Fourth Week of Advent: Wednesday



“Conceived by the Holy Spirit”

This selection is based on Luke 1:30-35, which is part of our reading for today.

A recent book calls the Holy Spirit the shy member of the Trinity. His ministry is to point away from himself to the wonder of God the Son and God the Father. Being filled with the Spirit means being filled with love for Christ. When Jesus promised the Spirit (in John 16:14), he said, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” The Spirit is shy; he is self-effacing. When we look toward him, he steps back and pushes forward Jesus Christ (29-30).

Therefore, in seeking to be filled and empowered by the Spirit we must pursue him indirectly–we must look to the wonder of Christ. If we look away from Jesus and seek the Spirit and his power directly, we will end up in the mire of our own subjective emotions . . . . The fullness of the Spirit is the fullness that he gives as we gaze on Christ. The power of the Spirit is the power we feel in the presence of Christ. THe joy of the Spirit is the joy we feel from the promises of Christ (30).

Devote yourselves to seeing and feeling the grandeur of the love of God in Jesus Christ and you will be so in harmony with the Holy Spirit that his power will flow mightily in your life. Christian spiritual experience is not a vague religious emotion. It is an emotion with objective content, and the content is Jesus Christ (30).

Selections from the sermon “Christ Conceived by the Holy Spirit” preached by John Piper, included in Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, edited by Nancy Guthrie

As I read this today, I was reminded of two things: Christ should be the object of my affection and devotion, and I need the Holy Spirit’s help to be like Himself, shy and self-effacing, always seeking to magnify Christ.


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