Tag Archives: God the Holy Spirit

“The heartbeat of God’s entire revelation” by Herman Bavinck

“In the doctrine of the Trinity we feel the heartbeat of God’s entire revelation for the redemption of humanity. Though foreshadowed in the Old Testament, it only comes to light fully in Christ.

Religion can be satisfied with nothing less than God himself. Now in Christ God Himself comes out to us, and in the Holy Spirit He communicates Himself to us.

The work of re-creation is trinitarian through and through. From God, through God, and in God are all things.

Re-creation is one divine work from beginning to end, yet it can be described in terms of three agents: it is fully accomplished by the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

A Christian’s faith life, accordingly, points back to three generative principles. ‘We know all these things,’ says article 9 of the Belgic Confession, ‘from the testimonies of holy Scripture, as well as from the operations of the persons, especially from those we feel within ourselves.’

We know ourselves to be children of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and in communion with both through the Holy Spirit. Every blessing, both spiritual and material, comes to us from the triune God.

In that name we are baptized; that name sums up our confession; that name is the source of all the blessings that come down to us; to that name we will forever bring thanksgiving and honor; in that name we find rest for our souls and peace for our conscience.

Christians have a God above them, before them, and within them. Our salvation, both in this life and in the life to come, is bound up with the doctrine of the Trinity.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Vol. 4, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 4: 333–334.

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“You have Him” by Sinclair Ferguson

“Owen’s great burden and emphasis in helping us to understand what it means to be a Christian is to say:

Through the work of the Spirit, the heavenly Father gives you to Jesus and gives Jesus to you. You have Him.

Everything you can ever lack is found in Him; all you will ever need is given to you in Him. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.’

For the Father has ‘blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.’

It is as true for the newest, weakest Christian as for the most mature believer: from the first moment of faith, we are fully, finally, irreversibly justified in Christ.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 64-65.

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“To be a Christian” by Sinclair Ferguson

“To be a Christian is, first and foremost, to belong to the triune God and to be named for Him. This is the heart and core of the privileges of the gospel.

Once we were aliens from the family of God, strangers to Christ, without desire or power to please Him. But now, through the Son whom the Father sent into the world to save us, and the Spirit who brings all the resources of Christ to us, we have come to know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

To become a Christian believer is to be brought into a reality far grander than anything we could ever have imagined. It means communion with the triune God.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 28.

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“The greatest privilege any of us can have” by Sinclair Ferguson

“There is nothing in all the world more important to you than these truths:

(1) God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a great mystery— because we are not God and we cannot fully understand the sheer, wonderful, glorious mystery of His being. But we can begin to grasp it, and learn to love and adore Him.

(2) If you are a Christian, it is because of the loving thought and action of each person of the Trinity.

The Father, along with the Son and the Spirit, planned it before the foundation of the world; the Son came to pay the price for your redemption and, supported by the Holy Spirit, became obedient to His Father in your place, both in His life and death, to bring you justification before God; and now, by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit sent by both the Father and the Son, you have been brought to faith.

(3) The greatest privilege any of us can have is this: we can know God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can enjoy fellowship— what Owen calls ‘communion’— with God.

This knowledge is as rich, wide, deep, long, and high as are the three persons of God. Knowing Him and having fellowship with Him is an entire world of endless knowledge, trust, love, joy, fellowship, pleasure, and satisfaction.

This is what John Owen wanted Christians to know.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), xvii.

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“God is the fountain of all good things” by Simon Goulart

“The eternal and blessed life with God in heaven, accompanied by rest and unspeakable glory, is the goal of the faith of Christians.

This is the harbor of their hope, the refuge of all their desires, the crown of their consolation that they will certainly enjoy, having escaped from the travails of this miserable and fleeting earthly life, indeed, from death itself.

They will receive in heaven glorified bodies, healed of all evils, no longer afflicted by sin, ignorance, errors, illness, sadness, worry, fear, anguish, or enemies.

They will be delivered from all pain and suffering.

They will enjoy fully and completely the Lord their God, the fountain and inexhaustible treasure of all good things, who will pour out on them all His goodness, His infinite joy, with which He will satisfy all their thoughts and desires.

They will see Him and contemplate Him face-to-face, without any clouds to obscure Him.

They will learn of God’s wisdom with regard to the creation and redemption of His elect by means of Jesus Christ, and the reasons for all His all-powerful and wondrous works.

The eternal Father will disclose His burning and unspeakable love for them, which He demonstrated by sending His Son into the world to draw them from death into eternal life.

His children will be moved by His gracious work, filled with wonder, contentment, and ineffable delight, and will love their heavenly Father with a burning love, submitting themselves fully to His wisdom with eager joy.

And they will submit to Him as their only sovereign and greatest good. And they will rejoice with continuous joy in His presence, magnifying His glory, singing of His goodness along with the holy Angels and the entire Church triumphant.

There they will see Jesus Christ, the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Apostles, and all the faithful who have preceded them, including their family members and friends who died in repentance and faith.

This entire company together, with one heart and voice, will recall the goodness and infinite blessings God has shown them, celebrating with songs of thanksgiving the praises of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thus eternal life is the end and fulfillment of all good things for which God has purchased us through His Son.

This is the goal on which our gaze should be fixed throughout our earthly pilgrimage.

This is the treasure that we should unceasingly desire.

This is the hour and the blessing to which all the plans and efforts of our lives should be inclined.

This is our true country, our permanent city, in which our citizenship has been acquired by the merit of the death of Jesus Christ.

This is the home that we long for, amidst the banishments, the weariness, the dangerous fears of this valley of misery and the shadow of death.

This is the safe refuge and the beautiful harbor toward which we sail amidst so many waves and storms that constantly trouble the world.

This is the blessed land where we will dwell by means of death.”

–Simon Goulart, Christian Discourses XXVIII, 322-327. As quoted in Scott M. Manetsch, Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 297-298.

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“Every attribute of God is precious to believers” by Herman Bavinck

“Every attribute of God is precious to believers. They cannot do without any of them. They desire no other God than the only true God, who has revealed Himself in Christ, and they glory in all His perfections in truth.

Their adoration, their love, their thanksgiving, and praise are aroused not only by God’s grace and love but also by His holiness and righteousness, not only by God’s goodness but also by His omnipotence, not only by His communicable but also His incommunicable attributes.”

–Herman Bavinck, Ed. John Bolt and trans. John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2: God and Creation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 250.

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“God Himself living in us” by Herman Bavinck

“As Christ is related to the Father, so the Holy Spirit is related to Christ. Just as the Son has nothing, does nothing, and says nothing of Himself but receives everything from the Father (John 5:26; 16:15), so the Spirit takes everything from Christ (John 16:13-14).

Just as the Son witnesses to and glorifies the Father (John 1:18; 17:4, 6), so the Spirit in turn witnesses to and glorifies the Son (John 15:26; 16:14). Just as no one can come to the Father but by the Son (Matt. 11:27; John 14:6), so no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Spirit.

But that Spirit, accordingly, also grants all the benefits acquired by Christ: regeneration (John 3:3), conviction of sin (John 16:8-11), the gift of child status (Rom. 8:15), renewal (Titus 3:5), the love of God (Rom. 5:5), a wide assortment of spiritual fruits (Gal. 5:22-23), the sealing (Rom. 8:23; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13; 4:30), resurrection (Rom. 8:10-11).

Indeed, by the Spirit we have communion– direct and immediate communion– with no one less than the Son and the Father themselves. The Holy Spirit is God Himself living in us (John 14:23ff; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:11; Eph. 3:17; Phil. 1:8, 21).

Who can grant us all these blessings? Who can cause God Himself to dwell in our hearts? Who can do all these things but one, the Spirit, who is Himself God? To Him, accordingly, divine honor is due. The Spirit exists alongside the Father and the Son as the cause of all blessing and well-being (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:13; Rev. 1:4).

In His name we are baptized (Matt. 28:19). All life and power comes from Him. He is the author of our prayers (Zech. 12:10; Rom. 8:15-16). In the face of all these things the church is warned not to grieve Him (Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30). To blaspheme Him, says Christ, is unpardonable (Matt. 12:31-32).”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 2:278-279.

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