Daily Thought for: 13th September

SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD

2 Corinthians 3. 1-6

With what tremendous authority did those titanic men of God Elijah and Elisha stride into the presence of idolatrous kings of Israel with the words, ‘As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand’ upon their lips. The gods of mankind, which are not real gods, are not living beings. They are figments of men’s imagination. Like the idols that represent them, ‘eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths’, Ps. 135.16-17. Yet, ‘the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king’, Jer. 10.10. He is no mere force; He is a spirit being who lives, moves, hears, sees, and understands all things.

Now we must not think that, when writing of the Spirit of the living God, Paul was speaking of the Father’s spirit. It is true that the Jews were monotheistic, believing in one God, not many, and affirming’the Lord our God is one Lord’, Mark 12. 29. Yet the Scripture reveals that, in this one true God, there are three equal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This was a truth, by and large, hidden in the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the New. This is the self-same Spirit who brooded over the primeval waters in the beginning, Gen. 1. 2. And here our attention is drawn to the fact that, even in the Old Testament, God could say, ‘I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts’ and ‘I will put my spirit within you’, Jer. 31.33, Ezek. 36.27.

Paul, writing to believers, many of whom had been brought to know the living God through his preaching, tells them that, unlike many strangers who visited them, he did not need any letter of commendation. They themselves were his letter, and they were a letter of commendation that was not written with the ink of a human pen but with the marks of the Spirit Himself. Moreover, they were not letters written on paper or stone but on human hearts. The Spirit had done His work of conviction and revelation, had brought them to new life in Christ, and had given them the inward desire to please God. Proof of this was to be found, ‘not in written characters but in human characters’, M. J. Harris. Could that be said of us?

 

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