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The Scriptorium

Spirit without Measure

The whole Trinity is involved in salvation.

The Gospel of John: John 3.22-36

Read and meditate on John 3.34, 35.
John considered the ministry of Jesus from a Trinitarian perspective. God the Father loves His Son, so He gives Him the Spirit without measure to accomplish His work. And His work is over “all things.” This is deep.

the One Whom God has sent proclaims His Word,
for God His Spirit parcels without measure. 
35The Father loves the Son, and in His pleasure,
bestows all things into His hand.”

- John 3.34, 35

1.  John connects Jesus’ being sent by God with speaking the words of God and the Holy Spirit in His fullness. How would you put that in your own words? Complete this prayer: I want to know the filling of Your Spirit, Lord, for when I do, I…

2.  Let’s explore that phrase, “does not give the Spirit by measure.” In what sense is this true of Jesus? Is this also true of those who receive His words and believe in Him? How do we reconcile this giving the Spirit without measure to what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12.7-11? Lord, let the full measure of Your Spirit manifest through me today as…

3.  John says, rather matter-of-factly, “The Father loves the Son…” (v. 35). How was it evident to John that this is so? How was it evident to the Son of God? Can we learn anything about love from John’s testimony? Lord, I know You love me, so I’m prepared…

4.  Meditate on Hebrews 1.3 and Colossians 1.16, 17. In what sense has God the Father “given all things” into Jesus’ hand? For what purpose (cf. 2 Cor. 5.17-21)? Help me, Lord, in the “all things” of my life, to live…

5.  Meditate on 1 Corinthians 3.21-23 and Hebrews 2.5-8. How do we fit into the “all things” work of our Lord Jesus Christ? Can we expect to fulfill this aspect of our calling apart from hearing Him and receiving His words? Explain. Bring together your prayers from questions 1-4 into one prayer.

“As the fount of the Spirit, [Christ] imparts him. He is speaking of the working of the Spirit, which people receive in some measure. For the Son himself has the full working of the Spirit in its entirety. Truly, the Son has the entire Spirit in essence and not in some measure, as a created being might have. Therefore, he himself imparts the Spirit, and by their petitions the saints make Christ supply the Spirit.” Ammonius of Alexandria (late 5th-early 6th century AD)

John introduces here the work of the Spirit in the work of Christ. This will become an increasingly important focus in John’s unfolding story, as well as in the ongoing work of Christ following His ascension. How would you put the following together into a single sentence: Jesus, the words of the Father, the Spirit, all things, those who receive His testimony?

Closing Prayer
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
May the LORD rejoice in His works.
He looks on the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the hills, and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the LORD.

Psalm 104.30-34

Psalm 104.24-35 (Creation: Exalt the Lord, His Praise Proclaim)
How many are Your works, O Lord, which You have created by Your Word!
The earth and sea with creatures teem – they look to You to care and feed.
You give to them, they gather all; You hide Your face they fail and fall.
You take their breath, they gasp and die; You send Your Spirit, they revive.

Lord, let Your glory long endure; rejoice! His works are ever sure!
He looks on earth, it quails and quakes, as we our songs and praises make.
Lord, let our meditation rise and bring great pleasure in Your eyes.
Consumed shall sinners ever be – O, bless and praise the Lord with me!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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