Glorious Spirit (Part Four)

By Andy Reeves


What implications does the Father glorifying the Holy Spirit have on our lives in this world? There are four essential areas that understanding the Father glorifies the Holy Spirit impacts. The fact that the Father glorifies the Holy Spirit should impact a pastor’s preaching ministry, a believer’s sanctification, a believer’s hope in Christ, and the presence of God in church life. (However, in this post we will look at the pastor’s preaching ministry and sanctification).

Pastor’s Preaching Ministry

When Jesus carried out his ministry of preaching, teaching, and instructing his disciples he never spoke on his own authority, but only spoke what he heard from the Father. In the same way, when the Holy Spirit came He did not speak on his own authority, but spoke under the authority of the Father and the Son, and only spoke what He heard from them.

If God the Son and God the Holy Spirit did not speak other than what they heard from the Father, so too should pastors not speak other than what they see in Scripture. A pastor should not speak beyond scripture because the Word of God is God the Son and the Word of God was written by men carried along by the Holy Spirit.[1]

In John 5:39, Jesus states that the scriptures “bear witness about me.” And in John 1, John makes it clear that Jesus is the Word of God because He was with God in the beginning, created all things, possessed life within Himself, and was the light of men. The scriptures in their totality bear witness to God’s work of redemption accomplished by Christ on the cross, and applied to believers by the Holy Spirit. If the scriptures are the Word of God and they are inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, then pastors have no other authority upon which they may build their ministry.

A pastor’s ministry should be filled with representing the glory of God to his congregation, but this can only occur through the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. “Through the Spirit we become not only messengers of God’s grace but also bearers of God’s glory.”[2] 2 Corinthians 3:4-18 informs pastors that the ministry of the Holy Spirit far exceeds that of the old covenant. The old covenant was brought to an end, now the Spirit’s ministry is active in the world and it is slowly bringing people to a knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Believer’s Sanctification

The Holy Spirit’s glorification by God the Father plays a major role in each believer’s sanctification. As the Spirit carries out the work of sanctification he does so as the “Spirit of glory.”[3] As seen in Romans 8:14-17, God the Father glorifies the Holy Spirit because He leads us in our Christian walk. We know that because the Holy Spirit leads us that we are children of God, heirs with Christ, and that this will result in our glorification. “What Paul is asserting is that our adoption as sons and daughters of God is inseparably tied to the gift of the Spirit, who confirms and ratifies our inclusion in the family of God.

By virtue of our adoption and election as children of God we are given the Holy Spirit to seal within us the benefits of Christ’s redemption. The Holy Spirit is both the means by which we realize our kinship with God and the evidential corroboration of the status conferred on us by God.”[4] Now, how does this help in the believer’s sanctification? This knowledge helps believers know that the sanctifying process is preparing them to be glorified with Christ. If the Spirit leads them to increase in holiness it means they have received the Spirit and are growing in their commitment to Christ. If a believer cries out in prayer, “Abba, Father” it means God is their Father, and that the Holy Spirit within them is the Spirit of God guiding them to cry out to their heavenly Father. “How do “we” know that we are God’s children? Because by inspiring us to cry “Abba-Father,” the Spirit of God thereby bears witness with us that we belong to God as his children.”[5] This means that believers should never lose hope in God’s purposes for their lives. For God uses all of life to sanctify, cleanse and purify a believer so that they may be conformed into the image of the Son.

[1] John 1; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

[2] Donald G. Bloesch, The Holy Spirit: Works & Gifts (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2005), 289.

[3] 1 Peter 4:14b.

[4] Bloesch, The Holy Spirit, 313.

[5] Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 567-568.

Andrew Reeves is married to Hannah, an Arkansas native, and a student at SBTS.

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