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John Piper – The Spirit and the Incarnation

21 Dec

In seeking to be filled and empowered by the Spirit we must pursue him indirectly—we must look to the wonder of Christ. If we look away from Jesus and seek the Spirit and his power directly, we will end up in the mire of our own subjective emo- tions. The Spirit does not reveal himself. The Spirit reveals Christ. The fullness of the Spirit is the fullness that he gives as we gaze on Christ. The power of the Spirit is the power we feel in the presence of Christ. The joy of the Spirit is the joy we feel from the promises of Christ. Many of us know what it is to crouch on the floor and cry out to the Holy Spirit for joy and power, and experience nothing; but the next day devote ourselves to earnest meditation on the glory of Jesus Christ and be filled with the Spirit.

Devote yourselves to seeing and feeling the grandeur of the love of God in Jesus Christ and you will be so in harmony with the Holy Spirit that his power will flow mightily in your life. Chris- tian spiritual experience is not a vague religious emotion. It is an emotion with objective content, and the content is Jesus Christ. The shy member of the Trinity does mighty work, but he never puts himself in the limelight. You might say he is the limelight that puts the attributes of God the Father and the person of Christ into sharp relief.

Therefore, when the time came for the eternal Son of God to be sent by his Father into the world, the work of the Holy Spirit was a quiet, unobtrusive work in the service of the Father and the Son. Through him the Father caused the Son to be conceived in Mary the virgin. So from the very beginning of Christ’s incarnation the Holy Spirit was quietly doing what needed to be done to put forward Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of man.

~John Piper~

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2008) p. 30-31.

Adapted from “Christ Conceived by the Holy Spirit,” sermon by John Piper, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, March 11, 1984. The complete text of this sermon is available at: http://www. Spirit/.

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Other Piper Quotes at the Cross Quoter

D.A. Carson – From Duty to Delight

27 Sep

Christianity is never merely a matter of rules and regulations, of public liturgy and private morality. Biblical Christianity results in transformed men and women—men and women who, because of the power of the Spirit of God, enjoy regenerated natures. We want to please God, we want to be holy, we want to confess Jesus is Lord. In short, because of the grace secured by Christ’s cross, we ourselves experience something of a transforming moral imperative: the sins we once loved we learn to fear and hate, the obedience and holiness we once despised we now hunger for. God help us, we are woefully inconsistent in all this, but we have already tasted enough of the powers of the age to come that we know what a transforming moral imperative feels like in our lives, and we long for its perfection at the final triumph of Christ.

~D. A. Carson~

Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2010) p. 31-32

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John Piper – How Can You Be Filled With the Holy Spirit?

7 Jun

We are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). How does the Spirit come? In Galatians 3:2, Paul asks, “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?” The answer, of course, is “by hearing with faith.” Hearing what? The Word of God!

The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore goes where the Word goes. The more of God’s Word you know and love, the more of God’s Spirit you will experience. Instead of being drunk on wine, we should be drunk on the Spirit. How? By setting our minds on the things of the Spirit: “Those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).

What are the things of the Spirit? When Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit,” he was referring to his own Spirit-inspired teachings (2:13). Therefore, above all, the teachings of Scripture are the “things of the Spirit.” We drink in the Spirit by setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, namely, the Word of God. And the fruit of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22).

~John Piper~

Desiring God (Wheaton, Illinois; Crossway Books; 2011) p. 148-149.

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John Stott – Why Care About Historical Theology?

6 Jun

To be disrespectful of tradition and historical theology is to be disrespectful of the Holy Spirit who has been actively enlightening the church in every century.

~John Stott~

The Cross of Christ (Colorado Springs, Colorado; Navpress; 2011) p. 18

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Jerry Bridges – Spiritual Gifts and the Fruit of the Spirit

2 May

I often hear a certain possessiveness today about “my spiritual gifts.” Certainly, we can be thankful that in the last generation there has been a thriving literature on spiritual gifts. But again, sometimes there is a self-focus for the gifts. We use “assessment instruments” to nail down what our gifts are and seek to use them in a way that can tend toward personal fulfillment. The danger is that the gifts of the Spirit will be separated from the fruit of the Spirit. This can lead to prideful ambition rather than humble, loving service. Sinclair B. Ferguson writes that the fruit of the Spirit “should be distinguished from the gifts of the Spirit, but ought never to be absent in their exercise. For without love, and the humility which accompanies it… the purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is thwarted.”

~Jerry Bridges~

The Fruitful Life (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2006) p. 8-9

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