The humility and jealousy of the Holy Spirit

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I remember hearing the story: a gathering of ministers in a place that had known God's blessing in an unusual degree in time past, grieving over the present low state of things and seeking the Lord for his return. They pondered and discussed the ways and means that the Lord had given by means of which they might seek his face and obtain his blessing.

The suggestion was made that a series of meetings might be appointed, the grand topic of which would be the person and work of the Holy Spirit. This, it was felt, might be the surest way to pursue such blessings as were desired. This, it was believed, was a grand design to know and enjoy those spiritual operations which belong to him. There was at first general agreement on this point.

Then the oldest brother stood, a man who remembered what it was to have the Lord God of heaven and earth draw near, in this particular way, to his creatures in mercy and grace. He gently corrected his fellows. "What we need," he said, "is not sermons on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is not pleased to bless such. What we need is sermons on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the Spirit of Christ will come, for he delights to glorify Christ, to take of what is his and declare it to men."

In the last few weeks I somewhere read something brief about jealousy for the Holy Spirit. Now, do not misunderstand me: I do not, by any means, wish to dismiss or neglect God the Spirit. He is truly God in himself and ought to be worshipped and honoured as such. But what is his particular work? While we often speak, and rightly, of the humiliation of the Son, how much do we consider the humility of the Holy Spirit, who - himself being God and worthy of divine praise and glory - makes it his particular work not to draw attention to himself, but to throw the divine spotlight upon the being and doing of the incarnate Son, through whom alone we know the Father and enjoy the blessings of the Spirit? The Spirit keeps himself largely out of sight, his work intended to bring what God has accomplished in Christ Jesus into brightest and sharpest relief, for the blessing of sinners. So all our blessings are Spiritual blessings. There is no salvation apart from his operations. By him Christ accomplished his work. The application of that saving work is carried out by the Holy Ghost. Christ cannot be truly apprehended without him. Without the Spirit, who is God, we cannot know God in Christ, and we should and must honour and enjoy communion with God the Spirit accordingly.

However, when we begin to use the language of jealousy for the Holy Spirit, it may be better to remember the jealousy of the Holy Spirit. We honour the Spirit by declaring the Son. Christ was not operating apart from or against the Spirit when he cried out, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself" (Jn 12.32). When we in our turn exalt the Son as the one who was crucified, we most honour and cooperate with the Spirit whom he sent.
Posted September 1, 2012 @ 6:43 AM by Jeremy Walker
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