God’s Indwelling Presence, by James Hamilton

I happily recommend this thorough and immensely beneficial OT/NT study of the Holy Spirit.  If you’ve ever asked, “Were OT believers regenerated by the Spirit?”  Or, “Were OT believers indwelt by the Spirit?”  Or, “What does the baptism of the Spirit mean?”  Or, “In what manner was the Spirit with believers in OT times?”  Those questions, and many more, are answered.

Dr Hamilton provides a scholarly treatment of questions that faithful Bible readers should ask and consider.

This book was very helpful as I preached through the Farewell Discourse in John’s Gospel on Sunday mornings at FBC Santo.  Hamilton clearly argues and defends his conclusions about the Holy Spirit in the OT and NT.  I profited greatly from this book in terms of feeding my soul and in terms of providing understanding of certain verses during sermons to the congregation.

I had the privilege of being a student under Dr Hamilton’s professorship when he taught at the Houston campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (he has since transferred to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY).

The Lord has given Dr Hamilton the heart and mind of a pastor-scholar, and I’m deeply thankful for his investment in the lives of students such as myself.

Take time to frequent his blog at  http://jimhamilton.wordpress.com

Also, visit the website of the church he pastors and listen to his sermons on the Book of Revelation:  http://kenwoodbaptistchurch.com

The Christ-Exalting Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit was not sent to bring glory to himself.  Jesus said to eleven of his disciples, “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:14).

One of the roles of the Holy Spirit, then, is to draw attention to, and illuminate the teachings of, Jesus.  When Jesus spoke those words to his disciples, he had taught them many things (“what is mine”) that they did not understand.   After Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit would take those teachings of Jesus and then convey them (“making it known”) to the disciples.

It would be good for us to pray often that the Holy Spirit would open our mind and eyes to know and see more and more of the truth of Jesus in the Scriptures.   Such knowing and seeing brings “glory” to Jesus–and isn’t that what we want to happen anyway?

Who is the “Living Water”?

Jesus never claimed to be the Living Water.  He said, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).  Jesus claimed to “give” living water, not to “be” living water.  Here’s why:

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:38).  Then John comments: “By this [living water] he [Jesus] meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:39a). 

While Jesus does not identity who the “living water” is in John 4 (only that he “gives” it), a few chapters later the “living water” is identified as the “Holy Spirit.”  You never see Jesus saying, “I am the Living Water.”  But you do see Jesus saying, “When the Counselor [the Holy Spirit] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me” (John 15:26).  Jesus claimed to be the dispenser of the Spirit of truth, the “living water” of John 4. 

So if someone asks you, “What is the Living Water of John 4,” don’t say, “Jesus.”  Say, “the Holy Spirit.”  Because John 7:38-39 says so.