The Son of God saw the sadness and gloom that gripped His disciples when He said He was leaving them. They were overwhelmed with the sense of disappointment and helplessness. As He felt their pain, He spoke some of His most powerful words. “But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (St. John 16:5-8) His purpose in life was to die and His death was going to produce more than just a sacrifice for sin; it was going to guarantee that His Spirit would come to men to affect everything His death accomplished.
His dying would have done no good if there was no plan to supernaturally craft all of Himself and His redemption into all of us who would believe. The Holy Spirit has been appointed by the Father to the office of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is His eternal name, but the title Holy Ghost is His office to absolutely represent another, even the Son of the Living God. The translators of Scripture in the King James Bible saw this great truth and translated “Holy Spirit” to “Holy Ghost” in each instance where His office of representing Jesus Christ was evident. The work of the Spirit is the “Artistry of His Cross” in redemption and newness of life. He takes the old, sinful, and debauched human life and crafts the new man of grace and redemption. The Comforter has come and His work is breathtakingly beautiful.
One of the eternal truths of the Bible is the helplessness of human flesh. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Sin has robbed man of His expressions of likeness to God. Man’s spirit is bound in death and physical helplessness. He may pant after God and seek Him in many ways and in much religious action, but until the Holy Ghost finds the open door to his heart it is all in vain. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” (John 6:44a) Humility is not a pious face but a broken heart before God. Until man is willing to accept the complete defeat of himself, even his search for God, and declare absolute surrender to God’s sovereign mercy, there is no salvation. We do not chase and find God, He reveals Himself as we follow Him.
Jesus knew what was in man. He said great things to express this fact. “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” (St. John 2:24-25) Three chapters of Saint John were almost exclusively given to declare the gift of the Holy Ghost and His unfailing value to His saints. The Holy Spirit is a person possessing every attribute of the Godhead and He was sent to perfect in the body of the church, every value of redemption. The church world is so full of flesh and human activity, void of the spiritual manifestations of God, that it is all a laughing stock to Satan and his hordes. Our Father and our Lord is calling us out of this malaise back to His Book.
Almost everything we connect to the work of the Holy Ghost has to do with emotions when His real activity is in the human spirit and human soul. The Holy Ghost indwells the saints to craft Christ into every aspect of our being. Jesus Christ said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (St. John 14:26-27) It is when Christ sanctifies our life, spirit, soul and body, that beauty replaces carnality and flesh and even our faces reflect the deep work occurring inside. The Divine artistry of this redemptive work is Heavenly. Apostle Paul said it perfectly, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Scripture speaks much of our relationship to this deep work of the Holy Ghost. The Bible says that we are “sealed by the Spirit.” We are warned not to “grieve the Spirit” or “resist the Spirit.” In Thessalonica, Paul wrote, “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-24) Paul said, “…Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Romans 8:9b) He also said, “In whom all the building (our temple) fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21-22)
The redemptive process of our Lord Jesus Christ is beautiful. The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to craft into His body, the church, the very image of Jesus Christ. The saints were called “Christians” at Antioch because this spiritual activity was glaring and life-changing. The world trembles when the Eternal Son has been recreated in the saints. The Holy Spirit has come to do the “Artistry of Calvary” in the lives of the redeemed.
Joseph R. Chambers