The Holy Spirit’s Supernatural Ministry

“In his 1974 position paper for the Lausanne congress on evangelization, Schaeffer tells the story of the deep period of doubt and perplexity in his life in 1951 and 1952. Troubled by the lack of spiritual reality in the Christian groups he worked with, Schaeffer began asking what was missing and why. He thought his way all the way back to his original agnosticism and put all his beliefs and commitments back on the table for renegotiation. He paced back and forth for months or took long walks when the weather permitted. He notified his wife, Edith, that if he didn’t find what he needed in Christianity, he would reject it and then do something else with his life. His conclusion: I came to realize that indeed I had been right in becoming a Christian. But then I went on further and wrestled deeper and asked,

“But then where is the spiritual reality, Lord, among most of that which calls itself orthodoxy?” And gradually I found something. I found something that I had not been taught, a simple thing but profound. I discovered the meaning of the work of Christ, the meaning of the blood of Christ, moment by moment in our lives after we are Christians—​​​the moment-by-moment work of the whole Trinity in our lives because as Christians we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. That is true spirituality.

From Fred Sander’s book, The Deep Things of God

Union with Christ, Like a Marriage, Sealed with the ‘Kiss’ of the Spirit

“Oh happy kiss, and wonder of amazing self-humbling which is not a mere meeting of lips, but the union of God with man. The touch of lips signifies the bringing together of souls. But this conjoining of natures unites the human with the divine and makes peace between earth and heaven.… “For he himself is our peace, who made the two one” (Eph. 2: 14).” -Bernard of Clairvaux

 

He Will Make His Home in Us

“One recent summer, in a large urn that sits outside the front door of my house, a blue swift made a nest in which she laid six eggs. This beautiful, shy creature had made her home in (almost) my house. I felt privileged that I had been honored by her presence, even if my cat viewed it entirely differently. If I felt privileged when a bird nested by my door, how much more privileged should I feel knowing that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in me? Our hearts should well up with gratitude and song at the mere thought of it. It is staggering.” -Derek Thomas

When Did Jesus Receive the Fullness of the Spirit?

Quest. When did this fullness of the Spirit come upon Christ? When had he it?
Ans. 1. There was a fullness of the Spirit poured out upon Christ in the union of the human nature with the divine. Union and unction went together. There was anointing of the Spirit, together with the union of the Spirit.
Ans. 2. There was a more full manifestation of the Spirit in his baptism. When the Holy Ghost fell on him in the shape of a dove, then he received the Spirit. He was to enter into the ministry of the gospel. ‘The Spirit of the Lord God was upon him,’ because he had anointed him to preach good tidings unto the meek, &c.,’ Isa. 41:1.
Ans. 3. But the fullest degree of declaration and manifestation of the Spirit upon Christ was after his resurrection; after he had satisfied fully for our salvation. Then the stop of his glory was taken away.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom: The Excellency of Gospel above the Law

Sibbes: Christ’s Fullness of the Spirit vs. Ours

“And therefore he must needs have the Spirit in greatest abundance. His fullness of the Spirit is as the fullness of the fountain; ours is but as the fullness of the cistern. He hath grace in the spring; we have it but in the conduit. His graces are primitive; ours derivative. We have nothing but what we have received. Therefore it is said, ‘He hath the oil of gladness poured upon him above his fellows,’ Ps. 45:7.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom: The Excellency of Gospel above the Law

Living as a Body

“So often we find ourselves saying something like, “Say, did you hear about Harry and Sue? It seems they’re really having some problems. They’re even thinking about a divorce. It’s too bad. Why can’t people get along with each other anymore?” Just as the parts of the physical body never communicate with such negativity and indifference, neither should we. Rather, we should rush the restorative powers of the body to those hurting members. Basically, this means that the ministry of the Holy Spirit needs to be applied by the loving and concerned prayer of other members. Even in this area, though, we need to be careful that we do not gossip under the guise of sharing a prayer request. Every word we say about the hurting of another believer should be motivated strictly by a sincere concern for that person’s welfare and a desire to see the restorative power of the Holy Spirit at work in his or her life.” -Jerry Bridges, True Community