The Spirit brings us to Jesus
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‘He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.’ (Jn. 16:14).
The main focus throughout the Book of Revelation inspired by the sevenfold Spirit is on the Lord Jesus himself. The Spirit’s primary work is to get God’s people to fix their hearts and minds upon Christ. Hence, we have these magnificent, awe inspiring introductions to the churches, ‘These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands’; ‘These are the words of him who is the first and the last, who died and came to life again’; ‘These are the words of him who has a sharp, double edged sword’; ‘These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.’
This is how C.H. Spurgeon describes this particular Christ honouring role of the Spirit: ‘It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ….We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking to Jesus.’’
The Holy Spirit is like the sun, we are not meant to look directly at him, but by him look to Jesus and understand everything else in his light. Robert Murray M’Cheyne captures this thought perfectly, ‘Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief. Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in His beams. Feel His all-seeing eye settle on you in love, and repose in his mighty arms…Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him.’
This has a transforming effect. The Spirit changes us by this message in order to become more like the one who is the content and the originator of the message, the Lord Jesus Christ. Kevin J Vanhoozer writes: ‘Scripture is both the cradle where the incarnate Christ lies and the sceptre by which the ascended Christ now rules the church.’ The exercise of that sceptre of the ascended Christ is very much in evidence in the seven letters, but not only those, the whole of the Apocalypse is in one sense the sceptre extended to God’s people everywhere at everytime. Its purpose is twofold: to inform us about Christ and to form Christ in us.
Heavenly Father, we would see Jesus. Our natural eyes fail us, open the eyes of our heart by the illuminating work of your Holy Spirit we pray that we may relish Christ as the supreme reality, delight in mercy, rejoice in his wisdom and grace and in so doing become increasingly conformed to his likeness. Amen.
Pray with us today's prayer request:The Gafcon Primates are meeting online on April 21 and 22. They have a large agenda. Please pray for Archbishop Foley chairing. Thank God for these leaders and pray for wisdom, patience, humility, clarity, and joy as they take counsel together.
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