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power of his name. It was thus that a man obtained the indwelling Christ,97 and was justified in the sight of God. 98 Such a conception of faith is an indication that on this point also Paul allied himself more closely with Hellenistic mysticism than with his Jewish antecedents. 99 And holding such a notion, it is natural that he should regard the Spirit as the universal possession of believers. Everyone who received the message of faith which he preached regarding the crucified and risen Lord Jesus, would receive the Spirit, Gentiles as well as Jews.100 The gift of the Spirit came in response to the believer's faith. It was when men through faith became sons of God that He sent His Spirit into their hearts. 101
Since faith occupied such a central and prominent place in Paul's thinking, one is led to think that sacraments would have a correspondingly subordinate place in his view of the spiritual life. And evidence might be pointed out that he did place but little confidence in the efficacy of any external rite. One can even go so far as to say that had it not been for the efficacy which he believed faith in the power of Jesus' name had in the baptismal rite, he would doubtless not have considered baptism as of any greater value than circumcision. Yet he did evidently believe that the sacraments served a practical purpose and that they did have the power, of course as a result of the believer's faith, but also as a result of the divine potency in the water and name used in baptism and in the elements used in the Eucharist, to stir up the emotions and hence to produce ecstatic conditions. In spite of the fact that he believed that without faith no external ceremony would avail, there is after all no real contradiction between his use of the sacraments and his doctrine of faith. Faith, as we have just pointed out, was the attitude of soul which a man of necessity had to take toward the dying and rising deity, Christ, before the Spirit would enter his body, but this did not preclude the belief in the possibility of inducing the Spirit by the use of external means to enter a man when once he believed. We make a mistake when we think that Paul believed that the Spirit could be obtained in only one way. The large number of means referred to above which the Christians employed to induce and stimulate Spirit
Eph. 3:17. 98 Rom. 5:1; Gal. 2:15 ff.; et al.
** See especially Bousset, Relig. des Jud., pp. 235 ff. and 514 ff.; and Kyrios Christos, pp. 174-180. In the latter reference a large number of parallels in Greek, NeoPlatonic and Hermetic literature to Paul's conception of faith will be found.
100 Gal. 3:2, 14; Rom. 3:22. 101 Gal. 4:6; cf. Rom. 8:14 ff.
activities is an indication that they thought that a man could obtain the Spirit in various ways. Of course, the man had to be a believer, and according to Paul he could doubtless acquire possession of the Spirit simply through faith without any external stimulus. And yet this would not necessarily prevent Paul from believing that external stimulation such as the rites of baptism and the Lord's Supper as well as the preaching of the gospel could really aid a man in his spiritual life. Since faith was so fundamental, he of course stressed the idea of the necessity of faith, especially when his Judaistic enemies compelled him to do so; but he may nevertheless at the same time have believed in the efficacious influence of external means in the development of the Christian life.
The prominence which faith occupies in the religious notions of the Johannine literature is one of the outstanding features of these books. Faith is regarded here as in the Pauline literature as the precondition of receiving the blessings of the Spirit. If a man believes in the Christ, the embodied Logos, he obtains eternal life. And this life comes by the possession of the Spirit, for the Spirit is the life-producer.102 Again faith unites the believer in a mystic union with the Father or the Son;103 and when a man thus has the Father or Son, he receives a spiritual entity within him104 that produces new life and works a regenerating process in his soul. 105
How faith produced ecstatic states is not difficult to understand. When a man professed his conviction that Jesus, the Lord of spirits, could drive out and overcome the demons within him, there must have come to him an overpowering sense of victory and joy. Or when he became convinced that he was united to the dying and rising deity, Christ, such a faith must have appealed equally as much to his emotions. Or again when through the preaching of the gospel a man believed that he had obtained a vision of the glory of God and a knowledge of the way to heaven, the intellectual "emotion" thus produced must have been extraordinary. What more natural than that faith should come to be regarded as the cause of these phenomena, inexplicable on any other grounds than that of spiritual agency.
102 John 6:63.
104 Notice that according to the Johannine conception God is conceived of as a being of spiritual substance (John 4:24).
105 Eternal life as the result of faith is a constant theme of the Gospel. See John 3:15, 16, 36; 6:47; 20:31 et al.
In Rom. 10:13-15 we have a hint as to the method used by Paul and perhaps by the other Christian leaders for the stimulation of spiritual activities. If we read the questions in the reverse order from that in which they are given, we get the method of their procedure. First comes the apostle, the one who is sent, with his message. His preaching is heard and the people give heed to his words. This leads to faith in the heavenly Christ, and as the result of this faith the power in the name of this heavenly Lord is appealed to as an aid in overcoming the evil forces in the world. This name is called upon in baptism, in prayer, in singing, and in other rites and practices of the cult, and the believer obtains a new power or entity in his life that frees him from the sin and fear and evil powers that had enslaved him. This was doubtless the procedure and these the means whereby a Christian of the first century obtained possession of the Spirit and was saved.
THE BELIEVER AS PNEUMATIKOS: THE BENEFIT OF SPIRIT-POSSESSION
This chapter has to do with the conception which the early Christians held as to what they received when they obtained possession of the Spirit. We have already in the preceding two chapters incidentally referred to the results of Spirit-endowment, but here it is necessary to deal with the matter in greater detail. And the distinction should be made that we are concerned not with the forms of Spirit-activity, which were dealt with in chapter three, but with the benefit or benefits which the Christians believed accrued to them by virtue of their possession of the Spirit.
It is at once noticeable that the various writers of the New Testament books have somewhat different ideas as to what the Christians gained by Spirit-possession. And this divergence of view, as was also the variation in their opinion as to what constituted a Spirit-operation,' was due partly to a difference in innate temperament, partly to a difference in their present pneumatic experiences, and partly to a difference in their past religious training. Their present religious experiences they interpreted in the light of the impression which the Christian message and cult-practices made upon their emotions and in the light of what they believed to be the content or end of salvation. The appeal which the Christian faith and practice made upon the believer depended somewhat upon his emotional temperament; while the idea which he had of the content of salvation was derived from the religious notions of his age and constituted a part of his past religious inheritance and training. This will perhaps become clearer as we proceed with our investigation.
We have noticed that when the first group of Jesus' followers came to believe in his resurrection and in his lordship over the evil forces of the spiritual world which that involved, and identified the risen Jesus with the heavenly or Apocalyptic Messiah, ecstatic conditions arose among them; and these pneumatic experiences were interpreted in the light of the notions which they held as to the pouring out of the Spirit at the coming of the Messianic age. They believed that the Spirit of
1 See ch. 3, p. 68 ff. ? Ch. 3, p. 41 ff. 3 See especially Joel 2:28 ff.; Zech. 12:10; and Text. Jud. 24.
God which the Messiah himself possessed was now sent down by him to them, and that it came not only as an aid in preparing them for the coming of the Messiah, but as a help in their inducing others to prepare for this to them imminent event. In other words they were beginning to enjoy the blessings of the Messianic age;4 the power of performing miracles, the preaching of an inspired message, the prophesying of the future establishment of the Kingdom of God, the dreaming of dreams, the seeing of visions, the speaking in tongues, in fact, all the various ecstatic activities that arose among them were a sign that the promise of the Spirit which had been made by the prophets of old, especially by Joel, was being fulfilled. The first benefit then which the early Christians felt that they were receiving as pneumatikoi was that they were now, at least by anticipation, members of the Messianic kingdom.
But in becoming members of the Kingdom they believed that they first had to sustain a proper relation to God. One could not enter the Kingdom so long as his sins were unforgiven and the law was not properly observed; indeed the Messiah would not come until men had thus prepared the way for him. Forgiveness of sins could be obtained by repentance, by being baptized in the name of Jesus, and by receiving the gift of the Spirit. The one who had the Spirit of Christ had the power which resided in his name, and could thus secure a blotting out of his sins. The Spirit aided in the keeping of the law and in the stimulating of pious conduct. The fear of God took possession of their hearts, and some, at least, of the Jewish Christians were as zealous in the observance of the temple ritual as the strictest Pharisee.? The Spirit then became a factor in the obtaining of a forgiveness of sins and in the keeping of the law.
The Spirit also aided the early Christians in their endeavors to prepare others for the coming of the Messiah. Their inspired message
* See Weinel, Die Wirkungen u. S. W., pp. 42 ff.
5 The value which they placed upon this membership may be seen in the statement in Matthew which ranks the one who occupies a very huin: le position in the Kingdom higher than John the Baptist who was the greatest of those 'utside of the Kingdom. The reason for this was simply that the one in the Kingdom h. the Spirit which John and his followers lacked. See Matthew 11:11; Mark 1:8; Matt... " 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:26, 33; Acts 19:1-7. Evidently John's movement lacked the power of stirring the emotions to the point where the effects came to be regarded as Spiritactivities.
6 Acts 2:38; 3:19-20.
7 See Acts 2:43, 46; 3:1 ff.; 15:24; Gal. 2:12. Cf. also Eth. En. 49:3 f.; 61:1 ; Ps. Sol. 17:42, where the Spirit and a virtuous life are conjoined.