The Holy Spirit
1. The Earnest. Three passages (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14). The context of each shows the meaning to be assurance to the Jew and Gentile of salvation in Christ on identical grounds. Application to the "earnest" is to the apostles and no other; hence the power of ratification or confirmation of the word revealed by the signs of the Spirit that attended them (Mark 16:20; Heb. 12:1-4). The Ephesian reference speaks of "our" (apostolic) inheritance which seals the promise of remission to these Gentiles in Christ. The promise reverts to the Acts 2:38-39 text: "even to them that are afar off." It is a pledge or assurance of the gospel's efficacy to fulfill what it promises.
2. The Seal. This is further substantiated by the seal, literally meaning "impress" or "stamp." It designates authority. Christ was given the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), which set his "seal that God is true" (John 3:33). Divine authority is the evident meaning. It indicates confirmation.
3. Answered prayer. Answered prayers do not declare an operation of the Holy Spirit apart from the word of God. We are taught by the Holy Spirit to pray to the Father in the name of Christ.
4. Providence. Providence does not violate law (Eccl. 3:1-8). God established unchangeable law and He does not bless us when we violate it (James 1:17; Heb. 13.8). Natural law in nature, spiritual law in religion, civil law in government, moral law in the home.
5. Intercession and mediation. These are terms describing the work of Christ in reconciliation, accomplished in the gospel of Christ. The Holy Spirit is an advocate of the will of God to man by divine revelation.
Christ dwells in our hearts by faith (Eph. 3:17). We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:13-14). It is representatively, through faith.
The Holy Spirit indwells the temple of God (Eph. 2:21-22); the temple is the spiritual body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23). Christians as individuals make up this temple. They are living stones (1 Pet. 2:5.9). The Holy Spirit dwells in the temple as God dwells with men, and as Christ says he will be with us and in us.
6. The Holy Spirit does not operate apart from the word in conviction and conversion of sinners, and he does not sanctify and develop the Christian by functions apart from the word of God.
The all-sufficiency of scripture is a fact that we accept. The Holy Spirit revealed that message. If the Spirit had ONE WORD in addition to that which has been revealed, the gospel would not be complete, which it claims to be.
We are baptized INTO Christ (Rom. 6:1-6; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12). Being IN Christ is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). Do we literally get into Christ? Are we in Christ by faith and our obedience to it? If the Holy Spirit is literally IN Christians, then Christians are literally IN Christ, and I cannot tell that I am. He is at the right hand of God in heaven, and I, as Paul was while in the body, am absent from the Lord while I am in this body. But I am IN Christ because I have been baptized INTO Christ.
Credit H.E. Phillips and HEPhillips.org
Preacher of the Word Vol. 1, January 15, 1996, #3).
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