This the 22th installment of 52 reviewing RA Torrey’s 1898 publication What The Bible Teaches. See all of Lex’s posts here. A PDF copy of the book can be downloaded here. You are welcome and encouraged to join the discussion in your comments to these posts.
THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The third Book of Torrey’s “What the Bible Teaches” concerns the Holy Spirit, after Books One and Two discussed The Father and The Son respectively. He now addresses the Holy Spirit as a part of the Godhead, as being really God. Which may seem a tad superfluous since it appears obvious that we’re talking about God who created all things, revealed Himself to His creation and Man, and moves on the earth to accomplish his will. It may seem obvious because the Holy Spirit is the member of the Godhead that we are most intimate with. After all He dwells inside every Believer. You can’t get more intimate with God than that!
But Torry marshals an array of Scriptures to show that indeed the Holy Spirit that indwells us and opens our eyes to Spiritual truths is indeed the all powerful and magnificent God, in person. In this brief chapter Torrey shows through the Spirit’s divine attributes and divine works that He indeed is truly God.
Some of my favorite verses are displayed, Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Yes, it is the Spirit of God dwelling in your mortal body! Is that wonderful or what!
And John 16:12-13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” If we are attentive to hearing His voice we can be sure of following His truth. The Scriptures become alive, vibrant, exciting! It doesn’t however give us license to proclaim any fabulous story our imagination can conceive, like so many false prophets have done and are still doing. We must be very careful that we are listening for His voice and not giving voice to our own willful desires.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Isaiah. Primarily because a vast majority is the voice of the Lord Himself proclaiming his salvation and judgement on mankind and the earth. Its not a person saying this is what the Lord is doing, but the words come from God’s own mouth, there is no mistaking what He is telling us. Secondly there are so many fabulous references in Isaiah about the promise of the Messiah, foretelling what Jesus, His Son, is going to go through and what He will accomplish. And what His Spirit will do. Torrey mentions a couple (Is. 6:3, and 6:8-10), but I’d included Isaiah 48:16 “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit.” And not least the words He quotes from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the Synagogue at the beginning of His public ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD . . . “
The Spirit would lead our Lord Jesus to the very end, and Jesus submitted because He knew the magnificent outcome, liberty to the captives, freedom to prisoners, forgiveness of sin. With that Spirit indwelling we should be excited and confident that He can bring us where He wants us to go. All the way to the end.
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]