Written by Rev. Nicholas Davelaar
Published in the Courier of Russellville, Arkansas
My kids regularly thank their mother after finishing yet another meal she prepared. Not every single time, but regularly. I’m glad they do.
That said, I suspect they’ll never appreciate their mom enough.
I say that with some certainty because I’m sure I personally don’t appreciate my own mom enough. Yes, I appreciate her far more than I did when I was younger, but I’m increasingly convinced I’ll never fully understand everything she’s done for me, much less how and why.
I dare say the same is infinitely more true of the Holy Spirit. I suspect that’s true even among Christians who call themselves “Pentecostals,” in commemoration of that momentous day when the Holy Spirit came with power. None of us appreciates the Holy Spirit enough.
Why should we? According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit deserves thanks and praise both because of who he is and because of his glorious work.
According to Acts 5, the Holy Spirit is God. Early in that chapter we hear Peter confront Ananias concerning his “lie to the Holy Spirit,” telling Ananias that he had “not lied to men but to God.” From this we understand that the Holy Spirit is God, together with God the Father and God the Son.
That, however, is not to suggest that the Holy Spirit is just another name for God the Father or God the Son. In Jesus’ baptism, for instance, we hear them distinguished. As God the Son went up from the water, God the Father spoke from heaven, and God the Spirit descended like a dove and rested on Jesus. Simply put, the Holy Spirit is distinct but not separate from the Father and the Son.
As such, the Holy Spirit deserves all the praise God is due. He is not some nobody, or even some impersonal force. He is God.
Do you honor him as such?
The importance of doing so perhaps stands out even more when we consider his glorious work.
According to the Bible, we exist today in part because of the work of the Holy Spirit. In Job 33:4, we hear Job’s friend Elihu testify, “The Spirit of God has made me.” Scripture most often points to God the Father as our Creator, but clearly that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit was uninvolved or insignificant.
On top of that, those who truly profess Jesus as Lord and Savior do so only because of the work of the Holy Spirit. According to 1 Corinthians 12:3, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” Many of us know and love the declaration of Romans 10:13— “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”—but do we appreciate the Holy Spirit by whom we call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Indeed, in Titus 3:5 we hear that we are saved “not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to [God’s] own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
In that light, you might say the fruit of the Spirit many people like to focus on is but the tip of the iceberg. We will never fully understand the depths and riches of the Spirit’s work, much less the how and the why.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t honor him, express appreciation for his work, and believe in the Savior to whom he leads. Do you? Will you?
Think about that.
For further study, read John 6:60-65.