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July 12 I Sunday

Psalms 4-6

Acts 17:16-34

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever—the Spirit of truth.”    —John 14:16-17

 

The relationship between the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of Christ is vitally important. From the opening verse of this devotion, the Greek word used to describe “another” advocate is állos, which means “another of the same sort.” An alternate word that could be used for “another” is heteros, which means
“another of a different sort.”

To illustrate the difference, if we held a teaspoon in our hand and asked someone to bring us another spoon using the word heteros, they might bring us a tablespoon. This is another spoon but of a different kind. If we used the word állos, we would be brought a teaspoon because we would be asking for a spoon identical to the one in our hand. The Holy Spirit’s identity and ministry is állos, meaning the same as the identity and ministry of Jesus Christ. There is no discrepancy, conflict
or dispute of any kind between the work of Christ and the work of the Spirit.

Scripture sometimes interchanges the expressions “Christ in us” and the “Spirit in us.” This is not to indicate a dual presence in the life of a Christian with Christ and the Spirit maintaining separate identities and fulfilling separate roles. It is the Holy Spirit who lives the life of Jesus Christ within us
and who desires to express the character of Jesus Christ through us. The Spirit’s presence and working is entirely Christ-centred and Christ-related.

The Spirit’s teaching will not be original, but it will be the truth of Christ. Jesus told His disciples, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you”
(John 16:13-14).
The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to exalt Christ in our lives, to make us Christ-conscious and to lead us into Christ-centred living. The Holy Spirit points us to Christ so that we may know Him and through Christ, we may know the Father.

The reality of our spiritual lives will be found in our knowledge of Christ, and the evidence of our spiritual lives will be found in our likeness—állos—to Christ.
We must be very careful of a Christianity that is centred on the Spirit’s power, but is detached from Christ’s character. The Spirit is the messenger, the revealer of Christ Jesus, who draws us to Him, and creates a deep love for Christ in our hearts and an expression of Christ’s beauty in our characters.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, words cannot express how thankful I am to know You. As You minister to me through Your Spirit, may I be a witness of Your character to others. Amen!


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