Spirituality and the Holy Spirit's Work
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SPIRITUALITY AND THE HOLY SPIRIT'S WORK
If we ask the New Testament authors, "What is the nature of the Spirit's work?" we receive a plethora of information. It is the Holy Spirit, for example, who is the one who makes God's love real for us--"God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 5:5). In a sense, it is he who stands at the threshold of the Christian life, for only he can enable us to embrace Christ as Savior and Lord--"no one can say, "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3). Then, it is the Spirit who gives us the boldness to come into the presence of the awesome and almighty Maker of heaven and earth and call him "Dear Father"--"God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'" (Gal. 4:6). It is the Spirit who enables believers, from various racial, social and religious backgrounds, to find true unity in Christ and together worship God (Eph. 2:18). In fact, without the Spirit, worship and the glorification of Jesus Christ cannot take place (Phil. 3:3). And it is the Spirit who is the true Guarantor of orthodoxy (2 Tim. 1:14).
An excellent summary statement of the range of the Spirit's work is Galatians 5:25, which speaks so plainly about the Spirit as the Source from which we are to live our lives: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." The Spirit thus undergirds and empowers the entirety of our lives as Christians. To paraphrase John 15:5: apart from the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing of any true eternal value.
--Michael A. G. Haykin, THE GOD WHO DRAWS NEAR: AN INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL SPIRITUALITY, Webster, NY: Evangelical Press USA, 2007, xix-xx. ISBN-13 978-0-85234-638-9. www.evangelicalpress.org
Have a truly Super Tuesday and a great week!
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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