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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Relationship with God the Holy Spirit — He Illumines the BELIEVER! (Part 2)

08 Jul

Overemphasized or overlooked? That’s the question regarding God the Holy Spirit that we need to answer. Many of us need a refresher course in the ministries and Person of the Third member of the Trinity. Because He is God, He can and should be worshiped. Because He is personal, we can have a personal relationship with Him.

This personal relationship with the Holy Spirit is in addition to our relationship with the Lord Jesus. The Spirit comes to glorify Christ, not Himself. So Jesus should receive our primary attention. But “primary” does not mean “exclusive.” As we examine the ministries of the Holy Spirit, we want to think a bit more this morning on His ministry of illumination.

We’ve seen from the Upper Room Discourse (Jn. 14-16) that the Spirit of God was sent by Jesus as His substitute Teacher (14:26), that He is the “Spirit of truth” and “will testify” about the Lord Jesus (Jn. 15:26). This means His primary curriculum is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! His teaching ministry will not be a solo work — “He will speak only what He hears.” And we saw that the Spirit “will receive from [the Lord Jesus] what He will make known to you” (Jn. 16:15).

We concluded that the Spirit of God is intimately involved in the believer’s studying the words of the Lord Jesus, and, by extension, his or her diligent study of any of the written Word of God.

There is another key text about the Spirit’s ministry of ILLUMINATION and it is found in I Corinthians 2 where we read —

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

This is a difficult passage to understand. But what do we learn specifically here about the Spirit of God?

1. The Spirit reveals truths to us — truths that are not discovered by the wise of this world, a mystery none of the rulers of this age understood (vv. 6-8).

2. These truths surpass what the eye has seen and the ear has heard and the human mind is able to conceive. These are the things God has prepared for those who love Him. And these things have been revealed to us by His Spirit (vv. 9-10).

3. These “thoughts of God” are those which no one knows “except the Spirit of God” (v. 11). We have received this Spirit “so that we may understand what God has freely given us” (v. 12).

4. Our speaking these truths ought to be not with words of human wisdom but “in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (v. 13).

5. But what about the unsaved person? We are told that “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (v. 14). There is a discernment that only the Spirit of God can give. And He gives that discernment only to those who “have” the Spirit.

The person without the Spirit does not “accept the things that come from the Spirit but considers them foolishness.” The word “accept” is a verb that means to “warmly embrace.”

Conclusion: The illuminating ministry of the Spirit of God involves His helping the believer warmly embrace the truths of God. It is not a substitute for the diligent study of the Word. It is not a substitute for proper principles of interpretation (hermeneutics). The Spirit of God works with the believer in not only understanding God’s truth, but applying God’s truth to himself and others.

The Challenge: What passage of the Bible are you presently studying? Not just reading, but pouring over, meditating on, carefully examining? Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you as only He can in that important work!

 

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2019 in The Holy Spirit

 

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