The Hearing of Faith
In the midst of his sufferings, Paul wrote to the Philippian believers of his experience of the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ: “For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19). He did not refer here to the Spirit as the Spirit of God, but the Spirit of Jesus Christ. What is this all-inclusive Spirit of Jesus Christ that bountifully supplied Paul and enabled him to live and magnify Christ in his sufferings? If we could see and be inspired by this revelation, we also can be bountifully supplied to face any difficult situation as Paul did nearly 2000 years ago.
The “Spirit of Jesus Christ” is a unique phrase in the Bible used after Christ’s resurrection. It was through Christ’s death and resurrection that He became the Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) to breathe Himself into His disciples (John 20:22) and be poured out upon all flesh for the salvation of mankind (Acts 2:17, 21). Now this Spirit of Jesus Christ, which includes not only His divinity, but also His perfect humanity and human living, death, and resurrection, is the all-inclusive bountiful supply to meet our need so that we can magnify Christ. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is “the Spirit” mentioned in John 7:39 that was “not yet” before Christ’s being glorified through His resurrection. This rich Spirit of Jesus Christ is typified by the holy anointing oil in Exodus chapter thirty.
Now this Spirit of Jesus Christ, which includes not only His divinity, but also His perfect humanity and human living, death, and resurrection, is the all-inclusive bountiful supply to meet our need so that we can magnify Christ.
“Moreover Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, You also take the finest spices...and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded according to the perfumer’s art; it shall be a holy anointing oil” (Exo. 30:22-25). The spices in this holy anointing oil were myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and cassia (Exo. 30:23-24). Olive oil signifies the Spirit of God with His divinity, and each spice that was compounded with the oil is an excellent picture of what was added to the Spirit of God through Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. Myrrh signifies the sweetness of Christ’s death and cinnamon the effectiveness of Christ’s death. Calamus is a reed that grows in a muddy environment, signifying Christ’s resurrection. Cassia was a spice used as an insect and snake repellent, signifying the power of Christ’s resurrection which is able to keep all the “bugs” and “snakes” away from us.
In the Old Testament, the tabernacle with its furnishings and utensils as well as the priests were anointed with this compounded ointment (Exo. 30:26-30). Today the church is God’s house (1 Tim. 3:15), and all the New Testament believers are priests (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6). The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the sweet and effective compound ointment, which includes the wonderful ingredients of His divinity, humanity, human living, death, and resurrection. As such a rich and all-inclusive Spirit, He is in us as the bountiful supply to meet our every need.May we learn to enjoy this bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, as Paul did, by applying Him through our prayers in the midst of the sufferings which come to us that Christ may be magnified in us.
From Issue No. 28, August 2000