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What the Bible says about Holy Spirit as Essence of God's Mind
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Isaiah 30:1

"Spirit" is ruach, and it is used in the sense of invisible force or power. Thus ruach, depending on the context, is used to express intelligence, will, truth, hope, faith, knowledge, wisdom, discernment, omnipotence, omnipresence, infinity, invisibility, or holiness. These words are different from those in reference to God's soul (see Leviticus 26:11), which had to do mostly with feelings, with emotional qualities. Here ruach covers aspects that have to do with mind power.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part One)

Zechariah 4:6

An angel is explaining to Zechariah the work of the Spirit. God's Spirit, moving and producing works (or results, visible signs of God's inspiration and involvement in His servants' activities), is shown as flowing into the church. Here is a short quotation from Keil & Delitzsch.

Oil ... is used in the Scriptures as a symbol of the Spirit of God [notice this qualification], not in its transcendent essence. . . .

The Holy Spirit often appears in the Bible, not in is pure form (the essence of God's mind and power), not in its raw form, we could say. Here it appears as oil. Continuing:

. . . not in its transcendent essence, but so far as it works in the world, and is indwelling in the church.

The oil that is flowing through these pipes is not the raw Spirit of God, but it is His Spirit seen in its works, that is, in its manifestations. We are not seeing, necessarily, God's Spirit as God's Spirit. We are seeing God's Spirit as it manifests itself primarily in spoken and written words, but also in things like miracles, healings, casting out of demons, acts of faith, good works, etc.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Four)

Galatians 3:3

The NIV translates it this way: "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" The word for "foolish" here is the same one used in Galatians 3:1. Paul sounds incredulous that a group of people could be so blind in terms of spiritual understanding, especially after they had had the gospel preached to them and appeared to have fully comprehended it. Paul is saying, in essence, "Is it possible that you have completely stopped thinking?"

Our relationship with God is initiated by Him. He calls us (John 6:44) and causes us to approach Him (Psalm 65:4). Our minds are spiritually opened when we receive His Holy Spirit, and it is only then that we can truly obey God (in the letter and the spirit). The Holy Spirit is the essence of God's mind—His thoughts, motivations, attitudes, principles, mood, frame of mind. When we repent and are baptized, we receive a small measure of the Spirit—of the mind of God. As we grow and mature spiritually, we are growing more into God's image. We are beginning to think like Him. Thus, we are getting more of God's perspective and mindset—God's Spirit.

It is ludicrous to think that our spiritual lives began with God giving us His Spirit, but then we take over the reins and are in control from that point on. Yet this is what Paul is chastising the Galatians for—believing that their works and righteousness would carry them through this life and into the next. This notion completely denies what Christ did for us in sacrificing Himself for us, what God does in allowing Christ's sacrifice to cover our sins, and what God does in making us into the spiritual image of His Son and ultimately bringing our salvation to pass. Similarly, to negate the part the Holy Spirit plays in our life is to negate the owner and source of that Spirit. If we begin trusting in ourselves to bring our own salvation to pass, we are exhibiting the epitome of pride and presumptuousness—and we are also severely deceived.

David C. Grabbe


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