God Was There/God Is Here
Everywhere in the OT, the HS was pointing to Christ; not everything was as it seems.
God was there—Is here/Telling the Story of Jesus
God was there—Telling the Story of Jesus, throughout the history in the Old Testament
Central Idea: Just as…God was there, giving form to the Second Person in the Trinity, so God is here, reforming us into the likeness of Jesus.
I. The Holy Spirit participates in all creative acts.
a. Genesis 1:2—hovering, fluttering over the primordial waters
Genesis 1:2 NASB
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
Gen. 1:2—“flutter”, piel is “hover”
NIDOTTE The Syr. rᵉḥep means to brood, protect.
רָחַף appears only 3x in the OT (pi., Gen 1:2; Deut 32:11; q., Jer 23:9).
In Gen 1:2 it describes the activity/location of the Spirit of God in relationship to the primeval waters at the outset of the creative ordering of this world.
The Song of Moses in Deut 32:11 employs this same vb. to depict the hovering movement of an eagle. This eagle metaphor describes the theophanic presence of Yahweh, the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, as he led Israel through the barren wilderness.
In both instances רָחַף characterizes the activity of the Spirit of God, the first with regard to the creation of the cosmos and the second with regard to the creation of a people.
The Holy Spirit was somehow involved in the incarnation of Jesus.
b. Luke 1:35—overshadowing Mary
“And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.”
You shall conceive…
a. He will overshadow…
b. He will be named…
The HS enabled the incarnation, empowered Jesus, raised Jesus.
c. Matt. 3:16-17--Jesus’s baptism—hovering over the Second Person, as the Father speaks audibly from heaven.
Matthew 3:16-17 NASB
“And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him
and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
John 1:32–34 NASB
“And John bore witness saying, “I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. “And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ “And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.””
d. Acts 2—hovering “as tongues of fire,” over the early disciples, signifying their anointing, similarly
Acts 2:1–3 NASB
“And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.”
2. The Holy Spirit does a similar creative work within us.
a. We are baptized with the Spirit, at our spiritual birth.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NASB
“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
b. He gives us life.
Ephesians 2:4–5 NASB)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…”
c. He produces fruit within us and beyond us.
John 15:1–5 NASB)
““I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Galatians 5:22–23 NASB
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
d. He reproduces Christ within us.
2 Peter 1:2–4 NASB
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
e. He does NOT force all to respond in faith.
Acts—Stephen—you always reject the prophets
(Acts 7:52–53 NASB)
““Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.””
APPLICATION: God is currently at work in similar ways within all who believe in Jesus, the son of God.
1. He has a curious and unique approach to that task in each one of us, such that it looks slightly different shining through each person. He uses a potent brew of extreme circumstance, remarkable insights, and spiritually-gifted people around us, to carry out His good intentions for us.
2. He uses his own distinct ways of working out that plan through us, as the gifts he has given us are designed to aid His work in the people around us.
a. Some of us experience His work as spiritually-single persons. He knows that He can work best in us when we must turn to Him alone for the deepest sort of intimacy and support.
b. Some of us experience His work primarily through conflict and peacemaking.
c. Some of us experience His work primarily through speaking and listening.
Today—he is brooding over us.
1. He broods over us with intimacy and love.
He hovers over us in compassion and care.
He flutters about us leading and guiding through the storms of life.
2. We may be fearful about what life might become if the HS had full freedom to implant Jesus within us, with no resistance.
Mary—“may it be to me as you have said” faith conquered fear
(Luke 1:38 NASB)
“And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
We joyfully proclaim our faith in the mystery of your Godhead. You have revealed your glory as the glory also of your Son and of the Holy Spirit: three Persons equal in majesty, undivided in splendour, yet one Lord, one God, ever to be adored in your everlasting glory. And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven, we proclaim your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise: Holy, Holy, Holy.
5 Dec Advent: John’s kicking in Elizabeth’s womb—HS stimulated JB
God was there, God is here: pointing to Jesus—not to Himself!