In the coming posts we shall examine the role of the Spirit in the Bible.
Jesus Christ defines God as a Spirit. `God is a Spirit…(Jn.4:23). The third Office of the Spirit is to make the glory of God the Father and God the Son established so there is no confusion in a believer as to their virtues. The baptism by water is the token of his having died to the world and accepted the sovereignty of Jesus Christ as his saviour. In another manner of speaking he accepted the Word as his Redeemer; the role of the Spirit is to get him out of tangle of worldly blandishments (and thorns and thistles of human philosophy) and instead guide him in all truth. The Spirit is spirit of truth,- and he does just that and the Manuel of instruction is the Bible. When we study the scriptures we are left with no doubt as to its veracity. Role of the Holy Spirit is as a teacher, “…He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to remembrance…(Jn.14:26). He is a counsellor as one forewarns us. “…Whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he shall shew you things to come (Jn.16:13) A true worshiper is one who is led by God and not by mammon since no one cannot serve two masters. Making money is not wrong but making it be-all is tantamount to making mammon as one’s god. When one is in Christ he has a teacher in the Spirit and he shall know on what he should put his priorities. In short his teacher is in-house as indwelling Spirit. Jesus tells the Samaritan woman a true worshiper must worship God in truth and spirit. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our saviour we are born in the spirit. He is a silent witness working changes within of which Jesus compares to the wind. “The wind bloweth where it listeth….but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth…”
Glory is the virtue of a person, sum total of qualities that radiates from the individual. God is a Spirit and in our spiritual bodies we hold glory of God as a light. Believers are called the children of light (1 Th.5: 5). Whereas in John we read Jesus testifying that he had ‘the glory which I had before the world was…(Jn.17: 5). ’
Perhaps a question arises why it is necessary for the scriptures to be made a mystery? Jesus spoke in parables and he found it appropriate to use such a device for instructing his followers about the righteousness God desired from his children. The Jewish mind-set of the scribes and Pharisees had become a liability than helpful. The nation of Israel needed a new vision and hunger that drove them to look beyond the externals and literal interpretation of the Law.
We shall examine what Jesus was seeking in them (Mt.13: 11, 34-35). In one of his prayers he thanks his Father thus,’…I thank thee, O Father…because thou hast hid these things from the wise and the prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes…(Mt.11: 25-26; Ps.147:6). The teachers of law were self satisfied and proud of their accomplishment.
What Jesus sought was a new unclouded vision that is the hallmark of babes. Jesus himself revealed it as a facet of his nature ‘I am meek and lowly’(Mt.11:29; 5:5).
For a Christian what gains him victory? His spiritual warfare is not won by his own strength. The scripture has inserted this verse for our understanding: the lame take the prey. In his simplicity are the spiritual depths to know the Will of God.
Apart from what Jesus said about his parables we read in the book of Proverbs thus, ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a thing… (Pr.25:2)’Touching upon the topic of marriage and adultery Jesus is quoted saying something if literally taken would sound incredible. Let us examine these verses ‘And if they right eye offend thee, pluck it out …not that your whole body should be cast into hell (Mt.5:27-30)Does plucking out right or left eye save any man from sinning? As one thinks so is the sin committed and cause of which is not the eye itself (Mt.15:19; Pr.23:7). This being the case we need look beyond the simple statement. Perhaps the clue given by Jesus at another place could help us. ‘All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given (Mt.19: 10).’ Only by grace man can be helped overcome lusts of the body. Grace is a gift and it came with Jesus.
(To be continued)