Holy Spirit and the work of Redemption

When God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man by saving sinners through His grace, He appointed two great means:

The Giving of His Son for man.

The Giving of His Spirit to man.

God’s saving work does not end with our salvation from hell; this is only the beginning. In His great covenant within the Godhead, God has determined Himself, and the Son has agreed and the Spirit has agreed. He decided to send the Son to perform the work of redemption, and to send the Holy Spirit in for all whom He wished to save.

The Spirit is not absent from the redemptive life or the ministry of Christ. Not only was Jesus Christ sent to perform the work, but the Holy Spirit came with the Son and He was the Son’s power while He was on earth. God wished the power to be demonstrated by the Spirit to portray that a man could become a perfect man, livingupon this earth a perfect life and to be a perfect redemption for sin and for men. Our Lord came to us as the Son of God, and He relied upon the Holy Spirit. Occasionally, there were evidences of the manifestation of His divine nature within His life. There are experiences described in the Word of God, through the words the Lord used, which imply a manifestation of His divine nature. However, the striking thing about our Lord is within the power of the Spirit carrying out His ministry.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:18-20)

The foetus in Mary’s womb was from God, the Holy Spirit. This is a reference to the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The same reference is written in Luke.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:31-35)

We can read, from the scriptures above, that the Holy Spirit had a part in the humanity of Jesus.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptised of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptised of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptised, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:13-17)

In this passage, we have one of those amazing conjunctions of the Godhead, for the Father speaks from Heaven to the Son, who has come out of the waters of baptism. The third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is seen coming upon Him as a dove, anointing Him for His Messianic ministry. The Holy Spirit is not only active in the birth of our Lord, but He is active in His Messianic ministry.

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness… (Luke 4:1)

In this passage, the Spirit is responsible for the guidance put upon Him in this effect: “Now is the time for you to go into the wilderness in order to have the experience of the temptation”. We see that our Lord is a man relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. (Luke 4:14)

This affirms that the Spirit is leading our Lord into His ministry.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28)

Our Lord gives us a statement that pertains to His mighty works, which are said to be done by the Holy Spirit. In connection with this, His teaching is also by the Spirit.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18)

Jesus said that His preaching was Spirit-directed. Therefore, in the case of our Lord, His works were done in the power of the Spirit. He was born through the Spirit, He was baptised, and the Spirit came upon Him. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, He was led out of the Wilderness by the Spirit, He did His mighty works in the power of the Spirit, and He taught in the power of the Spirit. Considering this, you would expect that there would be some reference to the Spirit’s work when our Lord died upon the Cross. Surprisingly, as far as I know, there is no text in the Bible that says He died on the Cross in the power of the Spirit. There is a text in Hebrews, but it is probably not a reference to the Holy Spirit.

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

Why is there no reference in the Bible to the Spirit’s work in our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross? One can see that the Holy Spirit was active in the work of redemption, for the Spirit guided and directed our Lord. The Spirit worked in His work and was involved in His teachings.

Categories: Theology

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