Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Romans 8:5-8 – The Things of the Spirit

Paul reminded the Romans that the possession of spiritual life will result in changed thinking, and this new way of thinking focuses on the things of the Spirit. What did Paul have in mind by the things of the Spirit?

One answer to the question is that the Spirit wants us to think about Jesus. Remember what Jesus said in John 14:25-26 to the apostles: ‘These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ The Spirit’s task was to instruct them in the things of Christ, and what they were reminded of has been given to us in the New Testament.

So the Spirit instructs us about Jesus through the Bible, from both the Old and New Testaments. The writers of the New Testament show us how to find Jesus in the Old, and there are numerous pictures and prophecies of him there. In addition, we have the amazing accounts of what Jesus said and did recorded in the Gospels and these are worked out in the epistles. In particular, the Spirit delights to enlighten us about the cross and what took place there when Jesus suffered for our sins, and he delights to tell us about the exaltation of Jesus which commenced with his resurrection.

Of course, the Holy Spirit is not limited to bringing us things about Jesus, for he also teaches us to think about God the Father and also about himself. And as with the things of Christ, there is a vast range to focus on. We can think about the Father's attributes and his promises. There are too many to mention here, but we can ask the Holy Spirit to bring an attribute of God or a promise of God to our minds so that we can think about them.

The Holy Spirit can also remind us of what he does for us and in us. Indeed, many such things are mentioned in this chapter of Romans. He gives us assurance, he stimulates us to pray, he makes us like Jesus, he gives us beautiful characteristics, he works twenty-fours a day to sanctify us, he gives us spiritual gifts, and he brings the Bible to our minds, with its many promises and requirements.

Great blessing is the outcome of setting our minds on the things of the Spirit.

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