Daily Devotion: Isaiah 4

4:1 | This is the concluding verse for 3:16-26 showing the emptiness of beauty in finery in the Day of the Lord. Women are desperate for relationship and children so much that they seize men together (Gn 30:23; Is 54:4; Lk 1:25).

4:2-6 | Here’s some much needed hope in the first 4 chapters of Isaiah.

On that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious. The Branch, the Root, the Messiah. He is no longer a mystery. His glory is known by the people in Jerusalem, and he is beautiful.

Written in the book of life. This is our great hope. This is the reason for running the Christian race with endurance, so that we may arrive before the Lord and hear our name called (Ex 32:32; Ps 69:28; 139:16; Lk 10:20; Ac 13:48). The righteous long for the day when the books are opened (Dn 7:10; Rv 20:12).

When the Lord has washed away the filth…and cleansed the bloodguilt. In 1:15, all God can see is their blood covered hands. No matter what they tried to bring to the Lord it was never adequate. It is only through the work of the Lord himself that our guilt and offensiveness.

After the people are cleansed the spirit of the Lord will come and live among men giving comfort and guidance.

Father, thank you for faithfully preserving your branch through the years. What a testimony to your sovereignty! Jesus, you are beautiful and glorious. You are the culmination of the line of promise. Spirit, thank you for your sheltering and illuminating presence in us.


Reading List: The Holy Spirit


Via Zondervan

Who is the Holy Spirit and how does the Spirit come to be in relation to the Father and the Son? What is the mission of the Spirit and where does it come from? Chris Holmes takes up the questions surrounding the Spirit’s procession and mission with the help of three of the church’s greatest teachers—Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Karl Barth.

Drawing on their engagements with the Fourth Gospel, Holmes presents an account of the Spirit’s identity, origin, and acts, to show how the acts of the Spirit derive from the Spirit’s life in relation to Father and Son—and the extent to which the Spirit’s mission testifies to the Spirit’s origin.

Holmes presents a way forward for pneumatology. Housed within the doctrine of the Trinity, pneumatology’s joyful task is to describe the Spirit’s acts among us in light of their source in the Spirit’s acts in God. The end of this inquiry is our beatitude—knowledge of the Trinity that yields to love of the Trinity.

Take Away

I have never been given a clearer description of who the Holy Spirit is, and how he’s working in my life. It took me a little longer than it should have to get through this book because discussion of the trinity is always weighty. Here’s some of the truths that I’m holding on to…

  • The humility of the Spirit – “We see a person who is so secure in himself that he can be entirely given over to declaration of another…The Spirit points us to Jesus Christ, knits us into life with him and his people, all to the glory of his Father in order that we might share in their life to all eternity” (p. 24). 
  • Unique works of the Spirit – “In the great acts of creation, reconciliation, and redemption, we see the three doing different things” (p. 27).
  • The Spirit’s deity is from the Father and of the Son.
  • “The Spirit is the “gift of the giver.” The giver is the Father, and the Son is the “giver of the gift.” The Spirit is of both, but not in the same way” (p. 70).

The greatest insight comes from Aquinas explaining the Spirit as the “love proceeding” from the Father and Son.

The Spirit is the “love proceeding” from Father and Son. The love in which they love one another is not external to them. It is not a force or presence in which they participate. The Father and Son do not love each other by way of someone or something outside of them. Rather, Thomas’s point is that the love whereby they love one another has a name and is a personal subsistence: the Holy Spirit (p. 108).

The Holy Spirit as love between the Father and Son explains how we receive the Spirit after redemption. We are covered in the righteousness of Christ, adopted into his family, given an inheritance as a son. We can now participate in the love that has been shared eternally within the Trinity. The sign of this love is the Spirit charitably/lovingly gifted to us.

I’m thankful for the lessons learned through Holmes’ book. He presents manageable arguments from amazing theologians. I especially enjoyed the focus primarily on the Gospel of John. It shows a consistent presentation of the Spirit throughout scripture and tradition.

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Gender and the Trinity: From Proxy War to Civil War | Christianity Today

Is there subordination within the Trinity and is this useful for understanding male/female relationships in the Christian home and church? This has been getting a lot of discussion in recent days. While I am confident in the biblical depiction of complementary, we need to know if we can appeal to the Trinity as an eternal example of this. What does Jesus mean when he says that he does what the Father commands (John 14:31)? What does Paul mean in 1 Cor. 11:3 about the head of Christ being God?

These have implications in the US as we defend gender roles and biblical marriage. But they also have implications for the global church. In China, the church is still majority women (growing numbers of men) and divided into many small congregations. This makes for a lot of tough discussions on biblical ecclesiology. Being able to defend the biblical model of church leadership (male elders with men and women serving under elder authority) with an appeal to the Trinity is valuable. This current debate is trying to say whether such an analogy is biblical or warranted.

An explainer: the latest complementarian debate isn’t over women’s subordination—but Christ’s.

Source: Gender and the Trinity: From Proxy War to Civil War | Christianity Today