There are three persons of the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all of whom are evident from Genesis Chapter 1 to the very last book of the Bible. We speak often of the Father, and often of the Son, Jesus Christ, but do we sometimes make too little of the Holy Spirit? While there is a submissiveness within the Godhead, the Son submits to the Father, and the Holy Spirit is seen as being submissive to the Father and the Son throughout Scripture, I think it is a common mistake many believers make to try and make the Holy Spirit out to be anything but what Scripture says He is. And How do we make too little of Him? While I’m certain there are more ways, here are a few I can think of:
We make little of the Holy Spirit when we use Him as an excuse to do things and justify our wants, wishes and desires. Without affirming Scripture, we say things like “I feel like God would want me to do this, to do that, to be happy” and other such empty platitudes. God is consistent in nature, His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are so much higher than our own, and the Holy Spirit is God, through and through. We’re called to test the will of God, but we do so through the WORD of God, and God will not contradict Himself (Romans 12:1-2: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.)
We make little the Holy Spirit when we claim authority rights, privileges and powers for ourselves, instead of submissiveness to Christ. When the Lord saves us, The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. His Divine Nature does not submit to us, rather He conforms us into His image. When people claim to represent God, when they claim authority over others, they forget what Jesus Himself said on the matter: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28) If we do anything outside of submissiveness to Christ, and serving everyone, we’re diminishing the Holy Spirit by refusing to submit to Him.
We make little of the Holy Spirit when we deny His Works and Wonders. There are some who say the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased, or, at least, in part. There are some who try and say the Holy Spirit is making them do things that were never a part of Scripture. In both of these cases, we need to be careful not to diminish the work of the Holy Spirit, which always exists to glorify God and draw others into repentance through Christ. (Titus 3:4-7: But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.)
I say all of this, and could probably say more, to encourage all of us to depend on the Holy Spirit, and to test the will of God through the Scriptures. We cannot make too little of the Holy Spirit: He is God. But we must question, if we attempt to justify ourselves and claim the Holy Spirit is moving us in the process, or if we deny the work of the Holy Spirit, or if we claim authorities and rights the Holy Spirit never grants us in Scripture: am I belittling the work of the Holy Spirit? Am I seeking my own glory, or His? And loved ones, it is something we must, with all humility and service, consider each and every day.
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.