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8 The Spirit Exalts the Son

8 The Spirit Exalts the Son

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Published by Douglas Knight

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Published by: Douglas Knight on Dec 09, 2011
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8. The Spirit Exalts the Son
The Spirit is worshipped and glorified…
1. The Spirit raises the Son2. Ascent and Procession3. The Holy Spirit4. Living Sacrifice5. True Worship6. Basil7. Persons in CommunionThe Holy Spirit is the Lord. In the resurrection raises the Son of God and bringsmankind into communion with him. The Spirit has broken the bonds which we placedon Christ, raising him out of our power, and broken the power by which all other masters held people in servitude. The resurrection demonstrates that nothing that iscreated can grasp or hold the Son; he holds all creation and every creature in it.The Spirit unites Christ to his people, and bring the communion and worship of thedivine assembly to earth and so creates the Church. He brings us into thecommunion of saints, so that we belong to the whole company of patriarchs,prophets, and people of God who can acknowledge God, and no other, as God.The Spirit makes the Church an invincible body, which cannot be divided or penetrated by any other forces, and so is immune to death. All the gifts of the Spiritpreserve the unity of this community and keep it impregnable. The Holy Spirit bringsus into relationship and freedom.
1. The Spirit Raises the Son
The Spirit ‘
raised Jesus Christ from the dead’ 
(Romans 8.11).
He rose again on thethird day in accordance with the Scriptures
, that is, in fulfilment of the promise of Godof Israel
Christ has acted for man by overcoming all who have held man down and withheldfrom him the truth of his identity. We were at war with one another, and withourselves, but our mutual enmity has been overcome and reconciliation and peacehave come.Christ is the one whom we ‘
crucified, but whom God raised from the dead’ 
(Acts4.10). What we did, God rejected and reversed. The bonds and boundaries weplaced on him could not hold him. It was not Christ who was broken by death, butdeath that was broken by Christ. Though death may be a powerful god, Christ hasturned out to be more powerful. Death was the strong man, but Christ is stronger.The Strong Man had placed bonds on us, on us, boasting:
‘I will ascend into heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will makemyself like the Most High’’ 
(Isaiah 14.13).
Now he has been overthrown, those who see him ask:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made theworld like a desert and overthrew its cities, who would not let his prisoners gohome?’’ 
(Isaiah 14.13-18)
Satan has been divided and his house has fallen.
‘The Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above, and the kings on the earthbelow. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon’ 
 No one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man
(Mark 3.27)
Our previous masters wanted to prevent us from appealing over their heads to thetrue God. They set up blocks and obstacles, and tried to close the skies over our heads. We were held down, and sealed in, obliged to give homage to masters whomwe could never satisfy in perpetual servitude. But the Son laid siege these tyrants,and has now broken through the barriers they erected to keep him out and us in.Now the whole way from us to the Father is open and clear, straight and well-ordered. We celebrate the end of the divisive power that has kept all humanity atenmity.
To confess Christ is to give up all other masters. In our relationship with one another we had usurped the place of God. By the resurrection we have been torn out of Satan’s grasp. The Holy Spirit makes us free. He enables us to confess publicly thatthe masters we have served and been afraid of have no power over us now and thatwe cannot be afraid on them them any longer. Our confession of Christ is the act bywhich God establishes this freedom in us.
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’ (2 Corinthians 3.17)
Now we may give all masters our respect, but not reverence, and they only haveauthority to serve us well.The Holy Spirit distinguishes one thing from another. He distinguished Christ from usby taking him away from us and raising him from the dead. The Holy Spiritestablishes and safeguards the particularity of each thing so that it cannot beabsorbed or lost. The Spirit can tell the Son apart from the rest of us, and can telleach of us apart from all others. The resurrection of Christ is the promise of theresurrection of each from all.
2. The Ascent and Procession of the Son
The Holy Spirit anoints Christ
‘Christ’ means ‘anointed’, by the Spirit. The Spirit plucks one members of Israel andmakes him king. The Spirit empowers the crowd to identify him, pluck him out of obscurity, set him on their shoulders and makes him their leader. They identify him,lifts him up, raises him above us, and makes him their king. The Spirit chooses oneof us and give him to us as our protector and leader. The prophet anoints the king.All the characteristics and offices of Israel descend on him to make him king, and hispeople are enabled to recognise him as their king.
‘The young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, Thus says the Lord theGod of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Thenhurriedly they all took their cloaks and spread them for him on the bare steps; and they blew the trumpet, and proclaimed, Jehu is king’ 
(2 Kings 9.6-13).
The Spirit has chosen one of us, distinguished him from the rest of us, andenthroned him over us.One of us has gone to God. God has found this man good. From all of us, he haschosen this one. We did not accept God's choice of man. Of all men God picked theone we found least admirable, whom we disregarded and despised. All men havebeen trying to make this ascent. But now this one human being, who paradoxicallymade his descent into universal ignominy, has ascended and arrived in the presenceof God. God has selected this one for us to be the future of all mankind, our representative and champion.
We Cannot Grasp Christ
The Spirit has established the Son as our Lord. The Spirit is content to stand behindthe Son, and entirely gives himself to us and makes himself present to us in theperson of the Son. There is no way we can go round the Son to get to the Spirit. TheSpirit holds Christ out of our reach so that we are unable to grasp him or gain for ourselves any knowledge of him. We do not see Jesus because we cannot makehim visible to us: we cannot command him to appear before us. Though we maywish to have Jesus stand before us, if we stood before him as we presently are, theresults would be the same as before. We would find him impossible and would layhands on him, seize him and hand him over. Once we laid our hands on him but hedid not use any power against us, did not raise his arms against us, but let us bindhim and put him to death. But the Holy Spirit shook off our grip and released himfrom us, and now makes him invincible, so he cannot be captured by any form of perception available to us. Our powers of penetration, detection and control areinadequate and corrupted, must be purified and redeemed. It is his graciousness thathe is not visible to us as a single man we can identify and take on our own terms. Heis not exposed to us, but we are completely exposed to him.Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father, and there, still dressed in our flesh, he now sits with the Father. Their agreement is visible in this proximity. Oneinstalment of humanity and of human flesh has reached God, and now sits with God.One of us is with God already. He is our pioneer. The Son is with the Father. In theGod-man God has brought humanity to earth. What we did not possess and couldnot guess at – a glorified humanity – was brought to us from heaven by the Son. Hedemonstrated this humanity before us, using the fragments we had, and out of thesefragments he made one seamless whole. And he issued from heaven this

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