The Quickening Spirit

Jesus declared, “The Spirit makes alive. The flesh profits nothing. The words which I have spoken to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” His statement echoed the principle that life and the Spirit of God are inextricably linked. There is no lasting or full life without the Holy Spirit. This principle was demonstrated at the creation, and the same Spirit is essential for the resurrection of believers and everlasting life in the future.

The Gift of the Spirit is linked to the New Covenant, everlasting life, and bodily resurrection. The Spirit places men in the covenant community founded by Jesus, and the Gift is the foretaste of the resurrection life that believers will inherit when Jesus returns, and this promise is based on his past Death and Resurrection.

River Olympic Mountains - Photo by Jachan DeVol on Unsplash
[Photo by Jachan DeVol on Unsplash]

The Spirit was given to the Church on the Day of Pentecost, fulfilling prophecies from the Hebrew Bible. Due to his righteousness and obedience, Jesus could not be held in the grave by the “throes of death,” therefore, God raised him from the dead and seated him to reign from His “right hand” on the Throne of David - (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17-30).

Jesus now grants the Gift of the Spirit to his disciples, and his past resurrection and the present possession of the Spirit by the Church guarantee the coming resurrection of his followers - (Acts 2:36-39).

In John 6:63, the Greek word heard on his lips, “makes alive,” is zôopoieô. It combines the noun zôon, a “living being,” with the verb poieô, “to make.” His “words” are “Spirit” because they are the source of “everlasting life.” Just as the word of his Father created life in Genesis, so the words of His Son impart life to his followers – (John 12:49, Hebrews 12:9).

Likewise, just as the Spirit of God created all things and raised Jesus from the dead, the Spirit will “quicken” believers and provide them with everlasting life when Jesus returns and raises the righteous dead.

Because bodily resurrection is an act of creation – the restoration of life to the dead - the Spirit will be intimately involved in “quickening our mortal bodies” on the Last Day – (Romans 8:10-11, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

The Spirit of God is His creative and life-sustaining power in action. This idea is not unique to the New Testament - “By the word of Yahweh, the heavens were made, and by the spirit of his mouth, all their host” - (Psalm 33:6).


In the Book of Genesis, the Spirit of God “breathed” life into Adam, making him a “living soul.” This term translates the Hebrew word that means a “breathing creature.” The stress is on the act of breathing. As Job wrote, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” – (Genesis 1:1-3, 2:7, Job 33:4),

The same passage from Genesis is cited by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians when explaining the resurrection body:

  • (1 Corinthians 15:42-45) – “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

Paul contrasts the body of Adam with the resurrection bodies believers will receive at the “arrival” or ‘parousia’ of Jesus. Our present body is weak, natural, and mortal, but our resurrection body will not decay or die. It will be raised in power.” It will be a “spiritual body”  animated and dominated by the Holy Spirit.

The resurrection body will also be immortal - deathless, the literal meaning of the Greek noun translated as “immortal.” When he raises us from the dead, the “last enemy, Death,” will be overthrown forever.

When he raises us from the dead, he will undo for all time the sentence and the reality of death; therefore, immortality will replace mortality, and death will be “swallowed up in victory.” Just like the “Lord of Glory,” the followers of Jesus will live forever after in resurrected bodies.

Jesus is the “Last Adam,” the forerunner of all resurrected saints, differing in one key aspect. Because of his resurrection, he is now the “Life-Giving Spirit.” He alone has the authority to impart life by bestowing the Spirit of God on his people, and he will impart immortality to them when he returns and raises the dead. He has given his people the Gift of the Spirit as the foretaste and guarantee of their future resurrection and the completion of their salvation in all its glory.

  • The Spirit of Life - (The Spirit of God imparts life, especially the everlasting life of which the Gift of the Spirit is the foretaste and guarantee)
  • The Final Harvest - (The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost fulfilled what the feast symbolized and marked the start of the Final Harvest)
  • The Age of the Spirit - (The Gift of the Spirit is part of the New Covenant, and the first fruits of the New Creation and the gathering of the nations)



The Word Made Flesh

Language of the New Testament