Posted in , ,

Catechism Buzz: Gasp

18 March 2011 by Brad Williams

Q. 11. How does it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?

A. The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names, attributes, works, and worship, as are proper to God only.

We Reformed, confessional types get that Jesus, God's Son, is fully God. The Church is absolutely dogmatic, staunch, and unyielding on this glorious truth. We see clearly what is at stake in this truth. If the Son of God is not God, then we cannot worship him lest we become idolaters. This would eviscerate our identity; it would destroy our worship; it would shipwreck the faith. We know that there is no salvation outside of God, for God alone can save. Therefore, Jesus can be no mere man; he must also be God. He is adored eternally by the Father, has the worship of the angels, and is the everlasting Hero of the church. We easily rejoice in the deity of the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

But the Holy Spirit? We confess that he is also equal with God, but we are a bit uneasy with Him. Just look at the affirmation of the Nicene Council regarding the Holy Spirit in comparison with what it says about Jesus as the Son of God! I understand that this happens because we see the revelation of God most clearly in Jesus Christ, and I know that we have to spend so much time cleaning up after brethren who claim every impulse and behavior is of the Holy Spirit that we rarely reflect on what the Holy Spirit actually is doing. This post is written to encourage you to be unashamedly thankful for God the Holy Spirit, so that you might dare to worship him.

I wonder if you realize that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is as important to you as the cross of Jesus Christ? Does that cause you to gasp? Do you fear that I blaspheme? Think about this: without the Holy Spirit, there is no man named Jesus. However God was joined in the womb with man in Jesus, that was the work of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). There is no planet earth. There is no Bible. There is no Israel, and there is no Church. The fact that you and I read about Jesus at all is because the Holy Spirit wrote of Him. But let me back up a bit, I'm going to need a little more space to get at the glory that belongs to the Spirit.

No one loves Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit does, save the Father alone. From the time that the Holy Spirit hovered over the dark waters of a freshly created world, he was hovering there in anticipation of the revelation of the Son of God. The Holy Spirit is co-creator of all worlds. He inspired the creation account, and every other book of the Bible, in order to point us to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. How is it that we have a Bible? It is because God the Holy Spirit has preserved for us a witness by preserving his witnesses. He preserved the Bible, Israel, and now the Church, and if you are in Christ, he is preserving you as well. In his wisdom, he has loosed the mouths of donkeys and of men to accomplish his purposes. All this hardly even begins to speak of his glory and goodness toward us, and yet it should already be enough to move us to worship him.

Have you ever known the sting of sin and the terror of the judgment to come? Have you ever seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? The Holy Spirit gave you those revelations (John 16:13-14). He applied the atonement to your wicked heart. He flew, more gracefully than a seraph, from the bosom of God with the gospel of Jesus. He cried to your dead soul, "Arise! And see the glory of the Son of God!" And you awoke and saw Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6). Even now, he guards you from sin, despair, and death. Even now, he whispers to you that you have God for a Father and Christ for a Savior (Gal. 4:6). If he were to abandon us, even for a moment, we would fail for despair, we would return to the mire from which we were washed, we would fall from grace. We absolutely need him every moment, and he knows this. He is so gracious that he has sealed us, not with a magical stamp or some holy wax, but with his own person (Eph. 1:13).

How much we owe to God the Holy Spirit! Ought we not pause to thank him for the salvation he has shown us in Christ? Ought we not praise him for his manifold ministries of grace toward us? Yes, we ought and we must. Thank you, God the Holy Spirit, for making our world, for giving us life, and most of all for revealing to us your glory, the glory of God that you share in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.