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The Jewish View MAYBE

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(i) In Hebrew the word for spirit is ruach, and ruach, means not only spirit; it also means breath. Breath is life; and therefore the promise of the Spirit is the promise of life. The Spirit of God breathes God’s life into us. When the Spirit of God enters us, the tired, weary defeatedness of life is gone, and a surge of new life enters us.

(ii) This word ruach not only means breath; it also means wind. Its the word for the powerful storm wind that sweeps the ship before it and uproots the tree.  The Spirit of God is the Spirit of power. When the Spirit of God enters into a man, his weakness is clad with the power of God. He is enabled to do the the impossible  and to bear the unbearable.

(iii) In Genesis it was the Spirit of God who moved upon the face of the waters and made  chaos into order .The Spirit of God can re-create our inner chaos into the order of God; and our lives are molded by the Spirit into the goodness of God.

(iv) To the Spirit the Jews assigned special functions. The Spirit brought God’s truth to men. Every new discovery in every realm of thought is the gift of the Spirit. The Spirit enters into a man’s mind and turns his human guesses into divine certainty, and changes his human ignorance into divine knowledge.

(v) The Spirit enables men to recognize God’s truth when they see it. When the Spirit enters our hearts, our eyes are opened. Our wrong thinking  which blinded us is taken away. The self-will which darkened us is removed. The spirit enables a man to see.

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(i) There is the idea of illumination. The blaze of a flame sends a light through the night and illuminates the darkest corners. The flame of the beacon guides the sailor to the harbor and the traveler to his goal. In fire there is light and guidance. Jesus is the beacon light to lead men into truth and to guide them home to God.

(ii) There is the idea of warmth. A great and a kindly man was described as one who lit fires in cold rooms. When Jesus comes into a man’s life, he kindles his heart with the warmth of love towards God and towards his fellow men. Christianity is always the religion of the kindled heart.

(iii) There is the idea of purification. In this sense purification involves destruction; for the purifying flame burns away the false and leaves the true. The flame tempers and strengthens and purifies the metal. When Christ comes into a man’s heart, the evil dross is purged away. Sometimes that has to happen through painful experiences, but, if a man throughout all the experiences of life believes that God is working together all things for good, he will emerge from them with a character which is cleansed and purified, until, being pure in heart, he can see God.

So, then, the word fire has in it the illumination, the warmth and the purification of the entry of Jesus Christ into the heart of a man.

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