Friday, March 6, 2015

Holy Parentheses

It's been a busy week: sick grandchildren, a deadline for another project—and more. Here it is, my turn to post here and I have nothing. But I did read something last night that I loved, and I think you might like it, too.

In his book The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, Fred Sanders points out that the work of the Son and the work of the Holy Spirit are thoroughly intertwined as they fulfill their roles the plan of salvation. As proof, he quotes a list from R. A. Torrey's summary of Christian doctrine, What the Bible Teaches (pages 287-89)—a biblical list of ways Jesus's earthly ministry is accomplished in the power Holy Spirit. 
  1. Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:35)
  2. Jesus Christ led a holy, spotless life, and offered Himself to God through the working of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 9:14)
  3. Jesus Christ was anointed for service by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:38; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:14, 18)
  4. Jesus Christ was led by the Holy Spirit in His movements. (Luke 1:4)
  5. Jesus Christ was taught by the Spirit who rested upon Him. The Spirit of God was the source of His wisdom in the days of His flesh. (Isaiah 11:2; compare Matthew 12:17, 18)
  6. The Holy Spirit abode upon Him in fullness and the words He spoke were the words of God. (John 3:34)
  7. Jesus Christ gave commandments to His apostles whom he had chosen, through the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:2)
  8. Jesus Christ wrought His miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 12:28; compare 1 Corinthians 12:9-10)
  9. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:11)
And it doesn't end there. The Holy Spirit continues to be involved in the Son's accomplishment of salvation even after the ascension. He applies the work of Christ to believers, regenerating them and empowering them to live holy lives. Christ ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit indwell his people. And at Pentecost, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, the Holy Spirit "inaugurates the new era in God's ways with the world."

"Thus," writes Sanders,
the work of the Holy Spirit surrounds the work of Jesus Christ, as he goes before and after the incarnate Son like a set of holy parentheses embracing the story of salvation in Christ. [Deep Things of God, page 135]
If you want to know more about the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the work of salvation, or, to use Sanders terms, the Trinitarian shape of the gospel, The Deep Things of God is an excellent source.

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