The Spirit of Life

The Gift of the Spirit is clear evidence that a person has been justified by God and made a part of His covenant people. In Galatia, “ false brethren ” were preaching “ another gospel ,” one that claimed Gentiles must be circumcised to “ complete ” their faith. Paul would have none of it, and he appealed to the presence of the Spirit among uncircumcised Gentiles as proof positive of their justification and acceptance by God.

Spirit and Resurrection

The Apostle Paul presents Abraham as the great exemplar of faith. God counted his faith as “ righteousness ” when he was yet uncircumcised, and that meant He justified him apart from the “ works of the Law .” He thereby became the father of all men who are also “ from faith .” Circumcision was added after the promise as the “ seal ” of Abraham’s justifying faith.

An Incomplete Salvation

The biblical faith is forward-looking and integral to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the righteous dead, an event that will also mark the commencement of the New Creation. In the New Testament, this hope is linked to two events. First, the past resurrection of Jesus, and second, his future arrival at the end of the age. Moreover, the church’s salvation will remain incomplete until Jesus raises the dead, transforms all those still alive, and then “ gathers ” all his saints to himself.

A Singular Event

Jesus will return from Heaven at the “ end ” of the present age accompanied by great power and glory. His “ arrival ” or  Parousia  will result in the consummation of the Kingdom of God, the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the unveiling of the New Creation, and the termination of Death. Thus, the coming of the “ Son of Man on the Clouds ” will be an event of  GREAT FINALITY .

Change of Law

Since this “ Word spoken in a son ” is complete and definitive, it is “ better than ” the partial revelations of the past “ spoken in the prophets .” Unlike his predecessors, the Son, “ having achieved the purification of sins ,” sat down at God’s right hand where he remains to this day mediating for his people as their faithful High Priest. Logically, this means that the previous “ words ” by the prophets and the ministries of the Levitical priests proved insufficient to remove the stain of sin from the covenant community.

Let Us Draw Near

After urging believers to enter God’s “ rest ,” the  Letter to the Hebrews  provides an eloquent description of the powerful word of God, then it returns to the subject of the Son’s priesthood “ after the order of Melchizedek .” Believers must strive to enter His “ rest ” while the opportunity remains - “ TODAY, hearken to His voice .” In contrast, ancient Israel refused to believe the words of Yahweh, therefore, Joshua could not lead the nation into the Promised Land.