"And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
- Luke 24:49
Though our souls are immortal, they can, and do, die. Death does not mean non-existence. After all, when our physical bodies die, they decay but the elements that made up our bodies continue on so long as the world exists. So likewise, though our souls continue for eternity, they are only alive if they are in a right relationship with God. God is the life of the soul. Separated from God, you are dead, spiritually, even though your soul remains conscious. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life…” (John 6:63) The work of the Spirit is to give spiritual life to our immortal souls. Even our physical bodies can reap the benefit of the Spirit’s work in our souls. As Paul writes, “But if 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 who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11) This is true, to some extent, in this life but will have its full manifestation in the life to come.
So we need the Spirit of God to give life to us, soul and body. The Spirit is God, that is, He possesses the one divine nature with all its infinite attributes of power, wisdom and goodnes, as do the Father and the Son. This nature is indivisible and is fully shared by all three Persons of the Holy Trinity. Just as one substance, water, can exist in three forms: as a liquid, a solid and a gas, so the one Divine essence subsists as three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three divine Persons are the consequence of God’s nature as perfect love – “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 16) Love has three natural forms: self-love, love of another as oneself and love of another, together. This is love at its simplest and fullest and it requires three persons to exist. Moreover, the three Persons of the Trinity are related to one another in a particular order. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father’s love and the Spirit eternally proceeds from the love between the Father and the Son. So the Father is the first, the Son the second and the Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity.
The Father is first because in Him the divine essence resides as the first principle. The Father is the fons trinitas, the fountain or source of the Trinity. The Son is begotten of the Father and the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. The Father’s love finds its consummation in the Son. The love of the Father and the Son finds its consummation in the Spirit. In other words, self-love flows out in other-love and other-love flows out in sharing a love for another. All three members of the Trinity participate in all three forms of love but the existence of the Persons is due to the necessity that there be sufficient objects for each form of love.
Now, each member of the Trinity has a unique role to play in our salvation from sin. We need to be re-united with God. In order for this to happen, we must know Him as He truly is. Satan originated a false belief concerning God. This false belief denied that love is possible. If that is so, God is not love. He is therefore selfish. And therefore, selfishness is good. Satan told Adam and Eve that God selfishly withheld from them the knowledge of good and evil. Why did He do this, according to Satan? He did this because He did not want them to be wise like God, that is, able to decide on their own what is true and false, good and evil, right and wrong. That was Satan’s pitch to them. He had already persuaded himself of this lie because God had denied to him and the other angels the right to be worshiped. God reserved this right only for Himself. That was pure selfishness rather than a command borne of love – or so Satan thought..
To refute this false belief concerning God’s motives, the Father sent His only-begotten and beloved Son into the world to display the divine love through a life of loving service culminating in His sacrificial death for our sins on the cross. To show that all our sins have indeed been removed and that eternal life was now ours, the Father raised His Son from death to life. By doing this, we now we have a perfect revelation of divine Love and an absolute refutation of Satan’s lie about God. God the Father has made a perfect demonstration of His loving nature in His Son. Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9; 1 John 4:9-10, 16, 19)
This demonstration of God’s love is wonderful and perfect. But we are blinded by selfishness. How shall we see it? We need help to see our heavenly Father’s love for us as revealed in His Son. This is where the Spirit’s role becomes crucial. The flesh, the world and the devil constantly fill our minds with empty fears and empty promises. We are therefore kept distracted from the truth of God’s love for us in Christ. It is the Spirit’s work to bring us into focus on this vital truth until it overpowers the lies that keep us in bondage to sin.
Our part is to pay sufficient attention to what the Spirit is showing us.When we behold the Son by the revelation of the Spirt, we will be saved.“Look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22; NKJV)That look saves us because it brings us to our senses, makes us see our need and motivates us to receive Jesus as our Savior!