Monday, February 20, 2012

Meet the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:2 "because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

The Holy Spirit is The Applier of salvation
Romans 1-3 details how sinners have offended God their creator who desires to reach out to them in forgiveness to reveal Himself as God the Father. As God the Father aims to draw sinners to Himself whom He has loved, it is by His grace through faith that they believe upon God the Son whom He sent.  Thus the Father is the author of salvation.

From Romans 4-7 the argument of Romans centers mostly upon the accomplishment of God the Son in purchasing and providing salvation.  Thus God the Son is the Accomplisher of Salvation.  When one enters Romans 8, the Father's plan of salvation and the Son's accomplishment are to be applied to believer's by God the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:2 reveals to the reader this "Spirit of Life" as the Applier of salvation. 

God the Holy Spirit's Life Giving Ministry
An ancient Christian writer said this of the Holy Spirit, that he knows about God because of Christ and knows of Christ because of the scriptures and knows the Christ of scripture by the Holy Spirit. Were it not for the Holy Spirit, the "Spirit of Life", the Christian life would not be a reality. 

1. The Holy Spirit's ministry in salvation
The Holy Spirit is the "Life giver" of the Trinity.  It is from Him that all physical life on earth derives the breath of life. (Psalm 104)  Moreso it is from the Holy Spirit that the life of faith is granted, convicting sinners and drawing them to be raised from the deadness of sins to a living willingness to choose Christ. (John 1:12-13; 16:8-12; Ephesians 2:1-6; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23)  This miracle of salvation is called "regeneration" or "the new birth". 

2. The Holy Spirit's ministry following salvation, that is sanctification
As the "Lord and Giver of Life", the Holy Spirit also applies benefits of salvation following the commitment of faith.  He continues to indwell the believer, providing internal guidance and power to live for God. (Romans 8:4)  Quite literally the Spirit of God is "God in us", enabling the Christian to experience Christ's ministry as "God with us" as He aims to reveal God the Father as "God above us".  This is the One God of the Bible relating to Christians from the Father, by the Son through the Life Giving Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18)

3. The Holy Spirit makes the event of salvation into a living experience
The Holy Spirit not only gives power to live by, but Romans 8:5 speaks of "the things of the Spirit".  Those "things" are found in the book of which He is the chief Author - The Bible.  From Romans 8:6 onward the Holy Spirit communicates through Paul what those things are: power to live for God, ability to love the brethren, power for prayer and power to endure to the end. 

4. The Holy Spirit is Personally God in us and to us
We must remember that the Holy Spirit is not an "it" but a "He".  Romans 8:16 states that "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God".  Thus The Spirit is a "He".  We also understand that the Spirit is God, since He shares in the same undivided life as the Father and the Son.  Only the Holy Spirit could know and communicate God's mind to the Christian. (Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11)  Therefore let's be thankful that God the Holy Spirit makes Himself available at salvation, for it is through Him, the Giver of Life, that I can know God the Son and live for God the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)