Honoring The Spirit
It seems fitting that we should close this lengthy discussion upon the Person, office, and operations of the Holy Spirit by dwelling upon what is due Him from those in whom He has wrought so graciously, for it is very evident that some recognition and response must be made Him by us. There is, however, the more need for us to write something thereon, because there are quite a number who belong to a company which refrains from all direct worship of the Third Person in the Godhead, deeming it unscriptural and incongruous to do so. It seems strange that the very ones who claim to give the Spirit a freer and fuller place in their meetings than any branch of Christendom, should, at he same time, demur at prayer being immediately directed to Him. Yet it is so: some of them refuse to sing the Doxology because it ends with "Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
From time to time one and another of our readers have written, taking exception to occasional statements made by us, such as "what praise is due the Spirit for His grace and goodness unto us!" challenging us to point to any definite passage wherein we are bidden to worship or pray to the Spirit distinctively. First, let us point out that there are many things clearly impliedin Scripture which are not formally and expressly stated, and to assert we must for that reason reject them is absurd—some have refused the canonicity of the book of Esther because the name of God is not found therein, yet His superintending Providence, His overruling power, His faithfulness and goodness, shine forth in each chapter! We build not our faith on any isolated texts, but on the Word of God as a whole, rightly and spiritually interpreted.
We have begun thus not because we are unable to find any definite statements in the Word which obviously warrant the position we have taken, but because we deemed it well to refute an erroneous principle. Even if there were no clear cases recorded of prayer and praise being offered immediately to the Holy Spirit, we should surely require some strong positive proof to show the Spirit is not to be supplicated. But where, we ask, is there anything in Holy Writ which informs us that one Person in the Godhead must be excluded from the praises that we make unto the Lord?
Here we are meeting the objector on his own ground: if what we are about to advance fails to convince him, he must at least allow that he knows of no texts which refute or condemn us, no verse which warns us against rendering to the blessed Spirit that recognition and honor to which we consider He is fully entitled.
Worshipping the Spirit as a Member of the Trinity
"Thou shalt fear (worship—Matthew 4:10) the LORD thy God, and serve Him" (Deut. 6:13). Now the Lord our God is a Unity in Trinity, that is, He subsists in three Persons who are co-essential and co-glorious. Therefore the Holy Spirit, equally with the Father and the Son, is entitled to and must receive devout homage, for we are here commanded to render the same to Him. This is confirmed by the "holy, holy, holy," of Isaiah 6:3, where we find the seraphim owning separately and worshipping distinctively the Eternal Three. The words that follow in verse 8, "Who will go for Us?" make it quite clear that the threefold "holy" was ascribed to the Blessed Trinity. Still further confirmation is found in Acts 28:25, 26, where the Apostle prefaces his quotation of Isaiah 6:9 with "well spake the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the Prophet." If, then, the angels ascribe glory and render worship to the Holy Spirit, shall we, who have been regenerated by Him, do less!?
"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker" (Ps. 95:6). Who is our "Maker?" Perhaps you answer, Christ, the eternal Word, of whom it is said, "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3 and cf. Col. 1:16). That is true, yet Christ is not our "Maker" (either naturally or spiritually) to the exclusion of the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Godhead, equally with the Father and the Son, is our "Maker." In proof of this assertion we quote, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the Breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4). Let the reader carefully compare Job 26:13 with Psalm 33:6. Let it also be duly noted that this 95th Psalm (vv. 7-11) is quoted in Hebrews 3:7-11 and prefaced with, "Wherefore as the Holy Spirit saith." Thus not only may we worship the blessed Spirit, but here in Psalm 95:6 we are commanded to do so.
It does indeed seem strange that any professing Christian should raise any objection and question the propriety of worshipping the Spirit. Are we not to acknowledge our dependence upon and obligations unto the Holy Spirit? Surely! surely! He is as much the Object of faith as is the Father and the Son: He is so in His Being and perfections, His Deity and personality, His offices and operations. Moreover, there are particular acts of trust and confidence to be exercised on Him. As He is God, He is to be worshipped, and that cannot be done aright without faith. We are to trust Him for His help in prayer and the discharge of every duty! We are to exercise confidence that He will complete the good work which He has begun in us. Especially should ministers of the Word look to Him for His help in and blessing upon their labors.
"Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the Wind (Breath), prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live" (Ezek. 37:9). We sincerely trust that none of our readers will suppose that the Lord bade His servant to perform an idolatrous act by invoking the literal "wind."
No, a comparison of verses 9 and 10 with verse 14 shows plainly that it wasthe Holy Spirit Himself who was referred to—see John 3:8. Nor does this passage stand alone. In Song of Solomon 4:16 we find the Spouse praying to the Spirit for renewal and revival: "Awake, O north Wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out." She expressed her desires metaphorically, but this is what she breathed after. It is the Spirit of life, then, we should always apply to for quickening, for the enlivening and exciting of His graces in us. (Please click here to continue reading, "Honoring the Spirit")