Holy Spirit

The Book of Hebrews

The Throne of Grace, Part 4

Theme: A Way Opened to God
This week’s lessons remind us that because God is a God of grace, his throne is also one of grace, which is accessed by prayer through the work of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture: Hebrews 4:16
Yesterday we looked at how God the Father and God the Son are gracious. 
God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also gracious.

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Monday: Wind and Fire

Acts is short for “The Acts of the Apostles.” Yet when we look at the book closely, as we are doing—thinking not just of the historical flow of events and those through whom the Gospel was preached, but also about what was happening theologically—it is evident that Acts is actually a record of the activity of the Holy Spirit in spreading the Gospel through men and women of His choice, so that it could more properly be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Church.”

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Tuesday: The Breath of God

With yesterday’s discussion of “spirit” in mind we can go back to the Old Testament and find some interesting things. For example, at the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” In English the choice of words does not mean a whole lot. We think perhaps of the Holy Spirit as a dove somehow skimming over the waters that were covering the earth at that time. But that is not the idea at all. Rather the Holy Spirit of God is portrayed as God’s breath—as the creative, moving, dynamic breath of God. This breath—this divine, life-giving wind—is what is blowing across the waters at the beginning.

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Wednesday: Filled with the Spirit

When we put our previous discussions of “spirit” together we begin to get a sense of why the image of wind is so important in Acts 2. The text says, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” (v. 2). That sounds very much like the story of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of the earth at creation. So the suggestion is that here, in Acts, we have a new creation as important (more important in many ways) than the original creation of the heavens and the earth. That heaven and earth are destined to pass away, but what is done by the Spirit at Pentecost is eternal and will thereafter last forever.

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Thursday: Fire’s Light

Apart from God’s self-revelation men and women have no more than a faint idea of who God is. But when the Gospel comes there is light. People can see as they could not see before. They can see who God is and what the Gospel is. Perhaps as significant as anything, they can see what they are apart from Jesus Christ and what they can be in Him.

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Friday: Fire’s Warmth

The point is that, when the Holy Spirit comes in power, what we are to have is not some particularly intense experience—speaking in tongues, for example, so that in a miraculous way everybody will hear our words in his or her language—but rather a widespread speaking about Jesus. The point is that everyone will hear as the Gospel spreads through the testimony of those who are obeying the Great Commission. That is what you and I are called upon to do. That is the task to which the Lord Jesus Christ sends us.

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