The Spirit

The work of God begins in man's spirit.

Rubén Chacón

The spirit is our being's most important part. It is there that the greatest transformations in our life have taken place, because God begins His work in man from the inside out; he starts by operating in man's most intimate and deepest part: his spirit. Let us therefore note what God has done in the spirit of His children: "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness" (Rom. 8:10).

Firstly, Paul is speaking of those in whom Christ dwells. Then he shows what has happened in their body and in their spirit. And, thirdly, he begins by referring to the body. With regard to the body, he doesn't give good news: although Christ is in us, the body is dead. This means that, because of sin, the body remains under the sentence of death. In other words, although Christ dwells in us, our bodies continue getting sick, ageing and finally dying. So we can definitely say that God has still not made any transformation in our body. The good news is not therefore at the level of the body, but of the spirit. If Christ is in you, Paul says, the spirit lives. The body is dead, but the spirit lives. The body remains in death because of the fall; but the spirit lives because of Christ's righteousness. So this is the good news: although nothing has happened in the body, everything has happened in the spirit. Our spirit is not dead, but rather it has been brought to life. Hallelujah!

The good news is greater still because, how has our spirit has been brought to life? What class of life has been imparted to it? Let us see what Paul tells us in verse 16 of this same chapter: "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God" Also 1st Corinthians 6: 17: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

These two texts show that our spirit has been brought to life by the Holy Spirit of God. Just as one day God blew the breath of life into Adam's nostril so that he became a living soul, the resurrected Christ has blown upon his disciples and has imparted his Spirit to them (John 20: 22). Human life was imparted there; here, it is divine life. Our spirit has been brought to life with the very life of God. The Holy Spirit has united and merged with our spirit, being made one spirit with him. This itself was prophesized through the prophet Ezekiel: "and a new spirit will I put within you… And I will put my Spirit within you" (36: 26-27). In verse 26 it speaks of a new spirit with a small letter; but in verse 27 it clarifies by saying that that new spirit is none other than the Spirit of God. According to the context of 1 Corinthians 6: 17, Paul compares the union between the believer and Christ with marital union, but with one great difference: in the marital union two people are made one flesh; in the union with Christ we are made one spirit with Him. This union is narrower and more intimate than the marital one; it is of such depth that the translators of the Scriptures have difficulties determining when to translate the word spirit with a capital letter and when to translate it with a small letter.

From my perspective, it means the same thing, because after the union of the Holy Spirit with the human spirit, where both have been made one, to write the word spirit with a small letter won't mean anything less spiritual than to write it with a capital. After this union has taken place, it means exactly the same thing to say that something comes from a capitalized form of "the Spirit" than to say that it comes from "the spirit" with a small letter.

This is therefore the important function of man's spirit. The human spirit is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and, through this, the Son and the Father's also (John 14: 23). The spirit is the equivalent to the Holiest Place of the tabernacle in the Old Testament. Although it is correct to say that God dwelt in the tabernacle of meeting, strictly speaking, we know that God didn't dwell in the holy place nor in the atrium, He dwelt in the Holiest Place. In the same way, the New Testament declares in general terms that the Spirit or Jesus Christ dwells in the believer, although when it specifies, it says that He dwells in our spirit: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen." (Gal. 6: 18). "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." (Phm. 25). "The Lord be with thy spirit. Grace be with you" (2 Tim. 4: 22).

But there is still more. Let us note what the writer of Hebrews says: "Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" (12: 9).

Here, God, our Father, is called "the Father of spirits." What does this expression mean? Something very glorious and extraordinary: That God is our Father because, in truth, he is Father of our spirit. Of our body and soul He is the Creative God, but of our spirit he is God Father. Why? Because what God has placed in our spirit, is not something created, but engendered; that is to say, what God has put in our spirit is something characteristic of him, of his nature: His Spirit.

The above-mentioned is confirmed in the following text of Hebrews: "…but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel. (Heb 12:22-24)

The writer to the Hebrews mentions the eight blessings that constitute our inheritance here. This inheritance is not solely set in the future, as demonstrated in the expression: "ye are come unto"; it is also our present inheritance. What are these blessings? We have come unto, the writer says, 1) to mount Zion; 2) to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; 3) to the company of innumerable angels; 4) to the church of the first-born; 5) to God the Judge of all; 6) to the spirits of the just made perfect; 7) to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant; and 8) to the blood of sprinkling.

Let us now pay attention to the sixth blessing. What does it say? That among the things to those that have drawn near are: "the spirits of the just made perfect." This expression 1) confirms that we are speaking of the believer's spirit, not of angels; and 2) the most important thing: that the spirits of the just have been made perfect. Hallelujah! At least one part of the work of God in us is already perfect. Which? The one that has been done in our spirit. Our spirit is, by the work and grace of God, perfect. The spirit of the children of God has been deified with the life of God, with the Spirit of God. All God and all that which is of God is in our spirit; all blessing and all heavenly resources are at our disposition and have been deposited in our spirit; heaven itself and all that that is in it is now in our spirit.

The transformation of our soul is still in process and that of our body is still for the future. The transformation of our body will indeed be the last one to take place. Our Father, as we said, works from the inside out. But the work of God concerning the spirit is finished: Our spirit has been made alive with the life of God.

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