The Guardian (Nigeria)

Born Again ( 18)

Emblems Of The Holy Spirit

- By Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

THE spirit and the bride say, “Come!.” The last mention of the Holy spirit in the Bible shows Him inspiring the bride ( i. e., the church) to invite all who want salvation to come to Christ. The church is now empowered by the spirit to proclaim the testimony of Jesus to the world until He returns ( cf. Acts 1: 5- 8; 2: 4).

The Holy Spirit among other things, guides us, strengthen­s us, intercedes for us and spurs us on towards greater holiness. The Bible makes sure that the significan­ce of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is not overlooked, and alludes to it in many different ways. One of those ways is by using ‘ emblems’ or ‘ symbols’. An emblem is a representa­tion of something. For instance, a scepter represents sovereign power, and the cross is the symbol of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Many emblems of the spirit are found in the scripture, which give not only deeper understand­ing of the spirit’s work, but a closer communion with Him and the other members of the trinity.

The creeds say simply: ‘ We believe in the Holy Spirit’. But much more than mere belief is required. Belief needs to become experience. It is not enough to believe in the doctrine of the spirit; we must experience Him in all His fullness. We must move from belief alone to experience. The spiritual meaning and significan­ce help us experience the Holy Spirit in a fuller measure The ‘ dove’ ( Mt 3: 16; 10: 16; Mk 1: 10; Lk 3: 22; Jn 1: 32, 33) speaks of the beauty and gentleness of the Spirit’s character. The ‘ oil’ ( Ex 30: 31; Lev 8: 10; 1 Sam 16: 13; Zech 4: 6; Acts 10: 38; 1 Jn 2: 20) is suggestive of the spirit’s consecrati­ng grace and guidance in qualifying us to minister in divine things. The holy anointing oil, together with the oil used for other purposes in the scripture directs our thoughts towards the fact that without the spirit’s presence in our lives, we are powerless to produce holiness or any other aspect of Christian character. ‘ Water’ ( Ps 78: 20; Jn 4: 14; 7: 37, 38; 1 Cor 10: 4) symbolises the spirit’s effectiven­ess and sufficienc­y. ‘ rivers of living water.’ When the gift of the spirit is given to believers, they will experience His overflowin­g life. The “living water” will “flow” out from deep within the believer to others with the healing message of Jesus Christ ( Jn 7: 38; 10: 10; 14: 12; 15: 5; see also Ps 1: 3; 46: 4; Is 32: 15; 44: 3; 58: 11; Jer 31: 12; Ezek 47: 1- 12; Joel 3: 18; Zech. ‘ Breath’ ( Gen 2: 7; Ezek 37: 9; Jn 20: 22). Symbolizes the constant and consistent ministry of the spirit whereby He supports the believer every minute and every hour of every day. ‘ Wind’ ( Jn 3: 8; Acts 2: 2) proclaims the winnowing of the

spirit’s power. ‘ Fire’ ( Matt

3: 11; Lk 3: 16; Acts 2: 1- 4) is an emblem of the purificati­on and penetratio­n of the spirit’s operations. ‘ Rain’

( Hosea 6: 3; Joel 2: 23) designates the abundance and grace of the spirit’s supply.

‘ Deposit’, or ‘ earnest’ ( Eph 1: 13,14; 2 Cor 1: 22; 2 Cor 5: 5) is the pledge and guarantee that what we receive here will be multiplied a million times in eternity. 14: 8)

But to see the Holy Spirit purely in terms of emblems is not enough. We must know Him, not merely know about Him. He waits to give Himself to you, but remember that you can only have all the spirit if you are willing to let the spirit have all of you.

If we are to maintain spiritual freshness and experience inner cleansing, we must expose our spiritual lungs to the filtering freshness of the breath of the

Holy Spirit.

Email: mercyolumi­de2004@ yahoo. co. uk www. thebiblica­lwomanhood. com Mobile: + 234 803 344 6614; + 234 808 123 7987

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