E. R. (Eugene Russell) Hendrix.

The personality of the Holy Spirit online

. (page 9 of 11)
Online LibraryE. R. (Eugene Russell) HendrixThe personality of the Holy Spirit → online text (page 9 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

template the same ends. Christ continues his
very work in the world as he baptizes with the
Holy Spirit. The gospel of the Spirit follows
the gospel of the Son of God; and they are not
two gospels, but one. "It is a standing proof
of the reality of the miracle of Pentecost that
I'.ie first age of the Church should have pro-
duced a series of writings which, in the eleva-
tion of their spiritual tone and the fruitfulness
of their teachings, remain absolutely alone."
But these writings declare but one gospel and
one spiritual life, and that life is in the Son.
Only he who hath the Son hath life. Of Christ's
resurrection the Holy Spirit is the chief and the
perpetual witness, and all the work of the Spirit
is done in Christ's name and is built on his re-
demptive work.

Belief in the Holy Spirit rescued the life of

The Executive of the Godhead. i6i

Christ from simply an historic way of looking

at it. Christianity is not a past event, but a Christianity

present life — a life first manifested in Christ ""^"^"^^

^ event, but a

and now perpetuated in his Church by the Holy present aje.
Spirit. The Holy Spirit thus becomes known
as the Spirit of Christ because he is tlie min-
ister of Christ's supersensuous presence. He
becomes the very life of Christ in the soul as
Christ is formed within the hope of glory.
Paul's prayer, that according to the riches of
his glory the Father would strengthen us with
power through his Spirit in the inner man, be-
comes one with the petition that Christ may
dwell in our hearts through faith. The Holy
Spirit has no theme and no mission aside from
the person and work of Christ. His ministry
is the ministry of reconciliation through Christ.
His fruits are those which are borne only through
vital connection with the true Vine. Love, joy,
peace, long-sufifering, kindness, goodness, faith-
fulness, meekness, self-control, are celestial clus-
ters which grow from above, not from beneath.
The roots of the true Vine are in the eternal

The supreme work of the Holy Spirit in the
Church is to teach and to strengthen, to guide


The Holy Spirit

into all truth and to empower for service, to
show us our exalted privileges as the sons of
God, himself witnessing with our spirits our
adoption, and to impart the needed faith and
courage for every good word and work. Son-
ship is his great theme, Christ's sonship and
ours ; and the privilege and power of sons, and
their glorious inheritance far beyond what eye
hath seen or ear hath heard, or beyond what it
hath entered into the heart of man to conceive
without the Spirit's help, but God hath revealed
them unto us by his Spirit. As the Holy Spirit
testifies of Christ he glorifies Christ, for it is
the truth that glorifies. No man can call Jesus
Lord save by the Holy Spirit, for only the Holy
Spirit can reveal the length and breadth and
depth and height and make known the love of
God that passeth knowledge. Only the Eternal
Spirit can declare the Eternal Son. Only by
the Spirit did Christ live the human life of
God, and only by the Spirit can that life be
understood. The Holy Spirit, who fashioned
the human body of Jesus, anointed him at his
baptism, enabled him to cast out devils and do
other wonderful works, empowered him with all
his seven-fold gifts for his life and ministry,

The Executive of the Godhead. 163

enabled him to offer himself on the cross, raised
him from the dead, and declared him to be the
Son of God with power, is the interpreter of
his own masterpiece — a perfect humanity, which
became the vehicle of the divinity, so that Christ
could say, "I and my Father are one." *'Hc
that confesseth me before men him will my Fa-
ther confess before the angels in heaven." Flesh
and blood cannot reveal unto us the Christ,
though they show us his perfect humanity, but
the Holy Spirit opens alike our understandings
and the Holy Scriptures. Spiritual things must
be spiritually discerned. Christ is never so much
the Son of God as to those who have received
power to become the sons of God. What Christ
can do for us in our spiritual enlargement and
enrichment best interprets his words : "And the
glory which thou gavest me I have given unto
them ; that they may be one even as we are
one, I In them and thou in me, that they may
be perfected into one: that the world may know
that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even
as thou lovedst me." What was germinant in
Christ's teachings is unfolded more and more by
the Holy Spirit in the preaching and writings of
the apostles as the Spirit of Trutli guides them


The Holy Spirit

into all truth. Christ yearned to tell his disci-
ples many things, but said, "Ye cannot bear them
now." The Holy Spirit unites his ministry with
the ministry of the Holy Son to make possible
the life of God in the soul of man, and to de-
clare that as many as are led by the Spirit of
God they are the sons of God.

But the Spirit not only teaches, he empow-
ers. He strengthens the will through the heart
as well as the head. He not only generates
life, he organizes life. His agency is one —
the love of God that passeth knowledge. Love
not only begets, love rears, love nourishes and
edifies into manhood, "until we all come in the
unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the
Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the meas-
ure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
No wonder that Paul insists on our claiming
our inheritance : "Therefore being justified by
faith, let us liavc peace with God through our
Lord Jesus Christ." It is the consciousness of
love that makes possible endurance and even the
power of rejoicing in tribulations, as Paul re-
joiced at Lystra when his enemies supposed that
the}'- had stoned him to death, "knowing that
tribulation worketh patience; and patience, ex-

TJic Executive of the Godhead. 165

perience ; and experience, hope : and hope put-
teth not to shame; because the love of God has
been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy
Spirit which was given unto us." It is the
Spirit which speaketh the truth in love that helps
us to speak it in love. It is the love of Christ
that constraineth us. The divine life in man
consists in holy love. All gifts, even though
they be gifts of the Spirit, are not comparable
to spiritual states. Prophecy shall fail, tongues
shall pass away, even though they be the tongues
of men and of angels combined, knowledge shall
cease, but now remain these three, faith, hope,
love; and the greatest of these is love. Covet
earnestly the best gifts for service, but follow
after love, never lose sight of her, obey her ev-
ery command, for God is love. It is because
Christ dwells in your hearts by faith that ye are
rooted and grounded in love. When love goes,
Christ has gone.

Christ has not only come to save us, but, ckrist has not
through his Holy Spirit, to make us worth sav- only come to

. T- 1/-/-1 Mil i 1- save us, but to

ing, it is not chaif that will be gathered into

'^ " mate us wort A

the gamer, but wheat, ripened and matured saving.
wheat, that has in it reproductive power, yield-
ing seed after its kind on the earth. The Holy

1 66 The Holy Spirit

Spirit seeks to form within us the mind that
was in Christ Jesus, who came not to be min-
istered unto, but to minister, and to give his
life a ransom for many. He organizes behev-
ers into a kingdom whose dehght is not meat
and drink, or, as the Revised Version puts it
more strongly, "not eating and drinking," but
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy
Spirit. "For he that herein serveth Christ is
well pleasing to God, and approved of men."
Men know by the flavor of the fruit whether it
be of the earth earthy or whether the Lord from
heaven is the husbandman who purgeth the
branches that they may bring forth more fruit,
and better. Christianity means unselfishness,
looking not at one's own things, but upon the
things of others. The Spirit of Christ ever
teaches us, whether by prophet or apostle,
whether under the old covenant or the new, that

He never finds who seeks his own,
That soul is lost that's saved alone.

The Holy But the Holy Spirit wdio will not save us by

ourselves will not save us without ourselves.

save both soul

andbody. How moustrous the man who hates his own
flesh ! How vile the deeds done in the body

Tlic Executive of the Godhead. 167

when caie would part with it forever! Let pa-
ganism with its unnatural vices cast the body
aside as hopelessly vile, but Christ has come to
save both soul and body. There is therefore
now no condemnation, even of the body, to them
that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
flesh but after the spirit. "Ye are not in the
fiesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit
of God dwelleth in you." But if the Spirit of
him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell
in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the
dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies
through, or because of, his Spirit that dwelleth
in you. Our humanity is to be saved in its en-
tirety. Earth cannot hold the redeemed soul
and body from its Lord. Where the Head is
there shall the members be also. "I will not
leave you comfortless." "Because I live, ye shall
live also." "Believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions ; if it
were not so, I would not have told you ; for I
go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again and
receive you unto myself; that where I am there
ye may be also."

The Holy Spirit, the executive of the God-

1 68 The Holy Spirit

w/iatthe head, unaertakes nothing in us and for us that
Holy spirit j^^ j^^^ ^^^ already fully realized in the per-

x'jotild do in

ushfhasai- fected humanity of our Lord, and he comes to
ready done yg ^^^^ ^jf |^|-,jjj- glorified humauity to assure us

in Christ.

of what we shall be when we shall see hun as
he is. He that garnished the heavens will make
the new heavens and the new earth. He that
breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life
and gave him reason and intelligence is the
quickening Spirit that shall raise him when
dead in trespasses and sins, and shall not only
illumine his mind but renew his heart, and shall
quicken his mortal body into newness of life
even with the power of an endless life. The
Lord of the harvest shall gather in the harvest
of a perfected humanity. For this all nature
waits, and the mighty Spirit of God who is im-
manent in nature as well as in man will make
all things new against that day. "For the ear-
nest expectation of the creation waiteth for the
revealing of the sons of God." The Spirit like-
wise is helping our infirmities, and teaches us
that all things work together for good to them
that love God; and this he teaches us as Lord
of nature no less than our blessed Comforter
who abides with us forever. He shall bring it

The Executive of the Godhead. 169

to pass. If God is for us, who then can he
against us ? He who gave us his Son has given
us his Spirit also. "He that spared not his own
Son, but delivered him up for us all, not even
withholding him from prison and from judg-
ment, from the cross and from the grave, how
shall he not also with him freely give us all
things?" "If ye then, being evil, know how to
give good gifts unto your children, how much
more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy
Spirit to them that ask him?" That was what
Christ said when he spoke of the coming of the
Holy Spirit and of the glor}' that should follow.

Not on one favored forehead fell
Of old the fire-tongued miracle,
But flamed o'er all the thronging host
The baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Nor bound, nor clime, nor creed thou know'st.

Wide as our need thy favors fall.
The white wings of the Holy Ghost

Stoop, seen or unseen, o'er the heads of all.




A universe in which all the power was on the side of
the creator, and all the morality on the side of crea-
tion, would be one compared with which the universe
of materialism would shine out as a paradise indeed.
— Balfour.

Yet, in the maddening maze of things.

And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed stake my spirit clings ;

I know that God is good !

Not mine to look where cherubim

And seraphs may not see,

But nothing can be good in Him

Which evil is in me.

— Whittier.

O Source of uncreated light.
The Father's promised Paraclete!
Thrice holy Fount, thrice holy Fire,
Our hearts with heavenly love inspire!
Come, and thy sacred unction bring,
And sanctify us while we sing.

— Veni, Creator, Spiritus.



"I BELIEVE in the Holy Ghost" as I bcheve i believe in the
in God the Father Ahnighty, and as I beheve in "^
Jesus Christ his only heg-otten Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The
other articles of the creed I believe, but I do not
believe in. I accept them, but I do not trust
•them as I do each of the adorable Persons of
the Holy Trinity. They are the expression of
my intellectual apprehension of the great truths
such as the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection
of the body, and everlasting life after death ; but
they do not call forth my trust, which can be
given only to a person. Faith is the soul's re-
cumbence on a person, its adhesion to a per-
son. The Holy Spirit is not only a Person, but
a Divine Person, and so commands our faith
as an object of our worship ; and if our faith,
then also our love and our obedience. While
the doctrine of the Trinity could not be correct-
ly formulated or known until after the incarna-
tion of the Son of God, it helped to explain the
command of God when he bade Aaron and his


174 The Deity of the Holy Spirit.

sons always to bless the children of Israel with
a blessing in the name of the Triune God, say-
ing: "Tlie Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The
Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be
gracious unto thee : The Lord lift up his counte-
nance upon thee, and give thee peace. So shall
they put my name upon the children of Israel;
and I will bless them," Tlius, as in the very
language of the Creator when he said, "Let
us make man in our image and after our like-
ness," was God made known not as a unit, but
as a unity. So in the worship of the Psalms the
divine name is often thrice repeated, as in the
refrain, "for He is holy," In the ecstatic vision
of the prophets they are able to catch the re-
frain of the worship of angels as they cry,
"Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty," It is
the Triune God that our Lord reveals when he
prays to the Father and at the same time prom-
ises the Holy Spirit as another Comforter, no
less than when he bids his disciples to baptize
in the name of the Father and the Son and the
Holy Spirit. So was the divine name once more
put upon the children of God. It is not strange
therefore that when the apostles gave their
blessing it was, "The grace of the Lord Jesus

The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 175

Christ and the love of God and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

Tlie whole revelation is summed up in three From God, in
words : from God, in God, to God. Thus sue- ^'"'' '" ^'"'•
cessively is made known God the Father, God
the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Is he not indeed
the God of all comfort, meeting every need of
our nature, satisfying mind, heart, and will,
filling body, soul, and spirit? Because God is
Spirit he seeks to worship him those who wor-
ship him in spirit and in truth. The worship
that does not involve our spirit can never reach
to God who is Spirit. It was wise counsel that
was given : Pray to the Spirit of God and preach
to the spirit in man. Only thus can worship be
acceptable to God and profitable to man. Lu-
ther said, "The glory of the gospel is in its per-
sonal pronouns." Thomas felt this when he
could say, "My Lord and my God" ; and the
apostles, when they could say, "It seemed good
to the Holy Spirit and to us." So, too, the
Church at Antioch when they heard the Holy
Spirit say, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul
for the work whereunto I have called them" ;
and John on Patmos, when he declared, "I was
in the Spirit on the Lord's day." Tlius does

176 TJic Deity of the Holy Spirit.

man feci his kinship with God through the
Holy Spirit who enables us to call Jesus Lord.
When the name of the Triune God is put upon
us in holy baptism, this personal kinship is pro-
claimed to all men. From that hour one is not
only consecrated to God's service, he is claimed
for God's service. Tlie Holy Spirit claims
man's very body for his temple, and takes up
his abode as a sign of his ownership. The
union between man and God is so complete that
he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.
God's Spirit and ours mingle Uke two atmos-
pheres when God becomes immanent in a good
man. "He is the God that worketh for him that
waiteth for him" (Isaiah Ixiv. 4). He that be-
lieveth shall not make haste, awaiting the guid-
ance of the Holy Spirit, for as many as are led
by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God.
The perfection of humanity is unattainable un-
less God dwell in us. Tliis was so even with
Christ's humanity. It was the Spirit of God
that became the Spirit of Christ, so completely
did the Holy Spirit fill him and dwell in him
and lead him and empower him. Thus man be-
comes the true Shekinah, the divine glory shin-
ing in the face of a man, declaring him to be the

The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 177

Son of God, so that he himself has power to
make us sons of God. All things are ours if
Oirist is ours and we are Qirist's.

God is the Father only in the Son. The Holy The jioiy
Spirit therefore proceeds from the Father as he '^'""^

^ '^ from the Fa ■

reveals himself in the Son, and from the Son as ihenhrougu
the revelation of the Father. The Son is thus ^'"'^°'*-
the Way to the Father as well as the Father's
Way to us. The Spirit comes from the Father
through the Son, and through the Son as the
Son of the Father. The Son can do nothing of
himself but what he seeth the Father do, but
whatsoever the Father doetli these the Son doeth
in like manner. Thus the Son's works are the
Father's works, and che Spirit of Jesus is the
Spirit of God. Tlie Spirit entered into all that
Christ was here and in heaven. "Tlirough the
Spirit interpenetrating and embracing the Fa-
ther and the Son there is mutual coinherence
and eternal fellowship between the divine per-
sons," says Milligan. Because the Eastern
Church failed to apprehend the life of the Son
through the Spirit it failed to realize the Spirit's .
full mission to show us the Son as the Son came
to show as the Father. It is more than the
mere absence of the filioque from the creed; it

178 The Deity of the Holy Spirit.

is the absence of a proper apprehension of the
Divine Son who promised the Holy Spirit, and
so of a worship that expects the Holy Spirit as
an induement of power like rivers of water. Tlie
communion of the Holy Spirit while a part of
their creed is not a vital experience in their life.
There are no such hymns to the Holy Spirit as
are found in the Western Church, and no such
life in the Spirit as where his worship vitalizes
the body of Clirist. The Holy Spirit is the sum
of all gifts and influences needed to perfect the
divine-human life in the soul of man. God is
Spirit, or he could not be God. We are spirit,
or we could not worship. The Holy Spirit me-
diated through the Son so blends witli ours as
to make possible acceptable worship.
T//e omnis- The Spirit who thus helps our infirmity is the

ae>it, Omm- Qj^nigcient Spirit who searcheth and knoweth

present, Om-

nipoU'ni,and the dccp thiugs of God, no less than the omnipo-
Eieniai. spirit |^gj-j^ Spirit who crcatcd the world and still gov-

is liivine. . .,,_,..

erns it. 'Thou sendest forth thy Spirit and
they are created, and thou renewest the face of
the ground. These wait all upon thee, that
thou mayest give them their meat in due sea-
son. That thou givcst unto them they gather;
thou openest thy hand, they are satisfied with

The Deity of the Holy Spirit. 179

good. Tliou hidcst thy face, they arc troubled."
He is also the omnipresent Spirit, "Whither
shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I
flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into
heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in
Sheol, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings
of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts
of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me and
thy right hand shall hold me." He is the Eter-
nal Spirit through whom Christ offered himself,
empowering him not only to consent to death
but as an offering and without blemish. All the
resources of his divine energy were given to
the Son of God who went forth in the power of
the Spirit after the temptation, mightier because
of the temptation resisted and the great enemy
overcome. If the Spirit that raised up Jesus
from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up
Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also
your mortal bodies through his Spirit that
dwelleth in you. We dare not withhold our
worshi[) from the Holy Spirit who is the Giver
of all spiritual gifts, and who, when the Church
at Antioch prayed unto the Lord and fasted,
himself answered the prayer by saying, "Sep-
arate me Barnabas and Saul for the work


The Deity of the Holy Spirit.

Ilo/imss the
necessary at-
tribute of the

whereunto I have called them ; and so they be-
ing sent forth by the Holy Spirit went down to
Seleucia" to take ship for the first great mis-
sionary journey planned by the Lord of the
harvest. The Holy Spirit will have nothing less
than our perfect obedience, which is perfect
worship. If we attempt to deceive him with less
than our all, we lie not unto men but unto God.
Holiness is a necessary attribute of the Deity.
Christ may lay aside omnipotence and omnis-
cience and omnipresence, but he could not lay
aside holiness and still be God, even though
God manifest in the flesh. The Spirit that dwelt
in Christ without measure was the Holy Spirit.
He could not be the Spirit of Truth proceeding
from the Father and the Son, or through the
Son, without he was the Spirit of Holiness or
the Holy Spirit. Unless he were divine he
could not be the author of our regeneration or
of our ultimate holiness. His great work is that
of the Spirit of Truth, the inward Teacher and
Strengthener of our moral powers. He proves
himself divine, both by what he is and by what
he does. His person is holy, as his teachings
are holy. His very omnipotence is the omnipo-
tence of holiness and of love. Only the Spirit-

The Deity of the Holy Spirit. i8i

born and the Spirit-led are owned as the sons
of God, to whom the Spirit himself l^eareth wit-
ness. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,
and except a man be born of the Spirit he can-
not enter into the kingdom of God. The wor-
ship of the Holy Spirit is the worship also of the
Holy Father and of the Holy Son.

"I worship thee, O Holy Ghost,

I love to worship thee;
My risen Lord for aye were lost
But for thy company.

"I worship thee, O Holy Ghost,

I love to worship thee ;
With thee each day is Pentecost,
Each night Nativity."

Now the krvowledge which the Holy Spirit TheHoiy
gives in communion is the privilege of seeing spirit enables

1 T-' 1 1 1 o 1 i US to see God

the rather and the Son as thev see us, behold- , •

■' ' as he ts,

ing us with infinite love and bestowing upon us
infinite grace. To know God is to experience
God, is to possess Christ, is to be able to sa}^
"Abba, Father." He, the Spirit of all truth,
shows us the truth as it is in Jesus. He reveals
the mystery hid from the foundation of the
world that God was in Christ reconciling the
world unto himself. The very processes of re-

i82 The Deity of the Holy SpirH.

demption become revelations of the Godhead.
The individual or the Church has only so much
of the truth of God as they have of the Spirit of
God. No man can call Jesus Lord save by the
Holy Spirit. When he takes of the things of
Christ and shov\^s them unto us, we are then
taught of God. Only thus can v^^e all come in
the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of
the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the
measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
He who is the eternal bond of love in the Trin-
ity also, and he alone, binds man back to God.
The love of the Spirit is both love awakened by
the Spirit to himself as divine and as holy love
in the soul, the love that constrains to service.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11

Online LibraryE. R. (Eugene Russell) HendrixThe personality of the Holy Spirit → online text (page 9 of 11)