9. The Lord is “the” Spirit

After the Day of Pentecost, the apostles called the Spirit of Christ “the Spirit.”

Paul said, “The Lord is the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 3:17) and John described “the Spirit” who spoke to the seven Churches (Revelation 2:7).

The most famous use of the expression “the Spirit” is “the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). This illustrates the struggle of Christ and His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. From here, Paul described the conflict of the flesh and the Spirit.

Paul explained every use of the phrase “the Spirit” in John’s gospel.

In John 3:5–6, Jesus told us that we must be born of “the Spirit.” So, Paul said that “God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, by which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Paul called the Spirit of Christ “the Spirit of Adoption” and “the Spirit of Promise.”1

In John 6:63, Jesus said, “the Spirit gives life.” So, Paul called Christ, “a life-giving Spirit.” “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

In John 11:33 and 13:21, Jesus “groaned in the Spirit.” So, Paul said, “All creation groans … The Spirit (as the firstborn) intercedes for the saints, with groanings too deep for words.”

In John 14, Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). So, Paul described Christ as the cornerstone of God’s house, “a holy temple in the Lord in whom you are built up together as a dwelling place for God” (Ephesians 2:21).

In John 15, Jesus said, “I am the vine, and My Father is the vinedresser … He who abides in Me bears much fruit” (John 15:1-4). So, Paul said, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace” (Galatians 5:22).

  1. Ephesians 1:12–15 is a series of appositive statements describing “the Anointed One – the Holy One.” Ephesians 1:12–15 reads: “To be for us the praise of the glory of Him, the ones who first trusted in the Anointed One (ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ)—in whom, you also, having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom, you also, having believed, were sealed—the Spirit of Promise, the Holy One (τῷ Πνεύματι τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῷ Ἁγίῳ), who ( ὅς) is the guarantee of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of the glory of Him.” The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Universities notes that the literal meaning of τῷ Πνεύματι τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῷ Ἁγίῳ is “the Spirit of Promise, the Holy One.” The expression τῷ Πνεύματι τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῷ Χριστῷ is a dative of apposition to τῷ Ἁγίῳ. The next phrase “He Who” ὅς is masculine, describing Christ. Daniel B. Wallace, in Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit, page 117, says the only pronoun that cannot be explained as for the Holy spiritis ὅς, in Ephesian 1:3. Why is this masculine? Of course, it did not describe the Holy spiritbut instead Christ, the Holy One.