Word and Spirit

By: Fr. Thomas HopkoRead time: 3 mins4254 Hits

Word and Spirit

It is the constant testimony of the Bible and the Church that God acts toward the world through His Word and His Spirit.

God created all things by His Word and His Spirit. He created man in His divine image and likeness to partake of His Word and to live by His Spirit. All of the holy people of God received the Word of God and the Spirit of God. The patriarchs, prophets, and apostles all proclaimed the Word which came to them from God by the Spirit of God. The law of Moses and the prophets, the psalms and all the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, written and interpreted by men through the Spirit of God. Always and everywhere in the Bible and in the Church, God reveals Himself and acts in man and the world by His Word and His Spirit.

The central affirmation of the Christian Faith and the very essence of its gospel and life is that the Word of God became man as Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel and the Lord and Savior of the world. Jesus of Nazareth is the divine Word of God in human form. He is the personal Word of God Who was “in the beginning with God,” the Word “by whom all things were made (Jn 1:2).  He is the uncreated Word of God according to Whose image all men are created. He is the Word of God Who came to the patriarchs and prophets and Who is incarnate in the Bible in scriptural form. He is the Word of God Who died on the cross and is risen from the dead. He is the Head of the Church which is His Body, and the King of the Kingdom of God. He is the Word of God with Whom and through Whom the Holy Spirit comes to the world.

The Holy Spirit of God comes personally to men from the Father through Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. He comes to those who believe in Christ and belong to Him through faith and repentance and baptism in His Church. He is the Spirit Who descended upon the disciples on Pentecost, who also is the Ont by whose power the world was created and continued to exist. He is the Spirit breathed into men by God to make them live according to His divine likeness. He is the Spirit Who inspired the Law, and the prophets and the entire holy scripture, providing for its production and preservation, as well as for its interpretation ir the life of the faithful. He is the same Holy Spirit Who abides in the Church, making possible the fulness of its sacramental and spiritual life. He is the Spirit of God Who, by His presence with men in the world, is the pledge and the promise of God’s Kingdom to come. He is the Holy Spirit of God Who will one day, on the Day of the Lord, fill all creation with the presence of God.

Thus, the entire creation, the salvation and glorification of the world, the whole of what we call “salvation history,” depends on God and His Word and His Spirit, the Most Holy Trinity, Who in the Church and in the Kingdom, “fills all in all” (Eph 1:23).

From:The Orthodox Faith by Fr. Thomas Hopko

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