From the desk of  ...  Preston H. Hazzard, Sr.  ... My Daily Blog    


 

Our Christian Faith
The Power Source for Discernment
Sunday, April 23, 2012 at 5:30am

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,"  1 Corinthians 2:12

Spiritual discernment is a supernatural ability, which requires supernatural power. In our human strength, we can rely only on what we see, hear, feel, and know, in order to make decisions and evaluate circumstances and relationships. But when the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, He opens up an entirely new dimension of understanding. He shows us things we could never figure out by ourselves.


Although the Bible is the basis for spiritual discernment, without the interpreting power of the Spirit, reading it would be strictly an academic endeavor. But the Spirit takes the words and brings them to life in the hearts of those who have been "born again" by believing and trusting Jesus Christ (2nd person of the Trinity) as their Lord and Savior. He knows precisely how to apply God's Word to our exact need at just the right moment. Haven't you found this to be true? You've read a passage many times, but just when you need a particular message, that familiar verse jumps off the page right into your heart.

That's the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the only one who knows the thoughts of the Father, and His job is to open our minds to understand "the things freely given to us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:12). The Lord isn't trying to hide His thoughts from us; rather, He wants us to know how He thinks so that we can proceed wisely.

So what should we do if we're struggling to understand Scripture?

  1. First of all, the Lord wants us to seek Him and ask for wisdom to comprehend. This requires time and energy invested in Bible study and prayer.

  2. Second, the more yielded we are to the Spirit, the more we'll be able to hear His voice.


The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity.

We can know that the Holy Spirit is indeed a divine person because He possesses a mind, emotions, and a will.

  1. The Holy Spirit thinks and knows (1 Corinthians 2:10).
  2. The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).
  3. The Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27).
  4. He makes decisions according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
  5. As God, the Holy Spirit can truly function as the Comforter and Counselor that Jesus promised He would be (John 14:16-26)

The Bible clearly represents the Holy Spirit as possessing divine attributes and exercising divine authority. When viewed together, passages from the Old and New Testaments depict the Holy Spirit as a divine person equal to the Father and the Son. Thus, the Holy Spirit is said to be one of the three personalities of the triune Godhead, also referred to as the Trinity.

The name of the Holy Spirit, is “the Spirit of God”.

"The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters."  (Genesis 1:2).

At the same time He is called “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9).

"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

He is coequal with both the Father and the Son. The Apostle Peter clearly viewed Him as God when he said to Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? . . . You have not lied to men, but to God” (Acts 5:3-4). In these two verses, Luke equates lying to the Spirit with lying to God, demonstrating the divine nature of the Holy Spirit.

He, too, possesses the attributes of deity and performs the works of deity. He is the Spirit who proceeds from the Father.

"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,"    (John 15:26)


Words used to describe the divine attributes of God can be applied to the Holy Spirit, too. Christianity holds that four attributes distinguish a divine being from all else:

  1. eternal. (defined as having infinite duration, having no beginning and no end: lasting forever).

  2. omnipresence, (i.e. God is present in all places at all times)

  3. omniscience, (defined as “the state of having total knowledge, the quality of knowing everything.”) 

  4. omnipotence, (defined as having power or authority without limit).

Each of the four distinctly Divine Attributes is ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Holy spirit is eternal The writer of Hebrews spoke of the eternal Spirit.

    "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"  (Heb. 9:14)  

  2. The Holy spirit is omnipresent

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.”  (Psalm 139:7-8)

  1. The Holy spirit is omniscient

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”  (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)

  1. The Holy spirit is omnipotent  Creation is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. In these verses, the Bible depicts God, Jesus and the Spirit as having the same powers to create something out of nothing.

The apostle John says in John 1:3 nothing was made without Jesus.

"The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life."  (Job 33:4)

"You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground."  (Psalms 104:30)

Genesis 1:1 says God created the heavens and the earth.

In the very next verse the Holy Spirit (identified in Gen. 1:2 as the Spirit of God) hovered above a formless and empty earth and participated in the creation.


Conclusion If the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all bear the names of God, possess the attributes of God, and perform the works of God, then there is no alternative but to acknowledge that our one God exists in three Persons.

The reality of the triune Godhead cannot be denied. Those outside of Christ may object to it, but their objections arise primarily because they seek to understand the Creator in terms of the creature, to see God as merely a bigger and better version of man when in reality He is a totally different kind of being, an infinite being whom our finite minds cannot fully comprehend.

We believe in the Godhead not because we understand it, but because God has revealed it. It is not incidental or unimportant. It is the very essence of His being, the way He is. And it is necessary for us to know it if we hope to grow in our understanding of His nature and perfections.


God is incomparable (2 Samuel 7:22), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6).

God is not a family. But, we can be adopted into His family when we are born again.  (Sorry, Herbie.)

God is eternal (defined as having infinite duration, having no beginning and no end: lasting forever). This is why we will never become gods We are created beings. That is the same prideful goal that got Satan kicked out of heaven !


Finally, Can you become a Christian if you deny the Trinity?

Emphatically "No!"  If you don’t believe in the Trinity, then you don’t understand who God is. You may say the word “God” but you don’t understand His nature. Second, you couldn’t possibly understand who Christ is ... that He is God in human flesh. The Incarnation of Christ is an essential component of the biblical gospel, as
John 1:1-14 and many other biblical passages make clear. To deny the Trinity is to deny the Incarnation. And to deny the Incarnation is to wrongly understand the true gospel.

The same question sometimes arises about the Virgin Birth or the bodily resurrection of Christ. Such a person betrays the fact that they do not understand the gospel, and therefore cannot have truly been saved.

Thinking correctly about God is of utmost importance because a false idea about God is idolatry.


Belief beyond proof is faith. Belief in spite of proof is folly.

Call or email me if you have questions.


Amen.

Pete, Sr.

 

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