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The Holy Spirit (4)

How are we to respond to the Holy Spirit? According to Packer, how we respond to the Word he has given, the extent to which we believe and apply it, is the measure of our response to the Spirit.


Do we honor the Holy Spirit by recognizing and relying on his work? Or do we slight him by ignoring it, and thereby dishonor not merely the Spirit but the Lord who sent him?

In our faith: Do we acknowledge the authority of the Bible, the prophetic Old Testament and the apostolic New Testament which he inspired? Do we read and hear it with the reverence and receptiveness that are due to the Word of God? If not, we dishonor the Holy Spirit.

In our life: Do we apply the authority of the Bible and live by the Bible, whatever anyone may say against it, recognizing that God’s Word cannot but be true, and that what God has said he certainly means, and he will stand behind it? If not, we dishonor the Holy Spirit, who gave us that Bible.

In our witness: Do we remember that the Holy Spirit alone, by his witness, can authenticate our witness, and look to him to do so, and trust him to do so, and show the reality of our trust, as Paul did, by eschewing the gimmicks of human cleverness? If not, we dishonor the Holy Spirit. Can we doubt that the present barrenness of the church’s life is God’s judgment on us for the way in which we have dishonored the Holy Spirit? And, in that case, what hope have we of its removal till we learn it our thinking and our praying and our practice to honor the Holy Spirit? “He shall testify . . .”

”He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

—J. I. Packer, Knowing God (InterVarsity Press, 1993), 71–72.

Posted 2008·11·14 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Authority (Biblical) · Church Marketing · J I Packer · Knowing God · Pneumatology
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#1 || 08·11·14··12:04 || Betsy Markman

Another great post. I especially liked that line about not relying on the gimmicks of human cleverness. I can't help wondering if 1 Corinthians chapter 1 has been cut out of many preachers' Bibles altogether. You can almost hear their disdain for those who don't use their precious marketing strategies...those "foolish" pastors who believe only the Holy Spirit can really save a soul.

God knows His own, and He will save them through the foolishness of preaching (1 Co. 1:21). Praise Him!

Thanks for this series!

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