Saturday, May 16, 2015

P1 The Ambassador of God's Greatness - the Holy Spirit

Isaiah 40:13-14 "Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,Or as His counselor has informed Him? 14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding?"

When I was growing up at home there was a period of time where we had the opportunity to become acquainted with what I would call “an ambassador of goodness”, otherwise known as “The Schwan’s ice cream man”. Whenever Friday would come, my sister and I knew that in addition to finishing up school, we would get to sometimes see that yellow and white truck back into our drive way. My dad would go out to greet this diplomat of the tastiest frozen desserts this side of eternity (I don’t think I exaggerate). Back then as a boy I had no trouble eating as much ice cream as I could stomach. My dad quickly developed the habit of eating ice cream for his lunch, all thanks to the goods delivered by the Schwan’s ice cream man. While we received these bi-weekly visits from the “Schwan’s” home deliver truck, I soon began to notice the commercials on T.V and then it dawned on me: “hey, that guy is delivering to us what is on the commercial”. As a young boy, all of this was an amazing experience. We thought we had it good with the ice cream from the store. However, when the Schwan’s man came into our lives with his frozen treasures of ice cream, why would anyone want to turn back?

The Christian life begins with a visitation The Ambassador of the Trinity, Who is the Ambassador of God’s greatness. When I speak of this One and only “Ambassador of God’s Greatness”, I am speaking of the Holy Spirit. In past posts we have looked at the greatness of God, and how the need for the greatness of God could not be any more than in today’s church and Christian life. We have also explored how the church’s mission, and really the Christian’s mission is none other than promoting the greatness of God in a world that rejects God for lesser things. Romans 11:33-36 spells out more clearly than any other scripture the greatness of our God.

Today’s post aims to show how the Holy Spirit, the Ambassador of God’s greatness, brings down to people this great truth – namely that God is great, and greatly to be praised. So as we shall see, our main point of application will be that: the Ambassador of God’s greatness brings to you and me the greatness of God. So how does the Holy Spirit do this?

The Holy Spirit provides the ability to worship.
Romans 11:33 states – “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” Paul’s statement here is what is called a “doxology’ or explosion of worship and praise to God. It is clear that everything he has written up to this point and Romans has generated this building burst of praise that he could no longer contain. The first part of this passage tells us the most extraordinary and exciting aspect of God’s greatness, in that He has untold richness, wisdom and knowledge within Himself that He wishes to reveal to us. However, the second part of the passage presents to us a major barrier that exists between this incredibly great God and his creatures, namely that human beings, angels and all of creation could never have access to this greatness. Human beings especially are in dire straits since as Romans 3:23 plainly states: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So then why would Paul state such a wonderful truth and then seemingly rip the rug out from underneath our feet?

Thankfully, the rug is still intact and we discover in the next two verses how we as sinful human beings are given access to this great God in salvation.
Romans 11:34-35 sets up the solution
to this predicament by

these words: “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?” You may notice in many of your Bibles how the print changes slightly to indicate when a New Testament author is quoting from the Old Testament. The question is raised: “who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has become His counselor?” In other words: who can gain access to God’s greatness? Paul is giving us the clue regarding Who brings God’s greatness to us by alluding to an Old Testament passage, Isaiah 40:13, which says: “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him?” The Spirit is the One who delivers to us the ability and desire to worship our great God. 

More tomorrow....