- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers about the Holy Spirit
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 16:43
These two terms appear side by side: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Rom 8:9). The only way to consistently interpret this verse is to recognize that the Spirit of God indwells believers, and, apart from this indwelling, the individual is not a believer, does not belong to Christ. Therefore, these are two titles of the same Spirit. The expression, "the Spirit of Christ," occurs only one other time, ". . . the Spirit of Christ Which was in them did signify, when It testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (1Pe 1:11). Peter identifies the Spirit of Christ, Who inspired Old Testament prophets to write about Christ, as the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:21).
"The Spirit of God" emphasizes His deity and His role within the Godhead. The One Who dwells in the temple of God must be God, but Paul tells us it is the Spirit of God (1Co 3:16). He is God. The miracles of the Lord were evidence of "the finger of God" (Luke 11:20), the direct work of God. Matthew quotes the Lord as saying they were by the Spirit of God (Matt 12:28). Paul indicates the Spirit’s role within the Godhead when He writes, "even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1Co 2:11). He must be God, in order to know (understand, perceive) God’s thoughts and plans. He is the One Who reveals "the deep things of God" (v 10). On the other hand, the scene at Jordan demonstrates that He is distinguishable within the Godhead. The Father’s voice comes from heaven, addressing the Son on earth, Who is marked out by the Spirit of God’s visible descent on Him (Matt 3:16).
"The Spirit of Christ" emphasizes His relationship to Christ. He revealed Christ in His sufferings and coming glory to the OT prophets (1Pe 1:10-11) and reveals Christ now in believers, whose characteristic mark of ownership is "the Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9).
Two similar titles occur only once each. They are "the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Phi 1:19) and "the Spirit of Jesus" (Acts 16:7, JND).