Who would you say is the most important person in the household? The father or the mother? Would it rock you if I said that father and mother are equal with father being the head of the home? What about the Godhead? Although many people never make much fuss about the Triune God by name, preferring to talk only of God or the Lord … or perhaps the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like the father and mother (or husband and wife) both have their roles and duties within the home, so within the Godhead, within the Trinity, each person has their distinctive roles to fulfil and perform. The Apostles Creed moves onto say …
I believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ’s holy universal church; the fellowship of Christians; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
As you say this part of the Creed you are saying that you believe in the Holy Spirit and His role within the Kingdom of God.
1) The Holy Spirit. We have spoken about His functions often as we have progressed through the Creed. He is the third person of the Triune God. His operations are mostly quiet and unseen, although at times His working could be dramatic. Before getting to the New Testament and what the Creed says about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and the Church, let’s consider the Spirit in the Old Testament.
(1) He was active in creation. Although we don’t have the clarity in the Old Testament as to the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead, there are sufficient inferences to cause us to see His Person and activity.
Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Further down in the chapter, God speaks of creating mankind and He uses plural terms such as “us” and “our” in verse 26 before reverting back to the singular in verse 27.
Ge 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
We know He was referring to the Spirit because of verse 2, but knowing what is said in John 1:3 & 10 as well as Hebrews 1:2-3, we know the “us” and “our” refers to the full Trinity. Someone once said that the Holy Spirit executes the plans of God. Could we say He is the Executive Director of the Trinity?
(2) He would settle upon or indwell Messiah. Remember Messiah is God Incarnate … the Godman. Without losing His Divinity in the Incarnation, He faced limitation as man (flesh).
Isa 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD—3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
If the presence of God by His Spirit is with all believers, why ought He not to be with God the Son in the flesh?
(3) He would regeneration lost souls. Often we think that salvation in the Old Testament is different to salvation in the New Testament. God has one method of saving and that is through the Merits of the Lord Jesus applied to the believing soul. In the Old Testament they looked forward to Messiah for salvation and in the New Testament and today we look backwards to Messiah for salvation.
Eze 11:18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
(4) He would indwell His leaders and the people of God. When God promised to be with His people, this was through the agency of the Holy Spirit. As in leadership:
Nu 27:15 Moses said to the LORD, 16 “May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’S people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” 18 So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand on him.”
Referring to David as kingL
1Sa 16:12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.
After David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed … in a penitent Psalm he pleads:
Ps 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
(5) He would restrain people from sin.
Gen 6:3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
This shows God is serious about sin and the depravity of mankind here led to the Universal Flood. Few people today grasp the gravity of sin when it comes to God. His holiness sees all sin as repulsive to the point of Jesus’ death on the Cross. His Spirit came upon people in the Old Testament restraining them from sin but as with today, most people chose the broad road that leads to destruction. It is then that God gives people over to their sin. Where the Flood was one type of Judgment upon sin, 2 Peter 3 speaks of fire being the next.
(6) He empowers for service. Often people confuse education (training in certain discipline) and natural abilities with service in the Church. It does help but spiritual gifting by the Holy Spirit is the enabler for service. Take:
Ex 31:2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.”
The Spirit gifted.
Lord, thank You for Your Holy Spirit who is my companion. Amen.