Spirit of Christ and Holy Spirit?

In reading 1 Peter, for the first time I’m noticing the Spirit of Christ in 1 Peter 1:11. The only other instance in English (NASB) is Romans 8:9. Spirit of God is mentioned 24 times and Holy Spirit 92 times. πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ is the Greek. Does anyone have any insight as to why the inspired writers chose to use Spirit of Christ instead of Holy Spirit? Is there a difference?

22 Responses to “Spirit of Christ and Holy Spirit?”


  1. 1 tc robinson

    Jeff, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is on behalf of Christ (John 16:14).  That’s my impression for the title.

  2. 2 Joel

    It would seem to me that it is a processional cue. It is the Spirit of God, holy, but proceeds from Christ. Romans 8.9 connects the two (three) as one.

  3. 3 Wei-Hsien

    Jeff, Hmm…I think the Christ-centric tenor of this verse and the one preceding it might have something to do with the title. Here, Peter states that the prophets “searched and inquired carefully” (v. 10) about Christ under the inspiration of the Spirit. Since he has in mind a particular ministry of the Spirit—that of revealing the Messiah to the prophets—, perhaps it was natural for him to use “the Spirit of Christ” to highlight this revelatory work in history? In which case, the term “the Spirit of Christ” here might be elaborated into “the Spirit who bears witness to Christ”? Just my guess.W.H.

  4. 4 Joe

    It certainly is a phrase that makes you pause for a moment and reflect on what it means. I love that!There is something similar in Gal 4:6  – And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you for the excellent responses. I learned a lot so far. Joe, I never even thought of looking for Spirit of His Son.

    A great example of why blogging is so beneficial.
    Jeff

  6. 6 Murray

    John 4:24 (paraphrased): God is a SPIRIT (singular) and those that worship him must do so in spirit and in truth…1 Timothy 3:16 (paraphrased): Great is the mystery of Godliness that God (1 spirit) was manifest in the flesh…Colossians 2:9: For in Jesus DWELT the fullness of the GODHEAD bodilyThere is absolutely NO difference between the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit, lest you claim that God is actually two or three spirits. Beware of philosophy, vain deceit lest it spoil you (Colossians 2:8). Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is ONE.

  7. 7 Jenn

    There is an audio sermon on this exact topic here:http://www.churchofhouston.com/Sermons.htm, on February 22, 2009.I would also like to point you to Ezekiel 36:26-27. It refers to both “a new spirit” and “my spirit”, similarly to how Romans 8 refers to Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ.May God bless your seeking!Jenn

  8. 8 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you very much Jenn.
    Jeff

  9. 9 Keith

    In EW Bullinger’s Companion Bible he has a note on 1 Peter 1:11 that states that the words “of Christ” belong after the word “signify”, so the verse would read…

    1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit which was in them did signify of Christ, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

  10. 10 Glenn

    If any man does not have the spirit of christ(Holy Spirit) He does not belong to Christ Romans 8:9

  11. 11 Scripture Zealot

    Glenn so true.
    Jeff

  12. 12 Ferrell Hurst

    The word “spirit” also can be translated “Breath”. God spoke all things into existence through His “Word”(Greek: “Logos” – a thought spoken). John 1:1-14 tells us that the Word of God was in the beginning with God and was God. In the 14th verse we see that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and that Jesus is the glory of the Word of God, and thus of God. The thing about a word is that even after it is spoken it is still in your mind. As long as you exist it will still exist in you. Thus when God spoke forth His Word it still remains, inseparably, in and a part of Him.
    When you and I speak, we speak our words through our breath, and our words are an exact representation of our character. It is through our words that we reveal ourselves, our motives, feelings, thoughts, etc. God revealed Himself through His Word to be the almighty God and creator of the universe as well as our Father and Jesus is an exact representation of His character, He is God’s ONLY image (Heb 1:3)and the only image we are allowed to worship. God’s Word was birthed and came forth from the Father in His breath. God is such a complex being, in that He is a trinity of beings (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Complex in that unlike us, His Breath is alive and is His Holy Spirit, and His Word is alive, and is THE ONLY begotten God (NASB: John 1:18). Notice in this translation He is IN God’s bosom; inseparable. Jesus was birthed in God’s Breath. God’s Spirit was IN Christ Jesus, He dwelt in that body fully; Not in measure; thus He is also known as the Spirit of Christ. That’s why He had to ascend back to the Father and send us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. One thing is undeniable the Trinity is inseparable. God will always exist, but His breath and His Word can not exist without the Father who gave birth to them.
    The Holy Spirit is God’s administrator. It was always God’s Spirit that made things happen. His Spirit moved upon the face of the waters in the recreation of earth in our beginning (Gen 1:2). It was the Holy Spirit that impregnated the virgin Mary with the seed of God (God’s Word)and she then was able to conceive God’s Holy Son, Jesus. The blueprint to how He wanted them administered, was contained in it’s design, which was contained in His Word. The universe is maintained and held together by God’s Spirit which contains God’s blueprint in His Word; thus all things are held together by Jesus, but the Trinity is inseparable; it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out the plans contained in His Word.
    There is so much more I can say, and I am already too wordy. So many scriptures I could quote, but it takes time to look them up.

  13. 13 Ferrell Hurst

    God most certainly is a Spirit. (Act 17:28 NASB for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ His Spirit exists as large as the Universe, or larger. I think His expanse is as infinite as space. As Paul stated with live and move and exist IN HIM. If He were material we could not exist in Him this way. Our material universe though of itself is not spiritual, yet, as I see it, consists of the spiritual.

    God is “light” (1Jn 1:5 NASB: This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.) For those who will say this is symbolism. Consider the possibility that it is not altogether symbolism. Yes, I agree that the word “LIGHT” is used extensively as symbolism, but symbolism is most always in reference to some reality or truth. We are children of light. Jesus came into the world as a light to the Gentiles. Yet I honestly believe God IS light.

    Consider what Einstein revealed in his theory of relativity. E=MxCsquared. The inverse of which is: matter equals light plus energy combined in some way so as to produce a material substance. Divide an atom of matter and you release tremendous amounts of light and energy. This to me blows one saying out of the water; that God created everything out of nothing. As I see it God created everything out of His own substance – His own Spirit, and He did it by means of His Holy Spirit (His breath)within which is His Word. We exist because He says so!

    The Holy Spirit is not another God, but came forth from within God and is of His substance as well. Don’t ask me how, but I can tell you that the Holy Trinity is ONE GOD in three persons, inseparable, and in one mind and one accord.

    Observe in 1Co 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. We don’t exist “BY” Jesus, we exist “through” Jesus. (Through = Through the agency of Jesus). What agency? Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, but it is “BY” God the Father the ONE and only God.

    The Spirit of God, a.k.a The Spirit of Christ came forth or was birthed from within the heart (mind) of God and is always supernaturally, inseparably connected to God. His Word proceeds forth from within Him (Isa 55:11) but always remains in Him, just like your words never really depart from you. In other words they are literally one, because they are part of each other, yet, they are three personalities. Jesus was fully man and had a human spirit, otherwise he would not be fully human and consequently would not have been worthy to be our sacrifice for sin. Yet He was birthed from the seed of God (God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit dwelt in Him without measure. Like a sponge in an ocean of water yet the water is in the sponge, kind of thing.

  14. 14 Ferrell Hurst

    About God being light.

    Consider Moses when he came down from the mountain and had to cover his face so that the children of Israel would not see the glory of God fading from his countenance and loose faith. Or Saul after Jesus met up with him on the road to Damascus, whereof the light was so bright from the Glory of our Lord that scales formed on his eyes (Act 9:3, Act 22:6-13). Or in John’s revelation of Jesus Christ were our earth will no longer have need of the sun or the moon, because it will be lit by the glory that comes from Christ in the holy city New Jerusalem, that, evidently, will orbit in space some unknown distance from earth (Rev 22:5), possibly because the sun had gone through various stages of degradation (Rev 6:12, 8:12, 16:8). Although, I concede, these verses could refer to darkness due to nuclear clouds or volcanic activity. Who knows for sure?

  15. 15 Tony

    The Spirit of Christ makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is Christ Spirit not another being. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Holy Christ. We have complicated a simple thing. Man has a spirit, is it a separate person?

  16. 16 Mark

    Jeff
    I do believe there is something hidden behind. You might want to meditate 1 John, the testmony Blood, Water, Holy Spirit. The Blood and Water comes from Jesus Christ and the Three are in agreement.
    May God bless you for your seeking. Seek you will find.

  17. 17 Peter

    Hi
    If you guys want to read about the difference between the Holy Spirit and Christ Spirit, here is a article about the Holy Spirit http://www.christuslewe.co.za/holyspirit1.html

    Just to make another point , no where in the Bible will you find that the believer is in the Holy Spirit,but you will find many places that the believer is in Christ or that Christ is in the believer.

  18. 18 lovegee

    please if jesus is the word of God, and has now departed from God the Father, does it mean God the father is now deff and cant speak? and IF it is SO, then WE NEED a speaking God, who hears and can speak to us, so who should we call our God, the one who cant speak or the one who did all the work, because by the word all things were made, the one we can pray to and answer or the one we pray through another to got to him and cant even answer or speak to us, please help me understand this, thank you

  19. 19 Scripture Zealot

    God usually speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. Since He’s part of the Trinity, it’s as if He is. He can also speak directly in an audible voice, has spoken through Scripture which He also uses to speak to us now etc. Hope that’s helpful. I may not be the best one to understand and explain it. Someone else can chime in if they’d like.
    Jeff

  20. 20 Gus

    Jesus had an outer man (flesh) and inner man (spirit of Christ). His inner man was conceived of God. His inner man consists of His mind, life and heart. At His baptism The Holy Spirit came and dwelt in His inner man. When we believe, we receive the Holy Spirit as a helper with us. He replaces my inner man with the inner man of Christ, so I can receive the fullness of God, I.e. The Holy Spirit dwelling in my new inner man. Then I have the Holy Spirit in me. (John 12:14). To have the spirit of Christ is to have an inner man with the mind of Christ, the heart of Christ, and the life of Christ. A vessel to be indwelt by God through His Holy Spirit. I must have Christ and the Father dwelling in me.

  21. 21 Scripture Zealot

    Hi Gus, It sounds like you’ve been reading Watchman Nee. I don’t necessarily agree with him, but thanks for commenting.
    Jeff

  22. 22 Mckinley Hardy

    Spirit of Christ is the “son” that when u believe you get that is born again, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost as power! Mary was given Christ Isaiah 9:6 after Christ was born he Recieved the Holy Spirit, in the same manner when we accept Jesus or word made flesh we are born again because we get the son “Christ”, then we are clothed with the Holy Spirit for power!

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