The Holy Spirit was active during Old Testament times, though it does not appear that His Work was as extensive as in the New Testament era. With the coming of Jesus, the promised Messiah, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is intensified, and He gives His gifts to all believers.
While the New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit is active in many different ways in our spiritual life and in the life of the church, perhaps His most important work is to glorify Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit speaks not of Himself, but of Jesus. His work consists in elevating the redemptive work of Jesus. He keeps Himself in the background and puts the floodlight on Jesus. It has been aptly said that “the Spirit’s message to us is never ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me’ but always ‘Look at Him, and see His glory; listen to Him, and hear His word; go to Him, and have life; get to know Him, and taste His gift of joy and peace.’ The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together.”-J. I. Packer, Keep in Step With the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God, revised and enlarged edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005), pages. 57, 58.
This is highly significant. Any emphasis upon the work of the Holy Spirit that detracts from the Person and work of Jesus Christ is not from the Holy Spirit. As important as the Holy Spirit is for our spiritual life, He should never take the place that is due in our thinking and for our salvation only to Jesus Christ. Wherever Jesus is exalted, the Holy Spirit is at work. This is why we are called Christians, that is, followers of Christ (compare with Acts 11:26), rather than “Pneumians,” that is, followers of the Spirit (see Graham A. Cole, He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit [Wheaton, Ill.: Crossways Books, 2007], p. 284).
|Why is it so important for us to uplift the risen Lord in all that we do? After all, think about what Jesus has done for us. We owe everything to Him. How can we show our gratitude (see, for instance, 2 Thess. 1:11-12)?|