The Eschatological Aspect of the Pauline Conception of the Spirit

by Geerhardus Vos

Like other parts of New Testament Theology the interpretation of Paul's teaching has strongly felt the influence of the emphasis placed in recent discussion upon the eschatological outlook of the early Church. It is said that, since the person of the Messiah and his work form already in the Old Testament part of an essentially eschatological program, and since the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah was the distinctive feature of the new faith, therefore the whole perspective in which the content of this religion presented itself to the first Christians had of necessity to assume eschatological form. They could not help correlating more closely than we are accustomed to do their present beliefs and experiences with the final, eternal issues of the history of redemption, and interpreting the former in the light of the latter. To an extent we can hardly appreciate theoretically, far less reproduce in our mode of feeling, they were conscious of standing at the turning-point of the ages, of living in the very presence of the world to come.

It is true that contemporary Judaism had not consistently kept the Messiah and his work in that central place of the eschatological stage which the Old Testament assigned to him. From within the coming aeon he had been removed to its threshold, and his kingdom relegated to the rank of a mere provisional episode in the great drama of the end. This, however, was due to the inherent dualism of the Jewish eschatology. Because it was felt that the earthly and the heavenly, the sensual and the spiritual, the temporal and the eternal, the political and the transcendental, the national and the cosmical would not combine, and yet neither of the two could safely be abandoned, the incongruous elements were mechanically forced together in the scheme of two successive kingdoms, during the former of which the urgent claims of Israel pertaining to this world would receive at least a transient satisfaction, whilst in the latter the higher and broader hopes would find their everlasting embodiment. Under this scheme the Messiah and his work inevitably became associated with the provisional, temporal order of affairs and ceased to be of significance for the final state.

But no such necessity for keeping apart the Messianic developments and the consummated state existed for the Christian mind. Here from the outset the emphasis had been placed on the virtual identity of the blessings and privileges pertaining to the rule of Christ with the eternal life at the end. While as a matter of history the opening days of the Messiah are seen to lie this side of the ultimate world-crisis, this is much more a chronological than a substantial distinction, the Christ is not kept outside of the future world, nor is the future world regarded as incapable of projecting itself into the present life. On the contrary the whole Messianic hope has become so thoroughly spiritualized as to make it indistinguishable in essence and character from the final kingdom of God. Through the appearance of the Messiah, as the great representative figure of the coming aeon, this new age has begun to enter into the actual experience of the believer. He has been translated into a state, which, while falling short of the consummated life of eternity, yet may be truly characterized as semi-eschatological.

In view of this it can cause no surprise, we are told, when the mind of the New Testament writers in its attempt to grasp the content of the Christian salvation makes the future the interpreter of the present, eschatology the norm and example of soteriological experience. Strange as this movement of thought seems to us, it must have been to the believers of the apostolic age quite natural and familiar. The coming of the Christ had fixed their attention upon the eternal world in all its absoluteness and fulness and with this in mind they interpreted everything that through the Christ happened for them and in them. Even in our Lord's teaching we are invited to observe the influence of this factor. Not as if the kingdom proclaimed by him were altogether a kingdom of the future having no existence in the present. Such a view is too palpably at variance with his plain teaching to gain acceptance with any except a few "thoroughgoing eschatologists". But the firmness with which the two aspects of the kingdom are held together under the same name and represented as one continuous thing and the absolute newness and incomparableness which are predicated of the whole as regards the Old Testament conditions, all this proves that Jesus viewed his work as in the most direct manner interlinked with the life to come, to all intents the beginning of a new creation. And in the early chapters of the Book of Acts the same thought is found to color the outlook of the mother-church, a feature which must be true to the facts, because it does not quite coincide with Luke's own point of view.

As for Paul, his attitude in regard to this matter was from the outset determined by the fact, that he views the resurrection of Christ as the beginning of the general resurrection of the saints. The general resurrection of the saints being an eschatological event, indeed constituting together with the judgment the main content of the eschatological program, it follows that to Paul in this one point at least the eschatological course of events had already been set in motion, an integral piece of "the last things" has become an accomplished fact. Nor does this remain with Paul an isolated instance of the principle referred to. We are asked to observe in several other connections that the Apostle thinks in eschatological terms even when speaking of present developments. The sending forth of Christ marks to him the πλήρωμα τοῦ χρόνου (Gal. 4:4), a phrase which certainly means more than that the time was ripe for the introduction of Christ into the world: the fulness of the time means the end of that aeon and the commencement of another world-period. As the resurrection of Jesus anticipates and secures the general resurrection, so the death of Christ, usually represented by Paul as an atonement, occasionally appears as securing and embodying in advance the judgment and destruction of the spiritual powers opposed to God, thus bringing the other great eschatological transaction within the scope of the present activity of Christ and the present experience of believers, Rom. 8:3; 1 Cor. 2:6 (where notice the present participle καταργουμένων: "who are already coming to nought"). Even the idea of σωτηρία "salvation", which is to us predominantly suggestive of our Christian state and experience in this life, is shown to have been with Paul in its original signification an eschatological idea denoting deliverance from the wrath to come, salvation in the judgment, and from this it is believed to have been carried back into the present life, first of all to express the thought, that even now the believer through Christ possesses immunity from the condemnation of the last day. The idea of "redemption", so closely associated with the death of Christ, none the less has its eschatological application, although it is not asserted that this is the older usage, Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14, 4:30. Justification is, of course, to Paul the basis on which the whole Christian state rests, and in so far eminently concerns the present, and yet in its finality and comprehensiveness, covering not merely time but likewise eternity, it presents remarkable analogies to the absolute vindication expected at the end. And the subjective renewal of the believer likewise is placed by the Apostle in the light of the world to come. The καινὴ κτίσις spoken of in 2 Cor. 5:17 means the beginning of that world-renewal in which all eschatology culminates.

Undoubtedly in all this there is some one-sidedness and exaggeration. Altogether too much has been made, in calling attention to the above and other allied facts, of the element of time, as if the peculiar perspective in these matters could be explained from the early Christian belief in the nearness of the parousia. When this chronological element is unduly pressed, such monstrosities result as Schweitzer's construction of the life of Jesus. And the writers who are most enthusiastic about trying the key of eschatology upon the lock of every New Testament problem, are also the least apt to hold back with their conviction, that the eschatological frame of mind is a hopeless anachronism to the modern consciousness. Still the abuse made of the theory should not shut our eyes to whatever elements of truth it may have brought for the first time into focus. It can be shown, we believe, that the phenomena dwelt upon have their root in practical and theoretical premises, which were fixed in the minds of the New Testament writers altogether independently of the question of the relative nearness or remoteness of the parousia. In each case the consideration is not that in point of time, but that in point of causal nexus and identity of religious privilege, the present is most closely linked to the life of eternity. Not the belief in the nearness of the parousia first gave rise to this consciousness. On the contrary, there is reason to assume that the expectation of a speedy approach of the end which is reflected in the New Testament writings sprang, at least in part, from the consciousness in question. The early church lived to such an extent in the thought of the world to come, that it could hardly help hoping it to be near also in point of time. But this was a mere by-product of a much broader and deeper state of mind. Thus it happens that the principle to which the eschatological school has called attention may retain its validity, even though the present age and the life of eternity have become to our knowledge much farther separated than they were to the vision of the early church.

We propose in the following pages to investigate to what extent Paul's doctrine of the Holy Spirit shows interdependence with his eschatology. At this point better than at any other will we be able to test the relative warrant for the eschatological method of approach, and to understand the peculiar way in which it can contribute to an adequate appreciation of the fundamental structure of the great Apostle's teaching. Another reason for the selection lies in this, that in the treatment of Paul's pneumatology the new point of view has thus far been less thoroughly and systematically pursued than in regard to other aspects of his gospel. One reason for this is that the theological conception of the Spirit is chiefly regulated by the closing discourses of our Lord recorded in the Fourth Gospel. Here the Spirit seems to appear as merely the representative of Christ during his absence, and therefore confined in his operation to the intermediate period between the departure of Jesus and his return to the disciples. Thus restricted the Spirit would have no further significance for the consummated state, when Christ will resume direct intercourse with his own in a higher form. But even for John this would be a very one-sided statement of the facts. The Spirit does not abide temporarily with the disciples but "forever" Jno. 14:16, 17. It is the Spirit's specific function "to declare the things that are to come," 16:13. The Spirit "guides into all the truth", and hence is called "the Spirit of truth", 15:26, 16:13, and this must be taken in connection with the peculiar Johannine objective conception of "truth" as designating the transcendental realities of the heavenly world, that truth of which Jesus is the center and incarnation, whence also the Spirit in supplying it takes of Jesus' own, 16:14, 15. Indeed so absolutely does the Spirit belong to the other world, that the kosmos is simply declared incapable of receiving, beholding, and knowing him, 14:17. Nor is the intermediate operation of the Spirit in the present meant to preclude his eternal significance as a factor in the life to come. That the latter idea is not more pointedly brought out in John is due to the thoroughgoing manner in which the Fourth Gospel eternalizes the present state of the believer, and emphasizes the identity rather than the difference between the life now possessed and the life to be inherited hereafter. Viewed in this light the prominence of the Spirit's activity now not only does not tell against, but distinctly favors the assumption that the Spirit has his proper sphere and a dominating part in the eschatological world.

But, even if the facts were different as regards the Fourth Gospel, this would not be decisive for the case of Paul. Our Lord in John might have confined himself to pointing out one particular aspect of the Spirit's work, and Paul might teach the full-orbed doctrine of the Spirit, so as to bring the two hemispheres of his present and his eschatological activity under equal illumination. In how far this is actually the case we endeavor to trace in the following survey of Paul's teaching on the subject.

At the outset it will be well to remark that the connection of the Spirit with eschatology reaches back into the Old Testament. The fundamental sense of רוּחַ is in the Old Testament, that of air in motion, whilst that of air at rest seems to have been chiefly associated with the Greek πνεῦμα. This rendered the word fit to describe the Spirit on his energizing, active side and falls in with his ultimate eschatological function, since the eschatological element in the religion of the Old Testament is but the supreme expression of its character as a religion of God's free historical self-assertion, a religion, not of nature-processes, but of redemption and revelation. Aside from this the Spirit and eschatology are linked together along four lines of thought. First we have the idea that the Spirit by special manifestations of the supernatural, by certain prophetic signs, heralds the near approach of the future world. Thus in Joel 3:1 ff. (2:28 ff in English) the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh and the subsequent prophesying and related phenomena are described as all taking place "before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes" (verse 4). The idea is not that the Spirit will be characteristic of the eschatological state, but that it naturally falls to him to work the premonitions of its coming. This follows from the parallelism between the Spirit-worked phenomena and the other cosmical signs enumerated. When this terrible castastrophe draws near, great prophetic excitement will lay hold upon men, even as the powers of nature will become moved in sympathy with what is approaching. It is not excluded by this that the Spirit will also have his place and role within the new era itself, but this is not indicated even indirectly. The Spirit works these signs, not because he stands for the eschatological as such, but because the prophetic and ecstatic experiences belong to his province.4

In the second place the Spirit is brought into the eschatological era itself as forming the official equipment of the Messiah. This is done in a number of passages, Is. 11:2, 28:5, 42:1, 59:21 (?), 61:1. It is to be noticed that the Messiah receives the Spirit as a permanent possession, and not temporarily as the prophets; further that the effects of this endowment lie in the ethico-religious sphere. By calling this equipment with the Spirit official we do not mean to imply that it is externally attached to the Messiah and does not affect his own subjective religious life, for according to Is. 11:2 he is not merely a "Spirit of wisdom and understanding", of "counsel and might", but also a "Spirit of knowledge and fear of Jehovah". Still the prophet does not mean to describe what the Spirit is for the Messiah himself, but what through the Messiah he is for the people.

In the third place the Spirit appears as the source of the future new life of Israel, especially of the ethico-religious renewal, also as the pledge of divine favor for the new Israel, and as the author of a radical transformation of physical conditions in the eschatological era, and thus becomes characteristic of the eschatological state itself. To this head belong the following passages: Is. 32:15–17, 44:3, 59:21 (?); Ez. 36:27, 37:14, 39:29. It will be observed that in these passages the sending of the Spirit is expected not from the Messiah but from Jehovah directly, although the statements occur in prophecies that know the Messiah. The emphasis rests on the initial act as productive of new conditions; at the same time the terms used show that the presence and working of the Spirit are not restricted to the first introduction of the eschatological state but accompany the latter in continuance. The land or the nation becomes a permenent receptacle of the Spirit. An individualizing form the promise assumes in Ez. 36:26.

In the fourth place we must take into account that in the Old Testament Spirit appears as the comprehensive formula for the transcendental, the supernatural. In all the manifestations of the Spirit a supernatural reality projects itself into the ordinary experience of man, and thus the sphere whence these manifestations come can be named after the power to which they are traced. This is in agreement with the twofold aspect of "the wind", which is at the same time a concrete force, and a supernal element. But the Spirit stands for the supernatural not merely in so far as the latter connotes the miraculous, but also in so far as it is sovereign over against man: it "blows where it listeth". In man the pneumatic awakes the awe which pertains to the supernatural and its presence exposes to the same danger. Because of this close association with the higher world the Spirit appears in closest conjunction with God, who is the center of that sphere. Every bearer of the Spirit forms a link of connection between man and the higher world. In the ecstatic state the Spirit lifts the prophet into the supernatural sphere which is peculiarly its own. And even in his ordinary life the prophet is, on account of his pneumatic character, as it were concentrated upon a higher world, "he sits alone because of Jehovah's hand", Jer. 15:17. All this, while not eschatological in itself, becomes of importance for our present purpose, because it is a recognized principle in New Testament teaching that in one aspect the eschatological order of things is identical with the heavenly order of things brought to light. If the Spirit stands representatively for the latter, he will naturally reappear in the same capacity as regards the former.

In the apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature and in the Rabbinical theology we meet again most of these ideas, and in one respect note a further development in the direction of the New Testament doctrine. The Messiah becomes bearer of the Spirit not merely for the discharge of his own official functions, but also for the purpose of communicating the Spirit to others. The Messiah pours out on men the Spirit of grace, so that henceforth they walk in the ways of God, Test. Jud. xxiv. 2. In "the Elect", i.e. the Messiah, "dwells the Spirit of wisdom, and the Spirit of him who gives understanding, and the Spirit of instruction and power, and the Spirit of those who are fallen asleep in righteousness", En. xlix. 3. Thus not merely the ethical but also the eschatological life of the resurrection is derived from the Messiah. It will be observed, however, that the Spirit does not become any more than in the Old Testament the constituent principle of the Messiah's Person, he remains as before the Spirit of official endowment. Cf. further En. lxii. 2; Test. Lev. xviii. 7; Test. Jud. xxiv. 2; Or. Sib. iii. 655 ff.; Ps. Sol. xvii. 37. The possession of the eschatological Spirit is ascribed to the future saints also irrespective of Messianic mediation. It is in them a Spirit of life, En. lxi. 7, a Spirit of faith, of wisdom, of patience, of mercy, of judgment, of peace and of benevolence, En. lxi. 11; a Spirit of eternal life, Or. Sib. iii. 771; a Spirit of holiness pertaining to paradise and named in connection with the tree of life, Test. Lev. xviii. 11. The Rabbinical Theology also brings the Spirit in connection with the resurrection: "Holiness leads to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit leads to the resurrection", R. Pinhas b. Ja'ir in B. Aboda s. 20b (quoted by Volz p. 114). In comparison with the Old Testament period this thought of the Spirit's eschatological operation appears more developed and receives greater emphasis, a feature by some explained from the fact, that in the later times the present activity of the Spirit was felt to be rare or entirely in abeyance. What the present did not offer was expected from the future. None the less the fourth line of thought is as prominent as in the canonical literature. The impression that the period of Judaism was to itself an unpneumatic period is apt to be based on the comparison of these times with the immediately following Spirit-filled days of the early Christian church, rather than on an estimate of the period considered in itself. The "wise men" speak of themselves as "divine", "immortal", as the prophets of their age; Sap. Sol. 7:27, 8:13; Sir. 24:33. The Apocalyptic writers also feel themselves men of a higher divine rank, initiated into mysteries hidden even from the angels, capable of forecasting the future, the authors of inspired writings, En. xiv. 3, xxxvii. 3, lxxxii. 2, xci. 1, xcii. 1; 4 Ezra, 14:18 ff. 46; Slav. En. xviii. 8, xxiv. 3. We also read that the pneumatic state of these men assumed the specific form of a translation into the heavenly sphere It is, however, difficult to determine how much in all this was actual, sincere experience, and how much was artificially conceived, or part of the traditional imagery of which all these writers availed themselves. The fact that the Pneuma is most frequently associated with the charisma of wisdom and general ethical virtue may be an indication that the specifically supernatural did no longer attest itself strongly to the consciousness of the period as a present possession.

In the Gospels the eschatological aspect of the Spirit is not much in evidence. This, however, is but part of the wider observation that the Spirit in general remains in the background. It is a striking proof of the high Christology of the Synoptical writers that they do not refer to the pneumatic equipment of Jesus in explanation of the supernatural character of his Person, and even make comparatively little of it in explanation of the supernatural character of his work. Obviously the Evangelists (Synoptics as well as John) had a higher, ontological aspect of the Person of Jesus in mind by which to account for the supernatural phenomena. The Baptist makes the Holy Spirit the element wherein Jesus will baptize, and thus the distinctive element of the coming kingdom, Mk. 1:8. (= Mt. 3:11 = Lk. 3:16). This implies that the Messiah imparts the Spirit. But in the Fourth Gospel the Baptist goes one step farther by bringing this baptism to be conferred by Jesus into connection with the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus, which is the first intimation in the New Testament, that the Spirit will rest on the Messiah and the members of his kingdom, passing over from him to them, 1:33. As the Spirit of the Messiah the Spirit appears in the accounts of the birth of Jesus, of the baptism and of the temptation; Cf. also Mt. 4:14. Our Lord himself refers to the Spirit in this capacity in the sayings of Mt 12:28 (= Lk. 11:20) and Lk. 4:18. Of the Spirit as communicable to the disciples in the kingdom speak Mt 10:19 (= Lk. 12:12) and Lk. 11:13. It will be noted that here the giving of the Spirit is ascribed to God, not to the Messiah. To the closing chapters in John reference has been made above. The Spirit, while predominant in this intermediate period, is not confined to it, and the period, as well as the Spirit's operation in it, are conceived as semi-eschatological. Both the Father and Jesus send the Spirit, 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7, 20:22. In the earlier part of the Gospel the Messianic Spirit appears in 1:33, 3:34, 6:33; the future Spirit in 7:39; the Spirit as representative of the supernatural, heavenly world in 3:3, 5, 6, 8.

We have already seen that in the early Petrine teaching, traceable in Acts, the outpouring of the Spirit is, in dependence on the Joel-prophecy, represented as belonging to "the last days", 2:17. It does not, however, follow from this, that the pneumatic phenomena appeared to the early disciples in the light of eschatological symptoms exclusively. It is evident from the whole tenor of the narrative that the possession of the Spirit had a subjective value for the disciples themselves. It is the sign of acceptance with God, of participation in the privileges of the Christian state, 10:45, 47. It is therefore represented as the fulfilment of the promise, which fulfilment Christ after his ascension received from the Father, 1:4, 2:33. It signalizes the present no less than it portends the future. Still the characteristic feature, that the present enjoyment of the Spirit's gifts is an anticipation of the world to come seems to be wanting. The Spirit's work is prophetic and at the same time symptomatic of salvation, but these two ideas are not as yet organically connected, the intermediate thought which would explain both features, viz. that the final salvation consists in the full endowment with the Spirit, finds no expression. The problems of the sphere to which the operations of the Spirit belong and of the personal relation of the Spirit to the exalted Messiah, can be more satisfactorily dealt with at a subsequent stage in comparison with the Pauline teaching on these points.

Coming to Paul himself we notice first that the Apostle explicitly links the Christian possession of the Spirit to the Old Testament eschatological promise. This does not mean that the presence and operation of the Spirit in the Old Testament are denied. Cf. Acts 28:25; Rom. 7:14; 1 Cor. 10:3, 4; Gal. 4:29 and 1 Tim. 4:1. These things, however, so far as they do not relate to the inspiration of the Scriptures, were of a typical nature and therefore took place in the physical sphere. The true era of the Spirit's activity was still outstanding. The two aspects of the Messianic Person, that κατὰ πνεῦμα as well as that κατὰ σάρκα were part of the prophetic promise in the Holy Scriptures Rom. 1:1–4. The Spirit is an object of ἐπαγγελία, Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:13. While in the latter passage Paul probably has in mind the prophetic predictions of the outpouring of the Spirit, the context shows that in Gal. 3 he thinks of the εὐλογία given to Abraham as relating to the Spirit.

We first examine the statements which introduce the Spirit in a strictly eschatological capacity, as connected with the future state. The Spirit and the resurrection belong together, and that in a twofold sense. On the one hand the resurrection as an act is derived from the Spirit, on the other hand the resurrection-state is represented as in permanence dependent on the Spirit, as a pneumatic state. In Rom. 8:11 it is affirmed that God, διὰ τοῦ ἐνοικοῦντος αὐτοῦ πνεύματος (or τὸ ἐνοικοῦν αὐτοῦ πνεῦμα) ἐν ὑμῖν shall give life to their mortal bodies. In verse 10 the body and the Spirit are contrasted: the former is dead on account of sin, the latter is life on account of righteousness. Still πνεῦμα is here not the human spirit, psychologically conceived; it is the divine Pneuma in its close identification with the believer's person. Hence in verse 11 there is substituted for the simple τὸ πνεῦμα the fuller phrase "the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead". The fact that God is thus designated is of importance for the argument. What God did for Jesus, he will do for the believer also.. It is presupposed by the Apostle, though not expressed, that God raised Jesus through the Spirit. Hence the argument from the analogy between Jesus and the believer is further strengthened by the consideration, that the instrument through which God accomplished this in Jesus is already present in the readers. The idea that the Spirit works instrumentally in the resurrection is thus plainly implied, altogether apart from the question whether the reading διά c. Gen. or διά c. Acc. be preferred in verse 11e. As to 11e itself, when the textus receptus is followed, this part of the verse will only repeat in more explicit form the thought already implied in 11a: If the Spirit of God who raised Jesus dwells in you, then God will make the indwelling Spirit accomplish for you what he did for Jesus in the latter's resurrection. On the other reading we may paraphrase as follows: If the Spirit of God who raised Jesus dwells in you, then God will create for that Spirit the same bodily organisation, that he created for him in the resurrection-body of Christ. In the latter case there is added to the idea of the Spirit as the instrumental cause of the resurrection-act, the further idea of the Spirit as the permanent basis of the resurrection-state.

A second passage is Gal. 6:8. Between verse 7 and verse 8 the figure varies, inasmuch as in the former the correspondence between the seed and the harvest, in the latter the correspondence between the soil and the harvest is affirmed. But the idea of correspondence is common to both forms of the figure. The reaping of eternal life follows from the sowing into the Spirit because the Spirit and eternal life belong together through identity of content, just as the σάρξ—soil is reproduced in the φθορά—harvest, because the σάρξ is inherently and necessarily the source of corruption. The phrase ζωὴ αἰώνιος, with Paul (in distinction from John) always strictly eschatological, proves that the reference is to the day of judgment. The future θερίσει is chronological. We, therefore, obtain the thought that the heavenly life, regarded as a reward for the believer, will essentially consist in pneuma, which, of course, extends to its bodily form, although it is not confined to this. Nothing is here said of the act of the resurrection and its dependence on the Spirit. It is the harvest as a product, not the harvesting as a process, of which the pneumatic character is affirmed.

It might be said, however, that in these two passages the thought has its point of departure in the soteriological conception of the Spirit as a present factor in the Christian life and from here moves forward to the future, so that the eschatological function of the Spirit would be a doctrinal inference, rather than something inherent in the nature of the Spirit itself. We therefore turn to a third passage, which clearly starts from the eschatological end of the line and looks backward from this into the present life. This is 2 Cor. 5:5. Here Paul declares that God has prepared him for the eternal state in the new heavenly body, as may be seen from this that he gave him the ἀρραβὼν τοῦ πνεύματος. The ἀρραβών con-consists in the Spirit; "of the Spirit" is epexegetical, just as in Gal. 3:14 the ἐπαγγελία τοῦ πνεύματος means the promised thing consisting in the Spirit. But the Spirit possesses this significance of an ἀρραβών because it is a preliminary instalment of what in its fulness will be received hereafter. The analogous conception of the ἀπαρχὴ τοῦ πνεύματος, Rom. 8:23, proves this. The figure of the ἀρραβών itself implies this relation no less than that of the ἀπαρχή, for it means "money which in purchases is given as a pledge that the full amount will be subsequently paid". In this instance, therefore, the Spirit is viewed as pertaining specifically to the future life, nay as constituting the substantial make-up of this life, and the present possession of the Spirit by the believer is regarded in the light of an anticipation. The Spirit's proper sphere is according to this the world to come; from there he projects himself into the present, and becomes a prophecy of himself in his eschatological operation.25

Undoubtedly more statements to the same effect would be found, but for the circumstance that it was more natural for the Apostle to express the idea in connection with the eschatological life of Christ, as already a present reality, than in connection with the eschatological state of believers, which still lies in the future. We, therefore, inquire in the second place to what extent eschatological side-lights fall on the resurrection and the resurrection-life of Christ. We begin with Rom. 1:4. Here, we read that Christ was ὁρισθεὶς υἱὸς θεοῦ ἐν δυνάμει κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν. The statement stands in close parallelism to verse 3 τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυεὶδ κατὰ σάρκα. The following members correspond to each other in the two clauses:



κατὰ σάρκα

κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης

ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυείδ

ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν.

The reference is not to two coexisting sides in the constitution of the Saviour, but to two successive stages in his life: there was first a γενέσθαι κατὰ σάρκα, then a ὁρισθῆναι κατὰ πνεῦμα. The two prepositional phrases have adverbial force: they describe the mode of the process, yet so as to throw emphasis rather on the result than on the initial act: Christ came into being as to his sarkic existence, and he was introduced by ὁρισμός into his pneumatic existence. The ὁρίζειν is not an abstract determination, but an effectual appointment; Paul obviously avoids the repetition of γενομένου not for rhetorical reasons only, but because it might have suggested, even before the reading of the whole sentence could correct it, the misunderstanding that at the resurrection the divine sonship of Christ as such first originated, whereas the Apostle merely meant to affirm this late temporal origin of the divine sonship ἐν δυνάμει, the sonship as such reaching back into the state of preëxistence. By the twofold κατά the mode of each state of existence is contrasted, by the twofold ἐκ the origin of each. Thus the existence κατὰ σάρκα originated "from the seed of David", the existence κατὰ πνεῦμα originated "out of resurrection from the dead". The point of importance for our present purpose lies in this last contrast. How can resurrection from the dead be the counterpart of an issue from the seed of David? There are in the Pauline world of thought but two answers to this question, and both will have to be combined in the present instance. The resurrection is to Paul the beginning of a new status of sonship: hence, as Jesus derived his sonship κατὰ σάρκα from the seed of David, he can be said to have derived his divine-sonship-in-power from the resurrection. The implication is that the one working in the resurrection is God: it is his seed that supernaturally begets the higher sonship. And in all probability the Genitive ἁγιωσύνης which is added to "Spirit", is meant as a designation of God from the point of view of his specific deity, sharply distinguishing him as such from David. Still, all this might have been expressed by Paul writing "effectually appointed according to the Spirit of Holiness the Son in power of God who raises the dead". That, instead of doing this, he writes ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν must be explained from a second motive. He wished to contrast the resurrection-process in a broad generic way with the processes of this natural life; the resurrection is characteristic of the beginning of a new order of things, as sarkic birth is characteristic of an older order of things. What stands before the Apostle's mind is the contrast between the two aeons, for it was a familiar thought to the Jewish theology that the future aeon has its characteristic beginning in the great resurrection-act. This also will explain why in ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν both nouns are anarthrous. Paul is not thinking of the resurrection of Christ as an event, but of what happened to Christ in its generic qualitative capacity, as an epoch partaking of a strictly eschatological nature. From resurrection-beginnings, from an eschatological genesis dates the pneumatic state of Christ's glory which is described as a sonship of God ἐν δυνάμει.

In 1 Cor. 15:42–50 the Apostle contrasts the two bodies which belong to the pre-eschatological and the eschatological state respectively. The former is characterized as ψυχικόν, the latter as πνευματικόν. Here therefore, as regards the body, the eschatological state is the state in which the Pneuma rules, impressing upon the body its threefold characteristic of ἀφθαρσία, δόξα, δύναμις (verses 42, 43). And over against this, and preceding it, stands the "psychical" body characterized by φθορά, ἀτιμία, and ἀσθενεία. The proximate reference is to the body and the contrast is between the body in the state of sin and the body in the resurrection-state. It will be noticed, however, that in verses 45, 46 the Apostle generalizes the antithesis so that it no longer concerns the body exclusively, but the whole state of man, and at the same time enlarges the one term of the contrast, that relating to the pre-eschatological period, so as to make it cover no longer the reign of sin, but the order of things established in creation. Τὸ πνευματικόν and τὸ ψυχικόν in verse 46 are generalizing expressions, after which it would be a mistake to supply σῶμα; they designate the successive reign of two comprehensive principles in history, two successive world-orders, a first and a second creation, beginning each with an Adam of its own. Even apart from sin these two stand related to each other, as the natural and the supernatural. This is expressed by the contrast ἐκ γῆς and ἐξ οὐρανοῦ. When it is said that the second man is from heaven, this has nothing to do with the original provenience of Christ from heaven; the ἐξ οὐρανοῦ does not imply a "coming" from heaven, no more than the ἐκ γῆς implies a coming of Adam from the earth at the first creation. To refer ἐξ οὐρανοῦ to the coming of Christ out of the state of preëxistence at his incarnation would make Paul contradict himself, for it would reverse the order insisted upon in verse 46: not the pneumatic is first, but the psychical first. Besides this, it would make the pneumatic the constitutive principle of the Person of Christ before the incarnation, of which there is no trace elsewhere in Paul. The phrase ἐξ οὐρανοῦ simply expresses that Christ after a supernatural fashion became "the second man" at the point marked by ἔπειτα. A "becoming" is affirmed of both Adams, the second as well as the first, for the ἐγένετο in verse 45 belongs to both clauses. How far in either case the subject of which this is affirmed existed before in a different condition is not reflected upon.31 The whole tenor of the discussion compels us to think of the resurrection as the moment at which τὸ πνευματικόν entered, the second man supernaturally appeared, in the form of πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν inaugurated the eschatological era. But besides identifying the eschatological and the pneumatic, our passage is peculiar in that it most closely identifies the Spirit with Christ. In the preceding passages the Spirit, who works and bears the future life was the Spirit of God. Here it is not merely the Spirit of Christ, but the Spirit which Christ became. And being thus closely and subjectively identified with the risen Christ the Spirit imparts to Christ the life-giving power which is peculiarly the Spirit's own: the second Adam became not only πνεῦμα ζῶν but πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν. This is of great importance for determining the relation to eschatology of the Christ-worked life in believers, as we shall soon have occasion to show.

In a few other passages the resurrection of Christ is ascribed to the Spirit indirectly, being represented as an act of the δύναμις, the δόξα of God, both of which conceptions are regularly associated with the Spirit, cf. Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 13:4. In none of these, however, is any reference made to the permanent presence of the Spirit in Christ's life. But apart from the resurrection the δόξα is to Paul the specific form in which he conceives of the exalted state of Jesus, and this δόξα is so closely allied to the Spirit in Christ also, as to become almost a synonym for it. Thus, as God the Father is said to have raised Christ διὰ τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ, believers are said to be transformed ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν i.e. from the glory they behold in (or reflect from) Christ unto the glory they receive in themselves, 2 Cor. 3:18.

We have found that the Spirit is both the instrumental cause of the resurrection-act and the permanent substratum of the resurrection-life. The question here arises: which of the two is the primary idea, either in order of thought or in point of chronological emergence. It might seem plausible to put the pneumatic derivation of the resurrection-act first, and to explain this feature from what the Old Testament teaches concerning the Spirit of God as the source of natural life in the world and in man, especially since in the allegory of Ezek. 37 this had already been applied to the (metaphorical) resurrection of the nation of Israel. If the Spirit worked physical life in its present form, what was more reasonable than to assume that he would likewise be the author of the restoration of physical life in the resurrection? As a matter of fact, however, we find that the operation of the Spirit in connection with the natural world recedes into the background already in the intercanonical literature and remains so in the New Testament writings themselves. In reality Paul connects the Spirit with the resurrection not because he conceives of the future life in analogy with the present life, but from the very opposite reason, because he conceives of it as essentially distinct from the present life, as moving in a totally different element. It is more probable, therefore, that the thought of the resurrection-life as pneumatic in character is with him first in order, and that, in partial dependence on this at least, the idea emerges of the Spirit as the author of the act of the resurrection. For this there was given a solid Old Testament basis in trains of thought which had fully held their own, and even found richer development in the intermediate and in the early New Testament period. The transcendental, supernatural world is already to the Old Testament the specific domain of the Spirit. And, quite apart from references to the resurrection, this thought meets us again in Paul. The heavenly world is the pneumatic world, even irrespective of its eschatological complexion, 1 Cor. 10:3, 4; Eph. 1:3. From this the transition is not difficult to the idea that the eschatological state is preëminently a pneumatic state, since the highest form of life known, that of the world of heaven, must impart to it its specific character.

This will become clearer still, by inquiring in the next place to what extent the soteriological operations of the Spirit reveal eschatological affinity. Here a twofold perspective opens itself up to us. On the one hand in the forensic sphere all salvation is subsumed under the great rubric of justification. On the other hand in the pneumatic sphere the categories of regeneration and sanctification play an equally comprehensive part. The antithesis between the forensic and the pneumatic already indicates on which side the soteriological activity of the Spirit will chiefly lie and where we may expect traces, if such there be, of eschatological modes of approach to the subject. Still it would be rash simply to exclude on that account from our inquiry the topic of justification. Into the transaction of justification also the Spirit enters. In saying this we do not refer to the function of the Spirit in the production of faith on which as its subjective prerequisite the justifying act of God is suspended. Nor is it possible, contrary to Paul's plain and insistent declarations on this point, to assign the υἱοθεσία in part to the subjective sphere, making it consist in the impartation of the Spirit of sonship.

Nor can the work of the Spirit in the subsequent production of assurance come under consideration for our present purpose. What we mean is something else than all this. The possession of the Spirit is for Paul the natural correlate, the crown and in so far the infallible exponent of the state of δικαιοσύνη. This highly characteristic line of thought can perhaps most clearly be traced in its application to Christ. For the same reason that the resurrection of Jesus is in a very real sense the justification of the Christ, this can likewise be affirmed of the resurrection-life which ever since that moment Christ lives. The life and glory of the exalted Saviour are the product and seal and exponent of his status of righteousness. Speaking in our own terms, and yet faithfully rendering the Pauline conception, we may say that in his resurrection-state Christ is righteousness incarnate. Hence also justification is made dependent on a faith terminating upon the living, glorified Christ, for in this living, glorified state, his efficacious merit is most concretely present to the believer's apprehension. Now it must be remarked that the resurrection-state which is thus exponential of righteousness is entirely based on the Spirit, cf. 1 Tim. 3:16 ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι. By becoming Pneuma Christ has become the living witness of the eternal presence of righteousness for us in the sight of God. This will help us to understand the association between the Spirit and righteousness where it appears in the case of believers. It must here have the same significance, on the one hand that of a seal attesting justification as an accomplished fact, on the other hand that of the normal fruit of righteousness. And it is the former because it is the latter: the possession of the Spirit seals the actuality of righteousness, because in no other way than on the basis of righteousness could the Spirit have been bestowed. In this sense Paul says that the Pneuma is life διὰ δικαιοσύνην, Rom. 8:10; and stakes the whole question as to the method by which the Galatians were justified on this, how the Spirit was supplied to them, Gal. 3:5. The redemption from the curse of the law had the intent and effect of bringing to believers the promised Spirit, Gal. 3:14. The status of sonship carries with it the mission of the Spirit into the heart, Gal. 4:6. In Tit. 3:5, 6 the gift of the Holy Spirit proves the connecting link between justification and renewal, being the effect of the former and the source of the latter. The πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας in Rom. 8:15 is a Spirit which results from (or goes with) adoption, not a Spirit which effects adoption. In 1 Cor. 6:11 the washing, sanctifying and justifying of the Corinthians is attributed to the Spirit of God as well as to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the exegesis, which takes the ἁγιάσθητε in the sense of "ye were consecrated", the whole transaction in its three stages belongs to the forensic sphere, and the Spirit receives a specific function within that sphere.

It is plain, however, that all these statements with reference to the Spirit's presence in believers have for their background the presence of the Spirit in the same capacity as a seal and fruit of justification in the exalted Christ. And it is from this that they receive their eschatological coloring. For in Christ this Spirit which is the seal and fruit of righteousness is none other than the Spirit of the consummate life and the consummate glory, the circumambient element of the eschatological state in general. The conclusion, therefore, is fully warranted that the Spirit as a living attestation of the state of righteousness in the believer has this significance, because he is in principle the fountain of the blessedness of the world to come. And this is verified by observing how Paul combines with righteousness the peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, and finds in this Spirit-fed peace and joy the essence of the kingdom of God, Rom. 14:17; how the first-fruit of the Spirit looks forward to the eschatological υἱοθεσία Rom. 8:23; how the καταλλαγή and the resulting justification (not first nor merely the subjective renewal) open up to the Christian a καινὴ κτίσις, that new world in which the old things are passed away and new things have come, and which, as contradistinguished from the σάρξ, must be the κτίσις of the Pneuma. Finally, most instructive is here Gal. 5:5: πνεύματι ἐκ πίστεως ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἀπεκδεχόμεθα. Here the righteousness of the world to come which is to be bestowed in the last judgment is represented as a thing which the Christian still waits for. This waiting, however, is determined by two coördinated factors: on the one hand it takes place ἐκ πίστεως, on the other hand πνεύματι, and these two designate the subjective and the objective ground respectively on which the confident expectation is based. In the Spirit, not in the σάρξ, in faith, not in ἔργανόμου, has the Christian the assurance that the full eschatological righteousness will become his. (Cf. also Tit. 3:7.)

More specifically, however, the Spirit belongs to the other hemisphere of soteriology, that of the subjective renewal and the renewed state of man. It needs no pointing out how intimately this is associated with the Spirit. Πνεύματι περιπατενῖ is a comprehensive phrase for the God-pleasing walk of the Christian, Gal. 5:16; κατὰ πνεῦμα designates the standard of ethical normality, both as to being and striving, Rom. 8:5. The contrast between σάρξ and πνεῦμα is an ethical contrast, Gal. 5:17. Paul represents the Christian virtues and graces as fruits and gifts of the Spirit, Gal. 5:19 and Rom. 12:8 ff. In particular love, which the Apostle regards as the essence of fulfilment of the law is derived from the Spirit, Rom. 15:30; Col. 1:8. The whole range of sanctification belongs to the province of the Spirit, whence it is called ἁγιασμὸς πνεύματος, 2 Thess. 2:13, and likewise, of course, the "renewal" at the beginning, Tit. 3:5. But not only the specifically-ethical, also the more generally religious, graces and dispositions are the Spirit's work, such as faith, 1 Cor. 2:4, 5; 2 Cor. 3:3 in connection with 1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 4:13; joy. Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22; 1 Thess. 1:6; peace Rom. 8:6, 14:17, 15:13; 1 Cor. 14:33; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:3; hope Rom. 4:5, 12:12; Gal. 5:5; Eph. 1:18, 4:4. Now the comprehensive conception under which Paul subsumes all these ethical and religious states, dispositions and activities is that of "life". It is the "Spirit of life" which as a new principle and norm sets free of sin and determines the Christian, Rom. 8:2. Whilst the letter kills, the Spirit gives life, 2 Cor. 3:6, and that not merely in the forensic sense, but also in the ethicoreligious sense (on account of verses 2, 3). Because believers live by the Spirit, they can be exhorted also to walk by the Spirit, Gal. 5:25. Life is to Paul by no means an exclusively physical conception, as Rom. 7:8–11; Eph. 4:18 will show. The Apostle even approaches the conception that it springs from communion with God, Rom. 8:7; Eph. 4:18, and explicitly defines its goal as lying in God Rom. 6:10, 11; Gal. 2:19. We find then that on the one hand the renewal and the renewed state are derived from the Spirit, and that on the other hand they are reduced to terms of life. This certainly suggests the inference that the connecting link between the things enumerated and the Spirit lies in their being viewed as phenomena of life. The Spirit works all this, because he is the author of life. With this agrees the fact that in the passages cited above, where the ethical renewal of the Christian is attributed to the Spirit, Rom. 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 5:25, the conception of "life" in each case accompanies the other two, being, as it were, the conception in which these meet and find their higher unity.

Our inquiry, therefore, resolves itself into this, whether when Paul calls the new state and walk of the believer life, a life by and in the Spirit, this has anything to do with or can receive any light from the eschatological aspect of the Spirit. It might be thought that the whole subsumption of the ethico-religious content of the Christian state under the category of the pneumatic, which is so characteristic of Paul, is nothing else but a simple working out of the prophetic teaching which, as we have seen above, derives from the Spirit the new heart, the new obedience, the state of acceptance with God. In that case the soteriological operation of the Spirit on its subjective side would not be in any way affected by his eschatological associations. Paul's movement of thought in conceiving of the Spirit as the new element of the Christian state would have been exclusively in the direction from the present to the future: because the Spirit is and does this now, he will also be operative after the same fashion in the future. We do not mean to deny that this correctly reproduces a train of thought with which Paul was familiar. After once the Spirit was clearly apprehended as the substratum and element of the present Christian state it was inevitable that from this point of view the line of his characteristic activity should be prolonged into the future. Thus we find it in Rom. 8:11. But this does not by any means exclude that alongside of this there may have been a perspective in the opposite direction, or that this may even represent the earlier and more fundamental mode of viewing the subject. Direct action and reflex action here naturally go together as again Rom. 8:11 strikingly shows.

Against exclusive insistence upon the former construction we would urge the following. First 2 Cor. 5:5 is one of the three directly eschatological passages where, as we have seen, the present Spirit is an anticipation of the future Spirit. Secondly, the close association of the ethico-religious function of the Spirit with life in itself creates a presumption in favor of the view that the future here in part at least colors the present. For "life" is undoubtedly with Paul, and before Paul with Jesus, especially in the Synoptical teaching, and idea that is in the first instance eschatologically conceived and thence carried back into the present. It is the ζωὴ αἰώνιος of the world to come. In the third place Paul speaks of the present pneumatic state in terms which are either directly borrowed from the eschatological vocabulary, or strongly reminiscent of it. The καινὴ κτίσις of 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15 is such a term, and also the καινότης πνεύματος of Rom. 7:6 and the καινὴ διαθήκη πνεύματος of 2 Cor. 3:6, may here be remembered. Fourthly, even in the Old Testament where the ethical operation of the Spirit is mentioned, this is done in the form of a promise, so that from the outset it appears in an eschatological environment. Fifthly, here also, as before, we must take into account the Christological background of the soteriological process. The pneumatic life of the Christian is a product and a reflex of the pneumatic life of the Christ. It is a life ἐν πνεύματι to the same extent as it is a life ἐν Χριστῷ It is important sharply to define the peculiarity on this point of the Pauline doctrine on the relation between the Spirit bestowed by Christ and the Saviour's own glorified life, and the extent to which it marks a development beyond the pre-Pauline teaching. In the Petrine speeches recorded in the earlier chapters of Acts the Spirit indeed appears as a gift of the glorified Christ. It was given to Jesus in fulfilment of the promise of the Father and having received the promised Spirit he immediately poured it forth upon the disciples, Acts 2:33. But according to Paul Jesus at the resurrection receives the Spirit not merely as an objective gift, something that he can dispense; the Spirit becomes his own subjective possession, the Spirit dwelling in him, the source of his own glorified life, so that when he communicates the Spirit he communicates of his own, whence also the possession of the Spirit works in the believer a mystical, vital union with Christ. While Peter's teaching leaves full room for this whole rich Pauline development, it does not yet contain this development. Paul emphasizes repeatedly that the Spirit who works life in believers is the identical Spirit who wrought and still is life for the exalted Lord, Rom. 8:9, 11; 2 Cor. 13:4. When Jesus was raised from the dead, he did become Pneuma, but this Pneuma was more than ζῶν he was ζωοποιοῦν, communicating himself to others, 1 Cor. 15:45. This only will explain why Paul cannot merely say Christ has the Spirit but can say: ὁ δὲ Κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν and can speak of Christ as Κύριος πνεύματος, 2 Cor. 3:17, 18. The gospel is the gospel of the glory of Christ, 2 Cor. 4:5. And in the light of all this it must be further interpreted when Paul speaks of the process of renewal and sanctification in terms which are not merely derived from the death and resurrection of Christ, for this might be a purely figurative usage, but in terms which posit a real, vital connection between the two, so that what takes place in the believer is an actual self-reproduction of what was transacted in Christ. To be joined with the Lord is to be one Spirit with him, 1 Cor. 6:17. Now all this tends to confirm the conclusion already drawn from the four preceding considerations. If the pneumatic life of the Christian bears this relation to the pneumatic life of the exalted Lord, then it must to some extent partake of the eschatological character of the latter.

It will perhaps repay us to pursue this thought somewhat further from a different angle. Especially in the later epistles, but also to some extent already in the earlier ones, the Christian state is represented as a belonging to and participation in the sphere of heaven and the heavenly order of things. The principle is, of course, implied in everything taught about communion with the heavenly Christ. But in the representation we have now in mind it assumes a broader, less personal, so to speak, more local form of expression. There are two worlds the lower and the higher, and it is affirmed of the believer that he belongs to the latter and no longer to the former temporal, the latter eternal, 2 Cor. 4:18. The reality. Each has its own σχῆμα, but the σχῆμα after which the Christian patterns himself is that of the other world not that of this world, Rom. 12:2. There is a system of things that are seen, and a system of things that are not seen, the former temporal, the latter eternal, 2 Cor. 4:18. The world has been crucified to the Christian and he unto the world, Gal. 6:15. There is a sphere of the heavenly, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, Eph. 1:20, 21. Believers have been made to sit in heavenly places, Eph. 2:6. The Christian has his πολιτεία in heaven, not upon earth and therefore should not mind earthly things, Phil. 3:19, 20. Being raised with Christ he must seek and set his mind upon the things that are above, not upon the things that are upon the earth, Col. 3:1, 2. Sometimes this higher heavenly order of things is centered in the risen Christ, but it is also identified with the realm of the Spirit. The πνευματικόν is the heavenly. God has blessed us ἐν πάσῃ εὐλογίᾳ πνευματικῇ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις, Eph. 1:3. The πνευματικός is also the ἐπουράνιος, 1 Cor. 15:40, 50, (Cf. 1 Cor. 10:3) When speaking of "the things not seen" and "eternal", Paul undoubtedly has in mind the Pneuma as the category to which these belong, 2 Cor. 4:18 (cf. the ἀνακαινοῦται in verse 16 and the αἰώνιον βάρος δόξης in verse 17, the ἐπίγειος in 5:1 and the ἀρραβὼν τοῦ πνεύματος in verse 5.) The same applies to the distinction between the spheres of faith and sight in 2 Cor. 5:7. And somewhat of the contrast between the earthly and the heavenly enters into the great Pauline antithesis of σάρξ and πνεῦμα, a point to which we shall presently revert. What interests us here is that this whole opposition between a heavenly and an earthly order of things and the anchoring of the Christian life in the former is a direct offshoot of the eschatological distinction between two ages. The eschatological point of view is, of course, originally historical and dramatic; a new world can come only with the new age and therefore lies at first in the future. But the coming age has begun to be present with the death and resurrection of Christ. From this it follows that of the coming world likewise a present existence can be affirmed. Here then the scheme of two successive worlds makes place for the scheme of two coexisting worlds. Still further it must be remembered that Christ has through his resurrection carried the center of this new world into heaven where he reigns and whence he extends its influence and boundaries. The two coexisting worlds therefore broadly coincide with the spheres of heaven and earth. If now the higher, heavenly world to which the Christian belongs is that of the Spirit, it must always be remembered that it has become this in virtue of the progress of the eschatological drama and will become so more in the same degree that this drama hastens on to its final dénouement. The pneumatic life of the believer, while centered in heaven, loses none of its eschatological setting. Back of the static continues to lie the dramatic; the distinction between the earthly and the heavenly is not cosmologically but eschatologically conceived. By the pneumatic as a synonym of the heavenly Paul does not mean heaven or the spiritual in the abstract, but heaven and the spiritual as they have become in result of the process of redemption. Τὸ πνευματικόν is "second" (εἶτα) and Christ as Πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν "became" (ἐγένετο). This will also explain why the new contrast between two simultaneous worlds does not supersede the eschatological perspective for the future. The two spheres still are in conflict, the two ages still labor to bring forth their respective worlds, a crisis is still outstanding. Cf. Eph. 1:14, 1:21, 2:7, 12, 4:4, 30, 5:6; Col. 3:4, 4:2–4; Phil. 1:6, 2:16, 3:20. Precisely here lies the point in which the Pauline doctrine of the Spirit and the Hellenic or Hellenistic conception of the pneuma are sharply differentiated, striking though their similarity in some other respects may be. The Greek philosophical pneuma, whether in its dualistic Platonic or neo-Platonic form, or in its hylozoistic Stoic form, lacks every historic significance, it is, even where it appears in contrast to an opposing element, the result of a bisection of nature, not the product of a supernatural divine activity. With Paul, both in regard to the σάρξ and the πνεῦμα, the historical factor remains the controlling one. If the sphere of the σάρξ is evil, this is not due to its natural constitution, because it is material or sensual, but because it has historically become evil through the entrance of sin. And when Paul views the pneumatic world as the consummated world, this also is not due simply to its natural constitution as the ideal nonsensual world, but because through the Messiah it has become the finished product of God's designs for man.50

Even into the revealing work of the Spirit the eschatological associations enter. From the nature of the case this has its primary reference to the present life, just as the glossolalia and the cognate phenomena are rather premonitions of the world to come than constituent elements of that world itself, sub-eschatological rather than semi-eschatological manifestations. Revelation, however, while providing for a present need, may have for its object the realities of the future life, and thus the thought emerges that the Spirit, who is so closely identified with the future life in general, when thus disclosing the things to come, discloses what in a very special sense is his own. With this thought we actually meet in 1 Cor. 2. The wisdom which Paul speaks among the τέλειοι, verse 6, but which he could not speak among the Corinthians (3:1 πνευματικοί = τέλειοι), a wisdom therefore to be distinguished from his ordinary preaching, God's wisdom ἐν μυστηρίῳ (2:7) is according to verse 10 derived from the Spirit. The point of view from which Paul makes this last affirmation is partly theological: the Spirit is the appropriate organ for revealing such things, because he stands in as intimate a relation to God as the spirit of a man to man. He can search all things, even those deep things of God with which the higher σοφία deals, for he is the Spirit of God. Intertwined with this, however, appears the other consideration, that the "wisdom" has to do with eschatological facts and that for this reason it belongs to the particular province of the Spirit to reveal it. It relates to something that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the aeons, and which concerned the δόξα of believers, verse 7. More particularly it is defined as that "which eye saw not and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him". It comprises "the things that were freely given to us of God", verse 12. In contrast to it stands a wisdom τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου "of this age" and of "the ἄρχοντες of this age" who are already coming to nought, verse 6. Those who belong to "this age" can not know it, verse 8. Obviously this implies that believers can know it because they belong to "the age to come." Because they have part in the future world, the mysteries of the future world are communicable to them. Now, it should be noticed that Paul expresses the same idea also in the other form that the Christian is, or may be πνευματικός, whereas the man who belongs to the present age is ψυχικός, 2:14–16, 3:1. It is as πνευματικός that he has access to these transcendental things from which the ψυχικός is by his very constitution excluded. To belong to the world to come and to be πνευματικός are used as interchangeable conceptions. Not merely, therefore, because the Christian is the recipient of revelation, but for the further and more specific reason, that he already partakes of that which is the distinctive quality of the future life, can he be initiated into the mysteries of the latter. The spirit is the source of the eschatological μυστήριον both in the sphere of being and in the sphere of revelation. Hence also in verse 11 Paul draws a formal distinction between the πνεῦμα of the κόσμος and the πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ which once more shows that the Spirit is considered not exclusively as a principium revelations, but as the determining principle of an order of things, and therefore as the natural organ for disclosing its content. The passage also furnishes a parallel to the eschatological interpretation of the contrast between ψυχικός and πνευματικός met with in 1 Cor. 15:44 ff. Very sharply Paul distinguishes in 3:1–4 not merely between πνευματικός and σάρκινος (verse 1; in verse 3 σαρκικός) or between κατὰ ἄνθρωπον περιπατεῖν and its opposite, (verse 3) but also between the mere ἄνθρωπον εἶναι, and the being something more than a mere man (verse 4 οὐκ ἄνθρωποί ἐστε;). It goes without saying that a rhetorical form of statement like the last-mentioned ought not to be pressed, as if Paul meant to represent the Christian pneumatic state as something super-human. What he means is evidently that the Corinthians had behaved as ordinary men, who were no more than what man is by nature. Still the paradoxical form in which the thought finds expression bears strong witness to the fact that Paul looked upon the Christian state as something belonging to a totally different order of affairs from the state of nature, and that the eschatological contrast was to him the only category which could adequately convey this difference.

The passage just examined suggests the query to what extent, if to any, the Holy Spirit is by Paul placed in contrast to Satan and evil spirits in general. Inasmuch as evil spirit-powers undoubtedly play a rôle in connection with the present aeon and their conquest is plainly a considerable part of its passing away, every pointed opposition of the Spirit to such powers would carry with it more or less of an eschatological atmosphere. As a matter of fact, however, not much material of this nature can be gleaned from the Pauline epistles. As we have seen in 1 Cor. 2:12 the kosmos has its own spirit which governs the psychical man. At the same time the kosmos has its own rulers in the supernatural sphere, for of such the ἄρχοντες τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου in verse 6 will probably have to be understood. It is not clear whether in verse 12 the conception of "receiving" the spirit of the kosmos points to a transcendental influence brought to bear upon men from the outside. If so, it will be natural to connect this πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου with the ἄρχοντες τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου. It must also be remembered that Satan is called in 2 Cor. 4:4 ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, and the very point of this bold comparison seems to lie in this that, as the true God by his Spirit illumines the minds of believers enabling them to behold the glory of Christ in the gospel, so the false God of the present age, has a counter-spirit at work (or is a counter-spirit) which blinds the minds of the unbelieving that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ should not dawn upon them. Here both the conception of δόξα as the content of the gospel and the parallelism between the first and the second creation in verse 6 impart an unmistakable eschatological flavor to the comparison. Where the thought of the wisdom-passage in 1 Cor. 2 recurs later in Col. 2:2 ff. with many striking reminiscences even as to the form, the contrast becomes one purely between Christ and the spirits, and the conception of the πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου in its opposition to the πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ does not reappear. This suggests that the relative absence of the antithesis between the Holy Spirit and the evil spirits is largely due to the fact that, wherever such comparisons occur with Paul, Christ himself is personally opposed to the Satanic power and the Spirit not explicitly mentioned. In Eph. 2:2 on the other hand we read again, as in 1 Cor. 2:12, of a "pneuma that now works in the sons of disobedience", which pneuma is moreover distinctly associated with the aeon of this present kosmos, so that the corresponding conception of a Spirit belonging to the age to come inevitably obtrudes itself, a point further favored by the fact that the formula elsewhere characteristic of conformity to the Holy Spirit as an ethical power here occurs of conformity to the opposite principle, περιπατεῖν κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος. Also the ἐνεργεῖν ascribed to the evil, spirit reminds of the energizing of the Holy Spirit, cf. 1 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 3:20. Finally the κοσμοκράτορες τοῦ σκότους τούτου, τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις of Eph. 6:12 may be mentioned here, although the implied contrast to the Spirit of God is not so clearly present.

Quite a large sphere would have to be annexed to this rubric, if it could be proven on the one hand that the στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου appearing in Galatians and Colossians are meant by Paul as world-spirits or spirits of the elements, and on the other hand that Paul connects the σάρξ directly with the rule of evil spirits. In the case of the στοιχεῖα the opposition to the Holy Spirit would be of an implied nature, rather than explicit: still Gal. 3:3 compared with 3:6 might be quoted in support of this. In Colossians it is Christ, not the Spirit who forms the contrast to the στοιχεῖα, 2:8, 20. In regard to the σάρξ the correlation with the Pneuma is undisputed, but here no proof can be adduced of any constant association in the mind of Paul between it and the world of evil spirits. This could be done only by connecting the σάρξ with the στοιχεῖα, a connection in no wise indicated by any Pauline passage.

The above discussion, aside from its inherent interest has a bearing on certain important Biblico-theological problems. This we briefly indicate in conclusion.

In the first place the eschatological conception of the Spirit and his work is perhaps adapted to throw light upon what is most striking and characteristic in Paul's entire treatment of the subject of the Spirit. This consists in the thoroughness with which the pneumatic factor is equally distributed over the entire range of the Christian life, so that from the subjective side the Christian and the pneumatic become interchangeable, and especially in the emphasis with which the center of the Spirit's operation is placed in the ethico-religious sphere. Wth such thoroughness and emphasis this had not been done before Paul Gunkel has no doubt exaggerated the originality of Paul in this respect and underestimated the preparation made for this development by the Old Testament prophetic and earlier New Testament teaching. Still a simple comparison between the Petrine speeches in Acts and the Pauline statements abundantly shows, that Paul was the first to ascribe to the Spirit that dominating place and that pervasive uniform activity, which secure to him alongside of the Father and the Son a necessary relation to the Christian state at every point. The question arises whether we can trace in Paul's teaching the roots out of which this conception of the Spirit grew, or at least the other elements in his thought to which it sustained from its very birth a relation of interdependence and mutual adjustment. Probably more than one factor will here have to be taken into account. The theocentric bent of Paul's mind makes for the conclusion that in the Christian life all must be from God and for God, and the Spirit of God would be the natural agent for securing this. The impotence of sinful human nature for good, one of the Apostle's profoundest convictions, would likewise postulate the operation of the Spirit along the whole range of ethical movement and activity. The marvellous efflorescence of a new ethical life among the early Christians in its contrast with pagan immorality, and its impulsiveness and spontaneity as compared with Jewish formalism, would of themselves point to a miraculous, supernatural source, which could be none other than the Spirit of God. Still further, the fact that to Paul the Spirit is preëminently the Spirit of Christ and therefore as thoroughly equable and ethical in his activity as the mind of Jesus himself, will have to be remembered here. But, alongside of all these motives, there worked probably as the first and most influential cause the idea that it is the Spirit of God who gives form and character to the eschatological life in the broadest and most pervasive sense, that the coming age is the age of the Spirit par excellence, so that all that enters into it, forms part of it, or takes place in it, must necessarily be baptized into the Pneuma as into an omnipresent element and thus itself become "spiritual" in its mode of existence and quality. This will explain not only the uniform and equable infusion of the Spirit into the Christian life at every point; it also accounts for the strong emphasis thrown upon the ethico-religious life as within the larger sphere the most characteristic of all the Spirit's products. For if the Spirit be the Spirit of the αἰὼν μέλλων, then his most distinctive task must lie where the coming aeon is most sharply differentiated in principle from the present age. And this, as all the Pauline references to the two aeons go to prove, is the ethical quality of both. The αἰὼν ἐνεστώς is before all other things an αἰὼν πονηρός, Gal. 1:4. One to whom this ethical contrast stood in the foreground, and who was at the same time accustomed to view the future aeon as the world of the Spirit, would of necessity be thereby led to place the ethico-religious transformation at the center of the Spirit's activity. He would interpret not only the whole Christian life in terms of the Spirit, but would also regard the newness of the moral and religious life as a fruit of the Spirit in its highest potency.

Our second inference concerns the Apostle's Christology. A widely current modern construction of the Pauline doctrine of Christ finds in the Spirit that element which formed the true inner essence of the Son of God in his preëxistent state, so that his being the Son of God, and his being the Spirit come to express the same thing, the one from a formal the other from a material point of view. Christ carried over this original pneumatic character from the preëxistent state into his earthly life and from his earthly life again into the post-resurrection state, the only difference being that, while in the first and the third stages the Spirit ruled supreme, in the intermediate stage his presence was obscured and his activity repressed by the σάρξ. In this construction the place of the divine nature is taken by the pneumatic personality. The absolute sense of the μορφὴ θεοῦ of Phil. 2:6 is weakened so as to make it appear the equivalent of the εἰκὼν θεοῦ or the δόξα θεοῦ of which elsewhere Paul represents Christ as the bearer. For the divine Christ is substituted a Spirit-being, a creature of high rank but still a creature. Now, if we have succeeded to any degree in elucidating the actual perspective in which the Christ-Pneuma appears with Paul, it will be easily felt what gross violence this modern construction does to the main principle which governs that part of the Apostle's teaching. For we have found that the peculiar identification between Christ and the Spirit, on which the construction depends, is dated by Paul from the resurrection, that it has a strictly eschatological significance, that it is used exclusively to describe what Christ is in his Messianic capacity with reference to believers, and never recurred upon to define the original constitution of Christ's Person as such. Paul everywhere approaches the endowment of Christ with the Spirit from an eschatological-soteriological point of view, and the fundamental error of this modern reproduction of his Christological teaching arises from its failure to appreciate that fact. What the Apostle places at the end of the Messianic process is mistakenly carried back into the earlier life of the Messianic Person and there made to do service for explaining the mystery of the origin of the Son of God. The fallacy of this procedure will become doubly apparent by observing, that on the one hand, where Paul introduces the pneumatic Christ he uniformly refers to the state of exaltation, and on the other hand, where he speaks of the preëxistent Christ every reference to the Pneuma is conspicuously absent. Paul himself did not confound, as his modern interpreters do, what belongs to Christ as a Person and what belongs to him in virtue of his office.

The third and last observation suggested by our inquiry touches the heart of the Pauline pneumatology itself. It is often asserted by representatives of a certain school of theological thought, that the development of New Testament doctrine moves along the line of "deëschatologization." The great service rendered both by Jesus in his teaching on the present kingdom and by Paul in his teaching on justification and the life in the Spirit is held to consist in this, that they translated the transcendental blessedness expected from a future world into experiences and privileges of a purely immanent character to be enjoyed now and here below. To the same degree as they succeeded in doing this they divested the eschatological of its intrinsic importance and made it a mere fringe or form to the true substance of Christianity which can and does exist independently of it. It would seem to us that in most representations of this kind the dislike of the eschatological revealed springs from a suspicious motive. It is easy to speak disparagingly of the gross realistic expectations of the Jews, but those, who do so, often under the pretense of a refined spiritualism attack the very essence of Biblical supernaturalism. At bottom it is the spirit of the evolutionary philosophy, which here voices its protest against the idea of consummation, as at the other end of the line of Biblical history it protests against the idea of creation. Besides the supernatural it is the soteriological that is resented in eschatology. The eschatological is nothing else but supernaturalism and soteriology in the strongest possible solution. Hence the religion of the present, what is so highly extolled in Jesus and Paul, is depicted largely in the colors of an ideal natural religion. The eschatological kingdom not merely becomes present, but the present kingdom becomes a mere matter of sonship and righteousness without redemptive setting and realized by subjective internal processes. And the essence of the Christian state, as Paul describes it, is sought in much the same things. The "Spirit" is supposed to stand for that side of the Apostle's conception of religion, on which it is least affected by the abnormal, the miraculous, in a word for the "spiritual" in the conventional sense of that term. We, therefore, have to do here not with an innocent shift from the future to the present, but with a radical change from one clearly defined type of religion to another.64 With the setting aside of the eschatological something else of inestimable value and importance that lies enshrined in it and cannot exist without it, evaporates.

If our investigation has shown anything, it has shown how utterly foreign all this is to the plain intent of the Apostle's teaching on the Spirit. For Paul the Spirit was regularly associated with the world to come and from the Spirit thus conceived in all his supernatural and redemptive potency the Christian life receives throughout its specific character. In the combination of these two ideas, that the Spirit belongs to the αἰὼν μέλλων and that he determines the present life, we have the most impressive witness for the thoroughgoing supernaturalness of Paul's interpretation of Christianity. In its origin and in the source from which in continuance its life is fed Christianity is as little of this world as the future life is of this world. The conception of the Spirit proves that what Paul meant to do is precisely the opposite of what is imputed to him. Not to "transmute" the eschatological into a religion of time, but to raise the religion of time to the plane of eternity—such was the purport of his gospel.


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