Posts tagged ‘Father’

November 14, 2022

Reflections on The Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit’s Pronouns


“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you…
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” 
– John 16:7;13 [NKJV]


 

“The Paracletic Version” 

paracletic: (adj.) relating to a paraclete or Paraclete

A paraphrase of the Scriptures called ‘The Paracletic Version (TPV)’ might reasonably translate the apostles’ epistolary greetings as follows:


[emphasis for reference only: The Father/The Son/The Holy Spririt]

Romans 1:1-7

The Holy Spirit through Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Jonathan Edwards suggests that the Spirit is not usually mentioned by name in the standard apostolic greeting of “Grace to you…” because the Spirit – proceeding from the Father and the Son as the Nicene creed says – IS the grace…


1 Corinthians 1:2

The Holy Spirit to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours; Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Corinthians 1:1

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


That the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostles is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 2:12-13: Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


Galatians 1:1-3

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle (not from men or through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostles spoke from God. …knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21); and not just prophecy – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… That the Holy Spirit is the divine author of all Scripture is Self-attested to by the following Scriptures:

Mark 12:36 – “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘.

1 Peter 1:12 – To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.

Mark 12:36 – “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘.

Hebrews 10:15-16 – And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

To assure verbal precision, God, in communicating His revelation, must be verbally precise, and inspiration must extend to the very words. This does not mean that God dictated every word. Rather His Spirit so pervaded the mind of the human writer that he chose out of his own vocabulary and experience precisely those words, thoughts and expressions that conveyed God’s message with precision. In this sense the words of the human authors of Scripture can be viewed as the word of God. [LaSor, Hubbard, and Bush, Old Testament Survey, p.15]


Ephesians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God , to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ JesusGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Philippians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus  who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Colossians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Thessalonians 1:1-2 / 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus ChristGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Holy Spirit likewise speaks through Paul in his letters to individuals: Timothy, Titus, Philemon – all three ministers having commission and work much the same as that of the apostles – to plant churches, and water the churches that were planted. Timothy was instructed how to discharge his duty as an evangelist at Ephesus, to perfect the good work which Paul had begun there. The Holy Spirit also spoke through Paul to Titus in much the same way, as Titus was also a convert of Paul and his companion in labors and sufferings. The epistle to Philemon is placed the last of those with the name of Paul to them, perhaps because the shortest, and of an argument peculiar and different from all the others; even so, it is such as the Spirit of God, who indited it, saw would, in its kind, be very instructive and useful in the churches.

The epistle to the Hebrews, regardless of its human authorship, with its lofty strains of rhetoric, and many things hard to understand, contains a sweetness which makes abundant amends for all the pains we take to understand it. Indeed, if we compare all the epistles of the New Testament, we shall not find any of them more replenished with divine, heavenly matter than that of the Holy Spirit to the Hebrews.


James 1:1

The Holy Spirit through James, a bondservant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:

In this general epistle, the Spirit of wisdom puts forth many excellent and practical truths to exhort sincere and humble believers to patience under tribulations and oppression, to which He points the original hearers particularly, by minding them of approaching judgment.


1 Peter 1 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus ChristGrace to you and peace be multiplied.


2 Peter 1 1:1-2

The Holy Spirit through Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus ChristGrace and peace be multiplied to you…

The “fiery trials” through which the early church was passing during the latter years of Nero’s reign leading up to the “end of all things” in 70AD were foretold by the Spirit of prophecy. The saints, then and now, are exhorted to faith, obedience, and patience, in view of the truth of the gospel and the certainty of salvation in Christ.


2 John 1:1 / 3 John 1:1

The Holy Spirit through The Elder…

There is no greeting inscribed, nor did John put his name to the first epistle of the Holy Spirit through him, which confirms the great fundamental doctrine of Christianity. In his second and third epistles the apostle is “the elder”, being also a bishop or overseer of all the Asiatic churches. In the second epistle the Spirit testifies to the value of Christian love and belief through John’s regard for and exhortation to a certain pious matron and her children. The third epistle of the Holy Spirit through John to “the well beloved Gaius”, supplies us with valuable criterion for Christian life and character.


Jude 1-2

The Holy Spirit through Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ: mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

There can be no true mercy, peace, and love where there is not true Grace; and where Grace goes before, these will follow.


Revelation 1:4-5

The Holy Spirit through John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace  to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ.

The Divine blessing given in this greeting is in the name of God, of the Holy Trinity; it is of preeminent adoration. The Father is first named; He is described as the Yahweh who is, and who was, and who is to come, eternal, unchangeable. The Holy Spirit is referenced as the seven spirits, the perfect Spirit of God, in whom there is a diversity of perfect gifts and operations. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity, a Witness to all the counsels of God.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This expression occurs at the close of each of the epistles addressed to the seven churches in the book of Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) – the revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John. The Holy Spirit may be regarded either as speaking through the Savior, or as imparted to John, through whom He addressed the churches. In either case it is the same Spirit of inspiration.

As Christ, the Son, spoke not of Himself in opposition to the Father, so the Spirit speaks not of Himself in opposition either to the Father, or the Son, but in perfect agreement with both; being, as of the same nature and essence, power and glory, so of the same mind, understanding, and will; and as they agreed and wrought jointly and harmoniously in the works of creation and providence, so in the economy of grace and salvation… whatsoever the Spirit shall hear, that shall He speak; as Christ Himself did; and such as ear has not heard besides; secretly transacted in the council and covenant of peace, and agreed upon by all the three Persons; things which concern the salvation of men, the Gospel church state, another world, and the glory of all the divine Persons. [John Gill on John 16:13]

This Paracletic perspective of Scripture, especially in this new covenant age, also recognized as the age of the Holy Spirit, helps preserve our perception of the divine dignity of God the Spirit, who, in the words of the Nicene creed, is the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear His voice…” -Hebrews 3:7

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. -2 Corinthians 13:14