E. THE SPIRIT OF THE SON OF GOD
Galatians 4:6 says, “Because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father!” God’s Son is the embodiment of the divine life (1 John 5:12). Hence, the Spirit of God’s Son is the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2). God gives us His Spirit of life because we are His sons. As sons of God we have the position with the full right to participate in the Spirit of God’s Son, who has the bountiful supply of life.
The Triune God is producing many sons for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose. God the Father sent forth God the Son to redeem us from the law that we might receive sonship (Gal. 4:4-5). He also sends forth God the Spirit to impart His life into us that we may become His sons in reality. In order for us to enjoy God’s sonship, we need the Spirit. Apart from the Spirit, we cannot be born of God to have the divine life. Once we have been born of the Spirit, we need the Spirit in order to grow in life. Without the Spirit we cannot have the position, right, or privilege of sonship. All the crucial points regarding sonship depend on the Spirit. Without the Spirit sonship is vain, an empty term. But when the Spirit comes, the sonship is made real. The Spirit of the Son of God, therefore, is the reality of sonship. The Spirit of the Son makes the divine sonship real to us in our daily living.
We should not think that the Spirit of the Son is separate from the Son. Actually, the Spirit of the Son is another form of the Son. The One who was crucified was Christ, but the One who enters into the believers is the Spirit. First He came as the Son under the law to qualify us for sonship and to open the way for us to share in the sonship. But after He finished this work He became in resurrection the life-giving Spirit and comes to us as the Spirit of the Son. The Spirit of the Son of God vitalizes the sonship and makes it real in our experience. Today our sonship depends on the Spirit of God’s Son.
F. THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST
In Romans 8:9 Paul speaks of the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Christ is related to the Lord’s death and resurrection. The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of the One who passed through death and entered into resurrection. The Lord’s death was an all-inclusive termination, and His resurrection was an all-inclusive germination. The Spirit of Christ, therefore, is the totality, the aggregate, of the all-inclusive Christ with His all-inclusive death and resurrection. Because we have this Spirit in us, we have the all-inclusive Christ and His all-inclusive termination and germination.
The Spirit of Christ is the reality of Christ, Christ Himself in reality. Because the Spirit is the reality of Christ, we may say that this Spirit is the pneumatic Christ. By the Spirit of Christ we partake of Christ in His resurrection life and power, His transcendency, and His reigning authority.
First Peter 1:11 tells us that the Old Testament prophets were “searching into what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them made clear, witnessing beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories after these.” In the New Testament revelation the Spirit of Christ denotes the Spirit after Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 8:9-11). Before Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit that is not only the Spirit of God but also the Spirit of Christ was “not yet” (John 7:39). The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God constituted through and of the death and resurrection of Christ for the application and impartation of Christ’s death and resurrection to the believers. Although the constitution of the Spirit of Christ is dispensational, constituted dispensationally through and of Christ’s death and resurrection in New Testament times, His function is eternal because He is the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). This can be compared to the cross of Christ: its event was accomplished at the time of Christ’s death, yet its function is eternal. Hence, in the eternal sight of God, Christ was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). In Old Testament times, to the prophets who were seeking out and searching out the sufferings and glories of Christ, the Spirit of God, as the Spirit of Christ, made the time and the manner of time concerning Christ’s death and resurrection clear.
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 079-098), Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)