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February 13, 2014

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Jumapili Simba

It's good to be in right way and place as Holy in Jesus name.

eric h janzen

Very interesting. I appreciate the force of the conclusion in this article stressing the transformation the Spirit brings when he indwells us. This vital work of the Holy Spirit is a message not heard often enough, in my opinion, and yet is the key to our spiritual life in Christ. We can see and know God because he indeed makes us a new creation. Thank you for the article!

Matt Lynch

Hey Josh,

Thanks for your input.

Yes, 'us-without-Spirit' not 'us-with-Spirit.' My point is that God's Spirit does not simply come to 'be with,' but to recreate, as God's Spirit did consistently throughout the OT. This is utterly transformative, and derives from God's holy character (hence the corresponding call in the NT to 'be holy' / 'be perfect').

Regarding the OT the assumption you question, I argued that the full revelation of divine power was overwhelming even in Jesus, and so consistent with the what we see in Exod 19. As another example, Hebrews ch. 12, which quotes from the Exod 19 stoning animals passage I discussed (v.20), suggests not only that God-in-Jesus is equally powerful, but that the stakes are now higher. Hebrews suggests that we're right there at Mt. Sinai 2.0. The kind of fear inspired by Mt. Sinai is categorically different than the kind that inspired Adam & Eve to hide.

josh giesbrecht

ps. I recognize that really you've stated that God "can't" dwell with us, but in fact has found a way to anyway. Either path ends up with God healing us, I just don't trust the stability of that one stepping-stone along the way.

josh giesbrecht

This has a good ending, but I'm still a little nervous about how we got there.

To say "God’s Holy Presence cannot dwell among us as we are," are we still identifying as us-without-Spirit? Does that make any sense?

Maybe we can edit slightly. "God’s Holy Presence cannot dwell among us as we WERE."

But even that seems flawed. If God couldn't dwell with us in sin, how did he meet us in sin to begin with? The Holy Spirit who came to us to restore and regenerate us is the same Holy Spirit we're claiming can't dwell with us?

I'd suggest that there's an assumption here that needs to be questioned. Were the Israelites actually correct when they viewed God as Holy Radioactive Matter that was too dangerous to stand near? Or was that a perspective born in fear, based on awareness of God's infinite power but assuming the worst instead of the best of Him?

I don't think the assumption has an easy true/false answer since there are stories supporting either view in the OT. But if nothing else I think we should remember that it was Adam and Eve's idea to hide from God, not God's idea.

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