Jesus Christ Presence
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
and Jesus
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28. Jesus Christ's Presence

Holy Spirit's Dealings

OmnipresenceIn Acts 5.3, two early Christian disciples in Jerusalem, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, lie to the Holy Spirit. Saint Peter says, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land." The lie is against the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seems to have been that part of the godhead, which deals with human beings' work on earth, even their sins and lies. The Holy Spirit also seems to be the channel through which Christ cleanses away sin.

Sufficient Cleansing

Jesus LaughingThe author of Hebrews 9.14 writes, "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" "Acts that lead to death" may be translated as "acts from useless rituals." The blood of Christ at Calvary is a perfect offering by the Holy Spirit to the Heavenly Father. The Bible commentator Matthew Henry (1662-1714) suggests, "It is sufficient to enable us to serve the living God by sanctifying and renewing the soul through the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit."

Test the Spirits

When Jesus Christ's presence becomes real in our lives, then we can say that Jesus has come in the flesh. In 1 John 4.1-3, Saint John's readers are advised, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This test is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. It is the antichrist's spirit, which you have heard is coming and is even already in the world." The Holy Spirit always points to Christ and not to himself. ✞

Wordless Groans

PrayerThe Holy Spirit intercedes and prays for Christians with sighs and with wordless, incomprehensible groans. The Holy Spirit steps in for those who pray and gives them the help and words they need even though they are "in their weakness." Saint Paul writes to the church in Romans 8.26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." We don't know whether Saint Paul means "words that are unspoken" or "words that people cannot express in human language."

The Divine Appeal

The Welsh New Testament scholar, C. H. Dodd (1884-1973), wrote that "Prayer is the divine in us appealing to the Divine above us." It is a great mystery that the Holy Spirit prays with sighs and becomes involved in our prayers. In those moments, when we approach God in an agony of soul, we find no way to express our condition or our needs. The Holy Spirit steps in as a comforter, advocate or "guardian" to work for us. Jesus says in John 14.6, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever." This "advocate" is the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul writes in Galatians 4.6, "Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.'" By calling out "Abba," which is Aramaic for "Daddy" or "Father," the Holy Spirit makes us aware of our family ties to God as children and brings us into a right relationship as sons and daughters to him.

Sealed for Redemption

Wax SealThe Holy Spirit also seals us for the day of our redemption and safeguards our salvation. Ephesians 4.30 reads, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, who sealed you for the day of redemption." When Saint Paul says "grieve," he means by the sins mentioned in the following verse, such as "bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Instead, he encourages us in Ephesians 4.32 to "be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Holy Spirit Gifts

ClothThe Holy Spirit gifts are given to Jesus' followers and qualify human beings to do the work of their calling. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit's gifts are given to certain chosen people as prophets, judges, or leaders but also to others to craft beautiful goods and work precious stones to God's glory. The Lord said to Moses in Exodus 31.1-5, "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all kinds of skills to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, cut and set stones, work in wood, and engage in all kinds of crafts."

Arts and Science

WordLouis Berkhof (1873-1957), the Dutch Biblical theologian, commentator, and author of twenty-two books, said of this passage, "the Holy Spirit gifts and qualifies human beings for their official tasks, for work in science and art." The Holy Spirit also unites a Christian's body and soul. In a Christian, the Spirit gradually kills the tendency to sin. He reveals truths about God to us. He is at work in us through the Word of God. I am personally greatly encouraged to know that the validity of the Gospel survives because of the work of the Holy Spirit through the ages while other heresies die out. The Collect for the Sunday After Ascension Day in the Book of Common Prayer 1662 appeals for such help, "We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thy Holy Ghost to comfort us."

"Jesus Christ's Presence"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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