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Based on another question about the Spirit of the Son, My answer was that the answer is not as simple and leads to more questions. These are those questions:

  1. Is the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9, 1 Pet 1:11) or Spirit of the Son of God (Gal 4:6) in essence the Third Person of the Trinity?
  2. Is Christ in me (Rom 8:10, Eph 3:17, Col 1:27) or the Son in me (Gal 1:16) actually God, the Holy Ghost?
  3. Before the Son was incarnated He was God… (John 1). God is a Spirit (John 4:24), which would follow that Christ was and is a Spirit, albeit He now has a resurrected body as the Firstborn of many brethren (Rom 8:29) and Firstfruits from the dead (1 Cor 15:20). Is the pre-incarnated Spirit of Christ (which presumably would be eternal), distinct in any way from the Holy Ghost?

I acknowledge Both are identified as the Spirit of God, but saying the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God (Rom 8:9) and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God (Mat 3:16), does not resolve the answer, because I think it would be equivalent to saying since Jesus is God and the Father is God, Jesus is in essence the Father.

To put these in one clear question:

Could the Spirit of Christ (or Spirit of the Son) in the references mentioned above be references to God the Son as immaterial (Spirit) Person rather than God the Holy Ghost?

I have the question because it would appear to me that the Spirit of Christ could refer to the pre-incarnate immaterial Son of God as the Logos, before He had a physical glorified body. I am assuming that being fully God and Man has not now robbed Him of that nature so that His Spirit could indwell the believer as "Christ in me" or "abiding Word" but would be distinct from the Holy Ghost that proceeds from Him and the Father, as He would have been distinct before His incarnation.

So if the answer is no, a good answer will have to help me understand:

  1. That Nature of the Son prior to Incarnation cannot be the Spirit of Christ (the Son).
  2. The Genitive nouns expressly referring to the Son that is used in the reference to the indwelling Spirit of God, as opposed to the Father or just God.
  3. Why the Bible then uses the phrase "Christ in me" if it is the Holy Ghost in me?

OR correct an erroneous understanding/assumption of the Trinity that might be producing this question.

  • What biblical support do you have for, 'the pre-incarnated Spirit of Christ (which presumably would be eternal)'? – user48152 Aug 31 '20 at 5:30
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    @user48152: I'm assuming that the Son pre-incarnate was (and is) Spirit since He is God (Who is a Spirit John 4:14) pre-incarnation (John 1:1-2). 1 Pet 1:11 sufficiently proves the existence of the Spirit of Christ pre-incarnation. – Pieter Rousseau Aug 31 '20 at 6:08
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    @AlexBalilo: I understand, you are taking issue with the doctrine of the Trinity, I suppose: my question then presupposes that belief. Debating it would be better suited on another platform, but I suppose a perfectly reasonable approach for you would be to answer my question by pointing out the confusion or a contradiction exists because I start with that premise, rather than going off-topic to another verse had is not relevant to this question. – Pieter Rousseau Aug 31 '20 at 12:17
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    @AlexBalilo—This is not a discussion forum. You are deliberately venturing off-topic. – Der Übermensch Sep 2 '20 at 4:09
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    Even with the edits, this question is off topic for this site. It might be a better fit on Christianity if it focuses on a specific Christian tradition (and may need some more focus still). – Dan Sep 26 '20 at 1:26
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"Spirit" in the theological, eternal, uncreated realm can have two distinct meanings that should not be intermingled by any means!

The first meaning is the generic meaning that befits to all members of the Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, for all of Them are totally devoid of anything created - not only the created-material, but also the created-non-material (e.g. angelic essence) - and thus all Three are totally spiritual or totally Spirit. And this is the meaning when Jesus says "God is Spirit" (John 4:24), for He implies that Father is spirit in this sense, and not, God forbid, in the sense that the Father is identifiable with the Holy Ghost who proceeds from Him (John 15:26), for this would be an old heresy of Sabelianism or Modalism and an illogical identification of the Source with the Outcome, for there is only one Source in the Trinity - the Father.

However, "Spirit" in the theology and the uncreated realm has also a hypostatic meaning as pertaining to only the one hypostasis of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost who proceeds from the Father.

To give an analogy: "Xerox" has become (in some countries) a generic name for copying machines, so that if one says in those countries, "I have got a Xerox" it will mean that the guy has a copying machine; however, he can say like "I have Xerox and not Kodak" - it will mean that he has a copying machine of the brand of Xerox and not that of Kodak.

Thus, generically all three Hypostases are "spirit" - even the Father (John 4:24) and the Son (1 Cor. 15:45) - but hypostatically only the Hypostasis who proceeds from the Father is called "Spirit".

Taken this into account, "the Spirit of the Father" is identical to the "Spirit of the Son", and this Spirit is the Holy Spirit, for the Hypostases of the Trinity "have" each other in the manner of the infinite intimacy, sharing everything of each other infinitely, without mingling, though, each other's hypostatic distinctions. None of the creatures, even highest of angels or greatest of the saints have a relationship with the Hypostases of God in the same infinite way of intimacy and all-sharing, but in a measured way, as befits to the aptness of the creatures, for none of the creatures is infinitely apt to have the Father's all features and riches in an actual infinity, but only the non-creatures - the Logos and the H.Ghost. However, creatures can indeed enjoy a dynamic infinity of growth - not actual infinity! - in God, for which reason we are sons of God by adoption through Christ (John 1:12) whereas He Himself is the "Eternally Perfected Son" (Hebrews 7:28), that is to say, the one who shares eternal, infinite and unbegan perfection with the Father.

Thus this is the clear statement of divinity of Christ, when John, similarly to Paul, says about Him that "God gave Him Spirit without measure" (John 3:34), which means that the Father gave to Christ the Spirit in His own Manner, just like He Himself has the Spirit; in fact, only the one who is equal to the Father can have the Spirit of the Father in actual infiniteness as the Father Himself, as has Christ.

  • I've really been trying hard to understand what you are saying Levan - it seems to answer my question. Why can the term Spirit of Christ not refer to the immaterial Second Person - the Word that Existed with and as God in the Beginning? – Pieter Rousseau Sep 3 '20 at 13:41
  • @PieterRousseau I think this reference and application would be counterintuitive and not plausible, for "Jesus Christ" is a name of the union of the eternal Hypostasis of Logos and the human nature and since that union the Hypostasis of Logos is not and cannot be considered apart from the human nature, and therefore Jesus Christ is a new and begined-edly eternal (for it had a beginning in time) hypostatic name of the Logos, so that we can say Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. Now, to say that "Logos is Spirit of the Incarnate Logos, i.e. Jesus Christ" does not seem for me very plausible. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 3 '20 at 14:00
  • Sorry Levan - I simply don't understand. If I were to ask you where is Jesus, you would hopefully tell me He is seated at the right hand of God. That is because the resurrected Jesus has a physical glorified body that can be located in time and space. But prior to the Incarnation, He existed without this body in eternity past, as a immaterial Person, the Logos. All-power and Omnipresent. He surely was, is and will forever be this Omnipresent immaterial Person, but now with a glorified body. Could this Spirit of Christ be descriptive of the Omnipresent Material Person? – Pieter Rousseau Sep 3 '20 at 20:09
  • Or are you saying that prior during and after the Incarnation Christ had a Physical glorified body, so that he could not be properly called spirit? Sorry, I'm not splitting hairs or debating, honestly trying to understand... what you are saying. – Pieter Rousseau Sep 3 '20 at 20:16
  • @PieterRousseau Immaterial Hypostasis of Logos is already unimaginable and inseparable from the human nature He adopted. He was totally bodiless before the incarnation, devoid of human created body and human created intelligent soul (both being aspects of human nature), but after Him adopting human nature more than 2000 years ago, His Hypostasis cannot be any more considered without the human adopted nature for this nature also became inseparable aspect of the Hypostasis of Logos. One can say that this Hypostasis changed changelessly, for only this paradox is adequate to express this mystery. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 3 '20 at 20:22
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The question presupposes belief in the trinity. Let's examine what the OP asserted in the Body of the main Q. These assertions are;

1.The Father is God.

  1. The Son is God.

  2. The Spirit is God.

4.These three are numerically distinct.

  1. There is only one God.

  2. So, this one God is the three of them together. (1-5)

Unfortunately, this reasoning is demonstrably confused. Premises 1-3 are ambiguous, and on some interpretations, the whole premise set 1-5 is incoherent, inconsistent with itself.

But, for a presupposition to be sound, its premises must all be true. ​If “is God” means is numerically the same as God, premises 1-4 constitute an incoherent set of claims, and obviously so. Numerically different things can’t be numerically identical to the same thing. ​If “is God” means being divine in the sense of being a god, then 1-4 assert there to be at least three gods, while 5 tells us there is only one. If 1-5 can’t all be true, then 1-6 can’t be a sound argument, whatever 6 may mean. ​Notice also that the meaning of 6 is wholly unclear; But if we don’t know what claim the conclusion 6 is, how can we know whether or not it follows from premises 1-5?

In support of premises 1-3, proof-texts are cited in which (allegedly) three different ones are each called “God.” But if this is what premises 1-3 mean, then the conclusion 6 doesn’t follow from 1-5; the argument is invalid. In other words, it could be that 1-5 are true while 6 is false. How? It could be that three different beings are called “God” (making 1-4 true), and there is exactly one God, making 5 true, but this one God is the Father alone. The other two are called “God” because of their similarity to and derivation from him. Thus, it could be that 1-5 are true even though 6 is false. This is pretty much what Tertullian thought in the early third century. But it’s not a trinitarian theology.

  • Trinitarian theology assumes that "Father" is God's eternal, essential name, which means this name pertains to Him even before He became the Creator. He, in principle, could have not been Creator, for the world is an outcome of His free will and not essence. Yet, it is impossible for Him not to have been always Father, which is His essential name. Ergo: He must necessarily and eternally have also the Son, for Father cannot be that without Son; thus the Son is co-eternal to Father. One is ether eternal God or temporal creature. In this "either or" binary opposition Father and Son are both God. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 1 '20 at 7:11
  • @LevanGigineishvili. Jesus plainly stated that the Father is the Creator, not himself. Markk 13:19. Jesus himself was created, John 3:16, Revelation 3:14. Jesus' God is the only (monon, sole, single, solitary) true God. I m sticking to what is written, 1Corinthians 4:6. – user35499 Sep 1 '20 at 7:54
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    It strikes me as very odd that the bible in 21st cent. is considered insufficient to impart true understanding and knowledge - leading to assumptions and far-fetched constructs to develop a new gospel - something we are sternly warned about. That there are SO many 'churches' with differing beliefs and contrary understanding speaks to the work - not of God, but the devil. God be praised that we HAVE a bible largely intact and verifiable - and may He inspire us to read it better! – user48152 Sep 1 '20 at 8:45
  • @user48152 It is salutary that you want so ardently to adhere to the Bible, however unless you watch out of the Bible text in the context of the history and set of notions that were used by the inspired writers of the Bible, you will fall short of adequate understanding of Bible. Just take an example from Apostle Paul who has no qualms in citing Hellenic poets and philosophers (Aratus, Menander) to deliver a spiritual message of the Gospel, and this creative attitude of the Apostle indeed contributes to the richening of the Gospel message, adding important nuances to it. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 1 '20 at 9:30
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    @user48152 If, as you rightly say, "Logos is not creation but the word of God", then you also affirm the Godhead or God-ness of the Logos. Now, the same Logos adopted human nature, and thus, Jesus Christ is both God - as Father's co-eternal Son and Logos - and man - as having adopted human nature, but He has not adopted human person, but human nature, so He is the same eternal Person/Hypostasis of Logos manifested after the Incarnation in human nature. – Levan Gigineishvili Sep 1 '20 at 18:59
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Based on one term that is arguably unbiblical i.e. 'God the Holy Ghost', the answer is based on comparing a/ the Spirit of Christ' and b/ the Holy Spirit - are they distinct?

Eph 4:4 one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

John 5:26 ‘For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself’

The Father/God is spirit - He has spirit life - immortal (1 Tim 1:17) has given this same life to His son - who did not have immortality previously, being of the flesh.

no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 12:3

How do we know who Jesus is? By the same spirit that God has placed in us - a pledge of future life - yet to be given. Eph 1:14

Now the Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit 2 Cor 3:17 How so?

The holy spirit is the expression OF God in every sense - including when Jesus, now co-ruler with the Father, who now distributes life and God's presence everywhere he goes - representing the Father in all things with power that is within himself - just as he did while on earth, but then it was provided by God through the spirit.

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness Luke 4:1

This same spirit is mentioned in 1 Pet 1:11 Apparently, as proof that Jesus pre-existed his birth, at least in spirit. Strangely, this 'Spirit of Christ' is never used in any prophecy or in the OT at all. We see the spirit of God and the Lord a lot, but never of Christ.

The SAME and ONLY spirit OF God is seen as an expression and function of God when called by various titles, sp. of grace, of wisdom, of glory, of adoption or sonship, revelation, power, truth. The Sp of Christ is exactly the same spirit presenting God's will and presence in all things - the same spirit OF GOD, in all things. Just as we read of the 'spirit of Elijah' (2 Kings) the same spirit of the one God.

The 'Spirit of Christ' represents the spirit of God working out through suffering, humility and sacrifice that WAS Jesus' life. The prophets foresaw this in various ways and spoke of the one that was to come to accomplish this essential function of salvation BY the means that God has chosen in advance - a life of humble obedience and submission enabled by His spirit in the son to be in the line of David (born of Mary).

So no, the Spirit of Christ is no different from the Holy Spirit which accomplishes God's will in all things... us included.

Rom 8:11 the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.

  • Thanks so much for this answer. I need to really make sure I follow what you are saying. Do you mind me asking: Are you assuming an orthodox understanding of the Trinity? I'm asking because I do not understand this phrase: Why you are inferring 1Tim1:14 only to the Father and why the Son did not have immortality prior to his incarnation? Sorry if I misunderstood... – Pieter Rousseau Sep 3 '20 at 20:47
  • Thx for asking. Pls carefully consider my answer here. Hope it helps. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/49084/… – user48152 Sep 3 '20 at 21:36
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"Is the Spirit of the Son distinct from God the Holy Ghost?"

Isaiah 9:6 provides affirmation that the Son is indeed the Father:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Even the Son's name "shall be called" (future from the days of the prophet) "The mighty God", The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. If there is a distinction between the Son and God, the Holy Ghost, what exactly is being distinguished, and what is not?

So let's go right to Genesis chapter 1 (I'm using the KJV):

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Verse 1: God "created" ; Verse 2: The Spirit of God "moved"; Verse 3: And God "said". Who could possibly contend that God was not performing an OPERATION THAT ONLY GOD COULD PERFORM in each of the first three verses at that point in time--the very beginning of time. Yet, God Almighty performed three distinctly different operations through three distinctly different operative capacities--Almighty God, The Spirit of God, and the Word of God.

Who created God Almighty? Who gave life to the Spirit of God that "moved without any help? Which word twiddler taught God how to speak words? Who fashioned the eyes of the All-Seing God?

There is only ONE Almighty God (being a single plurality), one spirit of God, and one WORD of God. Moreover, throughout Gen. 1, God saw, called, made, and blessed differently on different occasions. Therefore, we are told to understand that God is a Spirit, and we are to worship Him in spirit and in truth. The speaking part of God is also spirit (no duh) and speaks truth (the words that I speak, they are spirit, and they are life),

So the operative capacity of the Father pursuant to His ability to generate offspring is indeed established through His relationship with that offspring--all being living spirits, including Adam--in the image of, and after the likeness of the complex plural Spirit God. Adam was called the son of God in Luke 3:38:

Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. (My emphasis)

Adam was indeed "created" as a complex plural spirit as we see in Gen. 5:1-2:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Before Adam was "formed" of the dust of the ground as a single flesh and blood man, he was "created" as that complex plural spirit in God's image and after His likeness. He was first "created" as being both male and female in one spirit--referred to by "their name" which was called "Adam"--not Adam and Eve. Only after that was man "formed" of the dust of the ground. And EVEN LATER THAN THAT was woman taken out of man and "formed" of Adams flesh and bone, as we see affirmed in 1 Timothy 2:13:

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (My emphasis)

Whenever God is acting within the operative capacity of the Father, He stays in His own lane--being what a Father should be--doing what a Father should do--loving, protecting, and instructing His Son . Likewise, whenever God is acting in the operative capacity of the Son, He stays in His own lane--being what a Son should be--doing what a Son should do--loving and obeying his Father.

Accordingly, when Jesus said, I and my father are one, He was not being disrespectful of His Father. He was stating a fact. Yet, Jesus, in the operative capacity as the Son of God/Son of man, said in Mat. 24:36-37:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Clearly, the Son stayed in His own lane, not encroaching upon the operative capacity of the Father. Moreover, the Spirit/Father (not flesh and blood) shows His Righteousness in John 5:22:

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

And explaining the operative capacity is directly related to being the Son of man, John 5:27 goes on to explain:

And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (My emphasis)

Precept upon precept, the Father stayed in His own lane by committing all judgment of mankind to the Son of man, tempted in all manners as we men have been tempted, yet without sin. In the operative capacity of the Spirit Father, God places great value upon righteous judgment.

Accordingly, to narrowly use the term, person, as a distinctly different and separate individual being seems impractical as a means of describing the ONE TRUE GOD. Yet, in all your studies, pay careful attention as to which, if any, operative capacity of God is being used.

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    If only we had a 'theology checker' that works like a 'spell checker'. "the Son is indeed the Father." Really Bill? Every word Jesus said about his Father, you are ignoring. – user48152 Sep 2 '20 at 4:38
  • @user48152 That's your job if you think the Psalmist is a liar, prove it and disqualify Him as my witness. You can't, so you slander me as being a theologist--which I'm not. I'm a believer in God's accurate and true WORD. – Bill Porter Sep 2 '20 at 11:20
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    I was hoping that either you mis wrote or I misunderstood. Such is the strange thing as, 'the son is the Father'! trinitarians would not say that. So,'The Father gave His only son', the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it.... – user48152 Sep 2 '20 at 11:37
  • As I explained, when God Almighty speaks as the Son, He stays in His own lane as the Son--one in Spirit, yet distinct as being the person of Jesus Christ. I use "person" as an "operative capacity" of the one true God who is Spirit. BTW, above, I meant to challenge you to attempt to disqualify Isaiah, not the Psalmist. Additionally, I used Moses as a witness concerning his testimony regarding Adam, the created plural spirit, being created as both male and female and called, Adam. Prove Moses to be a liar, if you can. – Bill Porter Sep 2 '20 at 11:48
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    "He who seeks revelation from one verse, finds his own truth'. – user48152 Sep 2 '20 at 21:36

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