Focal Passage: I Corinthians 2:6-16
I have heard it said that Baptists have their own Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Bible. Obviously, this humorous statement is meant to highlight the lack of emphasis that a lot of Baptists put on the third person of the Trinity.
Let me be clear what this article is about. We are not going to explore the reasons why this might be the case. We are going to study some of the reasons why the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives is essential to our fruitfulness as followers of Jesus and therefore, should be emphasized.
As a kid who grew up in Florida, I did a lot of fishing. One particular evening on the Gulf Coast I was casting my line from a sea wall. To this day I don’t know how it happened, but I fell in. Looking back, I was never really in much danger, safety was a short swim away.
Instead of calmly assessing the situation and making a swim for it, I just wanted out of the water. So, I reached up on the sea wall and tried to pull myself up to no avail. My friend who I was fishing with (who was as scrawny as I was) tried getting me out, again, with no success. Fortunately, two men rushed over and quickly snatched me out of the water.
Both my own personal efforts and my friend’s efforts were insufficient to get me back on dry land. At that moment in the water my need was great. What did those men provide me? Help. In light of this illustration think about one of the titles the Second Person of the Trinity gives to the Third.
Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper” (John 14:16). At the risk of oversimplifying it, a helper helps when we need help. Trying to live the Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit is like being in the water powerless to pull yourself out. The Spirit’s work isn’t some kind of ecclesiastical extra-curricular activity, we need Him.
One of the essential aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work is that He helps us to understand God. I Corinthians 2:10-13 is incredible. Notice the progression in this passage with the deep things of God. The Spirit searches them (v. 10b), reveals them to us (v.10a), we understand them (v. 12), we speak them (v.13).
Has there ever been a time when you were telling someone about Jesus or discussing a theological issue with another believer that you’ve surprised yourself by your own knowledge? That is the work of the Holy Spirit!
This personal contextualization of the things of God to us is only one of the reasons that the Holy Spirit’s work is essential. There are many, many others. How can we emphasize the Holy Spirit’s work both personally and in the church? We can find one answer to this question back in John 14. Right before Jesus said He would ask the Father to send the Helper, He said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (v. 15).
Notice the connection to obedience. Why would the Spirit continue to reveal what we don’t obey? Emphasize the Spirit’s work with a heart posture of obedience. B&R