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and by which it could become the regenerating leaven of the history of mankind."1 In accentuating the moral and religious elements in the Christian life, Paul does not make less of the Divine energy to which they are due. In saying that moral goodness is the best result of the Spirit's working, he holds as strongly as any that only the Spirit of God can produce that goodness. By referring the entire Christian life to the authorship of the Divine Spirit, he taught, in the most explicit way, that there entered into the very conception of Christianity a passion and energy of ethical life, an enthusiasm for God and for man, a power of holiness which was not in man himself and which the Divine Spirit in man alone could awaken and sustain. The fact that the ordinary graces of Christian character were ascribed by him to the Spirit of God, is of itself a testimony to the superhuman worth and Divine origin that were felt to belong to true and noble character in apostolic
2. Paul identified the Spirit of God, bestowed on believers under the Gospel, with the Spirit of Christ. Effects that are referred by him in some passages to the Divine Spirit, are in others attributed to Christ's Spirit, the two being evidently in his view one and the same power. There was an historical justification for this; for the Spirit of the historic Jesus, that was stamped on all He said and did, was recognised as the Spirit of God Himself. It was the holiness and graciousness and truth of the living God that were expressed in the acts and words of Jesus on earth. Accordingly, when, as Risen and Glorified, He entered on His perfected fellowship with God, the Spirit proceeding from Him, by which He continues to live and energise in the hearts of men, is in the most real sense the very Spirit of God; and the experiences of the life
1 Pfleiderer, Hibbert Lectures, p. 82,
of faith are referred both to the Spirit of Christ and to the Spirit of God. Here, too, we mark an advance on the primitive doctrine, for while it was the original belief that the Divine Spirit is given to men through Christ, it does not seem to have been held, till Paul taught it, that this Divine Gift is itself the Spirit of Christ, the active principle of His Personality. And we can understand the significance and value of the contribution the apostle thereby made to a true understanding of the Gift of the Spirit. As long as the connection in men's minds between the Person of Christ and the Gift of God's Spirit was loose and uncertain, manifestations of mere enthusiasm, originating in unsanctified human nature, might be declared to be the outcome of that Spirit which was the peculiar endowment of the Church. But by drawing close the bond between the Gift and the Person, and identifying the Spirit of God with the energy of the Personal life of Jesus, Paul furnished a test by which phenomena really due to the Divine Spirit might be discriminated from others that did not proceed from that source. For what comes from the Spirit of God must authenticate itself as such by its being in harmony with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit exhibited in the character and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth.
3. But Paul not only identifies the Spirit of God with that of Christ, he identifies both with the very Person of Christ. “The Lord is the Spirit,” l we read; and, again, “we are changed into the same image by the Lord, the Spirit.”2 The intention of the apostle in this passage is evidently to bring out the fact, that He whom Christians acknowledged to be the Lord was not such an one as the Jews, with their worldly ideas of the Messiah, believed in,-a Messiah distinguished by outward prerogatives, but one
12 Cor. iii. 17.
who was Spirit, ruling men by a Divine power at the centre of their lives. Being “in Christ” and “being in the Spirit” are the same thing; and in the thought of the apostle, “ Christ,” the “Spirit of Christ,” and “the Spirit of God” are practically synonymous. At the Resurrection Christ became a Life-giving Spirit to mankind, and by the heightening of the powers of His Personality that then took place, He was so made one with the very life of God as to be constituted a perfect medium through whom the Spirit of God could act upon us; and His Personal Influence and Working being, to the entire exclusion of every lower element, the influence and working of the Holy Spirit, He, Himself Personally, might be spoken of as the Lord, the Spirit.
Theologians of a certain school find, in this language regarding Christ, evidence that here again Paul was influenced by ideas derived from outside sources. They point us to the Apocryphal Book of Wisdom, a work which Paul seems to have been familiar with, where we find a striking passage in which Wisdom is identified with the Spirit of God, and is described as the author of operations which are likewise referred by the apostle to the latter source. His familiarity with such-like passages has led him, it is said, to identify the Exalted Christ (or Wisdom of God) with the All-present and Omnipotent Divine Spirit, and thereby to introduce a metaphysical
1 The passage referred to occurs in Book of Wisdom vii. 22-25: “There is a Spirit, quick of understanding, holy," etc. A very fair account of the traces in Paul's Epistles of his acquaintance with the Book of Wisdom will be found in E. Grafe's Essay on the subject in the vol. dedicated to Weizäcker, entitled, Theologische Abhandlungen. Grafe regards it as highly probable that Paul had read this Apocryphal Book, but holds that his dependence upon it is “formal rather than material.” “A man of life, with a keen eye for practical needs, Paul borrowed the good wherever it was to be found ; and he borrows from the Book of Wisdom a fulness of words, ideas and images, and applies them to express thoughts and convictions which he got from another source altogether.”
element into his idea of the Person of Christ; that element, it is added, is the real germ of the later ecclesiastical dogma that has resulted in so glaring an inconsistency between the Christology of the schools and the original picture of the historic Christ. Now the fallacy of this argument lies in the notion that Paul's doctrine of the Spirit was of the nature of a speculation akin to other teachings then current of a quasi-speculative sort; whereas nothing is more certain than that his whole conception of the Spirit was religious, and had its root in his experience of the fruits of the Spirit in his inner life. His idea of the work of the Spirit of God in man has scarcely anything in common with the speculations contained in the Book of Wisdom;? and in speaking of Christ as one with that Divine Spirit that was so operative in his personal life, he is not to be understood as setting up any theory of the Person of Christ. He is simply thinking of Him as the unique fountain of that energy of supernatural holiness and grace that was the deepest fact of his own experience. That intensely spiritual influence upon himself could only come from one who was the Personal Embodiment, as well as instrument, of the Spirit of God, and who, in consequence, might with truth be spoken of not only as having but as being the Spirit, “the Divine Spirit,” as Sabatier puts it, “in the form of human individuality.”3
The identification of Christ with the Spirit of God does not then warrant any dogmatic inferences bearing on the Person of our Lord; neither are we to attach any speculative significance to it. We are not to infer from it that Paul held that God's Spirit is restricted to the Person of Christ,—that the sphere of the influence of the former is defined by the limits within which the latter is known. The apostle has nothing to say on that subject, though we can scarcely doubt, I think, that he would have recognised the presence and operation of the Divine Spirit beyond the limits within which the historic Christ is known and believed in. It is a mistake to treat the occasional utterances of Paul on this subject as if they were intended to convey to us an exhaustive doctrine of the Spirit. What we learn from his utterances is, that, to the Christian consciousness, Christ and the Spirit of God are one and the same that the influence of the Personal Christ upon us is equivalent, as regards its moral and religious effects, to the energy of the Divine Spirit, and that it is only through our connection with His Person and our faith in Him that we experience that specific working of God's Spirit that was exemplified supremely in His life. And nothing could give us a deeper impression at once of the Personal pre - eminence of
i Weiss advocates this view in his Die Nachfolge Christi, p. 94.
2 On the Difference between Paul's Doctrine of the Spirit and that of the Book of Wisdom, see Note A.
3 “The doctrine of the Spirit in Judaism and in the Jewish Christian primitive Church undergoes a transformation by Paul in his doctrine of the Pneumatic Christ ; the thought of the o-κύριος-το-πνεύμα is the specifically Pauline consciousness of the Pneuma, and goes far beyond the representation of his age,” Deissmann, Die N.T. Formel in Christo Jesu, p. 90. Compare what P. W. Schmiedel says (Hand Commentar zum N. T., U. i. p. 192).
.1 When Paul speaks of the “Spirit of God," it is His operation under the Gospel that he has in view, that “enthusiasm,” with its manifold gifts and potencies, that followed faith in Christ.
? It is to be recognised, indeed, that Christ's Spirit, if we are to judge from the presence of Christ-like dispositions, is found in some who have no conscious connection with Christ Himself. He works even where He is not acknowledged ; but in such cases faith in Him cannot fail to follow as soon as He is seen in His real nature. Although His Spirit may be present where He is as yet unknown and unacknowledged, it is, as a rule, faith in Him, and in the revelation of Divine love conveyed in His Person, that is the channel of His gift to men. The attempt to separate the Spirit of God from Christ, to cultivate the higher life without faith in the historical Christ, results in failure. The Life of the Spirit cannot maintain itself unless it is fed from the fountains of spiritual passion that flow from the Person of Christ.