“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all ( 2 Co.13:14)”
Here we find three blessings mentioned in the key verse, each of which is assigned to the godhead. “…For God is love (1 Jn.4:8).” “….Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ( Jn.1:17)”. These specific verses are easier to grasp but what does one make of the fellowship of the Spirit? It is the catalyst that makes both blessings work to perfection in a believer.
One aspect of the Spirit is that He is the Spirit of truth. So when He leads anyone to truth he is making the reader believe the eternal truth of Father-son relationship. By faith the Spirit also leads him into the family of special relationship where love of the Father accepts who believes in the Son; his acceptance is guaranteed by the blood of the Son and he is preserved while in body by the indwelling presence of the Spirit. So fellowship of the Spirit is the medium of instruction for anyone who has accepted the sovereignty of Christ Jesus the Redeemer.
The Scripture throws light on love of God that sent his ‘only begotten Son to the world’. In accepting the sovereignty of Jesus Christ as his saviour he puts himself squarely in the many promises the Bible offers him. The word of God convinces him the change in position: his faith has transformed him from power of darkness to be a partaker ‘of the inheritance of the saints in light.’ This translation of one state to another is what grace does. From judgment he has been freed being justified by his grace. This is achieved through the word of God. Noteworthy is how St Paul takes leave of the elders of the church of Ephesus, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Ac.20:32). ” Words of grace are attributed to Jesus Christ who is the Word incarnate (Jn.1:14). We received the Spirit by faith and the fellowship is the indwelling presence of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the third office in the triune God.
The Holy Spirit is the herald of God and anticipates events ordained from above.
“….(The Holy Spirit) He shall shew you things to come (Jn.16:13).” He is the keeper of time. Evangelist Philip would not have run into the Ethiopian eunuch unless was forewarned by the Spirit and told what he had to do (Ac.8:26-29). Consequently he ran up to the man and preached the gospel to him. The Spirit facilitated the outreach work of the evangelist. We find quite a few instances where the Spirit was on hand to further divine Will. Inclusion of the gentiles into the church at the Apostolic Age also owe to the Spirit who showed Simon Peter through the medium of a vision why it was necessary for him to answer the call of Cornelius of the Italian band. It resulted in the fulfilment of the Joel prophecy. (Joel 2:28-30 Ac.11:17). What happened there confirmed that the Spirit baptized Jews and gentiles alike into one body.
Secondly the Spirit is a facilitator. In the Scripture the Spirit has organized two time scales to place emphasis on ‘whom you have believed’ so your eye never wanders from the salvation offered by the atoning work of the Son. Emblematic of this eye contact as vital we are given the incident of the brazen serpent. Your salvation has been assured by the Son of man hanging from the cross for the sins of the world. Use of symbols gives the narrative its depth. Events before the actual advent hold significance to him as the millennial reign of the Messiah refers to his second coming. Thus events from the worlds began to the eternity runs on the time scale of God, which is shown with reference to the Son of man. Historically his antecedents as the root of Jesse follow the earth time but having risen we have him as our Saviour in heaven. The indwelling presence of the Spirit is his promise and it is his guarantee that we have passed death to life. Reconciling two time scales is how the Spirit has made the word value-based.
The time element of God’s Will and of human agencies run on variable speeds so much so Apostle Peter in his epistle speaks of the apparent paradox (2 Pe.3:8). But it is reconciled by the Spirit in the Son.
Theophany wherever they occurred, were events indicating God’s involvement with man. Such a gospel is Good News. It covers both Jews and gentiles.
God heard the cry of Hagar in the wilderness of Beersheba. Abraham had sent her away at the insistence of his wife Sarah. The days provision allotted to her was spent and not a drop of water to be had for her son who was in need. She said in despair, ‘Let me not see the death of the child.’ She sat opposite him, lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of the God called out to Hagar out of heaven and said unto her “…Fear not, for God hath heard the cry of the lad… (Ge.21:14-19)”
The Holy Spirit in recording this touching scene of a woman in distress mentions God manifested there. His promise to Abraham that His blessings extended to all families through him holds significance to us as well. This incident anticipates the advent of Jesus Christ in order to fulfill the divine mandate Jn.3:16. God feeding His people in the wilderness finds fulfillment in him in His many attributes. He is the bread from heaven. His body broken on the cross is as true as the ‘bread from heaven’ (Jn.6:32-33) each believer partaken in holy Communion. Symbolism of bread edifying the body is sustained in spiritual terms from benefit of reading from the Word. Our faith is sharpened from exercise and the many spiritual blessings we can only make part of our life by living by them. Our prayer is exercise of faith and we know He hears us just as he heard Hagar.
The Lord God heard the voice of the lad and an Angel of God called to her out of heaven. He in the end announces, in the name of Lord God that ‘I will make him a great nation.’ Similarly we who once were aliens and outside the promise have been brought into the kingdom of kings and priests. The Spirit incorporates future events and throws them in sharper relief for our spiritual growth.
Revelation of God as well as how his several gifts can transform a child of God requires passage of time.
Gospel of God and gospel of Christ are both sides of a coin. The Word made flesh revealed the divine Will. It is an example of theophany. There comes a point when Jesus Christ shall hand over “the kingdom to God even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (1 Co.15:24)” The Logos concept in which Jesus as the Word became flesh rounds off the Gospel of God. Just as a coin has its reverse and obverse the authority of God is the other side of the Word. Whosoever rejected the Good News shall be counted as enemy and cast out forever; we know that he also shall be subject unto him, that God may be all in all (1 Co.15:28)…