Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Holy Spirit - His Ministry through the Bible

Quick Review
Having seen the Deity and Personality of the Holy Spirit, we now move to the ministries  of the Spirit of God.  To quickly remind the reader of our central points about the Holy Spirit:

1. He has a Personality - mind, emotions and will
2. He alone is able to fully reveal the infinite (without beginning and ending) God the Son, who infinitely, visibly reveals the invisible, infinite, God the Father.
3. Any person who can infinitely reveal an infinite person is Himself infinite (without beginning and ending)
4. Thus The Son and Holy Spirit have the same, Divine, infinite nature as God the Father.
5. Thus since anything that is infinite cannot be divided up into smaller pieces, we can truly say then that the One God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is this set of assumptions that give the background for understanding how God the Holy Spirit calls lost sinners and ministers daily to Christians.  We will now briefly look at the Holy Spirit's work in revealing the scriptures.
The God of Glory in RevelationPaul writes in Ephesians 1:18 - "17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints".   The "spirit of wisdom and revelation" should be capitalized.  Only by the Spirit of God affecting our understanding, or "quickening us to see" God and His truth will there be any true love for Jesus Christ.  Under this general heading of the Spirit's work of revelation, theologians identify three "sub-ministries". The first two are complete, and the last one is vital for Christians today.

THE HOLY SPIRIT'S REVELATION OF SCRIPTURE  TO THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLESPeter reminds us that it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to the prophets of old, revealing to them the otherwise unrevealed riches of God's will in the scriptures (1 Peter 1:11-12; 2 Peter 1:21). 

THE HOLY SPIRIT'S INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE THROUGH THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLESOnce the Holy Spirit revealed a given truth to a prophet or apostle, the author's own words and writing style would be used by God to compose error free documents called the scriptures.  This process, whereby the Holy Spirit "breathed" out these scriptures through the pens of the human authors is what we call "inspiration" (literally God breathed). (compare 2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

THE HOLY SPIRIT'S ILLUMINATION OF SCRIPTURE TO CHRISTIANS TODAYOnce the scriptures were complete, Christians of every age would use them as the standard books by which they would know and live out the will of God.  The Holy Spirit, in every true Christian, enables understanding of the scriptures.  This ministry is called "illumination" (see 1 Corinthians 2:14-16).  It must be made clear that there are no "new revelations" or "no new inspired writings" flying off of the presses of heaven.  Scripture is complete, without error and never to be added to.  However the Spirit is all the time shedding light on the meaning of the text.  It is vital for Christians everywhere to read, study and think on the scriptures.  It is through them we receive illumination to live by. (compare 1 Peter 2:1-2)