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Monday, December 07, 2009

The Work of the Holy Spirit

John Piper had some interesting insights into the work of the Holy Spirit, whose role in the Trinity is often misunderstood. He writes...
"A recent book calls the Holy Spirit the shy member of the Trinity. His ministry is to point away from himself to the wonder of God the Son and God the Father... When Jesus promised the Spirit (in John 16:14), he said, "He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you." The Spirit is ... self-effacing. When we look toward him, he steps back and pushes forward Jesus Christ.

Therefore, in seeking to be filled and empowered by the Spirit  we must pursue him indirectly - we must look to the wonder of Christ. If we look away from Jesus and seek the Spirit and his power directly, we will end up in the mire of our own subjective emotions. The Spirit does not reveal himself. The Spirit reveals Christ... Christian spiritual experience is not a vague religious emotion. It is an emotion with objective content, and the content is Jesus Christ."

[from sermon: "Christ Conceived by the Holy Spirit", by John Piper, 3/11/84]

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Travels: Curved Stairways

The architecture of Paris is stunning. I could spend a month just walking around appreciating the intricate architectural beauty of the city... interspersed with sidewalk cafes, books, public fountains and people watching. A feature I especially identify with Paris is the interior curved staircase. I find them visually fascinating and thought I'd share a few shots with you. Aren't they beautiful? And you wonder how French women stay thin!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Advent: Tabernacled Among Us

Now that December is here, I've started reading through a series of writings and sermons centered upon the 1st Advent of Christ. I thought I would share excerpts with you as we advance towards the celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior. Since the Monday Night Ladies have so frequently discussed the Tabernacle in our OT studies, I thought they, in particular, would appreciate the following passage:

John 1:14 "the Word dwelt among us", literally, "tabernacled among us," which means, "he pitched a tent among us." The OT tabernacle is where God moved in and lived with his people ...

The tabernacle was where God met with men: "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6).

The tabernacle was the center of Israel's camp, a gathering place for God's people: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:32)

The tabernacle was where sacrifices for the sins of God's people were made: "But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God." (Hebrews 10:12)

The tabernacle was a place of worship: "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and My God' " (John 20:28)

Just as the tabernacle in the wilderness contained and displayed God's glory (Exodus 40:34-35), even more do we behold "the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). Moses sought to look upon the glory of God, and was warned by God himself not to look (Exodus 33:18-20); but we have the privilege of looking upon the face of the Word of God, upon Jesus by faith through his Word. Later, one day, by sight we will see the face of Jesus, who will be the full revelation of God and manifestation of his glory."

[from That You May Believe: New Life in the Son, Joseph R. Ryan]