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The Spirit Gives Life

By Duane Garner

Genesis tells us that God breathed into Adam the breath of life. The original word for “breath” there is ruach,  the “Spirit” of life. Adam was animated by God’s Spirit. And from then on all men have derived their life from God’s Holy Spirit.

In Job, Elihu understood this – 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the (spirit) breath of the Almighty gives me life. In Numbers 27, Moses speaks about the God whose Spirit gives life to all flesh. Jesus says it is the Spirit who gives life. (John 6:63)

All this is in indication that if you’re alive then you are being loved, pursued, wooed, communicated with, animated by God’s Holy Spirit. Jesus said one of the Spirit’s jobs is convicting and convincing. No one is entirely independent of God’s blessing, mercy, and no one can go into eternity saying, “I didn’t even know there was a Living God.”

Romans 1 says you have to suppress the knowledge of the truth. The Spirit is there with every breath you take and you have to stop your ears, and convince yourself that He isn’t there. I would go so far as to say that God has a unique relationship with every single creature made in His image. Now, does every single human end up in eternity with Jesus, and do they all have eternal life? No. Sadly, no. But of all the reasons they end up outside God’s fellowship for eternity, the idea that they never heard, or never knew, or that God left them to their own ignorance is not among the reasons.

God’s Holy Spirit animates all life and this animating work of the Holy Spirit is seen in the various representations of His work. We see the Holy Spirit associated primarily with water, wind, fire. Water, wind and fire are always moving, always shifting and flickering. Always in motion. They won’t stay still. When do we see the Spirit associated with Water – he hovers over the waters at creation. A wind blows back the waters of the flood. God’s wind/breath/spirit holds back the waters of the Red Sea. Then He does it again with the waters of the Jordan. Later He hovers like a dove over Jesus at the waters of his Baptism.

Jesus said in John 3 that the Spirit of God is like the wind. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. In all those associations with water, we also see the Wind of God, the Breath of God blowing.

The Spirit is like a fire. He cleanses and purifies like fire. He anoints with fire. Every time God established a new sanctuary, a new place of worship, He lit it with fire. He did it with Abraham’s animals, He did it with the tabernacle and temple, He did it with Elijah’s altar, He did it all the way back in the Garden after the creation of Eve. Adam’s name meant dirt, earth. But when woman comes, her name is isshah – related to esh – fire. And Adam is called man, ish. The Holy Spirit lit the altar of the Garden sanctuary with Eve, and now Adam and Eve are aflame who together are to go out to light the world with the fire of the Spirit.

Nevertheless, the Spirit’s life is seen in fire, wind and water. Then on the day of Pentecost we see all these things come together. We see apostles with flaming tongues on their head (this is God lighting his new altar, his new sanctuary) we hear a rushing mighty wind, and before the day there is lots of water. 3000 people are baptized.

The Spirit gives life to all flesh, but everlasting life comes to those who submit themselves to Jesus and are united to him by faith.

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