Christianity 201

October 11, 2011

Growing Deeper With The Holy Spirit

When you read Christian books more extensively and start getting into more serious commentaries and classic works, there’s a tendency to be somewhat spiritually snobbish and look at the “Our Daily Bread” booklets from Radio Bible Class in Canada and the U.S. as a type of lowest common denominator in devotional reading.  Quite honestly, I think if that’s all you’re doing in the course of week — no other books on the go; no Bible reading; no small group involvement — then you need to be doing more.

But on the other hand, today I happened to pick up a copy and turned to the reading for the day, and was quite impressed with this quick review on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  You can follow the daily readings online at odb.org where this one borrowed a title from a popular book and appeared as The Forgotten God.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (NIV)

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:

   “What no eye has seen,
   what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
   the things God has prepared for those who love him—

 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

   The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

   “Who has known the mind of the Lord
   so as to instruct him?”

   But we have the mind of Christ.

When we quote The Apostles’ Creed, we say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Author J. B. Phillips said, “Every time we say [this] we mean that we believe that [the Spirit] is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.”

Sometimes we forget that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. The Bible describes Him as God. He possesses the attributes of God: He is present everywhere (Ps. 139:7-8), He knows all things (1 Cor. 2:10-11), and He has infinite power (Luke 1:35). He also does things that only God can do: create (Gen. 1:2) and give life (Rom. 8:2). He is equal in every way with the other Persons of the Trinity—the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit is a Person who engages in personal ways with us. He grieves when we sin (Eph. 4:30). He teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13), prays for us (Rom. 8:26), guides us (John 16:13), gives us spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), and assures us of salvation (Rom. 8:16).

The Holy Spirit indwells us if we have received forgiveness of sin through Jesus. He desires to transform us so that we become more and more like Jesus. Let’s cooperate with the Spirit by reading God’s Word and relying on His power to obey what we learn.

God’s guidance and help that we need day to day
Is given to all who believe;
The Spirit has sealed us—He’s God’s guarantee
Of power that we can receive. —Branon

The Christian who neglects the Holy Spirit
is like a lamp that’s not plugged in.

~Marvin Williams