Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Holiness is a team game

Currently reading a chapter called ‘Dependent Discipline’ in Jerry Bridges’ Discipline of Grace and it has struck me that pursuing holiness is not something we can do on our own, neither is it something passive which God can do without our own discipline and effort;

Two extracts from the book that are particularly striking to me;

‘there is not a single instance in New Testament teaching on holiness where we are taught to depend on the Holy Spirit without a corresponding exercise of discipline on our part.’

‘The truth is, we must plant and we must water if we are to make progress in holiness, but only the Holy Spirit can change us more and more into the likeness of Jesus. Our problem is that we tend to depend upon our planting and our watering rather than on the Lord.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:7)

The Holy Spirit is a Person not a force!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the Holy Spirit recently, and this has been helped by the first thematic preaching series I’ve experienced at church (Doctrine of the Holy Spirit). Daf, pastor of All Saints, has been preaching in three parts through the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit and it’s been eye-opening and God has made it much clearer to me the person and work of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

I’ve been to my fair share of ‘charismatic’ events in the past and have never really thought the Holy Spirit played much of a part in life except during times of singing and so-called ‘ministry’, usually after the singing. In my experience, He is treated more as a force given by Jesus for doing seemingly weird things, rather than treated as a person, as I now see the Bible clearly presents Him as.

This is not to say that the Spirit isn’t capable of doing the extraordinary, of course He can, He is God! However, as Christians, it is absolutely paramount to keep what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit central to our thinking on Him.

And I am now confident that the Holy Spirit is not limited to working as a spiritual dose of Lucozade for the Christian. He is a person we know, like God the Father, or Jesus the Son.

It is exactly because the Holy Spirit is a person and not a force that Paul writes in Ephesians ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit’ (Eph 4:30). You can’t anger a force, but you can a person.