Is Jesus there?

This is the foundational question that needs to be asked when one is speaking about a Spirit-filled life or church. Lots of things pass or are claimed as works/movements of the Spirit these days, but Christ does not seem to be as prevalent as the claims are common. A (perhaps the) key work of the Holy Spirit is to point to Christ (John 15.26, 16.8-14). J. I. Packer writes

It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over on Jesus, who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is never, ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,’ but always, ‘Look at him and see him, and see his glory; get to know him, and hear his word; go to him, and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace.’

I live in Edinburgh, and the castle stands in the middle of the city elevated on a hill. Every evening it is illuminated by multiple spotlights. I never see anyone looking at the spotlights and ignoring the castle towering above them, that would be silly. The Holy Spirit has a spotlight ministry on Christ. Now, this isn’t to say we ignore the Spirit, that is too common already, but rather that we better understand one of the key roles of the Spirit. If a person or church is labelled as ‘Spirit-filled’ and Christ is not the centre of attention, then we completely misunderstand the work of the Spirit.

As an aside, it is quite interesting seeing something of the parallel hightlight ministry of John the Baptizer in regards to Christ, and the Spirit in regards to Christ.

John’s witness: Jesus is the Light (Jn 1.6-8); Jesus is preeminent (Jn 1.15); Jesus is the Son of God (Jn 1.32-34); John gave testimony to the truth, and his testimony was true (Jn 5.33-36, 10.41).

The Spirit’s witness: Jesus is preeminent (Jn 16.14); Jesus is the Son of God/Messiah (1 Jn 4.1-2, 5.6); Spirit guides you into truth and is truth (Jn 16.13, 1 Jn 5.6).

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