The work and ministry of The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. He is fully God. He is eternal, omniscient,
omnipresent, has a will, and can speak. He is alive. He is a person. He is not particularly visible in the Bible because His
ministry is to bear witness of Jesus (John 15:26). (CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY )
teachings in John 16.
5:5 "For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has
given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Murray) "God the Father fills our hearts with the Holy Spirit. Likewise the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with
the love of God. As truly as God has given us the Spirit, so truly is the love of God given by the Spirit."
Christians believe it is the Holy Spirit who leads people to faith in Jesus and the one who gives them the ability to lead
a Christian life. The Spirit dwells inside every true Christian, each one's body being His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). He
is depicted as a 'Counsellor' or 'Helper' (paracletus in Latin, derived from Greek), guiding them in the way of the truth.
The Spirit's action in one's life is believed to produce positive results, known as the Fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit is
also believed to give gifts (i.e. abilities) to Christians. These may include the charismatic gifts such as prophecy, tongues,
healing, and knowledge. Click here for further reading.
If the Holy Spirit is God, why didn't he know the
time of Christ's return?
Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32
- "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the
Father alone," (Matt. 24:36).
- "But of that day or hour no one knows,
not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone," (Mark 13:32).
There are two possible answers here.
First, Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9) and during His ministry in Jerusalem, He was cooperating with the limitations of being a man. As a man, Jesus walked
and talked. As God He was worshipped (Matt. 14:33; 28:9; Heb. 1:6), prayed to (Zech. 13:9; 1 Cor. 1:2), etc. This is called the Hypostatic Union.
Since he was operating as a man, under the law (Gal. 4:4), it might very well be that Jesus was referencing the Father as the proper sovereign as only as a good Jew would have done.
Second, cultural context is very important. This passage is about Jesus' return which included
getting the bride, the church and then the wedding feast would occur.
us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready,8
And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the
saints. 9 And he *said to me, "Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the
Lamb," (Rev. 19:7-9).
If we were to look at the cultural context, we can get a much better understanding of what was Jesus may have been alluding
to when he said that only the Father knows.
In that historical and cultural context when a man
was going to marry a woman, it was usually prearranged. The bridegroom would be living with his family and he would
begin to build an addition onto his father's house where he and his future wife would live. It was the custom for the
father of the home to be the one who designated when the addition was finished. This meant that only the father knew when
the son would be told to go get the bride. But, does this mean that the son would not know when he had to go to get
the bride? Not necessarily, and this is why.
A wedding was a community affair where many many
people would be invited. This required advance notice so that people could allot the necessary time to attend the wedding
and wedding feast. This means that some would have to put their animals away for the day, not work in the field that day,
not have business dealings that day, et cetera. In a culture where there is no Internet, phone, or radio, things
were done well in advance so that people could plan ahead.
Furthermore, a wedding feast
also meant that large amounts of food would have to be prepared in order for all the guests to have something to eat. These
kinds of arrangements were not done on the spur of the moment. The arrangements were done weeks, sometimes months in advance.
Therefore, to alleviate anyone missing the wedding feast due to a spontaneous invitation that they could not attend, arrangements
were made well in advance.
But, in order to maintain the respect and dignity of the father's
place in the home, it would naturally be said "that only the father knows" when it would be time for the son to
go get the bride. This did not necessitate at the sun did not know because the community would have to know within a
reasonable degree of accuracy when the wedding would occur. Therefore, Jesus may have been alluding to the phraseology
housed in the wedding and wedding feast culture that did not necessarily mean he did not know or the Holy Spirit did not know
the time of his return.
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