by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
These readings focus on the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant (or Testament), the Spirit "anoints" one person here and one there to perform a special work for God. In the New Covenant, the Spirit is "poured out" like rain on the whole church of Christ.
Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him (Rom. 8:9, NRSV).
If you belong to Christ, you have the Holy Spirit. It is not true, as some teach, that ordinary Christians have Christ and extraordinary Christians have the Holy Spirit. Nor does having the Holy Spirit place a person on a higher rung on a spiritual ladder.
It is true that we aren't always close to Christ or filled with his Spirit. But we cannot have Christ without the Spirit or the Spirit without Christ.
Sometimes the Bible uses the names of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit interchangeably. For example, "the Spirit of God" and "the Spirit of Christ" both mean the Holy Spirit. Verse 10 refers to the Holy Spirit as "Christ ... in you," and verse 11 refers to "the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead." All these names indicate the same reality.
When we are "in Christ" or "in the Spirit" we are no longer "in the flesh." That's the big point Paul is making. We have made the big transition from one state to another. This transition is a bit like going from singleness to marriage or moving from one country to another. Your life is so thoroughly altered that you can hardly imagine anymore what your former life was like.
But going from "flesh" to Spirit, from the world to Christ, from nothing to God is more than getting a new kind of life. It is going from death to life.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version