The Spirit of the Lord
Read 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (ESV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
What does today’s verse declare to be true about the Holy Spirit?
There seem to be a lot of misconceptions out there about the Holy Spirit. Is the Holy Spirit just a mystical spiritual force? Some Christian traditions and Bible translations call the Holy Spirit the “Holy Ghost” so is the Holy Spirit a ghost? Is the Holy Spirit simply God’s helper or assistant?
But today’s verse states the truth plainly. The Lord is the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. And not a lesser God but a co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. As Christians, we believe in a triune God. When we say we believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, some people think we believe in 3 separate gods. It may be hard for our finite minds to grasp the concept, but we believe our God is three-in-one. Like the lyric from the old hymn: “Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty. God in three persons, blessed Trinity!” The idea is that God is one in essence but three in persons.
The Holy Spirit first shows up on the scene in Genesis 1:1-2. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” But Genesis 1:2 says that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” That places the Holy Spirit with God the Father at the time of creation. John 1:1-2 also equates Jesus as God and places Him with God the Father at the time of creation as well. This picture of the three persons of the Trinity working together to create the world helps us better understand the Trinity.
Jesus also clearly affirms the Holy Spirit as a person of the Trinity in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 when He said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
In today’s verse, we see that the Holy Spirit brings freedom. Paul is explaining that the law brings bondage but that the Spirit of God liberates! When the Spirit “unveils” our eyes we can see the truth of the Scriptures and we are spiritually transformed. The Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out. We are made more and more into the image of Christ.
Friends, the Holy Spirit is God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one Lord. And the Spirit of this Lord sets us free and transforms us. Let’s walk in that freedom today.
God, thank You for the freedom and transformation that is found in Your Spirit. Amen.