Thursday January 26
Why Does It Matter?
The question of the personality of the Holy Spirit is of utmost importance, and it has highly practical implications. “If He is a divine person, and we think of Him as an impersonal influence, we are robbing a divine person of the deference, honor, and love that is His due.”-LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Coming of the Comforter, p. 40.
If we think of the Holy Spirit only as a mysterious divine power, our thoughts will be: How can I have more of the Holy Spirit? But if we think of the Holy Spirit as a divine Person, we will ask: How can the Holy Spirit have more of me? The decisive point is: Do you want to possess the Holy Spirit, or do you want the Holy Spirit to possess you? Do you resist His influence, or are you willing to follow Him in joyful obedience (see Rom. 8:12-14, Gal. 5:18-24)? Do you want to use the Holy Spirit according to your plans, or do you rely on Him so that He can enable you to become more like Jesus Christ and do what He has in mind for you? Do you take seriously the fact that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God” (1 Cor. 6:19, NASB) and are you willing to glorify God with how you live?
Read Romans 5:5 and Ephesians 2:18, 19. How are the Holy Spirit and God’s love connected? What impact does that have for you personally and for the church?
Only persons can consciously choose to cooperate with one another. We are invited to work together with the Holy Spirit, while He leads and transforms us personally and God’s church corporately. If we do not accept the Holy Spirit as a Person of the triune Godhead, it will be easier for us to ignore Him, to deafen our ears to His invitation, and to harden our hearts against His life-changing influence. And because we are fallen, sin-damaged beings in need of God’s transforming grace, the last thing we need to do is ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If anything, we need to give more of ourselves to Him. Thus, in our acknowledgment that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person who wants to use us, God stands at the center of our Christian experience.
“We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 672. What do you think Ellen G. White meant by that? How can the Holy Spirit use us? (See Phil. 2:13.)