Full Text for Dogmatics 3- Volume 32 - How Should We Think of the Holy Spirit? (Video)

No. 32 Good Morning, Dr. Sanchez. I�m Eric and I�m serving among the many immigrants flooding into New Jersey. The first question I have is this: When we think �spirit,� we think �immaterial� or �having no body.� Should we think of the �Holy Spirit� in the same way? >>DR. LEOPALDO SANCHEZ M.: Thank you for your question, Eric. I would say that to answer your question, it might be helpful to make a distinction between the Holy Spirit and the ***logos. The logos here will be the Son, the Word, Jesus Christ. First, we should note that only the logos, only the Son, becomes flesh and lives a human history. That's what's called the incarnation. And you probably went through that in the Systematics 2 course. So that is unique to the Son. We can't say that the Father became incarnate for example or that the Holy Spirit became incarnate. That is proper to the second person of the Trinity, the incarnation. So the Holy Spirit does not become flesh as the Son does. In this sense, one may think of him as immaterial or not bodily. And yet there is an intimate, close relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Son. You see, the Holy Spirit is inseparably united to Christ's own flesh in human history. The Holy Spirit rests, remains on the Son and is his inseparable companion throughout his life and mission. The Holy Spirit also dwells in Christians like you and I and accompanies them throughout their lives. Now, in distinction from the Son's assumption of a human nature and history, the Holy Spirit may not be said to be incarnate. The more significant point, however, is that the Holy Spirit, because of his close connection to the Son's own flesh and life and to ours may actually be said to have a material or bodily character. The Holy Spirit dwells in the incarnate Son and the Holy Spirit dwells in the adopted sons of God by grace. That is to say in the church and in each member of the church. Now, it might be helpful, also, to make a distinction between the Holy Spirit and creation and also see the relationship between the two. If in distinction from creation the Holy Spirit may be said to be immaterial. The more significant point, however, is that the Holy Spirit can and does work in creation through means which he sanctifies and uses for his own purposes. In other words, there is a bodily or material dimension to the works of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, it is proper to speak of the Holy Spirit's work not so much in terms of being immaterial but more in terms of perhaps a subtle corporality. A Theologian, Conger, is who speaks of the Spirit's work more in this way. I think a lesson for us to learn from all of this is that the Spirit is not afraid to get his hands dirty, as it were. Even though it is true that the holiness of the Holy Spirit can separate him from the creaturely, the most significant point here is that the Spirit can actually approach the creaturely and make the creaturely holy. For example, in Christ's own life, we know from Luke 1:35 that the Holy Spirit makes the fruit of Mary's womb holy. So he's identified with the holiness of the child, Jesus. We know, also, that the Spirit makes the church holy. That the church is called a temple of the Holy Spirit. We also know that the Holy Spirit uses creaturely means like words, like water, like bread and wine to sanctify us, to bring us to Christ through the Gospel in the Word and sacrament.