Besides the great things I learned about the Trinity – which I wrote about in a post called The three best things I never knew about the Trinity – I was also stretched in my thinking regarding the Holy Spirit.
Here are the two best things I learned.
- The Holy Spirit was intimately involved with Christ in procuring our salvation.
Before reading Sanders’ book, I knew that the Holy Spirit was involved with the life and ministry of Christ, but I didn’t realize to what degree He was involved. Here’s a sample: Jesus was, of course, begotten, anointed, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Beyond that, Christ gave commandments to His apostles through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2), He performed His miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28), He offered Himself without spot to God through the Spirit (Hebrews 9:14), and He was raised from the dead by the Spirit (Romans 8:11).
We know that the Father sent the Son to win our salvation. He also sent the Spirit to participate intimately in that mission. For God so loved the world that He gave both the Son and the Spirit. Sanders calls them “the two hands of the Father.”
Anglican Bishop Robert Leighton summed it up brilliantly when he said that…
“The Father hath given us His Son, and the Son hath sent His Spirit, and the Spirit gives us faith which unites us to the Son, and through Him to the Father. The Father ordained our redemption, the Son wrought it, and the Spirit reveals and applies it.”
Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who brings salvation home to us. He is God, moved in with us. He makes God real to us. He is God’s gift (of Himself!) to us. He is good news for us, every single day.
- The Holy Spirit is intimately involved with our prayers.
Accidentally coming upon the three distinguished speakers at a conference, involved in rapt conversation with each other, I wouldn’t likely presume to walk into their cluster and expect them to listen to the likes of me. I would in fact, be content to look on from a distance, wondering what they’re discussing.
And yet, amazingly, when Christ invited us to pray and when the Holy Spirit – through His Word – continually invites us to pray, we lowly sinners are being invited into an intimate conversation which has been going on from eternity between the three persons of the Triune God!
While the Father waits to hear our requests, two divine intercessors stand by to help us make them. According to Romans 8:26, the Spirit intercedes for us with groans which words can’t express, while the Son of God (Romans 8:34), intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father.
C.S. Lewis said that while the Christian is kneeling down to say his prayers, God inside Him is prompting him to pray, and, in fact, “…the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers.”
Truly the self-effacing Holy Spirit, who came from the Father, (John 14:15) to bring glory to the Son, (John 16:14) is worthy of our love and worship.