Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet the Holy Spirit

Exodus 28:3  “You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the Spirit of Wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me.

The Holy Spirit is the Applier of salvation
In today's blog we will be meeting the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit pictured here for us in Exodus 28-31.  It is in these passages that we see salvation being applied through the work and ministrations of the priesthood, the sacrifices, the altar of incense (the place of prayer), the anointing oil and the incense.  In the Bible's treatment of salvation, God the Father is the One who planned salvation, The Son then came to Purchase salvation and the Spirit is the One who applies salvation to all whom He calls and convicts to believe.  Exodus 28-31 is all about the application of redemption, which is why we say it pictures the Holy Spirit.  Before we can describe what the Holy Spirit does, we need to know Who He is.

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Author of Scripture
We read of two titles ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Exodus 28-31.  In Exodus 28:3 He is called "The Spirit of Wisdom".  This title refers to His work of Authoring the scriptures and providing God's revelation to His people.  Twice in Genesis (41:28 and 45:27) Pharoah recognizes in Joseph the "Spirit of Wisdom" as being behind his ability to interpret dreams.  Exodus 39:1 states: "Moreover, from the blue and purple and scarlet material, they made finely woven garments for ministering in the holy place as well as the holy garments which were for Aaron, just as the LORD had commanded Moses."  2 Peter 1:21 ascribes the scriptures to the Holy Spirit: "for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

The Author of Physical Life
In going back to Exodus once again, we read these words in 31:3 - " 3“I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship".  The title here for the Holy Spirit, "The Spirit of God", is referring to His Deity.  Genesis 1:2 tells us that the Spirit of God hovered over the waters at creation, thus He was present at that event.  According to Psalm 33:6, the presence of the Word and the Spirit presided over creation in the making of the stars of the universe. 

Therefore the Holy Spirit is understood to be the Creator, the decorator of the created realm.  From Genesis 6:3 we learn that it is the Spirit who sustains life on earth.  From New Testament passages such as Acts 5:4-5 and 2 Corinthians 3:16, the Holy Spirit is undoubtedly "Jehovah God", sharing in the Divine Fulness along with the Father and the Son.

The Author of Spiritual Life
As the Author of Physical life, Jesus refers to the Spirit as the Author of spiritual life.  In John 3:8 we read - "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Hebrews 9:14 summarizes the Divine identity of the Spirit in these words - "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Why should the Christian be familiar with the Holy Spirit?
We could certainly say more about the Holy Spirit, since scripture gives far more detail than the thumbnail sketch we've done here.  In the Bible, the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit aims at making known the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thus, as the Christian lives through the Person and Work of the Spirit, they will be focused upon the Person and Work of Christ.  Though He is equal in authority, Deity and power with the Father and Son, yet for the sake of the Triune God's dealings with His people, the Holy Spirit chooses to shine the light upon the Father and Son. (John 16:14; Galatians 4:6)  If I am lifting up the name of Jesus, I can expect the power of the Spirit to come down, enabling me to live out the will of the Father. (see John 16:7-15)

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