Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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WHY IS THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLED HOLY?
But ye have an unction from the Holy One.
1 John 2:20
Why is the Holy Spirit called holy? Surely, the explanation is that it is His special work to produce holiness and order in all that He does in the application of Christ’s work of salvation. His objective is to produce holiness, and He does that in nature and creation, as well as in human beings. But His ultimate work is to make us a holy people, holy as the children of God. It is also probable that He is described as the Holy Spirit in order to differentiate Him from the other spirits—the evil spirits. That is why we are told to test the spirits and to prove them and to know whether they are of God or not (1 John 4:1).
Then the next great question is the personality or the personhood of the Spirit. The personhood of the Holy Spirit is not only forgotten by those whom we describe as liberals or modernists in their theology, but we ourselves are often guilty of precisely the same thing. I have heard most orthodox people referring to the Holy Spirit and His work as “it” and “its” influence and so on, as if the Holy Spirit were nothing but an influence or a power. And hymns, too, frequently make the same mistake. There is a confusion about the Holy Spirit, and I am sure there is a sense in which many of us find it a little more difficult to conceive of the third person in the blessed Holy Trinity than to conceive of the Father or the Son.
Why is there this tendency to think of Him as a force or an influence or an emanation? There are a number of answers to that question, but they are not good reasons. His work seems to be impersonal because it is a kind of mystical and secret work. He produces graces and fruits; He gives us gifts, and He gives us various powers. And because of that, we tend to think of Him as if He were some influence. I am sure that this is a great part of the explanation.
A Thought to Ponder
His special work is to produce holiness.
From God the Holy Spirit, p. 8.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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