The Spirit As A Person (Chap. 5).
If we are to understand the place and work of the Holy Spirit in us, we must know somewhat of His place and work in the Divine Being. He has been given to make us partakers of the Divine life and nature, to be In us and to do for us what He is and does in the Father and the Son. The adoring and reverent contemplation of what He is as the Spirit of the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity, of what He was and wrought in the man Christ Jesus on earth, and what specially His relation is to our glorified Lord Jesus, need not lead us away from the practical question of what He is to ourselves, but may help us greatly in realizing the wondrous glory and mystery of this, the united gift of the Father and the Son—their own Spirit, the Spirit of their personal life, to be the Spirit of our personal life. The following suggestive quotations from one of the most deeply scriptural and spiritual theologians, J. T. Beck, may help us in our effort to apprehend what God has revealed to us in His word. It is a most blessed thing when a believer begins to realize, 'The Spirit of God dwelleth in me,' and knows that God has given Him something Divine—yea, a Divine Person—as his life. But it becomes a thousandfold more wonderful to him when he begins to see how really it is the very same Spirit who is the personal life of the Father and the Son, who has now become his own personal life, his inmost self.
'In Christianity, revelation appears, not only in the character of an elementary witness for God, as in the revelation of nature, nor only, as in the Old Testament revelation, in the character of special legislative organization and ideal promise, but as a new lite-organization of the quickening Spirit. Christianity thus brings a revelation in which the supernatural, the Divine, is Spirit and Life, dynamically and substantially, to become personal. With this in view, it must be mediated differently than in the previous stages; it must have a higher organ for its revelation. If the Divine is indeed dynamically and substantially as a personal life to be organized into the human individuality, the only adequate organ for such a mediation will be one in which the revelation, :>r the Divine principle of organization, shall make itself personal in a human being. That is it will not b« sufficient that the Divine should reveal itself in some man only, with whatever strength, in the way of his consciousness through the channel of conscience. As little that it should, as by way of inspiration, develop its power to influence and elevate in the life of Reason or Spirit, after the manner of prophecy. Conscience and inspiration do not suffice as the means of revelation, in the revelation that is to be perfect. What is needed is a mediation, in which God concentrates His own peculiar Spirit and Life as a principle in a human individual to be personally appropriated. In a revelation, which is really to translate the Divine into man's individual personal life, in truth, to form men of God, the Divine as such—that is, as a personal life—must first be embodied in a personal centre in humanity. For this reason. As soon as something strictly new is concerned, something that in its peculiarity has not yet existed, every new type of life, before it can multiply itself to a number of specimens, must first have its full contents combined in perfect unity, in an adequate new principle. And so, for the making personal of the Divine among men, the first thing needed is one in whom the principle of the Divine life has become personal. Christianity concentrates the whole fulness of revelation in the one human personality of Jesus Christ as Mediator—that is, as the mediating central principle of the new Divine organism, in its fulness of Spirit and Life, in and for the human personal life. With the entrance of Christ into the human individual, the Divine life becomes immanent in us, not in its uersal world-relation, but as a personal principle, so that man is not only woir^a ©eov, a being made of God, but Tckvov ®eoC, or a being begotten of God. And with the growing transformation uf the individual into the life-type of Christ there is perfected the development of the personal life out of God, in God, and to God—the development not only of a moral or theocratic communion, but a communion of nature. By the fall of man the Divine and human in man had been rent asunder, and the separation has grown into estrangement and enmity. Man has become an ungodly personality. In opposition to this, both the Divine and the human have been reconciled and united in Christ's Divine-human personality as the human manifestation of the otherwise invisible God.' (Vorlesungen Chr. Glaubenslehre, i. 383)
'As regards the Spirit, it is never said of Him—the Spirit is God, or the Spirit is the Lord; but, on the contrary, God is Spirit, the Lord is the Spirit, "the quickening Spirit." It is thus the Spirit, through whom God and the Lord each is the person that He is, is ©eos, is Kvpios. But the Spirit does not on this account belong to the Divine Being without an independent existence.1 As little is He a separate person outside of the Father and the Son; but He Himself forms the Divine personality within the Father and the Son. Outside of God, in the world and man, He effects an independent revelation of God, which reaches into the hidden depths of Deity on the one side, and on the side of man inwardly communicates God's very own life, even to the production of a Divine Son-life. The one Divine personality of THE Father is the all-including Divine central subject, in whom the Son and Spirit, in unity of Being, yet have a self-standing existence, and from whom they proceed— The Son as the speaking Self of the Father, in whom He reveals Himself as in His image; the Spirit as the inner Self of the Father and the Son, in whom the inner life of God in the power of its personal Being,
1 See Leitfaden der Chr. Glaubenslehre, p. 229:—' The Spirit is so far from being, as with us, something belonging to God, that it is said: God is Spirit, the Lord is the Spirit, so that it really is just the Spirit, through whom God is the person that He is. The Divine Spirit is not only, as with us, something belonging to and in the Father aud the Son, but that very thing through which Father and Son is God; the Spirit is the personal being of God in Father and Son. Therefore He is called the Holy and Holymaking, the Power and the Quickener; in Him the very own personal being of the Father and the Son is begotten into man. It is just in the Spirit that the personal life of God is centred; so little can He Himself be anything impersonal.'
maintains and communicates itself. It is just because the Spirit is the bearer of the Inner Life of God that He does not manifest Himself externally, that there is no personal appearance as of the Son. Just as in the Son the Phanerosis (manifestation) of the Father took place externally, as in His outward self (John xiv. 19, xii. 45), so in the Spirit, as the inward self of the Father and the Son, all belongs to the inner life, that the perfected Phanerosis, the manifestation of God to us, may become the Apokalypsis, the revelation of God within us.' (Vorlesungen iiber Chr. Glaubenslehre, ii. 136.)
'What is needed for the Eedemption of human nature out of its bondage to the world and its sin, and the revival within of the Supernatural, for which it had been destined, was such a union with the Divine Life that it should be revealed in man not only as a Law or a Hope, as the Postulate of the Will or the Desire, as an Ideal, but as an actual fulfilling of the real need of the personal life; that is, that the Di\ine life should become the real personal life. In virtue of its absolute worth, belonging to it by its very nature, the Divine can never be satisfied with being accepted as one of other elements only having a place in our personal thinking, willing, and doing. It is not enough that, along with other things that touch and interest us, it too should have a place in our regard or actions, and be something from which we gain certain desirable results for our life. Such an apparently moderate or sober view drags the Divine down and places it on a line with the objects of this world. Nor does it make any real difference when the Divine is spoken of as the highest and most worthy of all objects. The Divine only receives its true acknmcledgment when it is accepted as what it really is, the absolute Korld-jmnciple, and becomes the absolute Life-principle of our personal development. The Divine has, however, no longer creative personal power in our bondage to the jx»wer of the world, with its sin and death. To make the Divine become the Personal in us is what, tinder such circumstances, our spiritual power, or Reason, cannot accomplish. This needs the organization of a new nature, and to organize anew is the work of the Creator and of the Divine Principle 0: organization in the wurld. And this is now that in whicii Revelation finds its perfection, in the organizing of the Divine as a living formative Spirit, "the life-giving Spirit," so that as a productive Life-principle, or as the power of a personal life, it could become immanent in man's moral life, and so that out of that, in continuous development, the Dirine could be reproduced in the individual as his personal life, and so God, in harmony with His idea as the Absolute, should indeed be the all - determining life-principle in mm; it i* in this that revelation finds its perfect completion' (i. 380).
'Christ, as the personal word of God,'had first as the incarnate Son to perfectly organize His special witness and mediation, before the Holy Spirit could in a new, hitherto transcendent, way of working, come forth from God as the Spirit immanent in the Father and the Son, as the Divine Personal Life-principle, and as the personconstituting principle begin His life-begetting work. The Divine Personal Spirit, flowing forth from the Divine Personal Word, now becomes the highest principle of Inspiration, which apprehends the mysteries of the Kingdom, as well as the highest personal life-f uming principle of a new type of man, the image of the onlybegotten Son'(ii. 104).
'The Personality has its ground in the individualizing of the Spirit. It was thus in the first creation, when, by God breathing the Spirit of life, man became a living soul, a personality. It is even so in the second'Creati n, in regeneration, when in the imparting of the Spirit to man, not only this and that becomes renewed in him, in his consciousness or conduct, but there comes into existence a new man, a new God-like personality ' (ii. 107).
Dr. Domer writes as follows :—
The Difference Between The Revelation Of God In Christ, And In The Holy Spirit.
'The character of Christ's substitution is not. negative, nor repressive of personality, hut productive. He is not content with the existence in Himself of the fulness of the spiritual life, into which His people are absorbed by faith. Believers are themselves to live and love as free personalities; Christ's redeeming purpose is directed to the creation, by the Holy Spirit whom He sends, of new personalities in whom Christ gains >i settled, established being. But by this very means God exists in them after a new manner; new, not only because the power of redemption inheres only in Gods being in Christ, but new also because, although Christ; remains the Principle of this life, this life shapes itselt' in freedom arid distinctness from Christ. Only by means of such freedom can the bond betwe n Christ and man, instead of remaining a one-sided one, become two-sided, and therefore all the firmer,—the reciprocal relation of love. But, at the same time, the fulness of the Spirit of light and life, grace and truth, which dwells objectively in Christ, no longer remains merely objective to the world, but lives and unfolds itself in the world, as a living treasure of salvation. Through the Holy Spirit it comes to pass, that Christ's impulse is not simply continued and extended to men, but becomes rnt indigenous impulse in them, a new focus being formed for naturalized divine powers. As a new Divii e principle, the Holy Spirit creates, though not substantially new faculties, a new volition, knowledge, feeling a new selt'-consciousness. In brief, He creates a new person, dissolving the old union-point of the faculties and creating a new pure union of the same. The new personality is formed in inner resemblance to the second Adam, on the same family type, so to speak. Everything by which the new personality, in its independence, makes itself known, is ascribed by Holy Scripture to this third Divine principle. Through the Holy Spirit the believer has the consciousness of himself as a new man, and the power and living impulse of a new holy life, that is free in God. He is the spirit of joy and freedom, in opposition to the gramma or letter; subjection to the Divine impulse is now, in the blending of necessity and freedom, without spontaneous impulse; mere passivity and receptiveness are transformed into spontaneity, nay, productiveness and independence. Through the Holy Spirit the individual personality is thus raised to complete charismatic personality. By all these means the Holy Spirit plants and cherishes the one relatively independent factor,—the presupposition of the origin of the Church, namely, the n*v believing personality.' (Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, tv. 161.)
This thought that the Spirit of God, as the Spirit of the Divine personality, becomes the life-principle of our personality, is one of extreme solemnity and of infinite fruitfulness. The Spirit not only dwells in me as a locality, or within me, alongside and around that inmost Ego in which I am conscious of myself, but, within that I, becomes the new and Divine life-principle of the new
grsonality. The same Spirit that was and is in Christ, is inmost Self, becomes my inmost self. What new meaning it gives to the word, 'He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him'! And what force to the question, 'Know ye that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you 1' The Holy Spirit is within me as a Personal Power, with a Will and a Purpose of His own. As I yield up my personality to His I shall not lose it, but find it renewed and strengthened to its highest capacity. Oh to see how entirely the Spirit will take the charge which the flesh has hitherto had 1 We thought ourselves fiee, and were slaves. The Holy Spirit working out His will and purpose in me, teaching me to work it out, makes me free.