Thursday, October 6, 2016

Walking in Light of the Deity of the Spirit


Last evening in our study, Walking in the Excellencies of God, we considered again the triune nature of God, focusing on the deity of the Holy Spirit.  We have a dual emphasis in this study: knowing the excellencies of God and living in light of those excellencies.  So our discussion always turns to the practical benefit of believing true things about the nature of God.
In the case of the deity of the Spirit we discussed a couple of ways that belief in this truth should affect the way that we live.  First, we should care deeply about how we care for and use our bodies.  We know that the Spirit resides inside of us (John 14:17).  Paul takes this to mean that our bodies are temples and should be treated accordingly:  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1Cor 6:19-20).   
Apparently, in the church at Corinth, some were participating in prostitution.  So the context pertains to sins of the body.  Earlier in the passage, the apostle writes, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! (1Cor 6:15). It matters what a Christian does with his or her body!
The prevailing attitude of our culture is that your body is your body and what you do with it is your business.  No one can tell you what to do with it.  If you want to engage in any manner of sexual behavior, that is your prerogative.  If you want to abort your baby, it’s your body.  If you want to use drugs or overeat or mistreat your body in any other way, that’s completely up to you.  It’s no one else’s business.
But if the Holy Spirit is God, those of us who are believers are walking temples of the living God and our bodies are not our own.  This is Paul’s point explicitly – you are not your own…so glorify God with your body.  This should be powerful incentive to care deeply about our bodies.  We can and should apply this to sexual ethics as Paul does, but we need not stop there because the principle is broader than that one area.  We ought not eat ourselves into poor health, nor starve ourselves into poor health.  We ought not over-exercise or under-rest ourselves into poor health.  Likewise, we ought not under-exercise or over-rest ourselves into poor health.  We ought not ignore signs that we are ill.  We should take care of our bodies – glorify God in our bodies – which are temples of the Holy Spirit.
Second, we should be comforted by the intercession of Almighty God on our behalf.  There is a wonderful passage in Romans 8:26-27, which teaches that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.  When we don’t know what to pray for ourselves, “the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Many of us find comfort knowing that others are praying for us.  We are called to pray for one another, we are right to enlist the prayers of others on our behalf, and we are right to be comforted knowing that our brothers and sisters are interceding for us.  But how much more comforting should it be to know that the Holy Spirit – fully God – intercedes for us before the Father – fully God?  We often refer to certain saints who devote themselves to prayer as “prayer warriors.”  But whose intercession could be more efficacious than that of the Holy Spirit?
On top of that, Paul notes just a few verses later that the Spirit is not alone in His intercession for us, but He is joined by God the Son:  Christ Jesus is the one who died-- more than that, who was raised-- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (Rom 8:34).
Are you beset by troubles? All three persons of the Trinity are engaged in intercession for you.  God the Spirit and God the Son intercede for you, and God the Father receives those prayers.  Find comfort in that supernatural prayer support!
Join us next Wednesday at PBF at 6:30p as we continue to consider how the truth of God's triune nature informs our everyday lives.  Teaser: Did you know that God submits to authority, and when we submit to authority we are being like God?

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