Natural and Spiritual Sonship
We’re hearing a lot of talk about the amazing work of the Holy Spirit in these days of spiritual renewal. We know the Bible talks a lot about the various ways the Holy Spirit works. . .The Holy Spirit hovered over the waters of the earth before the present form came into being. . .the Holy Spirit reveals God’s meaning in the Scriptures; He is the “Spirit of Truth”. . .the Holy Spirit speaks life into dead men.
But another role of the Holy Spirit is to be the BRIDGE between the FATHER and the SON. He is the RELATER of relationships! Beginning in the Godhead.
The Word says the Holy Spirit is the SPIRIT OF THE FATHER. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the SPIRIT OF GOD descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My SON!'” (Matthew 3:16-17).
Later, in teaching His disciples, He said, “It will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:20). So the Holy Spirit is the SPIRIT OF THE FATHER!
But He is also the SPIRIT OF THE SON! Paul says to the church at Philippi, “Yes, I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST. . .etc.” (Philippians 1:19). And in Romans 8:9 he says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Finally, in Galatians, Paul says, “Because you are SONS, God has sent the Spirit of HIS Son into our hearts – the Spirit who calls out ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you an heir.”
In the Godhead there are two relational Persons – the Father and the Son. But the third Person of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit – has no relational role OF Himself. He IS the Spirit of Sonship; He IS the Spirit of Fatherhood. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears.” (John 16:13). The NASB says it like this: “He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
The Holy Spirit rarely says “I”. It’s always what He hears from the Father or the Son. He is the totally SELF-LESS Person in the Godhead. When there is communication between the Father and the Son, it goes like this: the SPIRIT of the FATHER speaks “fatherhood” (authority) to or through the Son. The SPIRIT of the SON speaks SONSHIP – response to authority (obedience) – to the Father.
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 16, November 1981.