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Embed code for: Foundations-Spirit at birth
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A chronological Bible Study at the Roosevelt
Thursday evenings at 6:00pm in the Community Room, with Elder Norman Sweet
Question: Did Jesus have the Holy Ghost at Birth?
This question, like the question, could Jesus have committed sin, is evidence of the difficulty we experience in trying to comprehend the deeper, more profound things of God. The thing to do when presented with a question like this is to first qualify the question.
The glaring problem with the question becomes obvious when you begin to apply the five W’s and an H. (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW)
Who: Jesus is a person, a Spirit person but a person none the less. He is God the Son, He is God the Word. As God the Word, he is the will of God made known to man, (Genesis 1:3... God said) he is before all things and he is above all things, by him all things are held together, yet he is not a thing.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Notice, at no time is the Word called Jesus, yet we know that Jesus and the Word are the same. They are the same but only one is a man and only one is God. The Word inhabits a body prepared for his use, that body is correctly referred to as Jesus, the Christ.
Hebrews 10:4-7 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (5) Therefore when He comes into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. (7) Then I said, Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God."
Who: The Holy Ghost is a person, a Spirit person as well and no less God than the Son. He is God the Spirit, he is the power of God and he operates in harmony with the word of God. In the creation he is listed before the Son, and is pictured waiting for the command from the Father, through the Son.
Genesis 1:2…And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.
The word translated there as “moved” is sometimes defined as hovered or brooded, indicating the process of creation is incomplete. The Heaven was first put in order while the earth was still composed of raw material, without form and empty. The term, earth, is not to be understood as the planet Earth but represents all that has form and substance, the Cosmos, the created order. The Spirit of God is not a thing, he is a person.
What: Since Jesus is not a What and the Holy Ghost is not a What, they are both Whos. who are they? They along with the Father is God, the three are one, they constitute the Trinity. They are shown together in the first three verses of scripture because and unless we receive those first three verses as truth, the rest of the bible will render an incomplete understanding of the message from God.
What: The Trinity, God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Spirit are one and can never be separated, only distinctions between the three can be drawn, such as their individual roles in the creation. The Trinity is a thing. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost constitute the thing we refer to as the Godhead.
The Jews refused to speak or write the name of God, rendering it as a series of consonants, without vowels, such as G?d or YHWH. The four letters YHWH are what has become known in Theology as the Tetragrammaton. The early church added vowels and used German phonetic pronunciation, which resulted in the name Jehovah.
The Trinity is veiled in scripture, often rendering the difference between Jesus the man and Jesus, the Word of God indistinguishable. The Holy Ghost almost disappears completely, leaving contemporary Theologian and Preacher John Piper to describe him as the shy member of the Trinity.
The work of God in the earth is clearly a joint effort of the two, the Word and the Spirit with a body used as a necessary vessel. Until and unless we can visualize the Word of God and the man Jesus as two separate entities, we will not see how the Holy Ghost operates in the life of man.
The Holy Ghost is not a man, neither is he a thing but he is a person. The Word of God is not a man but indwells the body of a man. He lives, moves and has his being as a man, while at the same time maintaining a Devine relationship with the Father that is unique. The Apostle Paul uses a simple Greek word to describe how the Word of God was able to submit to humiliation and suffering, even in the end suffering death as a natural man. The word he used is “Kenosis”. It is from the Greek verb, Kenoo, to empty. It is the essence of what Paul is saying to the church at Philippi in the second chapter of his letter.
Philippians 2:5-8 For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (6) who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, (7) but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Here Paul is saying The Word of God was able to be separated from the man of God because it was necessary for a Godly man to die for the sins of ungodly men. There were no Godly men, only those who sought Godliness by faith. God foresaw the need for Godliness in the family he sat out to build, saying first, let us make man, not, create man, like us.
Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth. (27) And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female.
There are two sets of words used in the passage above that are very similar and we often mistakenly believe they have the same meaning. They are not the same. The words are Image and Likeness and Make and Create. The word image differs from the word likeness in that an image has no substance. A son may be the spitting image of his father but in terms of character be quite different. Character and likeness require effort and diligence, they must be formed in a person over time. The word create in verse 27 is the same as in verse one. It is Bara in Hebrew. It means to bring into existence from nothing and is only associated with God the Father.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The word formed, is the same as the word make in the previous passage. It means to take existing material and make or shape it into something different. God creates, he separates, He forms and he fills. God creates Adam as an androgynous, spiritual being. he forms Adam from the dust of the ground as an androgynous physical being. He separates Adam into man and wombed man or woman after he breathes into him the breath of life, there by filling him with the Spirit of life, and the Spirit of God. Remember, the Spirit of God is a person. The Spirit life of Adam is dependent upon being yoked with the Spirit of God. Sin breaks the yoke resulting in separation and Spiritual death. This break never occurred with Jesus before the crucifixion.
It is from this series of events we get the idea of spiritual life and later spiritual death due to sin. It is here also where the Apostle Paul points when he pictures the two Adams. The first Adam is a living Soul, while the last Adam has the power to give life. We are in between, born without the indwelling spirit of life, separated from God by sin.
1 Corinthians 15:45-47 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (46) Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. (47) The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
We then, having been created, are separated in salvation from the power of the flesh and we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds as we are filled with a living spirit. We are yoked by Christ with the Spirit of God.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When: John tells us when the incarnate Word operated in the flesh, in time and in the Spirit before time. Here is where the difficulty comes in giving a proper theological answer to the question, “Did Jesus have the Holy Ghost at birth”.
If you look at John’s genealogy of Jesus Christ, which is given in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, you’ll see that he separates, the incarnate Word of God from the pre-incarnate Word of God. He does so by the use of the name Jesus Christ.
John 1:14-17 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. (15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. (17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Here is why my answer to the question, “Did Jesus have the Holy Ghost at birth” is no. There are two possible right answers, one is based on pure reasoning, the other is based on practical reasoning.
Pure reasoning says Jesus had the Holy Ghost at birth because there was never a separation between the Word of God and God the Father or God the Holy Ghost, neither was there ever a separation between Jesus Christ the man and the Godhead because Jesus Christ the man knew no sin. He was as Adam before the fall, a Living Soul, one who walked in harmony with the Father.
Practical Reasoning demands that we make the need for the Holy Ghost clear in the mind of those who may not be steeped in the knowledge of the Word. If God thought it necessary to highlight the Baptism of Christ by distinguishing it from the birth of Christ with power, then we as Christians should be diligent in our effort to help others understand the significance of Baptism.
In Baptism we are born into the Body of Christ. This is the one Baptism referred to in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
This is the first Baptism. A look at the original Greek words translated, one, in verse five will show that the last, “one”, is different from the first two. In the Greek, it literally says first Baptism.
All biblical baptism follow a three part formula. There is the Candidate, the person being baptized. There is the Agent, the entity conducting the Baptism and there is the Element, that which the person is being baptized into.
In the first Baptism, the believer is the Candidate, the Element is the body of Christ, and the Agent is the Holy Ghost. This is known as the First Work of Grace. Christ submitted to water Baptism as an example for believers. God the Father sent the Holy Ghost in bodily form as a sign of acceptance and confirmation, indicating we should follow the example set by Christ, just as significant but less obvious is the fact that Christ lived for thirty years as a man without any apparent assistance from the Holy Ghost, he did, at Baptism, receive the Holy Ghost. This second empowerment, enabled and assured, his victory over Satan as a man, not a God. That is why I chose to give the Practical answer to the question, “Did Christ have the Holy Ghost at birth?”.
God is a Trinitarian being, one God in three persons. Man is a tripartite being, one person in three parts, body, soul and spirit. We differ in that we can exist apart from our body; in that it is temporary, apart from God, spiritually; in Spiritual death.
The Godhead can never be separated but in the crucifixion we see Jesus, the Godman, being separated from the Word of God.
Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. (46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
To properly understand the relationship we have with God, it is necessary to understand what Saint Anselm called the Cur Deus Homo, the God Man. To benefit from it, you need only confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
Lord we thank you for both works of grace and we pray that you will help us to wait with patience for the completion of the work you begun in us. Amen
For comments, questions and other inquiries Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. (15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. (17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
In the first Baptism, the believer is the Candidate, the Element is the body of Christ, and the Agent is the Holy Ghost. This is known as the First Work of Grace. Christ submitted to water Baptism as an example for believers. God the Father sent the Holy Ghost in bodily form as a sign of acceptance and confirmation, indicating we should follow the example set by Christ, just as significant but less obvious is the fact that Christ lived for thirty years as a man without any apparent assistance from the Holy Ghost, he did, at Baptism, receive the Holy Ghost. This second empowerment, enab