What is the Spirit of Jesus?
Paul uses a curious phrase in his letter to the Philippian church. He talks about “the Spirit of Jesus.” Paul writes of his confidence that he will realize deliverance because of the Philippian church’s prayers and the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
In another place Doctor Luke writes in Acts that as Paul travels to tell others about Jesus he tries to enter Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus does not allow him to. Only two places in the Bible use this descriptive phrase “the Spirit of Jesus.”
Are they talking about Jesus or about the Holy Spirit? Does the distinction really matter? After all Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both just different expressions of the same God.Does the “the Spirit of Jesus” refer to Jesus or the Holy Spirit? Click To Tweet
Christianity is a monotheistic religion; we worship and serve one God. Yet people on the outside often perceive of Christianity as polytheistic (or tritheistic). This is because of our constant references to three parts of God as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. While it’s sometimes beneficial to separately consider these three aspects of God, we must not lose sight of him being one God.
Some people may find it critical to determine if the Spirit of Jesus actually refers to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit. Yet this is a matter of semantics. The answer doesn’t really matter, for the Spirit of Jesus is simply God. The Spirit of Jesus who delivers Paul and guides his path can also deliver and guide us. The details don’t matter.
How do you understand the Spirit of Jesus? Which of the three parts of God do you most identify with?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.