Pentecost 2019: In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day – A. Kuyper

rev1-10

Like him [the apostle John], we must be caught up in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.

…With the exertion of all their strength in their divine calling, but at the same time being diligent in their calling in this world while simultaneously being ‘in the Spirit,’ are two things that are mutually exclusive. The most we can ordinarily achieve is that in the context of our daily work and all our troubles is that the Spirit of God supports us and guards us, maintains and warns us, stimulates and inspires us, and protects us from destruction.

But to realize something greater and higher as our basic condition all day long, and not just during the moments we pray, so that everything working together serves that purpose, we need the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day. This means that we need a day when the Lord works in a special way and when we are still. To that end, two things are true simultaneously. First, the Sabbath serves to bring us into the Spirit. Next, being in the Spirit is the only thing that makes the Sabbath a reality for the Christian.

When those converge and complement one another, the Sabbath encircles us with a quiet freedom, and we find ourselves in the Spirit. That’s when we hear behind us that voice that sounds like a loud trumpet. It is clear and penetrating. Then our soul experiences a blessed fellowship as he lays his right hand on us and tenderly says: ‘Don’t be afraid, for behold, I was also once dead but am now alive. Yes, I live eternally, and no one else but I holds the keys of death and hell.’

This is when there is Sabbath in us and around us!

This is to receive the eternal Sabbath already in this life.

The prayer rising from the hearts of God’s children is that that Sabbath might increase in their lives.

honey from the rock-ak-2018Taken from the new translation by James A. De Jong of Abraham Kuyper’s Honey from the Rock (Lexham Press, 2018), pp.376-78.

This particular meditation (#11 of Volume 2) is titled “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” and is based on Revelation 1:10  – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”

Pentecost: “From first to last… the Spirit says, ‘Jesus.’ – S.Ferguson

In Christ Alone - SFergusonOn this Pentecost Sunday evening we go backwards in Sinclair Ferguson’s book In Christ Alone (Reformation Trust, 2007), in order to post a section from one of his chapters treating the Holy Spirit and Pentecost.

This quotation is from chapter 18, “Seeing Jesus – At Pentecost”, where Ferguson points out that the coming of the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Pentecost (the OT feast) was a work of the risen and ascended Christ, and that the Spirit’s work is to make Jesus and His saving work visible.

This is his third and final point about this proper relationship:

Third, Pentecost was the firstfruits of the fulfillment of Jesus’ own promise about the ministry of the Spirit: ‘And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment’ (John 16:8). Jesus’ own explanation of this is illuminating. The Spirit will convict the world ‘of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged’ (John 16:9-11). The conviction mentioned in this promise is related to the way the Spirit reveals Jesus himself. The Spirit makes it evident that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Father to whom He has returned, the One who defeated Satan by defeating death as the wages of sin. From first to last, then, the Spirit says, ‘Jesus.’

Is there any pastoral value to this biblical theology? Yes, indeed. One hundred and twenty men and women were full of Christ. They were overwhelmed with a sense of His exaltation and enthronement, absolutely assured that He is reigning and will reign throughout the world. They had a heartfelt certainty that if God had kept this, the greatest of His promises, He would keep all of His promises.

Somewhere along the line, many Christians have lost this sense of the exaltation, enthronement, and triumph of Christ. We need to grasp that Jesus’ coronation has taken place. He is already enthroned. That is why we are to go into the world with the good news – in the power of the Holy Spirit (Kindle ed.).

Pentecost Meditation – “The Spirit of Jesus”

holy-spirit-pentecost-1On this Pentecost Sunday we post another prayer/devotional from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by A.Bennett (Banner of Truth, 1975). This one is titled “The Spirit of Jesus”, and is a fitting prayer for us to make personally as we remember our Lord’s gift of the Holy Spirit to His church and people.

LORD JESUS CHRIST,

Fill me with thy Spirit
that I may be occupied with his presence.

I am blind — send him to make me see;
dark — let him say, ‘Let there be light’!

May he give me faith to behold
my name engraven in thy hand,
my soul and body redeemed by thy blood,
my sinfulness covered by the life of
pure obedience.

Replenish me by his revealing grace,
that I may realise my indissoluble union with thee;
that I may know thou hast espoused me
to thyself for ever,
in righteousness, love, mercy, faithfulness;
that I am one with thee,
as a branch with its stock, as a building
with its foundation.

May his comforts cheer me in my sorrows,
his strength sustain me in my trials,
his blessings revive me in my weariness,
his presence render me a fruitful tree of holiness,
his might establish me in peace and joy,
his incitements make me ceaseless in prayer,
his animation kindle in me undying devotion.

Send him as the searcher of my heart,
to show me more of my corruptions
and helplessness
that I may flee to thee,
cling to thee,
rest on thee,
as the beginning and end of my salvation.

May I never vex him by my indifference
and waywardness,
grieve him by my cold welcome,
resist him by my hard rebellion.

Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for thy great name’s sake.