Tweet-Sized Thoughts on the Holy Spirit

I’ve been thinking much lately about the ministry of the Spirit, especially as it’s described by Jesus in John 14-16. Rather than writing a length article (I lack the time to write it, and you probably lack the time to read it), I offer the following short, punchy observations for your consideration:

1. The church should regard Pentecost as it regards the Incarnation. Both were world-shifting, life-changing, God-coming events.

2. It’s as impossible to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit as it is to become a Christian without Christ.

3. As our Paraklete, the Spirit of God is our Advocate on earth, just as the Son of God is our Advocate in heaven.

4. According to Jesus’ shocking statement in John 16:7, the Spirit’s earthly ministry is more advantageous to us than Christ’s. Wow.

5. The church has allowed abuses of the doctrine of the Spirit by some to make us negligent and even wary of His true, biblical works.

6. The mercies of God the Father and God the Son are mediated to the church through God the Spirit.

7. The church’s power to resist sin, reach the lost, apply the Scriptures, grow in Christlikeness, and minister effectively resides in the Spirit, not us. We are impotent without Him. (Yes, that was more than 140 characters.)

This paragraph from E. M. Bounds’ little book Winning the Invisible War (which I’ve enjoyed!) summarizes it well:

“The Church is distinctly, preeminently, and absolutely a spiritual institution. It is an institution created, vitalized, possessed, and directed by the Spirit of God. Her ministers and doctrines have appeal, relevance, and power only when they are channels of the Holy Spirit. It is His indwelling and inspiration which give the Church its divine character and accomplish its divine purposes” (p. 54).

If these things are true—and they are—what difference do they make in your Christian life? In your church?

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5 Responses

  1. Not trying to be sacrilegious, but found it amusing that you used a picture of the “Twitter bird” on a post about the Holy Spirit, often portrayed as a dove!

    These thoughts ministered to me today!

  2. Yeah, it occurred to me too, Paul. The image definitely applies to the “tweet-sized” aspect of the post, not the Spirit. Wouldn’t exactly be consistent with the high esteem I’m saying He deserves. :)

  3. As a parent, I can teach my children to love God’s Word, to seek after God, and then trust the Holy Spirit to lead them in all the uncertain specifics in the future that are completely unknowable for me.

    I can trust the Holy Spirit regarding their salvation. As they make professions of faith and demonstrate understanding of the gospel, I can treat them as believers because I know the Holy Spirit can lead them, convict them, and draw them to himself. (I don’t have to worry that my “endorsement” of their salvation will prevent them from “truly” coming to Christ in the future, if they’re not truly believers.) This is partly why I believe it is appropriate to baptize young believers.

    I can trust the Holy Spirit to teach long after I am gone. It should not trouble me when those I pray for don’t seem to understand the lessons. The HS teaches in his time and way. If he gives me the opportunity to share the gospel, or the outworkings of the gospel in the form of biblical principles, then his word does not ever return void and he will accomplish what he wants with those words. My job is to teach, and then leave the results in the Holy Spirit’s hands. (Incidentally, I think understanding the work of the Holy Spirit is one way to cultivate humility)

  4. Great post Chris.

    John MacArthur agrees with you on the importance of the Holy Spirit.
    He states in a recent sermon (Oct 23, 2011 on the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit)
    “After all the emphasis of so many years, 25 years of preaching through the four gospels, and much emphasis, of course, on the person of Christ as it should be, much emphasis on the character of God, and the nature of God as manifest in Christ and is seen elsewhere in Scripture, it is time now to give honor to the third member of the Trinity, namely the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most forgotten, the most misrepresented, the most dishonored, the most grieved, the most abused and I might even say the most blasphemed of the members of the Trinity.”
    He goes on
    “The disinterest in the Holy Spirit is what gives rise to pragmatism. We have replaced supernaturalism, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, with pragmatism….Where are the meek? And where are the humble? And where are the lowly? Where the Holy Spirit is, Christ will be exalted. It will be Christ and it will be Christ again who receives all the praise and all the honor and all the glory. The Holy Spirit is grieved if Christ is not exalted. His work is quenched and the flesh is elevated.”

  5. [...] M’man @ChrisOAnderson offers some pointed, excellent, Tweet-sized thoughts on the blessed Holy Spirit (http://bit.ly/NyinFG ) [...]

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