EPHESIANS, THE EPISTLE OF THE CHURCH AND THE CROSS # 22


Panoramic view of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the NT
Dr. G. Ernesto Johnson
Rio Grande Bible Seminar
It is worth making a small stop to further discuss the person and work of the Holy Spirit in his unique role in the life of the believer. Until now, Paul has treated the five sins that never fit into our new identity united with Christ: lying, anger, giving place to the devil, stealing and that no corrupt words come out of the mouth (Ephesians 4: 25- 29).
The sixth sin is "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (v.30). Several things that catch our attention are immediately noticed. The verb "grieve" reveals: 1) the very sensitive personality of the Holy Spirit. It is not a power or force but a person; 2) then the full name that is given to the Third Person of the Trinity focuses precisely on the holiness essence of the Spirit of God. He is the Holy Spirit. The syntax (the order of the words) resonates that predominant divine attribute; 3) highlights the masterpiece of the Spirit, that of sealing to the believer the eternal security of his salvation.
The Truth of the Trinity and the Focus of the Holy Spirit
The doctrine of the Triune God is fundamental and is taught implicitly and explicitly in the two Testaments. It is affirmed in this way: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, three persons in one substance. Between them there is order and function according to the Word of God. But due order does not in any way infer inferiority but only a distinctive function between them. The Father sent the Son; the Son by dying obeyed the Father and saved by grace through faith those who believed in Him; Spirit is the executor of all of the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit makes possible the work of grace of God in the believer. But I limit myself roughly to the intimate relationship of the Holy Spirit with the believer by taking advantage of several portions of the New Testament.
Christ himself introduces the explicit work of the Spirit in the believer
We know very well Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus, the sincere but lost Pharisee. At first Jesus confused Nicodemus who depended on his trust in the law. First he says: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again (from above), he can not see the kingdom of God" (v.3). The second time expands a little and confuses him more: ". . . he who is not born of water and the Spirit can not enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh; and what is born of the Spirit, spirit is, Do not be surprised that I said to you: It is necessary for you to be born again "(vv.3, 6). In this way he insisted on a true rebirth that would give a totally new principle.
Regeneration has been defined as: the miraculous act by which the Spirit imparts, grants eternal life to the believer through the Word of God. This is the critical moment of becoming a new creature (1 Corinthians 5:17). At the same time he receives the true baptism of the Spirit, as the evidence that the believer has become part of the Church the Body of the Church. Regeneration and the baptism of the Spirit occur at the same time: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether they be slaves or free; and we were all given to drink from the same Spirit "(1 Corinthians 12:13).
The anticipated Pentecost Day John 7: 37-39
Then Jesus on the great day of the feast said: "If anyone is thirsty, come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture says, from his interior will flow rivers of living water. "The explanatory commentary of the Apostle John is very significant when speaking of the" rivers of living water ":" This said of the Spirit that they were to receive those who believed in him; for the Holy Spirit had not yet come, because Jesus had not been glorified "(vv.37, 38).
Of course, the Spirit is eternal and operates in both testaments. "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14) But Jesus in John 7 announced the arrival of the Spirit in new plenitude and power at the inauguration of the Church on the Day of Pentecost. "So, exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out that which you both see and hear" (Acts 2:33). Jesus thus anticipated his ascension and the outpouring of the Spirit.
The Teaching of the Upper Room John 14-16
The greatest proof of the work of the Spirit is the teaching of Jesus himself in the Upper Room in John 14-16. "And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, so that he may be with you forever: the Spirit of truth. . . "(John 14: 16,17). When he said another Comforter, he means not another different one, but as Jesus had been to them, another equal to him in every way. He would become the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8: 9).
Twice more Jesus says to them: "But when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me" (15:26). Finally, "But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own account, but he will speak all that he hears, and he will make known to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me; for he will take what is mine, and he will tell you. Everything the Father has is mine, so I said that he will take what is mine and will let you know "(16: 13-15).
Another key ministry of the Spirit is to convince the unbeliever and the believer. "And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment" (John 16: 8).
In the Great Commission Christ commanded them: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the (singular) name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to keep all the things that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you every day, until the end of the world. Amen "(Matthew 28: 19-20).
The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost
The Acts of the Holy Spirit inaugurate the Dispensation of the Spirit. The purpose of God in the Great Design was the inauguration of the Church as the Body of Christ. We have seen it clearly in our studies of Ephesians1-3. And the key to this new manifestation of Christ will be the full active ministry of the Holy Spirit. The evidence was the transformation of the fearful man apostles to powerful spokesmen of the glorified Christ. No one can doubt the value of the arrival of the Spirit. From one hundred twenty to three thousand and five thousand in such a short time: "And the word of the Lord grew, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; also many of the priests obeyed the faith "(Fact 6: 7).
The Governation of the Spirit in the early church Ananias and Sapphira Fact 5
There was a tragic occasion that highlighted the presence and governance of the Spirit. In the days of pure revival, the disciples had everything in common. Bernabé sold a piece of land and donated it to the church. Ananias and Sapphira also sold land, but they made the plot to subtract and retain part for themselves. They had to receive the applause that Bernabé received but without paying the price. Hypocrisy raised an ugly head.
But Peter said to Ananias: "Why did Satan fill your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and subtract from the price of the inheritance? . . . You have not lied to men, but to God. When Ananias heard these words he fell and expired. And great fear came upon all who heard "(Acts 5: 3-5). I believe they were saved because they were part of the church in time of revival, but the discipline of the Lord fell on them "as well as by fire" (1 Corinthians 3:15, 11:30).
In both the Old Testament and the New, God judges sin in his own way. (See the sin of Achan, Joshua 7: 1-26). With such a background, the admonition of "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption," is heard more seriously.
The Holy Spirit, the overseer of the work of God in the believer
Paul in Romans 5-8 gives us an accurate theological analysis of the process of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The order is important to note because it shows the saving and active elements in the heart of God for the believer. It begins with a note of gratitude for justification or having been declared righteous to the wicked one who believes, based all on the vicarious death of Jesus (Romans 5: 1-7).
Paul continues: "But God shows his love for us, in that as sinners, Christ died for us (v.8). In this way he puts the vicarious death of Christ as the love of God and the true basis of justification. But he does it in order to introduce something totally new, which will be seen in sanctification. God forgives our sins (plural) in order to make you holy as He is holy. Reason like this: "Because if we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we will be saved by his life" (resurrected) (v.10).
In short, the justification or forgiveness of sins (plural) lies in vicarious death – now the new advance – sanctification is the resurrected life of Christ lived in the believer by the Spirit of Christ. This point is key to understanding what follows in the rest of chapter 5.
The Postrer Adam, Federal head of a new spiritual race Romans 5: 12-21
Paul comes to the heart of victory in Christ. Recognize the disaster of the fall of the First Adam in sin. God does not try to remedy the fall. He accepts it as the current reality and rejects it strictly. But he sent his humanized Son because with him he was going to start over with a new race. The First failed miserably. He displaced the first Adam and appointed the Desire Adam, Jesus, as the Head of the new spiritual race (1 Corinthians 15: 44-49).
He is our representative; we receive in regeneration our new identity, the essence being the eternal and risen life of Christ. Follow a series of comparisons and contrasts between the First Adam and the Postrer Adam. But in the rest of chapter 5, the Postrer Adam comes out MUCH MORE five times (vs. 9, 10, 15, 17, 20). The final conclusion is "So that as sin reigned for death, so also grace reigns in righteousness for eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord (encontrarse 21).
The Axis of the sanctification the death of the Postrer Adam is death our Romans 6
Paul comes to the point of sanctification to reveal a optimista aspect of the death of Christ that has not been valued as it should be. We duly associate with gratitude the death and blood of Christ in the forgiveness of our sins (plural). But God has done MUCH MORE; He has dealt radically with sin (singular), that is, the sinful nature that we inherited from the First Adam.
"What then, shall we say? Will we persevere in sin (singular) so that grace may abound? In no way. Because we who died to sin, how will we still live in it? (vv.1, 2). In the three verses that follow, Paul establishes our identification in historical and representative death. "Knowing (better-knowing) this, that our old man was co-crucified with him so that the body of sin (singular) is destroyed (rendered void, canceled), so that we no longer serve sin" (v.6) ). This is the encontrarse that totally changed the direction of my life and ministry.

Here comes the direct work of the Holy Spirit-making us know in practical terms the power of that very death. A brokenness or deep repentance remains the work of the Spirit. In this way we enter by faith in that death, burial and resurrection. So identified with him, we have to recognize that God judged 2000 years ago my old nature. I live for the new gift from Calvario.
Take note of the context of Romans 6:10: "For as he died (Christ) to sin, he died once for all; more in when he lives, for God he lives. So also consider yourselves (counted) dead to sin (singular), but alive to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord "(vv.10,11)
Do we capture the strength of this comparison? Both Christ died merienda to sin (to the power of sin) and to us (to the power of sin) in the same way.
We are left with the process of faith that keeps this risen life of Christ alive in 6: 12-14. Therefore, sin does not reign; but presenting the members to justice and present the will and sin will not rule over you.
The Consummation of the spiritual marriage of the Holy Spirit and the believer Romans 7: 1-6
At last we bequeath to the Spirit of Truth as it is, rather than overseer and executor. We see him as the one who presents the bride, the believer, to his divine Bridegroom. Again we see the same striking comparison: "Likewise (key introductory words) you, my brothers, have died to the law (our best useless efforts) through the body of Christ, so that you may be of another, of the one who rose from the dead , so that we may bear fruit for God. . . but now we are free from the law, for having died for that in which we were subject, so that we serve under the new regime of the Spirit and not under the old regime of the letter "(vs. 4,6).
In Romans eight we see the mutual cooperation of the Spirit and the believer in the walk of the believer in this world. "So, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, so that we may live according to the flesh; . . . but if by the Spirit you put to death the work of the flesh, you will live "(vv.12-13).
The Crowning of the Spirit and the believer 2 Corinthians 3: 10-18
Paul compares the Dispensation of the law with that of the Spirit to show merienda and for all the superiority of the Spirit "For if the ministry of condemnation was in glory, much more will the ministry of justification abound in glory. . . for if what perishes had glory (the law), much more glorious will be what remains "(vs. 9.11).
Paul concludes his argument to which we can not add any comment. "Because the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Therefore, we all, looking bare-faced as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed (we are being transformed) from glory to glory in the same image, as by the Spirit of the Lord "(vs.17,18).
So effective is the Spirit in promoting the sanctity of God that it is difficult for us to face the image of Christ alone. As the moon reflects the brightness of the sun, so we reflect the glory of Jesus.
My Testimony of the work of the Spirit in my life and ministry
When I want to share my testimony, I always want to do it only for the glory of God. But I am somewhat reluctant, just because as God dealt with me he is never a patron for another. The Holy Spirit is infinite in dealing with his own. It is true that there are some biblical principles involved which we have to obey, but the circumstances can be very different.
God blessed me greatly from my upbringing in Winnipeg (1928) in an evangelical home; My parents, especially my holy mother, constantly exhorted me for my spiritual good. I received Christ as my savior at the age of 12 years. But what changed the course of my entire life was going with two cousins ​​to Prairie Bible Institute High School in Three Hills Alberta, Canada. They were grades 9-12 as a mini-biblical institute (1942-46). Then I graduated from the Institute in 1949.
But what struck me the most was that at the first missionary conference in 1942 at the age of 14, I went to the front and devoted my entire life to the missions. I have never renegotiated that covenant with God. I was going to Africa.
During the 9 years of spiritual formation I was an avid reader, reading dozens of missionary biographies and books about the deeper life with God. The favorite authors were Andrew Murray, L. E. Maxwell, founder of Prairie, A.B. Simpson, Watchman Nee, Dr. F. J. Huegel and the mystics. In the seven years there plus two (1949-51) he thought he knew a lot about sanctification. I received many academic honors and had a reputation for being very devoted.
Upon returning to Winnipeg to study more, I took my first pastorate (1949-1954). We got married in 1950. After two years of expository preaching, I felt very frustrated by the brothers' indifference. In my spiritual frustration I thought that what they needed would be a thorough study of Romans 6. On a very cold Sunday in the winter, I came to Romans 6: 6, our death to the old man. Without a doubt in the preaching in a certain sense, I was scolding them.
But in full preaching no more, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, not in an audible voice but to my spirit. What he told me was like a lightning bolt. "Ernesto. You are a hypocrite. You do not know anything of what you preach. "It upset me but I kept preaching.
For the rest of that Sunday, I was too proud to say anything to my wife. But at night I told him: "Let's kneel." We knelt down and in my despair, he said to God: "Cuésteme what it costs me. Teach me Romans 6: 6, If not, I give up the ministry "(Not that I wanted to abandon it, but I could not do it anymore).
After a few months, I became calmer. I was suddenly invited to be a speaker at a church in St. Vincent, MN. where they knew me well. I was surprised and thought "They already discovered me", but I immediately rejected the thought for being proud. I prepared diligently for that 5 days. My first experience as a lecturer I was saying this is only for the glory of God, not knowing what my crucifixion would be.
When the pastor arrived, he told me there was another speaker. E. V. Folden. He asked me to preach Sunday morning. Again: "He already chose me" and I refused to think but it was mine.
I preached on the Entire Consecration, the offering of Isaac. Nothing happened.
In the afternoon it was the other. I sat down somewhat critical: Let's see how he will handle the text? etc. But I did not hear anything about his message because God gave me a tremendous beating. I noticed that the speaker did not go on the platform like me; it just went down in front.
Dio showed me my black heart, full of "spiritual pride", the defeat of the secret sins that nobody knew. I saw something very ugly on the Cross. I said: "What is it? Sir? "" It's you as I see you. "
Then like that voice that rebuked me before; the Spirit told me: "Stand up and ask for the word. Tell them you are. "But Lord. . . They are going to run me home. . . .
But he had said to the Lord before: "If you tell me, I obey you." He had said: "Tell me what it costs me." I asked for the word, not yet finished the service. I stood up and told the brothers the pure truth. He only spoke little, because the sources of my heart were broken. There I stood, crying bitterly. I could not stand it anymore and sat on the bench.
But as I sat down, I said in my spirit: "Knowing this, Ernesto Johnson was co crucified with Christ so that the old man would be canceled so that sin no longer serves." In that moment of obedience of faith, I entered into the victory. I felt a great relief. He had no more reputation than to pretend. I was fine with my God.
What happened to the cult; It did not end because the brothers began to stand up and confess their sins. The revival began.
Then I felt sorry for the pastor: "What will you tell me?" He asked me to preach at night. "But, Lord, I can not; I'm not worthy to talk. " "Yes, my son, he will never be worthy, but he speaks." There was no thinking as before. I preached another message: the consecration of the priests of Leviticus 8: first the blood to the ear, the thumb and the thumb, and then the anointing of the oil of the Spirit.
One more thing. I retired to my hostess's house; I could not fall asleep for the joy and relief of my soul. Finally, I fell asleep. But I woke up at midnight hearing a car arrive in the snow. After a few voices down and I fell asleep. In the morning my hostess told me. "Last night the Kochendoffer family arrived and we reconciled before God." They were the two main families of the church and there was division before.
Then she told me: "I did not know that you preachers had a heart like us!" 'What a shame it is!
A final word. No matter how great the experience, we have to live at the foot of the Cross. It is a moment-by-moment walk in obedient faith.
Since those days, the message of my life and ministry has been our union with Christ in death to sin and alive for God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. (Romans 6: 6, 11-14)

Author: Gordon Johnson
is recognized in Latin America as a lecturer. He has served as a professor at the Rio Grande Bible Seminary, Texas since 1954, being president of the institution for many years as well. He has several degrees among which he received a Masters in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Missiology.


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