45: The Eternal Spirit
Many years ago I purchased a book called Through the Eternal Spirit. That phrase “Through the Eternal Spirit” is found in Hebrews 9:14. It is not a verse that is often quoted or referred to in discussions about the Holy Spirit, yet is one of the key verses in the New Testament. This short phrase gives us insight into how Jesus was able to say, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”.
If Jesus had not been helped to utter those words, which cost him His life, we would be without hope. The eternal destiny of the world hung in the balance while the Savior of the world wrestled with God’s will. How was he able to submit to the plan of God? How was Jesus able to choose an ignominious painful death by crucifixion? I believe that God’s Spirit, assisted Him.
Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Let me shorten this verse to focus on that part that refers to Jesus and the Spirit. ‘Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself’. Jesus was enabled and empowered to offer Himself, by and through the eternal Spirit. He was helped to not listen to every part of his being that wanted to live, and choose death.
I understand a little of what he faced that night in the garden. As a husband I think often of Ephesians 5 and my posture towards my wife. I am to love her as “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. I am to lay my life down for her. Perhaps there are men out there more noble than myself, but I feel like Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, “I don’t wanna die!”
Dying is not only for husbands, Jesus commands every disciple to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23. And then we are promised that if we lose our life for His sake, we will find our life. But everything in us rebels at the thought of dying. It is not natural.
Because of truths such as these, I am compelled to learn more about the Holy Spirit, because only with His divine assistance will I be able to deny myself, take up my cross, follow Jesus, and lay down my life for my wife.
I have recently learned that Ephesians 5:18, Be filled with the Spirit, is a pivotal verse that strategically precedes verses 21-33, which are the blueprint for a Christian marriage. Until we are filled with the Spirit, we can’t hope to fulfill these fundamental commands for our home.
This is my motivation for studying and learning more about the third member of the Trinity. We’ll wrap up this newsletter with a few scriptures focusing on the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not only helped to die with the assistance of the Spirit, but as we will see, every aspect of His earthly ministry was linked to the Spirit.
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Luke 4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.
Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee,
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Matthew 12:28 By the Spirit of God that I cast out demons,
Luke 10:21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit
Our Lord was born of the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, operated in the power of the Spirit, was anointed by the Spirit, cast out demons by the Spirit of God, and rejoiced in the Spirit. All of these passages are recorded throughout the gospels. It was the presence and power of the Spirit that prepared Him for his ministry during His brief stay on this earth.
May God fill is in like manner that we too will be empowered to die to ourselves and live for Him.
Thankful for the Spirit,
I am really enjoying recording these podcasts. I have to apply myself to write, but talking via this medium seems to be right down my alley. I am planning on recording one per week, and have completed 5 so far. Some of you have requested updates when these are available online. We are still working on how to notify you when new broadcasts are ready, and will make let you know as soon as we can.
Here are links to the last 2. I would be thankful for any feedback after you listen to them.