Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Holy Spirit as the Dynamic of the New Covenant.

I actually came across this particular manuscript quite by chance. It wasn't in Ern Baxter's section on the Holy Spirit - it was in a very detailed unpublished book he wrote on Israel. However it couldn't be more relevant (I would argue) for this series I am putting together on; "The Kingdom of God only becomes reality through the Holy Spirit". Here he examines the foundation for everything we believe in - the Cross but moves on to argue that we need desperately the vitality that the Holy Spirit brings to make it life. It is a short but powerful piece.

The Holy Spirit - the Dynamic of the Covenant.

That is another of my present emphases: the manner in which we treat the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, not the blood, is the dynamic of the New Covenant. I am legally saved by the blood but I am functionally saved by the Spirit. I think we have become side-tracked on the blood. Whoever said that there is power in the blood? I don’t want to be irreverent here. I want to be drastic.

The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ does not have an active ingredient but the blood releases the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts me, converts me, regenerates me, illuminates me, heals me, leads me, guides me, quickens me and eventually will translate me, all on the basis of the blood. But if we talk about the power in the blood and are all taken with the blood, we are taken up with our legal release but we haven’t entered into our vital release. The vital release comes by the Spirit. The Spirit is the dynamic of the New Covenant. When He promised the New Covenant, He said, “I will put My Spirit in you; I will write My laws in your heart”.

Many people who are theoretically correct on the New Covenant are dynamically impotent because they have rejected or neglected or ruled out the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who makes the Covenant work and it is in the blood. In the New Order, the New Covenant replaces the Old.


Sheila said...

I have ~never~ heard this said...that the blood does not have an active "ingredient", but rather, the Spirit is what vitalizes the blood's "work".

Wheeeeeeewwwwww. I confess to choking a bit on that one. I cannot just nod my head like some bimbo and say, "Well, Ern said it, must be true!!" No...I need time to THINK. :-) (I'm not upset...just reeling a bit. Perhaps my "horizons" just got broadened.)

Ah well - I just had myself a good cry. Somebody pass me a hanky. My best-beloved (anybody read Rudyard Kipling? He said that often..) has just left on a ministry trip to Puerto Rico. Many good prophetic words accompany him for this trip...more than any other he has taken. I will be interested to hear what the Lord does through him. There is a contingency of Master Builder's churches in the San Juan and surrounding areas of Puerto Rico, and they are having a regional conference. Tim will be speaking to the pastors at the conference, and in one of the churches there this Sunday. He kissed me and drove off a half hour ago. SNIFF! HOW MANY trips has he taken, and I always cry when he leaves. Goodheavens, I need to snap out of it.

Not only that, but my oldest son, Josiah, is leaving day after tomorrow for a mission trip to rural Appalachia - in Tennessee, believe it or not. My son has been to Haiti and other places,and is now going only a few hours away - but this area is really "a world away" in terms of abject poverty and the lack of a stable church presence. He will be doing lots of physical work, to help refurbish the ramshackle "homes" in these remote mountain areas, and will also be helping to conduct "Vacation Bible School" for neighborhood children.

Prayers for both my men (one 43, the other 16!) are appreciated, if the Lord brings them to mind.

I shall now go search out my youngest "man" - 13 year old son - and try to convince him to sit on my lap and let me snuggle him and read a book to him. (Fat chance!)

My daughters know how maudlin I get when their dad is gone, so they promise me they'll bake me some brownies tonight, and rent a good "chick flick"...a romantic comedy...and we'll watch it together. After that, I'll read and read until I fall asleep.

*sigh* Or, I'll fall asleep mulling over Ern's words on the blood. :-)

Baxter's Boy said...

No indeed! Scott, my best friend asked me that the other day. He suddenly turned on me and said; "Do you EVER disagree with Ern Baxter or Terry Virgo?!". I obviously convey the impression that Ern and Terry make up the respective fourth and fifth members of the Trinity!!

We should never ever be of the opinion that men are infalliable and whatever they say goes. I guess that is an inherent danger in devoting a website to a man of God.

Do I disagree ever with Ern Baxter? Well ... I have yet to read something or find something that I do disagree with. But I don't believe it is humanly possible to find someone you agree with 100% surely!?

No ... my pastor and hero Dr Stanley Jebb raised us up to judge everything against Scripture. I know my friend Mark Heath has taken a slightly more quizzical look at the Bereans, but Dr Jebb taught us to be Berean-like - hearing what is taught and then take it to the Word of God to see "if it is so".

Praying for you, as your husband is way Sister Sheila!!

apwbd said...

This is a very interesting piece. And is something that could do with more study. I remember being struck early in my Christian life by a little book by Andrew Murray called "The blood of the cross."

I can't remember every detail I read, but the thing that struck home was the glorious access to EXPERIENCE God I have by the power of the blood. The altar is covered, the law is covered (in the ark of the covenant), and that grants me the right to go right in to the Holiest and meet the Living God!

And of course we experience God by means of the outpoured Holy Spirit. Jesus took His completed work to His Father, having purchased us, now can legally, righteously pour His Holy Spirit out upon us wicked (but now saved) sinners! So glorious.

So the Spirit and the blood go together. The blood purchases the fulness of the Spirit, and the Spirit brings the blood to application in our lives.

In a verse I don't fully understand, the Spirit and the blood are brought together - "There are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one" (1 John 5v8).

An interesting article. Maybe expand on Ern's work some more!!

Sheila said...

THANK YOU, whoever you are...apw-something something. YES, the Spirit, water, and blood are agreed as one. Excellent text. After much thought, my initial conclusion (different from "final conclusion") is that without a *full* complete understanding of my "legal release" (the blood), my "vital release" can far too easily be challenged by the slightest bobble in my performance. A season of "small miracles" can make me wonder if I've ever encountered the Spirit at all, or ever will again.

But in the in-between times, in the day of small things, on the bad days and so-so days, I can get out my papers, signed in blood, and remind myself of the price paid for my abundant life. It is mine - paid for in full - mine to experience in fulness. I then *must* turn to the administrator of my inheritance, the Holy Spirit, and requisition POWER to live this thing. I can read and study my blood covenant, and be reminded that vitality is my heritage and my birthright. Quite literally (to put it in a controversial tone)..."the very life of God is owed to me."

Warning: to meditate on the sort of POWER it took to obtain the "mere" legal release, can make you obnoxiously bold and free and even (dare I say) joyful. I think you almost cannot over emphasize the blood, AS IT RELATES to what Ern calls our "vital release". But stop at the "legal release" is TRAGIC. And I do speak as one who has *never* discounted the Holy Spirit, so Ern is preaching to the choir in my case, and in most cases I see here on this website. So, when I understand WHO Ern is addressing here (what a "one two PUNCH"!) I do see exactly what he was saying.

Thanks for sticking your neck out, Dan. Truth is durable, and only increases in beauty upon intense examination. I'm so grateful for a piece that has made me think so hard, I think smoke has been curling out my ears.