A part of the Godhead we are often confused about and even, at times, uncomfortable with is the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, the role of the Holy Spirit is often misunderstood, shortened, or taken too far. Sometimes, the role of the Holy Spirit is so minimized that He becomes an afterthought. Do you think that is the appropriate way to think of God? How should I see the Holy Spirit?
In Ephesians 1:3-14, you have a section relating to our salvation. In this section, you can notice that verses 3-6 emphasize God the Father’s part - He is the planner. Second, you can see that verses 7-12 emphasize the Son’s part - He is the purchaser. Third, you can notice that verses 13-14 emphasize the Spirit’s part - He is the perfecter. The Holy Spirit is the perfecter of salvation. He is like a maestro who skillfully executes a beautifully written composition. Like at the theater, when we admire the maestro and their skillful execution of the piece, we ought to admire the Spirit and His skillful perfecting of our salvation. At first, this might seem odd - perfecting salvation? Let us look at three things the Holy Spirit does and note how this perfects us and our salvation.
First, let us consider the Holy Spirit’s work of informing. Many today claim to receive information from the Holy Spirit in miraculous or direct ways. This is so prevalent that we might even be urged to think the Holy Spirit does not inform us today. The thing is, the Holy Spirit does inform us today - He just does not send new revelation. In John 14:26, Jesus told the apostles about the Holy Spirit. The Father would send him, and He was coming to “teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” In John 16:13, Jesus further informed the apostles that the Holy Spirit would “guide them into all truth” and that “He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak….” The Holy Spirit is the messenger, the revealer of things from the throne. Now, we learn in Hebrews 1:2 that it is in these (presently) last days (Christian Age) that God has spoken through His Son. This is a continual process. How so? How do we hear from the Son and the Spirit? Many will allude to miraculous revelation - the Bible does not support such. Instead, the Bible teaches sanctification by truth, that truth is the Word of God (Jn 17:17). The Holy Spirit is responsible for the Word of God. In the time in which the Scriptures were being composed, this was miraculously revealed (2 Pet 1:20-21). This time is what Paul alludes to as being the “immature state” of the church (1 Cor 13:8-12). The church would come to maturity at the end of all revelation (Eph 4:13). The total and complete composition of the Word of God is intended for our stability and salvation (Eph 4:14). We owe the blessing of Scripture, which makes us perfect (2 Tim 3:16-17), to the Holy Spirit.
Second, let us consider the Holy Spirit’s work of interceding. In previous writings, we noted the advocacy we have from Jesus (1 Jn 2:1) and His intercession (Heb 4:14-5:1). The Spirit also intercedes for us, but slightly differently. Jesus intercedes as one having been fully immersed in the human experience pleading to the Father for mercy concerning our shortcomings. The Spirit intercedes for us as it relates to our strengthening. We read about this in Romans 8:26-27. The Spirit, in our weakness, asks of God for the things we fail to ask for, whether it be by neglect or ignorance. These are things that relate to the will of God. Though not clearly stated, this could be patience, doors of opportunity, etc. Though uncertain of what this looks like or means, I am ever thankful to have God in whichever form looking after my soul and actively seeking to strengthen it. I am grateful for an interceder like the Holy Spirit.
Third, let us consider the Holy Spirit’s work of imprinting. Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us we “were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it….” The seal spoken of here would be like that of the wax imprinting upon a royal decree. The King has decreed our inheritance and stamped (or imprinted us) with the Holy Spirit to represent this. Another significant “seal” upon men in Scripture is the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-18) - this is a negative, and its counterpart is the seal of the servants (Rev 7:3). There are two seals. Both represent allegiance, position, and reward. The mark of the beast - aligned with Satan, separated from God, and due to receive the wages of sin, death. The seal of the servant - aligned with God, in fellowship with God, and due to receive the glory of heaven. Presently the saints stand imprinted. That imprint is the Holy Spirit.
Thank God for the work of the Holy Spirit. We often struggle to embrace and appreciate the Spirit and His work. This is contrary to the will of God. The Spirit is a divine blessing to all. He is the maestro, perfecting the plan composed by the Father and performed through the Son. Give thanks for the Spirit and His works of informing man, interceding on our behalf, and imprinting us. The Spirit makes us complete, whole - perfect.