2009-02-17 - Operations of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit Series, Part 7
As we once again examine the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, consider the words of Beecher:
OPERATIONS OF THE SPIRIT
What is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit? It is the doctrine of the interworking of the Spirit of God upon the souls of men. I have no philosophy about it. All I say is this: God knows what is the secret way in which mind reaches mind. I do not; you do not. I do not know why words on my tongue wake up thoughts corresponding to those words in you. I do not know why the soul of man, like a complex instrument of wondrous scope, is played upon by my words, so that there are waked up in it notes along the whole scale of being. I do not understand why these things are so, but, unquestionably, they are so. I do not know how the mother pours her affection on the childs heart, but she does. Two stars never shone into each other as two loving souls shine into each other. I know it is so, but I do not know why it is so. I do not know how soul touches soul, how thought touches thought, or how feeling touches feeling; but I know it does. 1
In the preface to his work on the Holy Spirit, J. I. Packer notes:
THE HOLY Spirit of God, the Lord, the life giver, who hovered over the waters at creation and spoke in history by the prophets, was poured out on Jesus Christs disciples at Pentecost to fulfill the new Paraclete role that Jesus had defined for him. In his character as the second Paraclete, Jesus deputy and representative agent in mens minds and hearts, the Spirit ministers today. Paraclete (parakëtos in Greek) means Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Strengthener, Supporter. Jesus, the original Paraclete, continues his ministry to mankind through the work of the second Paraclete. As Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so in his Spirit, and in every age since Pentecost, wherever the gospel has gone, the Spirit has continued to do - on a larger or smaller scale - the things that Jesus promised he would do when sent in this new capacity.
It is well that he has! Had he ceased to do these things, the church would long ago have perished, for there would have been no Christians to compose it. The Christians life in all its aspectsintellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witnessis supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all. But in fact, the church continues to live and grow, for the Spirits ministry has not failed, nor ever will, with the passage of time. 2
This truth should be our motive for giving the Holy Spirit more attention than we normally do.
To be continued.
Comments or Questions?