The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 5
Our “Plank of the Faith” this week, served-up “hot, hot, hot” (in an eternally cool sense…) at The Training Table this week, takes into account the of’ times little-known but most-awesome gift of God, the person of The Holy Spirit.
As the Bible and our source document, The Belgic Confession of Faith, reminds us, the Holy Spirit is not only an integral person of The Godhead, He has been commissioned to be “the part of God” that is responsible for several activities in the Believers’ life that are instrumental in God carrying out His Plan of Redemption.
Short of Jesus Christ—Who made manifest the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of His followers (John 14; Acts 2:1-4)—of all the gifts given to mankind by God, there is none greater than the presence of the Holy Spirit.
And, dare I say, there is likely none we can tend to more ignorant of, misunderstood, not as intimate with as we could or should be, and most abused… than the person of the Holy Spirit.
Once we are saved and belong to God, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts forever, sealing us with the confirming, certifying, and assuring pledge of our eternal state as God’s adopted children—saved to serve. Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit is the revealer of True Truth—which, when supernaturally (by the Holy Spirit) and “naturally” (by our obedience) applied to our heart, transforms it, sanctifies it, matures it, makes it fruitful, conforms it to the image of Jesus Christ, and sets us on the journey to be partners in redeeming this world as, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”.
A handful of important names of the Holy Spirit are revealing: Comforter, Counselor, , Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Guide, Strengthener.
The Holy Spirit can be said to be “the Pointer to Jesus”, and the “Supernatural Heart-Changer”. Each one of these names and roles, and many more, are worth your while to study and internalize!
The content within the Bible and elsewhere about the person of the Holy Spirit is so rich, so voluminous, so wide and deep, that I wouldn’t dare try (even if I had the capability) to broach the subject in any depth. There are a handful of resources offered below.
Before I offer the “Plank of the Faith” from The Belgic Confession below, I would like to provide one aspect of the Holy Spirit’s person and work that I believe to be a most significant and worthy aspect of the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, combined with our gracious obedience, in our life of trust and faith in word and deed, “The Fruit of the Spirit”.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23)
“One cannot be a Christian and have no fruit. Indeed, all Christians yield some measure of all the fruit of the Spirit. It is not that one receives the fruit of love and another the fruit of joy. All the fruit is to be manifest in all Christians.
The degree of the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit may vary from Christian to Christian, and even episodically in the individual Christian’s life. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is part of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification. Sanctification is not a monergistic work; it is synergistic: It involves and requires the cooperation of the believer. We are working out our salvation while at the same time God is working within us.
All of our labor in sanctification would yield no fruit if God were not working in us. Ultimately, it is His fruit in that He is the source of it and power for it. However, the full measure of the fruit of the Spirit requires that we work. We are to work not casually or occasionally. Our labor is to be done in fear and trembling.
God is at work within you. Are you cooperating?” (Tabletalk Magazine, Ligonier Ministries—emphasis added)
Article 11: The Deity of the Holy Spirit
“We believe and confess also that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son—neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but only proceeding from the two of them.
In regard to order, he is the third person of the Trinity—of one and the same essence, and majesty, and glory, with the Father and with the Son.
He is true and eternal God, as the Holy Scriptures teach us.” (Article 11, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561)
May God richly bless your heart by the person, power, and work of the Holy Spirit.
Sealed with the Holy Spirit
“The Holy Spirit Forever to be Communicated to the Saints, in the Grace of Love, or Divine Love”, by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)