The Spirit of Life
“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
(Romans 8: 2, NIV)
What is the Spirit of Life? In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is described as “the Spirit of Truth”, “the Spirit of Promise”, “the Spirit of Grace”, and “the Spirit of Glory”. However, the designation “the Spirit of Life” is all inclusive. It binds up all the other meanings into one. This phrase indicates the relationship God has to all of life.
The word “Spirit” in this verse refers to life at its highest and best. Always where the reference is to God, this word indicates Him to be the originating cause, the power that brought all life into being, the source and cause of existence, the origin of life in all of its forms.
All too often it seems that many forget the relationship of the Spirit of God to all of life. The Bible never loses sight of the fact that all life is the result of the direct action of the Spirit of God. For the Spirit of God IS the Spirit of Life. We first find that meaning in Genesis 1:1-2:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved on the waters.”
The Bible gives us a spiritual explanation to all of original creation. The ancient Hebrew heard God in the thunder. He saw God in the lightening. To him, the fragrance of the flowers was the result of the inbreathing of God's Spirit. Its delicate beauty was the workmanship of God. He saw God behind all life, and with the coming of Jesus that perspective was confirmed.
To those who live and walk in the Spirit of Christ all creation is seen to be of God.
For the same Spirit that brings transformation in the natural world is bringing constant transformation to our characters and to our lives. Nature calls us to remember the God who is present.
I have experienced this in an exceptional way. Several years ago, a special man came into our life who kept our yard for us. We told Michael that we were no longer able to travel and that our yard is our place of recreation and refreshment. We wanted him to expand it into a beautiful garden. He is quite an artist, and he was constantly developing our two acres into a lovely area. As winter melted into spring, and spring into summer the changing panorama of blooms often brought me to tears! I began to see and experience our garden in a new way. I wrote about it in my journal. . .
“A garden is a place of mystery. It is a place set apart. It calls me from a life of noise and frantic activity to a place and time of tranquility. It provides a bridge between the familiar world of an ordinary life and the contemplation of timelessness and eternity. A garden is filled with the Spirit of Life. It is made up of things seen and things unseen. Therein lies its mystery. Hidden life stirs and expands and eventually bursts forth from its prison. It grows; it develops from bud to flower to fruit to death, only to be resurrected anew in its season. Many forms of life remain hidden under leaves and in the grass, insects of every kind. Deep in the soil microscopic forms of life break down the soil and enrich it.
The garden stands as a microcosm of my own life. My life also consists of what is seen and what is unseen. Both are part of the reality of being. The visible world always originates in the invisible world. The garden is a demonstration of this principle. It conveys God's design and His purposes. It speaks to me with the voice of God, but in order for me to hear Him I must honor Him with quietness and solitude.”
So often our focus rests upon ourselves and others as WE ARE rather than as we ARE MEANT TO BE. We get lost in our shortcomings. We lose sight of the Divine ideal. We lose the vision of what we were born for. We no longer know what God created us to be.
The Bible gives us two views of the Divine ideal as it was expressed in human life. In Genesis 2:7 we read that “Jehovah breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” Here we find our nature revealed. We are both dust and Deity. We are made of dust and then in-breathed by God. As the source of all life, He is The One who bequeaths life. We are of the earth, yet as offspring of the Spirit of God we are also of the heavens. This is a great mystery. It defies all explanation. It is beyond our ability to understand.
We are told that the first thing that Adam was conscious of was the awareness that he was subject to God. Secondly, he was conscious of the environment around him. He was able to name the animals. He was able to till the soil. He could will to cooperate with God. In Genesis 2:8–9 we read:
“Now the Lord had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Genesis 2: 15 -16: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'”
Genesis 2:19-20: “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So, the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.”
This story is one of beauty and glory! The Spirit of God bestows life in all of its forms, and He enlists mankind to join with Him in the joy and privilege of protecting and tending and naming it. However, before long the beauty of the story was marred. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sin entered the picture, and by sin came death.
Centuries would pass before the coming of Jesus Christ and the story of the his life reveals the truth that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Life. Every bit of the natural human life of Jesus was Life in the Spirit. It was by the power of the Spirit that He existed as a human being. The last Adam came into life once again by the dust of the earth and by the in breathing of God. He grew by means of the Spirit Life. He grew physically and mentally and spiritually by means of the Spirit of God.
Bible Verse to Memorize:
“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8: 2, NIV)
Questions to Ponder:
1. What is the meaning and significance of the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of Life?
2. How does this fact hold the secret to the growth and transformation God has promised for your life?
- to be continued -