuming you believe the Spirit indwelling all of God’s children to be a new thing starting at Pentecost, do you believe that prior to that day, Gods children were stuck with a “sad, joyless worldview”? Since according to your words, they were “on their own”? Do you believe Gods children were all on their own before Pentecost?

    As far as the “forever”, we know it could be also understood to mean “forever” with them. Like if I give my son a gift for him to have forever (his entire life).

    But, assuming your assumptions are correct, and that the forever extends also to you today, do you believe that’s the HS teaches you “all things” Ans also brings to your remembrance every thing Jesus said to his apostles? After all, that seems to be the point in the HS being with them in the first place. To, inspire them and to speak through them without them ever even needing to take thought about what to say themselves.

  15. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    You wrote,

    “Clearly, when talking to the apostles, some of the things he told them were for them alone, and other things were for them and all others after.”

    I agree. I know of no one who disagrees. Why do you argue to the contrary?

    Was the Jewish worldview pre-Pentecost sad and joyless? Well, think about it this way. The Jews prayed for centuries for the coming of the Spirit as promised by the prophets. They yearned for the Spirit because the gift of prophecy had left them about the time of the closing of the Old Testament. Worse yet, God had not filled the temple of Nehemiah with his Shekihah (glory) as he had the tabernacle and temple of Solomon.

    Before then, of course, God himself had dwelled among the Jews in the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple. He empowered prophets to speak his word. He was vitally and actively present among his people.

    But one penalty the Jews paid for the sins that led to the Exile was God’s departure from Jerusalem and the Temple — vividly portrayed by Ezekiel.

    (Eze 9:3 ESV) 3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist.

    (Eze 10:4-5 ESV) 4 And the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD. 5 And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.

    (Eze 10:19 ESV) 19 And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the LORD, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.

    (Eze 11:22-23 ESV) 22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. 23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city.

    Ezekiel pictures God’s glory leaving the Holy of Holies by the east gate of the city, lingering over a mountain east of the city (the Mount of Olives!).

    God’s presence left — and only returned in its fullness when Jesus returned by the very same path that the Glory followed in leaving!

    Ezekiel later writes,

    (Eze 43:1-5 ESV) Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4 As the glory of the LORD entered the temple by the gate facing east, 5 the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple.

    He prophesies that after the Exile, the Glory of the Lord will return by the same path followed by Jesus. (The Transfiguration, of course, revealed the Glory of Jesus. It’s no coincidence.)

    But in the prophecy, the “glory of the Lord filled the temple.” It returned to stay. When did this happen? Well, it happened at Pentecost and it happens today, because today each congregation and each Christian is the Temple of God — filled with the Glory of the Lord!

    Really? Yes –

    (Rom 8:18 ESV) 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

    (2Co 3:18 ESV) 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

    (1Pe 4:14 ESV) 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

    And so Ezekiel is true. God’s glory returned to the Temple — in the form of Jesus — and then the Temple was replaced with Jesus and his body, the church. Jesus, as the place of God’s special presence, the place of worship, and the place of sacrifice — became the true temple, and the church — as the body of Christ on earth — became the temple on earth — filled with the Spirit of Glory.

    God’s glory therefore dwells in the temple today — the church — and if God does not live in the church, then God does not live in his temple, and Ezekiel got it wrong.

    There is unspeakable beauty in how this fits together — in the tapestry woven by these threads.

    And so the Jews mourned the loss of the Glory and the Spirit for centuries, anxiously awaiting God’s return. They prayed earnestly and desparately for the end of the Exile and the coming of the Kingdom — for the outpouring of the Spirit and the return of God’s glory.

    And today we have these things! The prayers were answered.

    (Luk 11:13 ESV) 13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    And yet many among us insist that we’ve been denied these blessings — indeed, don’t even need them. If only the word-only proponents understood God’s promises, rather than debating they’d be on their knees, repeating the prayers of Lamentations, desperately seeking the return of God’s Spirit of Glory.

    (Lam 2:7-9 ESV) 7 The Lord has scorned his altar, disowned his sanctuary; he has delivered into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they raised a clamor in the house of the LORD as on the day of festival. 8 The LORD determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion; he stretched out the measuring line; he did not restrain his hand from destroying; he caused rampart and wall to lament; they languished together. 9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; he has ruined and broken her bars; her king and princes are among the nations; the law is no more, and her prophets find no vision from the LORD.

    (Lam 2:10-13 ESV) 10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground in silence; they have thrown dust on their heads and put on sackcloth; the young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground. 11 My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out to the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because infants and babies faint in the streets of the city. 12 They cry to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like a wounded man in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out on their mothers’ bosom. 13 What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is vast as the sea; who can heal you?

    That is how you should feel if the Spirit were truly departed from among you.

  16. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    All,

    I should add to the scriptures that refer to the Spirit as a person — making “he” a better translation than “it” — I have to add the famous Trinitarian passages where the speaker parallels God, Jesus, and Spirit. For example –

    (Mat 28:19 ESV) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    In the Hebrew idiom, it’s hard to imagine how Jesus is referring to the Spirit other than as a person.

    (2Co 13:14 ESV) 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

    Again, how does one have fellowship with a book or impersonal force — especially in a construction that parallels “Holy Spirit” with Jesus and God?

    There are many more such examples.

  17. hank says:

    In Jn 14, Jesus not only told the apostles thar the Holy Spirit would be with them forever, he also told them the purpose of the HS being with them. Namely, he (the HS) would be with them in order to teach them all things and to bring to their remembrance everything Jesus had said to them throughout his ministry.

    My question remains as follows: If the same promise of the HS being with the apostles is equally first ur today, why is not the reason? Why does not the promise of him teaching and reminding all things equally apply?

  18. Hank, how does God answer all of those prayers for preachers to have “ready recollection” of the things they have studied of the things Jesus related to His disciples? Did it ever occur to you that this just might be the work of the Holy Spirit?

    How does the “fruit of the Spirit” come to be ours? Is the Spirit active in that? Or is He more like fertilizer the preacher spreads around every Sunday?

    Few argue for new revelation – but many believe in new application of God’s Word to our own specific situations. If you think that it’s up to you to know how to apply all God has said to every situation, I truly feel sorry for you.

  19. hank says:

    Jerry asks – ” How does the “fruit of the Spirit” come to be ours? Is the Spirit active in that? Or is He more like fertilizer the preacher spreads around every Sunday?”

    I would say the fruit of the Spirit becomes ours today in the same way it became the the children’s of God throughout the OT. See the blessed and fruitful man of Psa. 1.
    Do you believe that the children of God were expected to produce such fruits before the day of Pentecost ever came. Like, love, joy and peace? If so, how?

    You guys make it seem as though before the day of Pentecost that all of the faithful were on their own and unable to love God and their neighbors as much as we are now. I disagree.

    But you don’t need to feel any more sorry for me than you feel for Adam and Eve back in the day. Because you don’t believe they have the same help and ability to serve and live God as you di either, right? Don’t you believe you have extra hookup with the HS that was not available to them and every other soul until Pentecost?

    And if you answer and explain why the promise of the HS in Jn 14 made to the apostles applies equally to us — but not the purpose (to teach them all things and rimind them of everything Jesus said to them), you will be the first.

  20. laymond says:

    Jay, I don’t question the resurrection of the saints, but just as Paul said, I do question the idea that the body we bury, will be the body raised.. The spirit will be raised to a new body, a spiritual body. Just as Paul said Jesus was in 1Cr 15:45 .

    1Cr 15:35 ¶ But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
    1Cr 15:36 [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
    1Cr 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]:
    1Cr 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
    1Cr 15:39 All flesh [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds.
    1Cr 15:40 [There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another.
    1Cr 15:41 [There is] one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for [one] star differeth from [another] star in glory.
    1Cr 15:42 So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
    1Cr 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
    1Cr 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
    1Cr 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.

  21. hank says:

    Jerry (and whoever else),

    Do you believe the commands to love God with all ones heart and to live ones neighbor as thyself was given to all of Gods children who lived before Pentecost and who were not indwelt with the HS like you are?

    Were they able to do that as much as you are?

    Were they expected to and able to produce the same fruit of the Spirit as you are?

    If so, then how? Thanks

  22. laymond says:

    Jay, actually all I was doing was commenting on your statement that the HG was a gender based person. Your theory has a spirit with genitals, if there is no marrying in heaven why be equippted to have marital relations.
    1Cr 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
    1Cr 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    1Cr 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

  23. laymond says:

    Jay when the day comes, don’t be to disappointed if you only see one person at the head of the table.

  24. Hank, the answers to your questions to me are yes, yes, and yes. Do you have anything else upon which to base your seemingly random variable-audience interpretation of Jesus’ discourse in John 14… I mean besides, “I don’t think so”? If a fellow hears an interpretation of scripture and says he just doesn’t believe it, I can accept that as being true enough, but not as having any meaning beyond said unbelief.

  25. Jay, no doubt that the Holy Spirit takes the opportunity to speak to us in any number of ways– including email. I was kidding… OF COURSE I am on His distribution list. If I can believe God would speak via jackass or my electronic posts (please, no comments on the similarities), I can certainly believe He shows up on Facebook. Of course, this does leave us with the deep theological question: “Would Jesus Yahoo?” ;)

  26. Laymond– as to the nature of the body to which we are resurrected, the only detailed description we have of a resurrected man is that of Jesus. Here we find Jesus’ body to be physical -he told Thomas to “stick your hand in my side”- but not limited by the physical. That is, while he walked to Emmaus, he apparently didn’t walk back. A friend suggests: “He walked through the wall, ate some fish, walked back through the wall, and the fish went with him.” I would not pretend to make doctrine out of this, but everything else I hear on the subject seems to be mere conjecture.

  27. hank says:

    Charles, like me, you seem to be agreeing with the idea that:

    1. God commanded and expected the pre Pentecost children of God to live him with all of their hearts and to love their neighbors as themselves.

    2. They (the faithful prior to Pentecost) were just as capable of do so as we are today.

    3. Those same ones were equally capable of producing the same fruit(s) of the Spirit as we are today.

    What I want to know is this–

    If the children of God prior to Pentecost were just as able to love and obey God and produce the fruit of the Spirit as we are today, then what does the Holy Spirit do to help us (via his post Pentecost indwelling), that he did not do for the saints of old?

    IOW, if we have “special help” enabling us to love and obey God “more fully” (as has been argued here) being this side of Pentecost that the OT saints did not have, then how could it be said that the OT saints were “just as able” to live and obey God as we are? Does that make sense?

    People here argue all the time that without the personal indwelling of the HS (which began at Pentecost), the faithful of God would be joyless and sad and “on their own”. But, is that a good description of the faithful prior to Pentecost? And if they were justvas able to love and obey Gos and produce the fruit of the Spirit then as we are now…. what is it that God (the HS) does for us that was not available to the OT saint

  28. Hank, one has to wonder why God would choose to have the Holy Spirit indwell us if the old way was better.. If the O.T. saints were successful at living right then there would be no need for Jesus. I think the point is clearly made that they were not capable…Nor are we..even with the H.S. which according to Romans 8 is a clear indication that we either do or do not belong to Him.. We are instructed through our spirits. Whether or not we pay attention seems not much different than the Israelites but nonetheless we have a much better way.. Jesus Himself said it was good that He would depart so that He could send us the H.S. I assume He knew what he was talking about…

  29. hank says:

    Price,

    I have never said that the “old way” was better. All I am saying is that God wouldn’t have commanded his children to love him with all of their heart and to love their neighbors as themselves without out them being actually able to do it. People here make it seem as though God expected (commanded) his children to produce fruit but because of their inability to do so…he sent the HS to cause them to do what they could not already do.

    Just remember:

    1. If the OT saints do not have what we have (the personal indwelling of the HS)

    And

    2. The personal indwelling of the HS is what enables us to be fully faithful

    Then…

    3. The OT saints were not able to be fully faithful (since they lived prior to Pentecost).

    Basically, if we need and/or require the “personal indwelling” of the HS to fully please God….and if the the OT saints did not have said “personal indwelling”…. then, the OT saints were not capable if “fully pleasing” God.

    Again, how were the OT saints able to love God and their neighbors and to produce the fruit of the Spirit before the day of Pentecost?

    Were they just as able to do so as we are now?

  30. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    Plainly, the Jews who lived pre-Pentecost, with few exceptions, were unable to produce fruit of the Spirit because they did not possess the Spirit. Could they love as they should? Could they be as holy as they should? Well, they were exiled for a reason — and the Exile was not over until Pentecost.

    This is point missed by many, because a minority of the Jews returned to Judea under Ezra and Nehemiah, rebuilt the temple and the city walls, etc. But most Jews lived outside of the Judea in the First Century, and they were fervently praying for the coming Kingdom. You see, the prophets promised the Messiah and Kingdom and the outpouring of the Spirit at the end of the Exile – and therefore in the Jewish mind, the Exile did not fully end with Ezra. They were still hoping and praying.

    God sent John the Baptist to urge repentance, to prepare the way for the Messiah — and the plea for repentance included a promise of the coming Spirit. Again, hardly a coincidence — the prophets had promised the Spirit to arrive with the Messiah and the Kingdom — and the end of the Exile.

    So why were the Jews living in Exile? Why were they exiled in the first place? Why did God send the Messiah, his Kingdom, and pour out his Spirit? Why establish a “new covenant” as promised by Jeremiah in Jer 31? Why finally — FINALLY! — honor his promise in Deut 30:6 to circumcise the hearts of his people?

    Obviously, there was something missing in Judaism, there was something needed, something to fulfill.

    Let’s please not pretend that Christianity is no better than Judaism! And if it’s better — as the book of Hebrews teaches over and over — then that which preceded Christianity was inferior.

    Therefore, I see no reason to be embarrassed by the idea that the outpouring of the Spirit received by the Kingdom is superior in many ways to the limited, partial, even sporadic possession of the Spirit held by the Jews before then. of the scriptural narrative. And I really don’t understand what motivates such teaching.

  31. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Laymond,

    As Charles points out, Jesus is said to be the “firstfruits” of the resurrection.

    (1Co 15:20 ESV) 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

    (1Co 15:23 ESV) 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    (Col 1:18 ESV) 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

    (Act 26:23 ESV) 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
    (1Co 15:23 ESV) 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    The fact that our resurrection is like Christ’s is implicit in –

    (1Co 15:12 ESV) 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

    If his is not like ours, then his resurrection hardly proves that we’ll also be raised!

    (1Co 15:49 ESV) 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

    And our bodies will be like his.

    Confusing to many (and understandably so) is –

    (1Co 15:44-46 ESV) 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.

    “Spiritual” sounds to American ears like “made out of Spirit.” But if you check out the Greek adjective in context, you find that it means “animated by the Spirit.”

    NT Wright explains (http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_SCP_MindSpiritSoulBody.htm) –

    On the contrary: every time psychikos is used, it denotes something that is ‘merely human’ as opposed to pneumatikos, ‘animated by spirit’, normally referring to the Holy Spirit. In 2.14 it is emphatic: the psychikos person doesn’t receive the things of God’s spirit; they are foolishness to such a person, and cannot be known, because they are spiritually (pneumatikos) discerned. …

    For Paul, as for all Jews, Christians and indeed pagans until the rise of the Gnostics in the second century, the word ‘resurrection’ was about bodies. When pagans rejected ‘resurrection’, that’s what they were rejecting. Paul’s language here, using Greek adjectives ending in –ikos, is not about the substance of which the body is composed, but about the driving force that animates it. It’s the difference between, on the one hand, a ship made of steel or timber, and a ship powered by sail or steam. For Paul, the psyche is the breath of life, the vital spark, the thing that animates the body in the present life. The pneuma is the thing that animates the resurrection body. This is where the link is made: the pneuma is already given to the believer as the arrabon, the down payment, of what is to come, since the Spirit who raised the Messiah from the dead will give life to the mortal bodies of those who belong to the Messiah (Romans 8.9-11). In Paul’s discussion, the psyche is simply the life-force of ordinary mortals in the present world, emphatically not a substance which, as a second and non-material element of the person, will then carry that person’s existence forward through the intermediate state and on to resurrection itself. On the contrary: the psychikos body is mortal and corruptible. The new, immortal self will be the resurrection body animated by God’s pneuma, the true Temple of the living God (or rather, one particular outpost, or as it were franchise, of that Temple).

    You can confirm the conclusion (as I’ve done here before) by digging all such uses of the adjective in the NT. Wright’s explanation holds up to close scrutiny.

  32. hank says:

    Jay,

    Do you believe that after Pentecost, the children of God became MORE capable of loving and obeying God (and producing the fruit of the Spirit) than the children of God were able to do prior to Pentecost?

    Even though God commanded them (the OT saints) to love him with all of their heart and to love their neighbors as themselves….do you believe that they were not actually ABLE to do so?

    Think about it….

    Whatever you believe that the HS enables us to do (via his alleged “personal indwelling”), the saints of old did not have. Isnt that fair? If we have special hookup after Pentecost that the children of God did not have before Pentecost, what are we empowered to do that they could not do?

    What is the difference? Do you really believe that after the day of Pentecost, the children of God began receiving special help in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit that was not available to the saints of old?

    Do you really believe that God commanded them to love with all of their hearts but because of their flaws, decided to indwell them personally in order to do what they were not able to do on their own?

    Do you believe that if Adam and Eve had said “personal indwelling”, that they would have been able to resist the tempatation of the devil?

  33. BeABerean says:

    Hank said: In Jn 14, Jesus not only told the apostles thar the Holy Spirit would be with them forever, he also told them the purpose of the HS being with them. Namely, he (the HS) would be with them in order to teach them all things and to bring to their remembrance everything Jesus had said to them throughout his ministry. My question remains as follows: If the same promise of the HS being with the apostles is equally first ur today, why is not the reason? Why does not the promise of him teaching and reminding all things equally apply?

    Did not Paul have to remind Peter about the truth of the gospel?

    Galatians 2:11-16 “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

  34. laymond says:

    (1Co 15:44-46 ESV) 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.

    Jay’s version of what Paul said. “Spiritual” sounds to American ears like “made out of Spirit.” But if you check out the Greek adjective in context, you find that it means “animated by the Spirit.”

    Jay, say I forgo any common sense at all and say you are right, the spirital body simply means “animated” , or re-animated. What is your description of “A natural body” ? a dead lifeless body?
    No !!! context applies here as in any part of the scriptures. Paul says “a flesh and blood body cannot enter the realm of God, and that even applies to Jesus Christ.

    1Cr 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

  35. Hank, you seem to be arguing for some sort of change in the fundamental spiritual state of the believers on the day of Pentecost. I find nothing in scripture to suggest this. We have record that the Eleven, at least, received the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost was a particular empowering of the believers. (BTW, this was not the first time we see such an empowering. Previously, it was at the hand of Jesus himself to his disciples. Prior to that, see Judges 15:14. The Pentecost empowerment by God was not a unique event.) I am not quite sure how one reads the NT record of empowered believers, and Paul’s statements in the vein of “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”, and comes to the conclusion that the believer is NOT empowered by God to do what God has called him to do. The idea that the disciple of Jesus is left to his own moral fiber and personal rectitude to accomplish this process of transformation into the likeness of Christ– well, the incredible self-esteem this requires is quite beyond my ken. It also is a 180 degree turn from how we are saved.

    It reminds me of the mechanic who is under a car when it falls on him. His co-worker rushes over, shoves a jack under the car and raises it. While the jack is raising the car, the mechanic is desperately pushing up as hard as he can. As soon as the car clears his chest, and while it is still on the jack, the mechanic waves off his co-worker, saying, “I don’t need you, I’ve got it now.”

  36. hank says:

    Charles,

    Actually, I agree with most of what you just said there. I DO believe in divine help. I believe God answers prayer, that Christ lives in us, and the the Holy Spirit strengthens us. I believe all of that.

    What I deny, is the idea that the Old Testament Children if God did not have the same help. I believe that’s God commanded them to love and obey God just as much as he has commanded us to di the same. I believe that they were expected to produce just as much of the Spirit’s fruit as we are are now.

    What Jay (amd most others here) are arguing is that BEFORE the day of Pentecost, the average child if God simply was not able to love and obey God, nor produce the Spirit’s fruit. Even though Psa. 1 and a hundred other passages say that they could and were commanded to.

    Jay flat out says that the OT saints COULD NOT produce such fruit. Here Jay — ” Plainly, the Jews who lived pre-Pentecost, with few exceptions, were unable to produce fruit of the Spirit because they did not possess the Spirit.”

    He is the one who says that the day of Pentecost was the beginning of the era wherein God’s children were finally capable of doing what he had commanded all along.

    He has argued that prior to Pentecost, Gods children were UNABLE to “fully” love and obey God like we do today. From Adam and Eve, on…

    I say that the OT were just as able to love and obey God then as were are now. And the Bible plainly records God commanding them to do so.

  37. hank says:

    Berean,

    Jesus promised that the HS would teach them all things and bring to there remembrance everything Jesus told them when he was with them.

    He did not say that the HS would prevent them from ever acting contrary to the truth. He never said that they would no longer sin.

    There is a big difference between those things.

  38. laymond says:

    I am checking every day to see where Jay has given his description of the “natural body” to which Paul was comparing the “spiritual body” .

  39. Neal Roe says:

    It is such an encouragement that the Law can be fulfilled in me by the Holy Spirit, that connects me with the awesome passages about the love for God’s law written in the Psalms and the Prophets. It connects me with Jesus in that he did not come destroy but fulfill the Law. The Spirit putting to death the misdeeds of the body, is that a part of the process? Most critically I can now teach my children that they can by faith have God’s Spirit poured out in them. Thank you all for your openly breaking this down in peace.

  40. HistoryGuy says:

    Hank,
    I know that you were responding to Jay’s specific comment about the Spirit’s role before Pentecost and will let you all finish that. However, I hope that everyone realizes that there are many reasons far beyond obedience or fruit that the Spirit has come to reside within his people in this New Covenant age.

    I pray everyone is doing well,
    HG

  41. laymond says:

    Inform us History Guy, please.

  42. hank says:

    History Guy wrote — “However, I hope that everyone realizes that there are many reasons far beyond obedience or fruit that the Spirit has come to reside within his people in this New Covenant age.”

    HG, are you suggesting that before the Holy Spirit came “to reside within his people in this New Covenant age”, he came at least, in part, to pruduce obedience and fruit?

    If so, do you believe that before “he came”, the children of Hod were able to produce fruit and obedience apart from his “residing in them”? If so, then what was the difference?

    If not, then why did God command them to love and obey with ALL of their heart and mind?

  43. HistoryGuy says:

    Hank and Laymond,
    After re-reading all the posts, I could expand on several points, but your questions have already been answered. I’ll share my position and I’m happy to explain if you want. 1st my point was to stress the Spirits coming is about more than the two things you keep focusing on. I think I’ve been clear on that. Regarding your questions to me…

    Yes, the Spirit came to produce obedience and fruit, but you seem to misunderstand what this means. I’m not comfortable with how you phrased the second question because it creates a false dichotomy.

    There is fruit we can produce by coming in contact with the Spirits work, but there is fruit the Spirit himself produces. We should not merge the two and we should also see the Spirit at work in the OT even if limited, specific, and intermittent. The work, however, is greater in the NT.

    The problem is man, not God. God saving believers isn’t fair since every human deserves hell. Why did God choose believers instead of unbelievers or universalism? The bible is full of progressive revelation, the angels longed to know what God was doing, Jesus came at the appointed time, and the Spirit came at his appointed time ad well. The answer to your question, “what is the difference?”, is found in my statement that the Spirits work and coming have to do with more than obedience and fruit in the new age.

    I think you read obey perfectly when you read obey, which only Jesus can do. Furthermore, the is a puppet master; He does not make us robots and thus can be resisted. I’m happy to explain my thoughts if you want me to. Let me know.

  44. hank says:

    HG, you wrote “I’m happy to explain my thoughts if you want me to. Let me know.”

    That would be great, please explain them.

    Especially if you could explain what you meant in the paragraph where you wrote the following –

    “There is fruit we can produce by coming in contact with the Spirits work, but there is fruit the Spirit himself produces. We should not merge the two and we should also see the Spirit at work in the OT even if limited, specific, and intermittent. The work, however, is greater in the NT.”

    1. What did you mean by “fruit we can produce by coming in contact with the Spirit’s work”?

    2. What is the fruit that “the Spirit himself produces”?

    3. What is the difference and were the OT saints who did not have the Spirit “residing in them” (like you believe he resides in us today) able to produce the same fruit and to the same extent as we are? What can we produce that was not possible for them?

    Thanks

  45. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    HistoryGuy,

    It’s good to have you back commenting. How are you doing?

  46. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Neal,

    Exactly. Thanks.

  47. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Laymond,

    Sorry for being away from the comments the last few days. Had computer problems. Comcast crashed. Virus. Cascading problems. But I think it’s all behind me.

    The “spiritual” body in 1 Cor 15 is the body empowered by the Spirit, which is a body like the resurrected body of Jesus. The Gospel writers are remarkably frank and factual. Jesus walked through locked doors. He could be unrecognizable at will. And yet he cooked fish and ate and drank with his disciples.

    The writers make no effort to explain how this works and exactly what it’s like, and that’s nothing but honesty. After all, how can we explain an existence that transcends the Creation? How do we begin to understand a physics not built on this universe’s rules?

    The early church insisted on a bodily resurrection, in contrast to the Greek idea of an eternity in Hades as “shades,” mere shadows or wisps, with barely any existence or consciousness at all. The Greeks argued for an afterlife in which people’s eternal “souls” survived forever, but with no bodily existence and thus no joy or pleasure (except for a few highly righteous). It was sad philosophy indeed.

    The Jews and Christians, however, rejected the Platonic separation of body from soul, seeing humans as a united whole, with both body and soul being redeemed and, ultimately, amazingly transformed.

    So, yes, it’s a bodily resurrection, but not merely the survival of our flesh. God gives a new body, empowered by the Spirit, that’s designed to live and thrive in the new heavens and earth. It’s a body, but transformed by the Spirit into something beyond and better than what we experience here.

    The “natural” body is psuchikos – literally, empowered by the breath — but used by the Greeks (and Paul) to refer to anything associated with the natural world in contrast to the spiritual.

    However, to a Greek, a “natural body” is a redundancy, as they saw the body as necessarily natural, and a “spiritual body” would have been a contradiction in terms, as “body” was the very opposite of “spiritual.” They were Platonic thinkers, and Paul refuses to adopt their worldview, insisting on the Jewish, biblical view that God makes both body and soul, neither is inately eternal, and for his children, God gives immmortality to both — but in a transformed, radically changed way that is ultimately inexpressible.

    We will be like the resurrected Jesus –

    (1Co 15:48-49 ESV) 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

    (1Co 15:40-43 ESV) 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 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. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

  48. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    You’ve conceded that some of what Jesus said in John 13 – 17 about the Spirit is specific to the apostles and some is generally applicable to Christians. Most readers reach the same conclusion. Therefore, the next inquiry is how to tell the difference, a question I’ve not seen you address. We have to have some standard beyond sheer subjectivism.

    I would propose at least two –

    First, John’s Gospel says quite a lot about the Spirit. We can certainly rely on what is said in the rest of John for guidance.

    Second, the Old Testament says even more about the Spirit, and we should rely on that for guidance as well. Indeed, it’s reasonable to conclude that Jesus (a Jew) and John (a Jew) wrote against exactly that background and so saw no more need to repeat that information than to re-tell the story of Exodus when Jesus alluded to it.

    However, most Christians are fairly familiar with the Exodus but not with the Old Testament’s extensive teachings on the Spirit and the work expected of the Spirit in the Kingdom age. Therefore, we miss much of what is being said.

    Now, for our present purposes, it’s not necessary to suss out every possible detail. Rather, the question is whether John 14:16 is referring specifically to the apostolic gift of the Spirit or to gift of the Spirit himself, received by all Christians in –

    (Joh 14:16 ESV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

    Well, both apostles and non-apostolic Christians receive the same Spirit. “Spirit” does not mean “super-powers.” It refers to a person, a member of the Godhead. Therefore, it’s entirely the same Spirit. Apostles received certain gifts that not every Christian has. But it’s the same Spirit.

    Therefore, the answer is clear that Jesus is speaking of the coming of the Spirit, not the apostolic gift.

    Moreover, the promise that the Spirit would be with the disciples “forever” is not a natural fit for the apostles, who would die soon enough. It’s an odd way to say “as long as you live.”

    However, the Kingdom is very specifically an eternal kingdom, and the Spirit would ertainly fill the Kingdom as long as it lasts. That’s very consistent with the Old Testament witness and NT thought.

    (Isa 60:21 ESV) Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever [aionos], the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.

    (Isa 59:21 ESV) And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.” [aiona]

    In fact, you see, Isaiah is clear that the Spirit given at the founding of the Kingdom will remain “forevermore,” which in the Greek, parallels John 14:16. And we should not be surprised to find Jesus referencing Isaiah.

    As previously pointed out, we know from Isa 44:3 that the outpouring of the Spirit promised for the Kingdom would not just be a one-generation gift. Acts 2:39 is to the same effect. Therefore, the other promises that speak of the Spirit being given on into the future are promises speaking to all God’s children, not just a few designated leaders. Hence, “forever” would be naturally understood by a reader of John 14:16 as applying beyond the apostolic generation.

    Indeed, even if the text were never written, that would be the understanding from Isaiah and Acts.

    And, of course, there are countless other promises regarding the Spirit that refer to the Spirit being received by all Christians or by all under the new covenant. For example, Rom 8 becomes nonsense if only the First Century Christians have the Spirit — and Romans 8 caps Paul’s arguments going all the way back to chapter 1 and extending to the end of the book.

  49. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    The idea that the New Covenant would be better than the Old Covenant is pretty plain in Scripture. Indeed, the idea that this would result in greater (not perfect) obedience is explicit.

    (Jer 31:31-34 ESV) 31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    This passage is quoted in full in Hebrews 8 and applied to Christians, as evidence of the superiority of the new covenant to the old. Paul alludes to these promises throughout Romans. Jesus refers to the Lord’s Supper as the institution of the “new covenant.” This is fundamental.

    Also fundamental is the fact that we humans sin, and yet we’re accountable for our sins because we don’t have to sin. And so God gives us his Spirit to help us overcome Satan.

    And even yet, we still sin, but the Spirit does more than provide moral strength. He’s a down payment on the resurrection body (empowered by the Spirit, you see!). He creates a personal and corporate relationship with God akin to that enjoyed by Israel in the wilderness, with God dwelling in their midst and guiding them day to day — except it’s now more intensely personal and more intensely corporate. It’s of like kind but much, much better.

    Is it fair that God gives us better gifts than he gave Israel? Well, no. We don’t deserve any of it. But neither did Israel. We both receive far more than we deserve. And yet Israel was the most blessed among all nations, and received a special measure of grace that they ultimately rejected through idolatry.

  50. hank says:

    Jay,

    I am familiar with all of the passages, both OT and New, that speak of God’s promises regarding his Spirit. I also am aware of and believe all of the passages that speak of the Spirit of God being in us. I believe the Spirit if God is in us to the extent, and in the same way that Christ himself dwells in us.

    What I am denying, is the teaching that the “gift of the Holy Spirit” means that, beginning on Pentecost, the HS himself would personally “reside” within every new believer IN ORDER TO ENABLE said believers to love and obey God with all of their hearts in a way that was NOT POSSIBLE for the children of God prior to Pentecost.

    Jay, you have clearly stated that the OT children of God were unable to produce the Spirit’s fruit. You argue consistently here that the children of God AFTER Pentecost were enabled to love and obey God in ways and at levels never attainable for our OT brethren.

    But, if they were in fact unable to love and obey God with ALL of the hearts….then why did God command them all along to di just that.

    Think about Adam and Eve. Were they able to produce the Spirit’s fruit? Could they love and obey God as much as you and I can today? Remember, they did not have “the gift of the HS” (as you understand it).

    Now, the New Covenant is far supurior to the Old in a myriad of ways, which could be for another discussion. But, it does not have to mean that it is better because today the HS is gonna cause us to love and obey God more fully and in was and at levels impossible for the OT saints.

  51. hank says:

    Also, in Jer. 31, when God said that he would put his laws with their hearts, I don’t believe that means that the HS would come inside them (us) and directly move us NT believers to love and obey him in ways unavailable to the OT saints.

    In the very next verse, we read “And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

    Again, he surely did not mean that before the New Covenant, that he was NOT their God, nor that they were NOT his people.

    Rather, he was their God and they were his people back then too. In the same way, they COULD HAVE had his law within their hearts had they chosen to obey him then.

    Jeremiah didn’t mean that they were ALL without Gods law in their hearts anymore than he meant that ALL of the NT saints faithfully obey him now…

  52. laymond says:

    Jay it seemes to me your last comment is more in line with what Paul said, and what I believe than what I understood your previous statement to say. I understood you to say this earthly body would be raised, just as Jesus earthly body was raised, no where does the bible say that is so, Jesus’ earthly body was raised wounds and all to show the power of God. to reinforce Jesus preachings. No the bible does not place such importance upon this body. The bible deals with the eternal spirit, unlike Jesus we will be raised spiritualy with a “new body” which means by necessity it will not be the same body that died and was corrupted. It will be a newely created body a new body chosen for us by God “the creator”
    1Cr 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.
    yes Jesus was the first to be rised to never die again, not the first to be raised from death. to prove the powers of God
    1Cr 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
    1Cr 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
    1Cr 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
    1Cr 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
    1Cr 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

  53. HistoryGuy says:

    Hank and Laymond,
    The primary difference between the Spirit in the OT & NT is that the Holy Spirit [the 3rd person of the Trinity] was active among his people in the OT, but this activity was limited to certain people in the saved community (as opposed to everyone) and intermittent (as opposed to constantly dwelling among each of them). The NT sheds light on the Spirit’s work in the OT, and we know that in many ways the Spirits role in the lives of Christians is greater. Indeed, the Spirit dwells with all of Gods people in the NT age. When I say “greater,” I am not saying the Spirit was not active in the OT, and then became active in the NT. Rather, I am saying that in the New Age, after the glorification of Jesus (John 7:37-39), the Spirit is doing a (1) greater work and (2) in every Christian. People of the New Covenant have promises that people of the Old did not have, which is why the new is better, and affects obedience and fruit.

    Every person of God in the NT receives the justifying, regenerating, sanctifying, indwelling, sealing, conscience cleansing , comforting, prayer assisting, gift giving, service equipping, and fruit producing (to name a few) works of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, we worship God (Php. 3:3), have out thirsty soul quenched, see Christ’s glory, and are seating in heavenly places and enter the throne room of the father without fear. These are the Spirit’s work. OT saints did not have such blessings from the Spirit (Yes, they were saved and forgiven). The Spirits work in the NT seems to focus on regeneration and sanctification of everyone in the community brought through indirect (Scripture) and direct (personal empowerment) operation. Don’t shy away from personal operation since most of us believe the Spirit is personally operating on everyone who is baptized.

    I would not describe the Spirit as bringing about obedience by making mankind robots. Instead, his greater work influences us to press on to maturity and obey. The Spirit of grace showers us with grace which teaches us to obey (Zech 12:10; Heb. 10:29; Titus 2:12), much like God’s love draws us to repentance (Romans 2:4). The OT people had manifestations of God that the pagans did not, Moses had a manifestation of God the rest of the Israelites did not, and we have the Spirit dwelling in us doing a greater work than in the Israelites, even if we cannot see him by sight. The Spirit helps us in ways the OT saints were not helped.

    Yet the Holy Spirit can be resisted and grieved (Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:30). While all humanity is expected to obey God, nobody can obey perfectly, even Christians with the indwelling Spirit (1 John 1:6-10). I don’t want to deviate too much, but in several posts you have raised the question “does God command something man cannot do.” No, but we also have to qualify that statement and understand various contexts. God commanded Abraham to do something and then prevented him from doing it (Gen 22:2 ,12); commanded us to keep the law though no man is ABLE, other than Jesus (Romans 8:7); and even commanded sacrifices in the OT that he did not desire (Hebrews 10:8). We also know, however, that God has always called mankind to obey perfectly and that is the standard. We affirm this standard, while acknowledging our disobedience and seeking salvation in Jesus because he is the perfect one who fulfils Gods perfect standard. Even when God calls every human to faith in Jesus through the Gospel – expecting all to obey and enabling them to obey through the Spirit’s previant grace – those who reject the gospel and disobey do not have a problem of ability, but rather an issue of will. The problem is mankind, not God or his command.

    Your question about loving God with all your heart is a bit out of place in the question about the Spirit and obedience and fairness, because one who is hearing the command to believe in and love God has already been drawn and preached to by the Spirit, which is an assisting act of grace amidst spiritual war, especially since the lost are blinded to the gospel by Satan’s deception (2 Cor. 4:4).

    Those in the OT and NT are charged to obey. In the NT the Spirit is given to those who obey. Some obedience comes before the reception of the indwelling Spirit (Acts 5:32), though the Spirit has been drawing that person to faith before dwelling in them. Still, as I said, the indwelling Spirit enables us and influences in a greater way than those in the OT who were gernelaly acted upon externally, instead of internally (Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Cor. 5:17). Saints in the NT age are a New Creature (regenerated) in the Kingdom that has come. We are seated in the heavenly realm, who look back knowing how all this worked out which is a huge blessing and advantage. We are blessed so richly as members of the New Covenant, even when it comes to God helping us to obey and producing fruit in us through the Spirit.

    Concerning the Fruit of the Spirit, you do not have to have the indwelling Holy Spirit to have the Spirit’s fruit in your life. I want to stress that the fruit is the Spirits work which he produced/produces through various efforts in both the OT and NT (prophecy, leadership, Scripture, direct operation, etc). Some had the fruit of the Spirit in the OT, but only ones who were temporarily dwelt in by the Spirit. Others in the OT displayed the fruit because they were around the Spirits work (creation, conscience, Scripture, prophets, etc). The same is true for today. Pagans and unimmersed Christians today can display or mimic the fruit of the Spirit, though they don’t have the indwelling Spirit. This is acutally expected given creation and that God has shown the world what love is! In the OT, many of the laws that separated Israel from the nations existed to sanctify them and help them in a life devoted to God and fulfill God’s purposes. However, Christians (the NT age) are commanded to go into all the world – in all settings – knowing they are sanctified, sealed, and saved by the indwelling Spirit, who is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

    Dr. Jack Cottrell writes better than I do regarding the Fruit of the Spirit and the fruit we produce after contacting the Spirits work. The links I am including come from his book “Power from on High” which I own and highly recommend (though I affirm a form of total depravity and he does not).

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/jack-cottrell/how-can-an-unimmersed-person-display-the-fruit-of-the-spirit/10150699280525617?comment_id=21678205

    http://ko-kr.facebook.com/notes/jack-cottrell/can-a-person-display-the-fruit-of-the-spirit-without-the-indwelling-of-the-spiri/253837085616

    I pray this post has been helpful and clearer than my posts in the past.

  54. HistoryGuy says:

    Jay,
    I am blessed and managing everything through God’s grace. I continue to read the forum, but have not had the time to comment. I thought I would post something quick, but it turns out I am going to have a conversation :) I look forward to saying hello to you one day soon.

  55. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    (Phi 3:20-21 ESV) 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

  56. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    There’s this fundamental paradox that we are capable of being sinless and yet none of us has managed to be actually be sinless — except Jesus.

    This is necessarily true, otherwise we could not be accountable for our sins.

    The Israelites were commanded to have circumcised hearts. They were accountable for the command.

    (Deu 10:16 ESV) 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.

    They failed.

    (Jer 4:4 ESV) 4 “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.”

    (Jer 9:26 ESV) 26 “Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

    God gives us the Spirit so that we’ll have circumcised hearts — not because it’s entirely impossible without Spirit but because we in fact don’t achieve that end without God’s special, personal help.

    (Deu 30:6 ESV) 6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

    (Rom 2:28-1 ESV) 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

  57. hank says:

    Jay, you say that the Israelites were commanded to circumcise their hearts but that “they failed”.

    To argue that EVERY JEW was uncircumcised in heart because it was just too difficult without the direct help and assistance of the Holy Spirit which was not available prior to Pentecost is a mistake. No doubt, there were plenty of faithful, fruit producing Jews all long.

    Remember, Paul even wrote that there were an untold number of GENTILES who WERE circumcised inwardly. He said whoever was faithful to Gods law was consider circumcised inwardly. The Gentiles did nit have what you believe to be the “personal indwelling” and yet even they were quite capable of being circumcized in heart throughout the OT. The Bible is clear on that.

    The argument that Gods OT children were not able to priduce fruit, obey God fully, and/or be circumcized in heart before Penntecost and what you consider to be the “gift of the HS”, is wrong.

    The truth is… plenty did.

  58. hank says:

    Jay, the Romans passage you reference actually works against you. Think about it, you argue that the HS was given at Penetost to all new believers IN ORDER TO enable them to love and obey in ways and at levels not attained by the faithful prior to Pentecost. That said “gift” would do FOR them what they could not (or perhaps would not) do prior to Pentecost. Namely, be circumcised in heart.

    But, the passage you cite in Romans 2 was NOT talking about NT Gentiles, but rather the Gentiles BEFORE Pentecost. There can be NO denying of that fact. And yet, regarding them (the OT, pre-Pentecost Gentiles) Paul said that the ones who were faithful to their law were infact “circumcized in heart” (inwardly).

    The fact that this circumcision was going on throughout the OT and before Pentecost proves that it was not something to BEGIN being available stating AT Pentecost.

    So, you have but to options here:

    1. Admit that God’s faithful cchildren (even Gentiles) could be and were circumcised in heart before Pentecost and the “gift of the HS” as you understand it.

    Or

    2. Argue that the OT children of God (even Gentiles) were already all recipients of the “gift of the HS” (as you understand it) all throughout the OT leading up to Pentecost.

    Because, the circumcision you reference in Rom 2 is undoubtedly talking about the time before Pentecost. And all men could easily be so circumcised if and when they freely chose to obey God.

  59. hank says:

    Jay, you wrote that “God gives us the Spirit so that we will have circumcized hearts..
    Because we in fact don’t achieve that end without God’s special, personal help.” To you, this means the Holy Spirit as a gift inwhich he would personally indwell all new believers, starting at Pentecost, whereby he would offer “special help” (which was unavailable prior to Pentecost), whereby God’s children would be able to be circumcised in heart going forward.

    You make it seem as though the HS came to do something for the faithful that was not able to be done before. Paul seems to say otherwise:

    Romans 2:26-29 KJV

    Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Again, speaking of OT Gentiles (when they were a law unto themselves, written on their hearts, etc) Paul said they were in fact considered “circumcised in heart ” as they obeyed their law.

    Just how did they do that without the “special and divine help” which you believe was unavailable before Pentecost?

  60. laymond says:

    Hank, the people who believe as Jay and many others do (just have faith, and let the HG work his miracle) have lowered the entry bar into the kingdom,so low that no one will be denied, but that does away with what Jesus taught.
    Mat 7:14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    The word “works” is taboo in today’s church world.

    Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    Jhn 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

    When were the commandments given, Old Testament or New ?
    Jhn 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    It is easy to forget who Jesus was speaking of, and for.

    Jhn 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.
    Jhn 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
    Jhn 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
    Jhn 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

  61. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Laymond wrote,

    Hank, the people who believe as Jay and many others do (just have faith, and let the HG work his miracle) have lowered the entry bar into the kingdom,so low that no one will be denied …

    Is that true? Literally, honest-to-God true? Do I really teach a gospel where “no one will be denied”?

  62. laymond says:

    Jay, only you can answer the question you posed in reading your posts it seems you say all you have to do is recieve the holy ghost which is freely given, and ask and you will recieve. Keep in mind you cannot be denied unless you ask., you cannot be denied something you don’t want. Jesus said many would come before him, and be turned away and he gave as the reason the works they did or didn’t do,. not because the holy ghost guided them wrongly. “Ask and you shall recieve” who among us would not ask to be saved if we were endwelled with a “person” called “The Holy Ghost” who’s sole purpose was to guide us to God. something is dreadfully wrong with a teaching that states we recieve the same guiding spirit the apostles were given when Jesus asked
    the father to send to them a comforter, when we say yes we have that “person” within us , but yet we are in danger of “Hell Fire” , or no matter what we do we are saved. Does this “Holy Ghost” enter a person when he vows to be a Christian, then later say I’m getting the heck out of here this guy is going to hell., just how does this work unless all who come before Jesus to request salvation are accepted never to be rejected. I really don’t know what you teach, it simply don’t make since.
    If a person sent by God, whose purpose was to guide all Christians to heaven, by giving them the right answer to everything, or all things, how do they fail.? why would they be denied.?

  63. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Laymond,

    You wrote,

    Hank, the people who believe as Jay and many others do (just have faith, and let the HG work his miracle) have lowered the entry bar into the kingdom,so low that no one will be denied, but that does away with what Jesus taught.

    I asked you whether this is in fact true. You responded,

    Jay, only you can answer the question you posed in reading your posts it seems you say all you have to do is recieve the holy ghost which is freely given, and ask and you will recieve.

    You really can’t have it both ways. You can’t make the accusation — and then deny knowing whether your accusation is true.

    Is it in fact true that I’ve lowered the bar into the kingdom so low that no one will be denied?

  64. laymond says:

    It seems to me anyway that you are bound and determined to insist that the “holy spirit” is a person within a godhead, instead of realizing that God is the Holy Spirit of which the bible speaks. God is a Spirit just as Jesus describes him, a spirit with many attributes one of which is the “spirit of truth” “The Comforter” knowledgeable truth.

    Let’s take the proof you offered in your post that the (HG) is a stand alone person.

    “For example, in John, Jesus calls the Spirit a paraclētos — an advocate or helper. It’s a Greek word for a person who helps another person. The Spirit not only helps, the Spirit can be “grieved” (Eph 4:30; Isa 63:10). In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of blaspheming the Spirit, but one blasphemes a deity. You can’t really blaspheme an impersonal force.”

    “In Gen 6:3, the Spirit is said to “strive” with man. In 2 Sam 23:2, the Spirit is said to “speak.” In Rom 8:16, the Spirit “bears witness.” In Rom 8:26, the Spirit “helps.” In 8:27, the Spirit “intercedes.” In 1 Cor 2:13, the Spirit teaches. 1 Cor 3:16, the Spirit “dwells.” And on and on and on it goes.”

    Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    Isa 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them.

    Let’s examine your two first examples of the HG being a stand alone being.Two phrases one in each example prove exactly the opposite of what you claim. Eph 4:30— holy Spirit of God—Isa 63:10 —his holy Spirit—both phrases say this HG of which you speak is a possession of God, not a stand alone person.
    Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
    The phrase –my spirit– also shows possession of a thing. Not that only but this plainly states that “the spirit” will not strive with man always. yet you claim it will.

    one more by Paul– Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    I do believe Paul refers to the spirit as “it”.

    Jay in my opinion you are teaching we should depend on getting our instructions from an inner person (who does not exist) instead of from the word of God which does exist in written form. if that doesn’t lower the bar, what does?

  65. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Laymond,

    Do I lower the bar compared to some others? Sure. Do others lower it even more? Sure. But that’s not the question. The question is whether you spoke truth when you said that I “lowered the entry bar into the kingdom,so low that no one will be denied.”

    Is that truth? Was it fair to me?

  66. Larry Cheek says:

    Laymond,

    As I read your posts about the Spirit, it seems to me that you believe that you can live out God’s will perfectly by your obedience to the written Word and you need no assistance from the promised Spirit. Therefore, I am not convinced that you acknowledge that God gave his gift the Spirit to you. Although you seem to represent that this Comforter or Helper is just the written Word. If this was true wouldn’t that mean that you would not have to study the written Word, because God had placed it into you as the comforter/Helper. Which will groan and intercede for you as you pray, is that the Word that you are obeying?
    That could also help me to account for your comments about tying the Spirit that God is sending to his Son’s disciples of the promised New Covenant, to be fully available and active to the Old Testament or Old Covenant era. Dnighing God’s own messages that it was only promised for the future, if it was present at the time of his promise, surely you can see the problem.

  67. laymond says:

    Jay, I am not saying you teach universalism, what I am saying is that those who teach co existance of two persons in one (Christian) body, where one has influence over the other one can become dependent on that “person” that God has placed there for the specific reason of saving that dependant person,.teaches that person to become dependant on another being. Take a lifeguard for instance, what is it they tell you when they first arrive on the scene, “don’t struggle, let me do the work” at first you struggle but then out of fear of dieing you submit. you quit trying to save yourself and depend totaly on the lifeguard., I believe that if Jesus was saying “don’t worry I am sending you a saveior (the HG), or Jesus said don’t worry I will save you he would stand by his word. Jesus did not say any such thing. Jesus said I have come to show you the way, and tell you what you must do to follow in my footsteps, in the end we all will come before a judge, a judge that we must convince we have seen the way and we are doing our very best to live in that way. As Jesus said no one will come before God except through me.Jesus is the gate to heaven, and we must convince that “Gate” by the life we live that we deserve His acceptance. The life we live must be the life Jesus Christ laid out for us. Jesus did not die on the cross to wash away all the sins of those who simply believe he is the Christ. Jesus said trust in me, have faith in what I tell you because it comes straight from the Father. The Church has adopted a slogan “Jesus saves” Jesus does not save, Jesus judges, he judges your life here on earth and either accepts it or denies it acording to how it compares to the instructions he gave on how we must live if we wish to see God.. Read the book of Matthew. is that just a story to scare us straight, or is that a map and a direction to follow. It is like getting an education, you can have the best teacher in the world, but you have to want what they are giving as much as they want to give it to you. and sometime that is just not the case. Yes the bar has been lowered greatly since the time of Jesus Christ. And it seems to be touching the ground now.

    As for being fair to you, do you believe that what you have been saying here on this forum, if followed, will earn a place beside Jesus Christ, if not is what you say fair to your readers?

  68. laymond says:

    Jhn 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    Larry I have never said or even hinted that the bible was the comforter that Jesus promised. Jesus said he would be that comforter in spirit just as he was in body. Who did he promise this to ? his apostles he was leaving behind to carry on his work, I don’t know who came up with the idea to leave behind a written account of the three years of Jesus work here on earth, but I am glad they did. I suspect that Jesus had a little to do with it.
    As I read what you have written, you seem to say one can only be perfect in God’s plan by having a person live in your body that daily guides you into perfection. Larry, I just don’t buy the idea that you are perfect, as God is perfect, that seem to me what you are saying. I do however believe that God would only live within a vessel that contained perfect beings. Jesus Christ was not perfect while living in a human body, but Jesus was perfect in obediance to God, he overcame the imperfect body to do so. The apostles certianly were not perfect either in body or spirit, but Jesus said they would be in heaven with him, do you believe he wasn’t telling the truth, sure he was. you don’t have to be perfect to please Jesus Christ. Jesus said pray to the Father and ask in my name and you shall recieve. If this were the only time that Jesus told people to pray, it could rightly be said only the apostles were told to pray, but as we both know that is not the only time prayer is mentioned. but the only time “the comforter” is mentioned is when he was speaking directly to his apostles.

  69. Laymond, I think you owe Jay an answer to his repeated question in a form as direct and unequivocal as the accusation which occasioned it. You made your “lowering the bar” assertion briefly and succinctly and quite understandably. How is it that your current responses are so much more elaborate and elliptical? Seems to me you find yourself with two paths: a. “No, I misspoke. I don’t really believe that.” Or b. “Yes, that’s exactly what I think, and here is why.” Instead, you hedge your answer with generalities and then try to change the subject by implying that you are the one being treated unfairly. Time to step up and own your own statements, my brother.

    We can talk about your complete re-write of the gospel after that, if you like. I have to say I was a bit taken aback at your rejection of Jesus as Savior and your replacing him entirely with Judge Jesus. I would LOVE to walk through that biblically, once you have answered Jay. Thanks.

  70. Larry Cheek says:

    I agree with Charles, about the concept of Jesus purpose for coming to the earth. Jesus could have easily stayed in Heaven and performed the judging of the obedience or disobedience according to the written law of Moses, as Laymond indicates that we are still subject to. If I remember correctly he seems to state that portions of the Old Covenant are still binding on us today. For sure he promotes that grace will not allow any of us to commit any sin and be not held accountable for it as he claims Jesus judges. Does Jesus really judge us?
    (John 12:47 KJV) And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
    (John 12:48 KJV) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
    I’ve always understood that his purpose was to be a messiah or savior that came to offer an alternate to believers, so they can be exempted from the judgement that they truly deserved. For all have fallen into sin. Jesus told Pilate.
    (John 18:37 KJV) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
    So how is the truth important?
    (John 8:32 KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    Free from what?
    (John 8:34 KJV) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 KJV) And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 KJV) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
    Free from what? SIN, and if free from sin what is to be judged? I would believe that only those left to be judged are those who do not believe truth, and who judges them;The Word, The New Covenant.

  71. laymond says:

    Larry, and Charles first off we need to know that Jesus was born here on earth, yes the son of Mary and the Spirit of God.In my understanding he bacame the Christ at baptism, when he recieved the spirits of God- Yes Jesus Christ is the saveior in the way he was intended to be, by bringing the Gospel to the masses, the word of God. It seems to me John tells us when exactly this happened.
    Jhn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    ( if the one who became the word in flesh, is the only begotten of the Father, and Jesus Christ is the ONLY begotten of the Father, it is pretty plain to me who became the word in the flesh.)

    Jhn 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
    (if we are to be judged by the word of God, and Jesus became the word of God, I don’t see how he will get out of being the “judge”.

    Jhn 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

    If Jesus became the word in flesh, and we will be judged not by God but by the Son, who became the word, who will be your Judge?

    I don’t feel I need to give anyone of you an explanation any more than I have given– If you read what Jay said he admitted he had lowered the bar, I don’t believe anyone has that right, except God. You cannot lower the “entry bar” to one who is not seeking entry. I have nothing else to explain.

  72. Larry Cheek says:

    Laymond,
    You continue to accuse Jay of lowering the bar “entry bar”. But, I cannot find in any of your communications just exactly where you consider that bar to be. Where is it positioned in your opinion or better yet, you surely should be able to explain where God has placed it if you can verify where Jay lowered it from. Do you truly believe that you have met that bar, as you call it? Does that mean that you expect to be in the number of those that enter into the heavenly rest, that is prepared by Christ for the faithful? Is it because of your ability to meet the described bar that you hopefully will describe for us, that you will be insured of the promise to the faithful?
    With these questions answered I believe all of us will have a better understanding of the message that you are trying to convey about the discrepancy that you see.

    If you notice the verse that you have quoted, you may see a different story about judging.
    Jhn 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
    It is important to realize that the Word here is in past tense, it has already been spoken and written, it (was) spoken by Jesus who is described as the Word, until it was spoken it was unknown. While it was being spoken and after it was spoken it was to be received, that covers a pastime and the present. If it is rejected it is the judge that will determine the future of the rejector. Jesus is the author of the Word but the Word is the judge. Similarly governments author laws and judges administer the judgments to those that do not obey (receive the law to obedience).

    A picture painted in Revelation displays that Christ is the defender, of those that have believed and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, before the Judge at the Great White Throne.

    I just have not been able to confirm the application that you portray.

  73. laymond says:

    I guess Jhn 5:22 was put in just as a filler .

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