God the Father is invisible: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever” (1 Tim. 1:17). God is invisible because he is Spirit, and a Spirit is not matter. This is the reason why Paul declares that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). It is not in the physical form of Jesus that God can be seen, but in his goodness, humbleness, his mercy, piety, virtue, and his immaculate character. If the love of God the Father for the guilty was revealed in the death of Christ on the cross only (Gal. 1:4), it is obvious that this love is so vast and sublime that God would never kill some criminal, guilty person. Even as God the Father wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4). And all the work of God the Father is done by the Holy Spirit whom the resurrected Christ brought to us (John 16:7-11). Paul clarifies this truth, saying: “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God. Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:10-11).
God the Father is the creator, the Son is the savior, and the Holy Spirit is the executer:
1. In order to do the work of the Father and of the Son, the Holy Spirit has to be the truth, as Christ is: “This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth” (1 John 5:6).
2. The revelations of the mysteries of God and of Christ are in the Holy Spirit: “But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). Jesus said: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things” (John 14:26).
3. Virtue is in the Holy Spirit. Jesus, after being resurrected, said to his disciples: “Behold, I send forth the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). When the time came for him to go up to the heavens, Jesus said: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We conclude that power and virtue is the same thing, spiritually. Virtue to testify of Christ is the power to testify. Virtue to heal is the power to heal sicknesses.
4. God is love, and men never knew this love of God until Christ. The love that men know is selfish, for they love possessively. They love if it is convenient for them to love. They love with a love that is filled with the desire of the flesh. They love conditionally. The love of God is different. Paul reveals to us: “But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). The sinner is the enemy of God; he is the one confronting God, the blasphemous and profane; he is the son of the devil, the thief, the homicide, the adulterer, the prostitute, etc. God, who is love, delivered his only Son to die for them, even if they are wicked, and so John says: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This immensurable love, incomprehensible, divine, is shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. This is the glory of the Holy Spirit. The love of God in Jesus Christ is able to pull men away from drinking, gambling, and drugs. This fatherly and sublime love tears the lost away from the underworld of crime; this love of the Father, revealed in the cross of Christ, breaks the fetters that keep harlots captive in prostitution. This celestial love destroys the power of hell and of the devil, delivering the captives and transferring them from darkness unto light. For this love is shed in our hearts by his Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Rom. 5:5). God is love, and because he is love, he cannot but love (1 John 4:8). The one who receives the Holy Spirit of God cannot but love, too, because love is God living inside that one. Therefore John says: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God” (1 John 4:7). God dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). And the one who loves his brother is in the light, that is, he is by God’s side, in the unapproachable light, for men cannot define the dimension of the love of God, which can be seen in our works.
5. How does God do this gigantic work of flooding and holding us in the love of God? Paul explains us in detail: “that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).
Now, Peter affirmed that the Spirit of glory of God rests on the blessed ones who suffer for Christ (1 Pet 4:14). If the Holy Spirit lives in us, three supernatural things happen: “Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own” (1 Cor. 6:19). First, the dwelling of the Holy Spirit transforms our body in the temple of God. Second, we go on to be exclusive property of God. Third, God dwells in us by the Holy Spirit: “Being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together FOR A HABITATION OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT” (Eph. 2:20-22).
The glory of God in us consists of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! This is what Jesus meant when he said: “The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:22).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira