Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God Alone
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:04 pm
The Messenger, April 12, 2012
The Holy Spirit: Building Living Cathedrals
By CAMILLE KENDALL
Special to The Messenger
The Holy Spirit — the third person of the Trinity — is eternal God. If I am a child of God, the Holy Spirit dwells within me (I Corinthians 6:19) and relates to me personally. Indeed, I could not even know God as my Father apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit who convicts me of sin, who calls me to repentance and faith in Christ, and who brings me into restored fellowship with the God who created me.
In “Putting Amazing Back into Grace,” Michael Horton writes: “We might think of this in terms of the construction of a building. The Father is the architect, the Son purchases the materials and the land, and the Holy Spirit takes the Father’s design and the Son’s materials and constructs the magnificent cathedral of grace.”
The Holy Spirit applies the gospel of grace to our hearts and then works that grace out through our lives. In Christ, He sets us free from sin and death and gives us life and peace instead. He transforms us from dead stones into living temples, temples devoted to worshipping and glorifying God.
Last week, I mentioned a young friend involved in an immoral relationship with a man who was not her husband. Yet, she justified her sinful behavior by asserting that the Holy Spirit had not convicted her in any way or made her feel guilty for this sin. So it must be OK, right? Wrong. The Holy Spirit is God, and His will is God’s will — the Holy Spirit never transgresses the will or the law of God. We can trust that He will always lead us to a greater understanding of and obedience to God’s will as revealed in Scripture (see Romans 8 and I Peter 1).
As George Muller so aptly put it, “If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, he will do it according to the Scriptures, and never contrary to them.”
If we long to see the Spirit of God construct a “magnificent cathedral of grace” in our lives, if we long to hear the voice of the Spirit and to know His purposes for us, then we must be diligent students of scripture, for this is where He speaks most clearly. Private Bible study, singing scripture (“psalms and spiritual songs”), praying scripture, corporate study and worship — all of these help tune our ears to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
How else does the Holy Spirit guide us? He guides our thoughts, perhaps bringing a particular scripture passage or biblical truth to mind at a crucial moment. He works through our emotions — Have you ever felt godly sorrow for you sin? Inexpressible joy when contemplating God’s great, unshakeable love for His children? Supernatural peace in the face of suffering? He works through other Christians, as our sisters and brothers in Christ come alongside us to comfort, rebuke, strengthen, guide and encourage us.
The Holy Spirit does in me what I could never do myself: He gives me faith to believe the gospel of Christ and to rest in the sufficiency of Christ’s work on my behalf. He gives me a new heart that delights in my Father and that longs to please Him. Gradually, day by day, He makes me more and more like Jesus. And the Holy Spirit will be with me forever in glory, exalting the Father, pointing me to Christ and uniting me eternally in sweet fellowship with other believers.
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Editor’s note: Camille Kendall, wife, homeschool mom and redeemed sinner, is a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Troy.