Monday, December 12, 2011

what I'm reading: the Spirit, Jesus' limelight

If I had to sum up what I believe about the Holy Spirit (apart from the fact that he's a member of the Trinity, and works in our hearts to bring us to Jesus) it would go like this:

  • the Spirit works in our lives through the Bible, the word of God - when we hear it, when he brings it to mind, when we speak it to others

  • the Spirit's role is to point away from himself and to point to Jesus, to bring glory to the Father and the Son

It's the second point that Piper explores in this quote, which I came across while reading Nancy Guthrie's Come Thou Long Expected Jesus in the lead-up to Christmas:

When Jesus promised the Spirit (in John 16:14) he said, "He will glorify me"...The Spirit is shy; he is self-effacing. When we look toward him, he steps back and pushes forward Jesus Christ...

If we look away from Jesus and seek the Spirit and his power directly, we will end up in the mire of our own subjective emotions...Many of use know what it is to crouch on the floor and cry out to the Holy Spirit for joy and power, and experience nothing; but the next day devote ourselves to earnest meditation on the glory of Jesus Christ and be filled with the Spirit...

Christian spiritual experience is not a vague religious emotion. It is an emotion with objective content, and the content is Jesus Christ. The shy member of the Trinity does mighty work, but he never puts himself in the limelight. You might say he is the limelight that puts the attributes of God the Father and the person of Christ into sharp relief.

From John Piper "Conceived by the Holy Spirit" in Nancy Guthrie's Come Thou Long Expected Jesus pages 29-30.

image is by at flickr

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