These weekly posts show the Triad teachings. Starting at week 1 and progressing through the weeks will help you see the logic of the series.
God Helps Us In Our Dedication
Consider the verses below that summarize Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Spirit recorded in John chapters 14-16:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I don’t go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you…I have yet many things to say to you, but you can’t bear them now….But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He will not speak of Himself; but whatever He hears that will He speak: and He will show you things to come…. and when the Comforter is come, In a little while, you will not see me: and then again, in a little while, you will see me….because I go to the Father….But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asks me, where are you going? …But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts…. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I… Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake…Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…He whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of me….and the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you…. the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it cannot see Him, neither can it know Him. But you will see Him and you will know Him; for now He dwells with you, but then He will be in you…
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you….he that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to
him…The Father and I will come and by the Spirit live in you.
Thus, the Holy Spirit is sent to us and enables us greatly to be dedicated to God.
There is though a great deal of confusion about the Holy Spirit. In short, the Bible teaches that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion. But, being “filled” with the Holy Spirit also can occur after the initial reception. Perhaps a more accurate phrase would be that we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit at conversion but can also receive further “fillings” after we are converted. When a believer, some time after conversion, cries out for help with being dedicated to God, and asks for help with obedience, then that person will receive further inward work from the Spirit. See the Monkipedia section of this web site for further help in understanding these concepts.
This receiving of the Spirit’s help, in response to a deep cry for total surrender of self to God, is an example of how the believers’ choices and God’s work on our behalf interact.
Consider this passage found in the “Imitation of Christ”:
“Gladden, then, this day the soul of Your servant because I have raised my heart to You, O Lord Jesus. I long to receive You now, devoutly and reverently. I desire to bring You into my house that, with Zacheus, I may merit Your blessing and be numbered among the children of Abraham”.
This person is desiring and praying for the Holy Spirit to come to him (her). This is not merely a devotion, but is instead an act that is answered by God.
Of note, the above quote from the “Imitation of Christ” is an example of where The monastic tradition has something to learn here from the Charismatic Protestant: it would be more accurate to say that through initial conversion a person already “merits” being numbered among the children of Abraham. Justification is by faith alone.
Of course, the Protestant can learn from the monastic that asking for further “filling” of the Spirit (devoutly and reverently) is an important step for the convert to make in their journey of sanctification.
Therefore, next week we look at the need to have both faith and works.