Celestial matchmaker

bride copy 3bIt is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder, on Jesus, who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is never, “Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,” but always, “Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace.” The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together.

–James I. Packer
Keep in Step with the Spirit

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The power to do good

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Do right, and God’s recompense to you will be the power of doing more right. Give, and God’s reward to you will be the spirit of giving more: a blessed spirit, for it is the Spirit of God Himself, whose Life is the blessedness of giving. Love, and God will pay you with the capacity of more love; for love is Heaven: love is God within you.

–F. W. Robertson
(1816 – 1853)

The truth that sets us free

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Jesus sends the Spirit so that we may be led to the full truth of the divine life. Truth does not mean an idea, concept, or doctrine, but the true relationship. To be led into the truth is to be led into the same relationship that Jesus had with the Father. . . . Thus Pentecost is the completion of Jesus’ mission.

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On Pentecost the fullness of Jesus’ ministry becomes visible. When the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples and dwells with them, their lives are transformed into Christ-like lives, lives shaped by the same love that exists between the Father and the Son. The spiritual life is indeed a life in which we are lifted up to become partakers of the divine life.

–Henri Nouwen
Making All Things New

Calling forth joy

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To know that God is your Father and that he loves you, his adopted child, no less than he loves his only begotten Son and to know that enjoyment of God’s love and glory for all eternity are pledged to you brings inward delight that is sometimes over-whelming; and this also is the Spirit’s doing. For the “joy in the Holy Spirit,” in terms of which Paul defines the kingdom of God in Romans 14:17, is the “rejoicing in God” spoken of in Romans 5:2,11, and it is the Spirit’s witness to God’s love for us that calls forth this joy.

-James I. Packer
Keep in Step with the Spirit

Shaking off the darkness

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With every morn my life afresh must break
The crust of self, gathered about me fresh;
That thy wind-spirit may rush in and shake
The darkness out of me, and rend the mesh
The spider-devils spin out of the flesh—
Eager to net the soul before it wake,
That it may slumberous lie,
and listen to the snake.

–George MacDonald
(1824 – 1905)

From Charismania to Christ

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Before I truly understood the Gospel, I needed angels, bizarre miracles, and the spooktacular in order to keep my attention. When one fad grew old, I needed to learn of another. I stayed on the cutting edge of all that was weird and wild in the crazy land of Charismania. I was bored with what I perceived the Gospel to be, and required shiny things to keep me interested. However, upon truly discovering the Glories of Jesus Christ and His perfect work, I instantly outgrew my obsession with the supernatural for the sake of the supernatural. I no longer needed portals, miraculous hankies, or supernatural flows of oil. I’d found the source of all things glorious, and my thirst was quenched.

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Trust me, I have no problem with the supernatural, or with the miraculous. However, I do find it disturbing when we are fascinated with the spooky simply for the sake of being spooky. When the most popular charismatic books have titles like, “How to live in the supernatural flow of Heaven’s supernatural economy while living under an open heaven and to the right of an ancient portal . . . while petting the four living creatures”, we need to be concerned. The supernatural is not an end to itself. Jesus is, however.

If you’re going to be fascinated
with something, don’t let it be
with feathers, gems, angels, or manifestations.
Let it be with Jesus Christ, Himself!

Don’t misread me! I’m for the supernatural. I’ll receive and rejoice in anything of that nature the Father sends my way. However, it is not my focus, and I no longer have an inordinate fascination with such things. When I did, it was simply because there was a vacuum in my life. I didn’t not truly grasp the depth of Christ’s finished work, and most of the time when folks obsess over such things, it’s a symptom of the very same problem. Let Jesus be your obsession. Nothing else.

–Jeff Turner

In step with the Spirit

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How great and lovely, then, is the work of the Spirit! He unites us to the Son so that the Father’s love for the Son also encompasses us; he draws us to share the Father’s own enjoyment of the Son; and he causes us to share the Son’s delight in the Father. What could be more delicious than to keep in step with a Spirit whose purpose is that?

–Mike Reeves
Delighting in the Trinity

A passion for life

[T]here is nothing inherently wrong with the physical world and bodily life. Nothing in the world God created caused our alienation and provoked the groan of all creation. None of the groan we feel is from our essential existence in the world, but rather from our broken existence in the world.

The world is good. The world has been broken,
but full freedom is coming.

This should free us to rejoice in the present. The Spirit’s nearness does not causes us to despise the world but join in God’s profound love of it (cf. John 3.16).

… Jurgen Moltmann has said, “God’s blessing enhances vitality and does not quench the joy of living. The nearness of God makes this mortal life worth loving, not something to be despised.”

In the Spirit of the Resurrection we participate now in the renewal of life and rejoice in the vitality and passion for life He gives.

–Richard Liantonio

Why are we here?

God has not willed to live alone, but to create and seek others distinct from himself upon whom to pour out his Spirit, that he might share with them his divine life and glory, and as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, dwell in their midst for ever.

–Thomas Torrance

A Trinitarian matter

Who can know the truth without the help of God? Who can know God without Christ? Who has ever discovered Christ without the Holy Spirit?

–Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD)

Published in: on 04/25/2012 at 6:33  Leave a Comment  
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Streams of Living Water

No society on earth even comes close to the vitality of spirit that arises from the love the Father and the Son have for each other. When we consider that the Son, like the Father, is the perfection of beauty, that both have the omniscience to appreciate fully the perfection of the other’s glory, and that both are able to summon the energy of omnipotence to render proper adoration to each other with appropiate zeal, we can glimpse why the Scriptures speak of such a society as having a most vital spirit. In fact the “spirit” of this community is so strong that a separate center of consciousness called the Holy Spirit proceeds both from the Father and the Son in such a way that a third person exists, who himself is a center of consciousness and has all the divine attributes of the Father and the Son…

Consequently, since the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son because of the love each has for the other, it is not surprising that he is spoken of in Scripture as the embodiment of the love of God: “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Rom. 5:5). This love of God is the love between the Father and the Son, for significantly, while we have seen passages in which the Father loves the Son and vice versa, nowhere does one read of the Father or the Son loving the Holy Spirit, or vice versa. Thus when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the heart of the believer, the very delight that the Father and the Son have for each other, the supreme delight of God himself . . . becomes ours to enjoy as well.

It is no wonder, then, that in Scripture the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the great promise or gift that God gives people (Luke 11:13; Acts 1:4-5; 2:33; Gal. 3:14). By giving believers the Holy Spirit, God has done nothing less that give them the very delight that he has in himself. Just as the gift of the Holy Spirit in John 7:38 is likened to “streams of living water,” so the psalmist, speaking to God, says, You give [people] drink from your river of delights” (Ps. 36:8).

–Daniel P. Fuller

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