THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE CHURCH
“It is for the church to explore the resources of the Spirit; the resources of the world are futile” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p19).
“…the Church of God has two Paracletes, or Advocates – one in heaven with the Father, Christ, and the other on earth, in the heart of the believer, even the Holy Spirit” Charles Ross (ref#241, p90).
“The Father gave Him [CHRIST] the gift, and He passes it on to us;…The gift of the Holy Ghost to the Church is also, then, the absolute proof of the sufficiency of the work of Christ and of its acceptance with God….’I accept your work, it is sufficient; You have died for the redeemed, they are Your people. So I will give you My Spirit to give to them, and then they will know that they are Your people and My people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p138).
“ He [the SPIRIT] has come to reign over each and all. Jesus Christ had defined His mission and outlined His program. He was to unify them into one Body, guide them into all truth, and strengthen them for all service. In the Church He is the supreme executive, but He has His seat in the soul. He directs all things from the spiritual center of the inner life” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p44). “His objective is to produce holiness…But His ultimate work is to make us a holy people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 2nd).
FATHER, I know that the HOLY SPIRIT will create in all of us who CHRIST claims as His bride, holiness and purity. Your perfect will is to bring us a life of prayer and brokenness before Your throne. I hunger to be secluded with You in the secret closet waiting for You to bring Your remnant church into one mind—living only for You. David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165).
BF’s COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 16:15-19
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you…For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…. ” (Matt 16:15-18 ESV).
This passage comprises CHRIST announcing His FATHER’s church building program. The FATHER, through the HOLY SPIRIT gave Peter his revelation.
The close identity to the words, “Peter” and “rock” in the original language means nothing. The only connection “this rock” has to do with Peter is that he demonstrated how “the Father in heaven” conveys His will to His chosen. The HOLY SPIRIT is the One through whom GOD will “build His church.” The HOLY SPIRIT is the “rock.”
And he who is led by the SPIRIT—who is learning first hand by the “Father who is in heaven,” will possess the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” and will “bind and loose” as the SPIRIT leads him because he is not doing as he wishes but as the FATHER wishes.
CHRIST was the first to demonstrate the indwelling operation of the HOLY SPIRIT. While on earth he exhibited how the FATHER directed and implemented His will. The prophet Isaiah speaks of it. He “…shall not judge by what his eyes see…” (Isa 11:3 ESV). He will not follow his human understanding, for “…the Spirit ofthe LORD shall rest upon him…” (Isa 11:2 ESV).
The HOLY SPIRIT led CHRIST through His tenure on earth and now CHRIST is announcing in this passage that the FATHER will lead His children to build His church through the HOLY SPIRIT. This “rock,” is the foundation—delivering all that is the predetermined will of GOD. “…For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor 2:10 ESV). The FATHER’s reveals His will through the HOLY SPIRIT.
The FATHER, GOD was called a “rock” in the Old Testament (Ps 62:7), and JESUS was also called the ”rock” in the New (1 Cor 10:4). And here the third Person of the Trinity is called “rock.” The SPIRIT gave Peter the words, “You are Christ, the Son of the living God.” The SPIRIT will also give GOD’s chosen the way to build His church.
“…let us humbly suffer ourselves to be inwardly taught by the…Spirit alone…” John Calvin (Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, “Commentary on Matthew 16:17”).
WALKING WITH THE SPIRIT
The HOLY SPIRIT enabled the very spirit of You, FATHER to be right with JESUS when He lived here on earth. By the time JESUS faced death, He and the HOLY SPIRIT knew each other well. And toward the end of the Gospel of John, JESUS briefs His disciples on how to expect the HOLY SPIRIT to manifest Himself after His ascension:
“…the Holy Spirit,…lives with you now and later will be in you” (John 14:17 NLT).
“In just a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again” (John 16:16 NLT).
“I will not leave you orphans…” (John 14:18 ESV).
“…I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you” (John 14:16 MSG).
“…the Father sends the Advocate as my representative…that is, the Holy Spirit…” (John 14:26 NLT).
“…the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place…” (John 14:26 CEV).
“When the Spirit…comes,…He will not speak on his own…He will bring me glory by telling to you whatever he receives from me” (John 16:13-14 NLT).
“…he will take what I have to say and tell it to you” (John 16:14 GNT).
“…the Spirit…will testify all about me” (John 15:26 NLT).
“…the…Spirit…will help you and always be with you” (John 14:16 CEV).
“The Spirit will show you what is true…” (John 14:17 CEV).
“…The Spirit will teach you everything…” (John 14:26 CEV).
“…it is…to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the…Advocate …will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (The Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]” (John 16:7 AMP).
FATHER, through the HOLY SPIRIT, CHRIST was able to know exactly Your will for His life on earth. If I desire to know exactly CHRIST’s will for my life, then I must embrace the SPIRIT the same way CHRIST did.
GRIEVING THE SPIRIT
“Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted” (Eph 4:30 MSG).
“All that we know of ourselves spiritually, all that we know of God, of Jesus, and of His Word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. All the real light, sanctification, strength, and comfort we ever possess on our way to glory, we must ascribe to Him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 19th).
“…the Spirit that God caused to live in us jealously yearns for us” (James 4:5 International Standard Version).
“Think of the grief of the Spirit of Love! Who can measure the anguish of His rebuffs, reproaches, and rejection. Love is sensitive. It shrinks from distrust, indifference and reproach. It yearns for love” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p 122-123).
“The Spirit though always the blessed occupant of the Church of Christ and of the individual believer, may not always be manifestly present. The prayerless, unholy, and trifling walk of a believer will cause Him to withdraw His sensible presence. The coldness, formality, worldliness, and divisions of a church will compel Him to withhold the plentiful rain or the gentle dew of His precious influence. He may be so disowned, dishonored, wounded, and grieved, as to retire behind the curtains of His secret glory for a while, leaving the scene of worldliness and strife to the curse and the reproach of barrenness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 19th).
Oh FATHER, You have graced me with the HOLY SPIRIT. And I plead for more of His influences, not less. I remind myself it is my work to not interrupt His work.
ABIDING WITH THE SPIRIT
“…the Holy Spirit…God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32 ESV).
“The Spirit of God undertakes the achievement of an amazing work. He enters the soul, and proposes to restore the empire of grace, the reign of holiness, and the throne of God. He works to form all things anew, to create a revolution in favor of Christ and heaven. He undertakes to change the heart, turning its enmity into love; to collect all the elements of darkness and confusion, changing them into perfect light and perfect order; to subdue the will, bringing it into harmony with God’s will; to explore all the recesses of sin, turning its very impurity into holiness; in a word, to regenerate the soul, restoring the divine image and fitting it for the full and eternal enjoyment of God in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th).
So, first I have to make a habit of asking the FATHER daily for the SPIRIT. Then I have to make a habit of recognizing often throughout the day His presence with me. Then I have to discipline my actions to parallel the FATHER’s.
It’s just like possessing a new nature. It can’t be in me latent but I must work it into my activities—use it—depend on it. FATHER, my goal is to cast out my humanness and rely on the SPIRIT’s direction.
Refusing human fleshly thoughts will be a constant battle the rest of my life. But practice leads toward perfectness. I will never get there but the process (progression) will bring me more and more joy. FATHER, thank You for the HOLY SPIRIT who brings You to me and takes my praise back to You.
Matthew, speaking of JESUS says “…He will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned”(Matt 3:11-12 MSG).
THE SPIRIT’S SENSIBLE PRESENCE
FATHER, save me from being content with a little measure of the SPIRIT, thinking that is all I am expected to have. So often I feel His absence and act using my own human spirit. Grow in me a desire for the power of His presence all the time The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p29).
“The Holy Spirit is no temporary gift; He abides with the saints. We have but to seek Him aright, and He will be found by us. He is jealous, but He is compassionate. If He leaves in anger, He returns in mercy. Gracious and tender, He does not weary of us, but He waits to be merciful still” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Feb 12thPM).
Through sin and worldliness I lose the consciousness of the SPIRIT’s presence. I don’t lose You, SPIRIT, but You are behind my conscious awareness (ref#30, p115). For instance, no matter how eager or clever I am in sharing the Gospel, it is insufficient without Your presence. What I need is to experience continual power to be obedient to You, SPIRIT, Who alone truly teaches me (ref#33, p86).
“God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will prevent none of the working of His spirit” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 30th).
FATHER, sensitize me to watch for the SPIRIT. In Him is the only way I can remain spiritual. (ref#101, p28).
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”(Titus 3:3-5 ESV).
This renewing by the HOLY SPIRIT comes to Christians daily; it is a progression. The SPIRIT’s actions do not surprise the believer. They do not just suddenly appear. Our Helper is not about shock and awing us.
Over a log period of time, at least for me, I have grown into an understanding of spiritual things. The more I submit myself to You, FATHER, the more I am privy to Your spiritual kingdom.
As I submit the SPIRIT moves me ahead in learning. From faith to faith He moves me forward. He begins to become clearer to me—becoming more of a Person I can embrace. He moves me to the point where He can direct me to do something and I am ready to do it because He has strengthened my faith before He asks. In this way He successfully constrains me.
He doesn’t constrain me by jerking me away from what I’m doing and make me do His will. He prepares me beforehand so I am willing to do all He asks. The process flows.
“Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak…to prompt you toward certain people and situations, to caution you against certain decisions and behaviors. Choose to be aware of His presence with you and His directives to you” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p67).
“…we can’t live off what God did in our lives last week, last month, or last year. We need continual infillings of the Spirit to meet the strong, ungodly tendencies of the age. There must be deeper enduements of power to meet deeper challenges” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p90).
A person who has spent many hours in Your presence and developed a burden to contribute to the development of the church and to the evangelizing of the unchristian world resides in spiritual progression.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”(John 14:16 KJV)
“A comforter is one who stands alongside of one in need, to strengthen” (ref: A.W. Pink, Commentary on John and Hebrews, [John 14:12-20]).
The SPIRIT comforts me as Jesus comforted the disciples in their abiding with Him. “…the office of the Spirit…is to furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus” (ref: Thomas Constable,“Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable,” [John 14:16], www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-14.html2012)
The SPIRIT comforts me in my work. My work is the same as CHRIST’s—to present the kingdom of GOD to man. The SPIRIT is mine because I do not have CHRIST with skin on.
The word “Comforter” in John 14:16 is “…translated in our English Version ‘Comforter,’ and partially introduced into the English language as ‘Paraclete,’ means properly, One called to stand by us for our help, our Advocate, Helper, Representative. ‘Comforter’ is not its meaning” (ref: Philip Schaff, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, [John 14:16], www.studylight.org/commentaries/sch/john-14.html1879-90).
The SPIRIT does not comfort me just because world living is tough and I need comfort. His comfort does not glorify me—is not for my well-being. He is not given to make me feel good.
The word, “Comforter” tends “to make believers think less of strength than of comfort, of the experience of a private Christian who needs consolation instead of that of one who has to face the opposition of the world in his Master’s cause. The ‘Paraclete’ is really One who stands by our side, sustains us in our Christian calling, and breathes into us ever new measures of a spirit of boldness and daring in the warfare we have to wage” (ref: Philip Schaff, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, [John 14:16], www.studylight.org/commentaries/sch/john-14.html1879-90).
FATHER, I desire to experience the “Comforter” as I venture into this resisting-You world. I want to speak and act in Your behalf.