of the Spirit
1 John 4:3
- John 8:23
- ". . . Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."
- It is argued that since Christ was not of this world but rather came from above, he must therefore have existed prior to his birth on earth.
- Jesus said, "I know whence I came, and whither I go." (John 8:14), but he did not literally come down from heaven. It was the Holy Spirit which came down from heaven and overshadowed the virgin Mary. The result was the conception of Jesus. (Luke 1:35). Jesus referred to his divine origin when he declared: "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me." (John 8:42).
- Jesus was also "from above" in the following ways:
- The things he spoke came from his Father: "I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him." (John 8:26 cf. vs. 28).
- His Father honoured and bore witness to him: "The Father that sent me beareth witness of me . . . It is my Father that honoureth me . . ." (John 8:18, 54).
- Jesus instructed his followers that they too must be "born from above". (John 3:3 mg., 7 mg.). Obviously believers could not be born from above physically, as was Jesus. Only in a spiritual sense could they be born from above. By contrast, the Pharisees were motivated by the wisdom which did not come down from above, but which was "earthly, sensual, devilish." (James 3:15).
- Jesus was "not of this world" because its constitution was the "lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life". (1 John 2:16). "If any man love the world," John said, "the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15). Similarly, Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36). By this he did not mean that it had nothing to do with the earth, but rather that it was a heavenly kingdom whose constitution was not of the Jewish and Roman arrangements1, but was designed by the Father from the "foundation of the world." (Matt. 25:34).
- The meaning of the Greek work "kosmos" translated "world" is "arrangement, beauty, world". Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1965). Return