Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.
-1 Peter 1:1-2
This is the final post of my three-part post on the delighting in the trinity. (Read Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 here). We often fail to think of our salvation as involving all three persons of the Godhead. In reality, each person of the trinity is actively involved in our redemption. In this we should rejoice.
· We rejoice in the foreknowledge of the Father because he chose us before the foundation of the world to be his adopted children (Eph 1:4-6).
· We rejoice in the blood of the Son because it is only by his precious blood that our sins are forgiven, wrath is absorbed, our curse is gone, sin’s power is vanquished, and all the promises of God are purchased for us (1 Pet 2:24, Rom 3:23-25, Gal 3:13, Col 2:13-15).
· We rejoice in the sanctification of the Spirit who applies our salvation, conforms us into the image of Christ, and mobilizes us for the mission of God (Eph 1:13, 2 Cor 3:18, Acts 1:8).
In this short article, focus your attention on rejoicing in the Spirit. We have at least three reasons to be glad about the Spirit’s role in our salvation.
1. The Holy Spirit applies our salvation.
Consider the moment you were saved by grace. In that moment, it was the Holy Spirit that opened up your eyes and shined light into your heart so that you would see the beauty of Jesus in the gospel, compelling you to freely and joyfully receive him (2 Cor 4:4, 6).
When you heard the gospel and believed in him you were sealed with the Spirit forever (Eph 1:13). He came into in your heart and he locked the door from the inside. Now, he is with you forever and will never leave you (John 14:16). Praise him!
2. The Holy Spirit makes us like Christ.
When we talk about sanctification, we are talking about being made holy like Christ. God’s goal for your life is for you to become perfectly like the Son, because this is your greatest good and joy. God is working all things in your life together to advance this goal in your life (Rom 8:28-29).
The way this happens is by beholding Jesus through his Word, and allowing the Spirit to use the Word to transform your heart from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18). As you abide with Christ, the Spirit will give you the desires of Christ to obey his commands and to bear fruit that brings glory to him (John 15:5, Gal 5:17, 22-23). To obey Christ becomes our greatest joy, because in doing so we are living like Christ, which is what we were made for (John 15:11).
John Piper says, “Beholding is Becoming.” Behold Jesus and become like him. The Spirit does this in us. Rejoice!
3. The Holy Spirit mobilizes us for the mission of God.
When the Spirit seals you, and as he sanctifies you, he does not leave you on the sidelines. He puts you in the action. We are not passive players in God’s mission to bring the gospel to lost, but we are active participants in his great redemptive story. Jesus’ method for reaching the world with the gospel is through the church. He is given us a primary responsibility to make disciples (Matt 28:19). This is your purpose as believer in Christ.
The Spirit seals you to send you, but he does not send you in your own power and with your own words. He is the one that empowers you for the mission (Acts 1:8). He gives you the boldness to speak (Eph 6:19). He gives you the words to share in the moment of conversation (Luke 21:14-15). He gives you his presence to be with you as he accomplishes this task (Matt 28:20).
What a privilege it is to be used by Christ as his servants to carry out his eternal mission and plan in the world.
“It is the sweetest thing in the world to do anything for Jesus.” –Charles Spurgeon.
Let us rejoice and be glad in the Spirit! Let’s praise God that we get to share in the love, joy, and communion shared between the Father, Son, and Spirit. What a pleasure.