Friday, December 7, 2012

Great Christmas Miracles P4: The Holy Spirit's Infinite Providence

Luke 2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David

For the past several days we have been focusing on how the Holy Spirit worked the miracles necessary to make the arrival of God the Son into this world a reality.  We've noted four miracles:

1. Inspiration of the Scriptures
2. Incarnation
3. Virgin Birth
4. Hypostatic Union (uniting the Divine and human natures to and in the Person of God the Son)

In today's post we will look at how the Holy Spirit used His infinite Providence to orchestrate all of the events of Christmas. 

The Holy Spirit and Providence
God's Sovereignty is His right to Eternally reign, with Providence is the excercise of His Sovereignty or His Ruling reign.  Scripture speaks volumes of the Trinity's Providential control over the affairs of creation, governments and human hearts.  God the Father for instance planned all things, and thus is the Planner in Providence. (Psalm 90; Ecclesiastes 3:15; Romans 11:36)  God the Son is ascribed the same ability of excercising Providence, since He Powerfully executes the Father's plans.  It is through the Son that all things come and have their being. (Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:4-10) 

One chapter in the Bible will suffice to demonstrate how all three Persons of the Trinity have equally but distinctly designed salvation. God the Father planned it (Ephesians 1:1-6); God the Son Powerfully executed it (Ephesians 1:7-11) and God the Holy Spirit applies the affects to all who believe. (Ephesians 1:12-14).

Quick reminder on who the Holy Spirit is
When we speak of the Holy Spirit, since He shares in the same nature as the Father and the Son, it is He who produces the affects powerfully executed by the Son and planned by the Father. (Ephesians 1:12-14; Romans 8:26-28; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) 
Let the reader be quickly reminded that the Holy Spirit is a person (John 14:17, 15:26-27, 16:7-8; Acts 5:3) who is God (Acts 5:4; 2 Corinthians 3:16-17) and who shares in the same undivided, unified nature with the Father and the Son. (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18) 

The Spirit's Providence in the first Christmas
The entire Trinity worked together as One God to make Christ's first advent a reality.  It was the Father who planned from all eternity to send the Son into the world and to become a human being through a particular bloodline which he orchestrated and arranged. (John 3:16; Galatians 4:4; Matthew 1:1-17)  God the Son is also credited with having a part in His own incarnation, mainly from the standpoint of willingly entering from Eternity into time and gladly taking on the nature of the very ones He came to redeem. (Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:14-15; Hebrews 10:4-9)  

God the Holy Spirit handled the miraculous side of things, which we just witnessed over these past several days.  It was he who inspired the scriptures and revealed the over 100 prophecies concerning the Lord's first coming. (1 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 1:21)  In the geneaology of Luke 3, we find over 70 names stretching from Adam to Mary, indicating that not only the Father, but the Spirit Himself working in conjunction with the Father to guide history and lives to be a part of Christ's human ancestory. 

Clearly it was the Holy Spirit who brought together the human DNA of Mary to be brought in contact with the Person of the Son who already, from all eternity, shared the same nature with God the Father.  How it was done, no one can know.  The outcome yielded forth the God-man who, in His hypostatic union, would ever exist as fully God and fully man.  The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message states:  "Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary."  Thus in His Deity, Christ has God the Father as His Father Eternally, while as man Mary is His mother touching His humanity.  1 Timothy 3:16a in the NKJV describes this most clearly: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh....".

As we draw this particular study to as close, let me remind you of the Christmas miracles we have discovered as being connected to the Holy Spirit:

1. Inspiration of Scripture
2. Incarnation of Jesus Christ
3. Virgin Birth
4. Hypostatic Union
5. Infinite Providence

May you and I, through these studies, be caused to have a God-centered, Christ exalting focus this Christmas, which is the will of the Holy Spirit in every season of our life.


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