For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him (John 3:34, KJV)
John speaking of Jesus said God did not give Him the Spirit by measure. This implies God gave Jesus the fullness of the Spirit. What is this fullness? The NET Bible Study notes give us an important starting point. It says ‘“for not by measure does he give the Spirit” (an idiom). Leviticus Rabbah 15:2 states: “The Holy Spirit rested on the prophets by measure.”’ An idiom here means this expression was already in use by the Jews as evidenced in their own interpretation of the scriptures( Biblical exegesis) here stating that “the Holy Spirit rested on the prophets by measure”.
Jesus, in contrast, had the fullness of the Spirit. An interesting fact here is that the Holy Spirit can be given, possessed, experienced or expressed in measure and in fullness. This fullness is not merely quantitative, that is, in different degrees of power, for example. A critical truth to get here is that there was a part of the Spirit God did not give the prophets of Old. A classic example is that their knowledge of God was limited.
Without getting into the details of the word “fullness” here which will make this devotional too long, let me point out an aspect of the Spirit the prophets did not have. The prophets had the a great measure of power and a degree of the Presence. But the Presence of God, the very Being or Person of God, living in them, bringing them into perfect communion and fellowship with God as well as an intimate knowledge of Him was lacking. They could not have it, because Jesus had not yet come. They experienced the Spirit of God to a certain measure.
Jesus had the fullness, nothing missing, nothing lacking. And this is the best part of it all: that same fullness which was given to Jesus has been giving to you in Christ! You have been filled with the fullness of the Spirit in Christ( Col. 2:10 ESV). And He wants that fullness which is already in your spirit to fill your soul, meaning, your earthly life here and now (Ephesians. 3:19). Remember, this is not empty theological talk. Its practical implications are mind-blowing. The fullness of God means God. It means God wants to bring you to such a practical intimacy and fellowship with Him such that your thoughts, feelings, will, words and actions are permeated completely by God and expressing Him. What a life! Imagine that the way you think is filled with God such that as you think, God is thinking in you, and you have His thoughts. What on earth will your life look like?? This is what the life of glory is all about! It is not for some super ministers. It is God’s will for every single child of God, including you. Just do one thing. Grow up in Christ into your inheritance!
Where does the expression “Spirit by measure” come from? I want you to do a quick online search and read the first two lines of what “Leviticus Rabbah” quoted above means.
APPLY THE WORD
You have been filled with the fullness of the Spirit, you are being filled with that fullness and you will be filled with the fullness! That is the mystery of our nature as human beings, spirit, soul and body. It is similar to the saying that you have been saved, you are being save and will be saved. Each of these phases are referring to distinct realities which must not be mixed up as is often the case. Yes, you have been filled, but God is asking you to come to the fullness (Eph. 3:19). Grow to that fullness!
Thank the Father for the fullness of the Spirit in Christ.