Calvinism on the Holy Spirit

The Spirit worked not only in the creation or exnihilation and then again during the formation of the universe.  He also worked and still keeps on working also during the subsequent maintenance of the world.   Thus Calvin says that God "fills, moves, and invigorates all things by the virtue of the Spirit — and that, according to the peculiar nature which each class of beings has received by the Law of Creation."9 

Further, "the power of the Spirit is spread abroad throughout all parts of the world — [so] that it may preserve them in their state; [and so] that He may minister unto the heaven and earth that force and vigour which we see, and [so that He may minister] motion to all living creatures.”10   Indeed,11 “all things stand — [only] so long as God’s Spirit animates them.   And [they] fail — as soon as they are deprived of His power (Ps. 104:29)."

Continues Calvin on the Holy Spirit:12 "The Scriptures ascribe to Him…His being diffused over all space — sustaining, invigorating, and quickening all things, both in heaven and on the earth…. His transfusing vigour into all things — breathing into them being, life, and motion — is plainly Divine…. 

"All the peculiar attributes of the Godhead, are ascribed to Him…. He searches the deep things of God, and has no counsellor among the creatures.   He bestows wisdom….  It is from the Spirit alone that all good gifts proceed….  Though there are diversities of gifts, 'all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit' (I Cor. 12:11)."

The Holy Spirit, then, is both the Divine Companion of the Father and the Son within the Trinity from all eternity past — as well as Co-creator [with the Other Two Divine Persons] of all that exists.   The Word of the Lord declares: ‘In the beginning, God [’Elohiym] created the heavens and the earth' (Gen. 1:1). 

In the very first verse of the Bible, what does the plural ’Elohiym  mean?    States Dr. Calvin: "I acknowledge that the Scripture…always recalls us to the Father, and His Word, and Spirit."13

Then the second verse of the Bible goes on to say: "Now the earth was empty and unformed; and

14 Comm. on Gen. 1:2.

 15 See Calvin’s comments on Gen. 12.16.:26 — at nn. 14-17

16  Gen. 1:26 17 Comm. on Gen. 1:26.

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darkness was upon the surface of the deep.  But the Spirit of God [Ruach ’Elohiym] moved [or ‘brooded’ or ‘stormed’] upon the surface of the waters" (Gen. 1:2).

What is the meaning of Ruach ’Elohiym in Gen. 1:2?    Calvin answers:14 "They who understand by it the Eternal Spirit of God, do rightly….  The world…was an indigested mass….  The power of the Spirit was necessary in order to sustain it…. This mass…was rendered stable…by the secret efficacy of the Spirit….   That 'chaos' required the secret in-spira-tion of God — to prevent speedy dissolution."

Indeed, this Divine Spirit not merely exnihilated (or rather ‘exvoluntated’) the universe.   Rev. 4:11.   He not only prevented and prevents its dissolution.   He also maintained it and keeps on maintaining it.   Indeed, He also embroiders it.    As Job says: 'By His Spirit, He has garnished the heavens.' Job 26:13.   Moreover, He even causes the grass to grow (Ps. 104:30).

As Rev. Dr. John Calvin remarks, while yet commenting on Gen. 1:2: "The Spirit moved and agitated…over the waters for the sake of putting forth vigour….  He brooded over them to cherish them….  How could…order, so fair and distinct, subsist by itself; unless it derived strength [from] elsewhere?  …  That [Holy] Scripture must [or had to] be fulfilled [which declares]:  'Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created; and You shalt re-new the face of the earth!'   Ps. 104:30….  On the other hand, as soon as the Lord  takes away His Spirit — all things return to their dust, and vanish away (ver. 29)."

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