Okay. Okay. I’ll confess. I have a particular interest in the doctrine of the Person and Work of God the Holy Spirit. I did my Ph.D. dissertation on “The Pneumatology of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882).” I even wrote a chapter on the Holy Spirit entitled “The Other Comforter” or “The Forgotten God” (I don’t remember which) in the book edited by Jack Fish Understanding the Trinity.
In my preaching and teaching ministry, I encourage other believers to develop a relationship with God the Holy Spirit! If He is personal, we can have a relationship with Him. If He is God, we can worship Him. This challenge is not meant to supercede our relationship with the Lord Jesus, of course, for the Spirit’s primary work is to glorify Christ!
In our experiment of asking how the teachings of the Lord Jesus fit into the ten categories of systematic theology (the doctrine of man, the doctrine of sin, the doctrine of the church), we have covered several areas. Let’s ask what the Lord Jesus taught about the Third Member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus had a great deal to say about God the Holy Spirit. Let’s look briefly at His teaching in the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16):
There is so much here in these three chapters! Here’s what I learn about God the Holy Spirit:
1. We need “another advocate” (14:16). He will help us and be with us forever.
2. He is called “the Spirit of truth” — and we need truth! (14:17).
3. We should not be surprised that “the world” cannot accept the Spirit for it has no relationship to Him (14:17).
4. The Spirit will have a specific teaching ministry to the disciples of reminding them of the truths of the Lord Jesus (14:26).
5. The Spirit’s “curriculum” is the Lord Jesus — “He will testify about me” (15:26).
6. There is an order to the working of the Triune God. Jesus came to do the Father’s will. He is returning to the Father and the Spirit is being sent to take Jesus’ place (16:7).
7. The Spirit’s primary ministry to the world is that of conviction of sin (16:8-11).
8. The Lord Jesus was not finished with what He wanted to teach the disciples. The Spirit of truth will guide the disciples into all truth (16:13).
9. The Spirit of God will not speak on His own, but only what He hears (from the Father and the Son) (16:13).
10. He will glorify the Lord Jesus (16:14-15).
If I’m right that we should develop a personal relationship with God the Holy Spirit, then we can talk to Him and ask Him for things. One of His ministries is conviction of sin. Write out a prayer today to the Holy Spirit, asking that He would bring conviction of sin to someone that you love. (to be continued)