Monday, March 17, 2014

"The Dove of Deity"

(Thanks to Ryan L. for inspiration on this one).

"The Dove of Deity"

    I recently spoke with a godly young man about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of born again believers.  He wondered if perhaps he does not adequately consider or emphasize  the wondrous third Person of the triune Godhead.

    This raises a valid inquiry.  One of my favorite Christian authors, for example, frequently postulated that we often give short shrift to the vital truth of the Holy Spirit's presence and working.  I agree and disagree.  Certainly, we do well to grow in our doctrinal understanding of the Spirit of God, as taught in Scripture.  The Bible speaks of Him in such fashion, albeit in limited measure, and every word of the Scriptures exists by inspiration of the Spirit (II Peter 1:21).  The Bible is, as it were, His Book. Such awareness, however, presents to us a sublime and intriguing reality about the blessed Dove of Deity:

    "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (John 15:26).
    "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.  He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine and show it unto you" (John 16:13).

    The Holy Spirit directs attention not to Himself.  The Father rather sends Him to convince and convict the world of need for the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:8-11).  He indwells the hearts of those who believe so that we may "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18).  Indeed, may I respectfully suggest that we cannot be saved by believing in the Holy Spirit, but rather through His working in us to lead us to faith in the Lord Jesus.  Nor do we advance in our relationship with God by focus on the Spirit of God, but rather by "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).  The Bible, particularly the New Testament, plainly declares this truth, as inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself.

    Nothing will more instill loving affection, awe, and respect for the Holy Spirit than the sublime and self-effacing nature whereby He directs attention unto the Father and the Son.  John 17, for example, spotlights this reality.  Therein, the Son of God communes with God the Father just before His suffering and death on the cross of Calvary.  No passage more draws us into the wonder of God as the Lord Jesus prays for His disciples, and those who would believe on Him through their testimony.  Nor does any portion of Scripture more reveal the glory of relationship between the Father and the Son, an eternal bond of love and devotion.  Where, however, is the Holy Spirit in John 17, which never directly mentions Him?  He dwells throughout the holy passage, having inspired every word of it!  But He never mentions Himself, emphasizing the relationship of Father and the Son.  Personally, I find this to be one of the most beautiful truths of the entire Bible, namely, that the One who breathed His Word into and upon the writers of Scripture did so with such a heart of otherness and humility.  Indeed, it is a proper thing to love the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Godhead.  Nothing will more elicit in us such devotion than the understanding He would have us join Him in emphasis upon the Father and Son of the same Godhead.

    The greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence and working in hearts, churches, and ministries is the exaltation and communication of the Lord Jesus.  Again, the Savior declared of the Spirit: "He shall testify of Me... He shall glorify Me."  Let us join the wondrous Dove of Deity in this holy emphasis.  We will please and honor Him as we do.  Even more, we will love Him for the unspeakably splendid Person He is, even as He directs us to the unspeakably splendid Persons of the Father and the Son.

"No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit."
(I Corinthians 12:3)
Weekly Memory Verse
    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
(I Corinthians 3:19)

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