The Three "Rs" of the Spirit

Yesterday I attempted to apply the teaching from John 14:16-17 about the role of the Holy Spirit with three “so whats.” I want to review them quickly here in this post.

First, find rest in the Spirit’s foreverness. The Son asks the Father to give us the Spirit and promises a forever relationship. We never need concern ourselves that the Father will renege on the promise of the Spirit. We are sealed with the Spirit (Eph. 1:13). He will never leave us or forsake us and always gives us exactly what we need for every circumstance and situation.

Second, take responsibility for the Spirit’s infilling. The Spirit’s indwelling, enjoyed by all Jesus’ followers, does not guarantee His fullness in our everyday lives. We make choices all the time that influence that one way or the other. Ephesians 5:18-21 is the key text:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Notice the corporate nature of the means that affect the Spirit’s infilling in our lives. Participation in singing and praise from the heart with thanksgiving and a submissive spirit towards others all come into play dramatically in terms of whether or not we enjoy the Spirit’s in full measure.
Third, think relationship with the Spirit as family. He is, after all, a person. A Christ follower has no more intimate relationship than he does with the indwelling Spirit. Talk with the Spirit. Pray to the Spirit. Remember that the Spirit goes with you wherever you go and can be grieved (Eph. 4:30) or quenched (1 Thess. 5:19) by whatever you do.
There are some bizarre teachings out there about the Spirit, but we should not let the fear of those excesses keep us from cultivating a prayer-without-ceasing, keeping-in-close-step with the Spirit.

Nothing for Which Jesus Cares So Much (Part 5)

Today’s message from John 14:15-24 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

I summarized the flow of the argument this way:

We could spend multiple messages unpacking the doctrine of the Spirit, but I will resist that temptation for we will encounter His ministry nuymerous times to come in this discourse. But before we move on next time to the role of the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead, I do want you to see in verses 16-18, in addition to the identity of the Spirit as Helper, four other particulars that Jesus identifies about Him – His perpetuity, His priority, His exclusivity, and His intimacy. All of these contribute to the force of the advantage that comes to Jesus’ followers upon the loss of His presence in so short a time (John 16:7).

Praise God for the extraordinary help of the Holy Spirit in whom we find rest, are filled, and enjoy intimate relationship!

Nothing for Which Jesus Cares So Much (Part 4)

Today’s message from John 14:15-24 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

Here’s how I attempted to capture the gist of the section:

Now in campaigning for their correct understanding of saving faith as issuing in devoted obedience and no easy-believism, I mentioned in part three that Jesus further shows His care by outlining for the disciples the stunning provision made for them/us to enable that obedience. Indeed I called it a Trinitarian provision for Jesus goes on here to describe how all three members of the Godhead come into play in what we might call operation saving faith resulting in treasuring obedience. They are the giving of the Spirit (15-17), the coming of the Son (18-21), and the abiding of the Father (22-24).

Praise God that the Helper, Jesus, remains our advocate before the Father’s throne in heaven ANd another Helper, the Spirit, perpetually adds His aid as our advocate, friend, counselor, and comforter as well.

My thanks to Greg Willson for his poignant testimony about advocacy from his recent experience in federal court!

The Ultimate Grace of Loving (Part 3)

Yesterday’s message from 1 John 4:7-12 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

I summarized the text this way:

So treasure the centrality of love – sweet, endless, lavish – love in the Godhead – ultimatley sourced in the Father’s amazing being, historically secured in the Son’s atoning mission, and continually seen through the Spirit’s abiding presence – seen in the intricacies of showing honor, showing hospitality, mutual burden-bearing, and bearing with others and forgiving others.

If you would like to order a subscription to Free Grace Broadcaster, the gratis quarterly publication I mentioned at the top of the message, click here.

May the Lord grant us grace to dress ourselves in the garments of virtue, especially the ultimate grace of loving in our gospel-shaped community.