The Holy Spirit and the Cross

There is a wonderful inter-relationship between the Holy Spirit and Christ’s work on Calvary’s cross. The Holy Spirit makes the Cross effectual in the believer. This is accomplished initially at salvation and progressively as the disciple “takes up his/her cross” (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 3:1-3, 2 Cor. 12:3; Lk. 9:23). Jesus promised that the Comforter would be sent after He went to the Cross: “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14). The Spirit’s ministry of illumination also includes the blessings of the believer’s position in Christ: “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20).

Dove & Cross

This connection of the Spirit and Calvary is seen in Christ’s example as well. When the Lord Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, identifying Himself with fallen man, then the Holy Spirit descended upon Him (Matt. 3:13-17). Jesus was always led and empowered by the Spirit (Matt. 4:1), and this included His sacrificial work on the Cross: ” … who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God” (Heb. 9:14).

Jessie Penn-Lewis described this connection in the spiritual journey of the disciple of Christ.

“It is even thus with all who will follow His steps. Through surrender to God, and the acceptance of the Cross–typified by Jordan–the Holy Spirit gains possession of the citadel of the heart, and then He seeks to lead the believer into the real fellowship of the Cross, working in steady progression from within to without: from centre to circumference; dealing with new departments of the life; unveiling new needs, and revealing the Cross in aspect after aspect as the answer to those needs, by applying the death of Christ as the severing power from the old life, and ministering the life of the Risen Christ for the building up of the new creation.

“The believer may be said to be ‘filled ‘ with the Spirit when he first receives the Spirit, but he is filled only to the extent of his capacity at the time. The capacity may be small, but it will remain small unless he apprehends that the Spirit leads to the Cross, so that the capacity may be deepened, and a greater fullness of the Holy Ghost be truly known. From faith to faith the Holy Spirit leads the trusting one, as he co-operates with Him, by a glad and ready ‘yes’ to all His dealings, until, at the appearing of the Lord from heaven, the body of humiliation itself is transformed, and made like unto His glorious body.[1]

May we yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that Calvary’s river of blessings will be a reality in our daily living!

Our Father, we thank you for sealing us with Your Holy Spirit when we received Christ as Lord and Savior. Apply the full cleansing and freeing power of Calvary to our lives by the power of Your Spirit. In Christ’s name, amen.

 


[1] Jessie Penn-Lewis, The Cross of Calvary (Christian Literature Crusade), p.53. www.clcpublications.com

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Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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