Galatians 4:6. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
The source of our union with Christ, the source of the indwelling life of Christ, the source of “to live is Christ” is the Spirit of his Son. This is the mystery of the Trinity on full display. The Spirit is separate from the Son. And yet the Spirit IS the Spirit of the Son. This of course is quite necessary and what Jesus told us would happen in John 14. Jesus was sent by the Father (Galatians 4:4) and returned to glory at his ascension. He remains in the flesh seated next to the Father in Heaven. So how on earth would we ever be able to experience the life of Christ, his zoe, now that he is no longer with us physically? Answer: the Spirit of the Son.
The Holy Spirit is and always has been the source of all life- bios, psyche, and now the zoe of God through the life of Jesus the Son. Just like the Son, the Spirit was sent by God- God sent the Spirit. The Spirit is the granter of all life. The Spirit manifests the presence of God, and without his presence their is no life. He is the breath of God that entered Adam through his nostrils. He is the first breath of every baby and the last breath of every corpse. Without him there is no biological life. And without him there is no spiritual life. Jesus the God-Man could give his life FOR us on his own. But Jesus the God-Man could not give his life TO us apart from the work of the Spirit.
The Spirit of the Son is sent to us by the word of God and is received by faith. When we hear the word of Christ, we hear the Spirit of Christ. When, by faith, we receive the word of Christ, we receive the Spirit of Christ. Where does he go? Into our hearts. The heart is the deep seat of our desires. It is where our spiritual life takes root and bears fruit. It is the center of our being. The Spirit of the Son does not go into our minds (thinking), or our even just our guts (emotions). He goes to the deepest part of us. The part that changes how we think and emote. He affects our imagination and changes how we see all of life.
Molly’s life changed by a Ghost…Sam’s ghost. Our lives are changed by a ghost too. The Holy Ghost.
How do we know that we have Christ’s life? Is it by our behavior, or our dedication level, or our feelings? No, we know we have Christ’s life because we have the Spirit of the Son. He is the guarantee of new life. He is the seal of the promise. He is our source, and our goal.
One more important thought: it is the Spirit of the Son that has been sent into our hearts. It is not just some mystical, unknowable, mysterious Spirit that indwells us. It is a person. A human person. Jesus. The one in the Bible. The one who lived a historic life and died a historic death. The one who lived a life of sacrifice, righteousness, and love. The one who lived a life of humble dependence upon his Father. It is this Son of God whose Spirit now unites with our spirit.
“To live is Christ” is made possible by the Spirit of the Son, given to us by the Father. We now have the same son-ship that Jesus Christ himself has. The Spirit gives us the human status of Christ. We share his humanity, his spiritual DNA, his glory, his image bearing. We share his Spirit! We share union with God himself. You are invited into a relationship with the Trinity that can never be broken. Not even by you.
*I usually try to give you a Christ centered song here, but finding good songs about the Holy Spirit is actually kind of hard- they all want to ask for more of the Holy Spirit, and tap into some sort of power that has no connection to the historic Jesus or the corss, both of which violate the spirit of this blog. So I’m just gonna go with a classic Chicago “spirit” song, and a tribute to the guitar genius of Terry Kath (pick it up at around the 4:30 mark)- enjoy.