Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11 - Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. -- Romans 8:9, New American Standard Version.
This scripture has been given to us as proof of the trinity, or the teaching that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh). Yet we find nothing here about God, the Son and the holy spirit being three persons in one being or one God, nor does it say that Jesus is Jehovah. The assumption appears to be that since the spirit is referred to as the spirit of God and also the spirit of Christ, that this should be accepted as proof that Jesus is God Almighty. Even accepting that the holy spirit is referred to as both the spirit of God and the spirit of Christ, however, does not mean that Jesus is Jehovah. If so, then should also accept that David is Jehovah, since the throne of Israel is referred to as both the throne of Jehovah and the throne of David. -- 1 Kings 1:48; 2:24; 1 Chronicles 29:23. -- See also our study on Similarities.

It is true that the spirit of Christ can be viewed as the same as the spirit of God. This does not prove the trinity, nor does it prove that Jesus is Jehovah, for God's spirit does work through Jesus, since the spirit has been given to Jesus by the only true God, the Father. (Isaiah 11:2; 61:1; John 3:34; 17:1,3; Acts 2:33) Thus when referring to the spirit of Christ, it is basically the same as the spirit of God, since it is from God that Jesus receives his power, authority and commandment. -- Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; 5:19,26,30; 6:28,29,38,48-51,57,63; 7:16-18,28,29; 8:18,28,29,40,42,54; 10:17,18,37,38; 12:29,50; 13:32 14:10,28,31; 16:28; 17:1,3,25.

Nevertheless, let us examine what Paul is saying here. We first find that Paul points to the spirit of God as dwelling in the believer. This makes more sense when viewed from the standpoint that the spirit is God's personal power and influence. Thus this spirit is not spoken of as "God", but rather the spirit "of" God.

The thought behind the scripture, however, is that the spirit of Christ represents the "mind" of Christ. The context of Romans 8:5 shows that Paul is speaking of the thoughts of the mind: "For those who are after the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:9 shows that this speaks of walking after the flesh versus walking after the spirit. Those who walk after the flesh have their minds set on things of the flesh - the things seen; those who walk after the spirit have their minds set on the things of the spirit -- that which is not visible, but seen by the eye of faith. The Christian is in the spirit, not the flesh, as the apostles says, "if the spirit [mind, disposition] of God dwells in [stays within] you," in contradistinction to living to the flesh, and having sin dwelling in us. (Romans 7:17,20) The disposition of Christ in us would mean that we would have a spirit to become like him, even as he is in the likeness of God.
The following is from Matthew Henry's Comments:

* Romans 8:1-9 Believers may be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus secured. What is the principle of their walk; the flesh or the Spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? For which of these do we make provision, by which are we governed? The unrenewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully. And the law, besides outward duties, requires inward obedience. God showed abhorrence of sin by the sufferings of his Son in the flesh, that the believer's person might be pardoned and justified. Thus satisfaction was made to Divine justice, and the way of salvation opened for the sinner. By the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart, and though the righteousness of the law is not fulfilled by us, yet, blessed be God, it is fulfilled in us; there is that in all true believers, which answers the intention of the law. The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. Which way do our thoughts move with most pleasure? Which way go our plans and contrivances? Are we most wise for the world, or for our souls? Those that live in pleasure are dead, (1 Timothy 5:6). A sanctified soul is a living soul; and that life is peace. The carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but enmity itself. The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out. We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not, ver. 9. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ, means having a turn of mind in some degree like the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and is to be shown by a life and conversation suitable to his precepts and example. Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Romans 8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706
The last phrase "he does not belong to Him" in the scripture does not appear to be referring to Jesus, but God, that such a person does not belong to God, and is therefore not a son of God. -- See Romans 8:14.

The expression spirit of Christ [Greek, khristos, or christos] could also be translated spirit of an anointed one, as that is what the Greek word "khristos" means. Thus the phrase would read: "But if anyone does not have the spirit of an anointed one." The spirit of God should live in all Christians who have thus been anointed. Another form of the word is used in reference to the church at 2 Corinthians 1:21; Hebrews 1:9. This same word is used of Jesus at Acts 4:27. The entire church by the anointing of the holy spirit becomes sons of God. -- Compare Galatians 3:16,26-29.

The Greek word "khristos"* [or, christos] in the New Testament of King James Version, as well as many other translations, is always translated "Christ", with a capital "C". However, its use in the Septuagint** is of many others than Jesus. Thus in the Septuagint, a king of Israel was described upon occasion as christos tou Kuriou, "the anointed of the Lord." (1 Samuel 2:10,35; 2 Samuel 1:14; Psalm 2:2; 18:50; Habbakkuk 3:13) We don't argue that we know for sure that "khristos" is not referring to Jesus in Romans 8:9; we just want to note that "khristos" does not necessarily mean Jesus in every instance that it appears in the scriptures. It is true that most translators have made it appear so; it was the thought of the KJV translators, that "khristos" was used in the Bible as another personal name for Jesus, and thus the KJV, and most other translations, have made it appear so. However, it is a noun translated from the Hebrew mashiyach (Strong's Hebrew #4899***), meaning anointed, and used of many people and even things. However, this not a crucial argument, nor even needed, to understand that Romans 8:9 does not mean that Jesus is Jehovah.
**The Septuagint is a translation of the Old Testament into Greek

Trinitarians (and others) often seem to read more into the words "dwell in" than the context and other uses of this word would warrant. The Greek word translated "dwell" (or "live") in Romans 8:9 is Strong's #3611*. It is the same word used in Romans 7:17,18,20, where Paul uses himself as a illustration of fallen man with sin dwelling in him. In such case, sin is the force or influence in the life of the unregenerate. Not that sin is a person who is actually living in the sinner.

In Romans 8:11, another word used for the spirit of God "dwelling" in us is Strong's 1774*, a word related to Strong's 3611. This word is used in Colossians 3:16, where it is the "*word* of Christ" that is to dwell in us. Again it is the "word" of Christ that is the force or influence that impresses the life of the believer. The word of Christ is not a person actually living in the believer. Also the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:5, where it is *faith* that dwelt in Timothy's grandmother, mother and Timothy. Here it is is faith that acts as the force or influence in the life of the believers.

Thus we see there is nothing in Romans 8:9 that gives any proof of the trinity or oneness doctrines. There is certainly nothing that warrants the use of imagination so as to assume that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or/and to further imagine and assume the Jesus is person of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

1 Peter 1:11

1 Peter 1:10 - concerning which salvation seek out and search out did prophets who concerning the grace toward you did prophecy,
1 Peter 1:11 - searching in regard to what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ that was in them was manifesting, testifying beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory after these.
1 Peter 1:12 - to whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they were ministering these, which now were told to you (through those who did proclaim good news to you,) in the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, to which things messengers do desire to bend looking. -- Young's Literal Translation.
1 Peter 1:10 - About which salvation the prophets sought out and searched out, prophesying concerning the grace for you,
1 Peter 1:11 - searching for what, or what sort of time the Spirit of Christ made clear within them; testifying beforehand of the sufferings belonging to Christ, and the glories after these.
1 Peter 1:12 - To whom it was revealed that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the same things, which now were announced to you by those having preached the gospel to you in the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven; into which things angels long to look into. -- Green's Literal Translation.

1 Peter 1:10
peri hees swteerias exezeeteesan kai
4012 3739 4991 1567 2532
exeerauneesan propheetai hoi peri tees eis humas
1830 4396 3588 4012 3588 1519 4771_7
charitos propheeteusantes
5485 4395
1 Peter 1:11
eraunwntes eis tina ee poion kairon
2037_5 1519 5101 2228 4169 2540
edeelou to en autois pneuma christou
1213 3588 1722 0846_93 4151 5547
promarturomenon ta eis christon patheemata
4303 3588 1519 5547 3804
kai tas meta tauta doxas
2532 3588 3326 3778_93 1391
Westcott & Hort Interlinear
First, we should note that there is nothing in Peter's words about a triune God, nor a God who manifests himself as though he were three persons. Nor, does Peter make any claim that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Brother Paul S. L. Johnson states concerning 1 Peter 1:11:
In 1 Pet. 1: 11 the expression, "Spirit of Christ," which worked in the prophets, evidently does not mean the spirit of Christ as His new-creaturely disposition; for this, apart from Jesus, to whom it was first given at Jordan, never had been given anyone before Jesus' glorification, i.e., not before Pentecost (John 7: 39). Here in 1 Pet. 1: 11 the expression evidently means Christ's prehuman power working in the prophets. -- Christ-Spirit-Covenant, page 406.
Jesus, of course, having been in existence before he became flesh, was indeed a mighty one when he was with the only true God before the world of mankind had been made thought him. (John 1:1-3,10; 17:1,3,5) We have reason to believe that God did indeed use his firstborn son in many instances when he communicated or demonstrated power through the prophets. In this case, Peter would be applying the term "spirit of Christ" retrospestively to those prophets.

Those prophets were searching into what or what time the Messiah would appear, while the spirit of Messiah in them was testifying beforehand about Christ's sufferings and the glories to follow. Paraphrasing this differently, while those prophets sought to know many things about the Messiah, what was actually revealed to them was the suffering that Messiah was to endure, and the glories to follow.

Robertson identifies the word transliterated as "promarturomenon" as "Present middle participle of promarturomai," and admits that the word is neuter, but, based on his misconception of the holy spirit as a person, and his assumption that "spirit of Christ" is referring to the holy spirit as a person of the alleged trinity, claims that it should be rendered as "he", not "it". Nevertheless, to have the "spirit of Christ" mean the third person of the holy trinity, the trinitarian has to first assume that "spirit of Christ" is referring to the holy spirit, and then he has to further imagine and assume that "spirit" is referring to a person, and then he would have to further imagine and assume that the person is one of the alleged three persons of the alleged trinity.

Although "spirit of Christ," as it is used in 1 Peter 1:11, is not exactly the same as God's holy spirit, we know that the prophets did prophesy by means of God's holy spirit, thus, in this respect, saying "spirit of Christ" in this context could be considered essentially the same as saying holy spirit. The prophets were "searching in regard to what or what manner of time The Messiah was to come. The "spirit of the Messiah" was in them, and having that spirit in them, that spirit in them testified through them concerning the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow, allowing them to receive such information through God's Holy Spirit by revelation, etc. Nevertheless, it was the prophets who actually spoke and wrote the testimonies. God -- distinguished from His son (Hebrews 1:1,2) -- spoke by means of the prophets (Hebrews 1:1), and the holy spirit is used as though it were God's mouth. -- Deuteronomy 8:3; 1 Kings 8:24; 2 Chronicles 6:4; 36:12,21; Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 1:20; 40:5; 45:23; 48:3; 58:14; 62:2; Jeremiah 9:12,20; Ezekiel 33:7; Micah 4:4; Matthew 4:4; Mark 12:36; Acts 1:17; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7; 9:8; 10:15,16; 2 Peter 1:21.

On the other hand, if we should think of the "spirit of Christ" as being used as synonym of the "spirit of God," we need to remember that in a similar manner we could say the that God's holy spirit in Elijah could also be called "the spirit of Elijah." This does not mean that Elijah was God or that he was a person of God. (2 Kings 2:9,15; Luke 1:17) Additionally, we need to remember that Jesus had nothing of his own, except what has been given to him from his God and Father. -- John 5:19,30; 8:20; 12:49.

Some view 1 Peter 1:11 as proof that Jesus was the one whom God used in the Old Testament to speak with the prophets; the scripture does not say this, but we do believe that Jesus was certainly being used in communications and power as related to the prophets; nevertheless, we need to also consider what is said in Hebrews 1:1,2. If God spoke through Jesus in the Old Testament times, we would reckon that it would only have been in a manner similar to the way that God spoke through Jesus, who in turn spoke through the angels, as shown in Revelation 1:1,2.

Regardless, we believe that the usage of "spirit of Christ" by Peter as related to the prophets is a retroactive usage, since Jesus had not yet been revealed as Christ in the days of the Old Testament. (Acts 2:36) Nor are we to think that Peter was saying that the prophets understood what was being spoken through them. They all prophesied of the coming Messiah, but the  manifestation was not to them, but to the apostles to whom the spirit of truth had been given, by which they were lead into all truth. The unipersonal God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by means of His holy spirit, especially led the apostles into all the truths concerning Christ and what he said, and thereby the faith was delivered to the saints in the first century. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:2; Jude 1:3) The truths revealed to the apostles and made available to us are recorded in the Bible itself. (Ephesians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:25,26; 1 John 4:6) Of course, without the holy spirit, these things that are recorded will still be a mystery to us. — Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10.

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