The Organizer

holy-spirit-organizerJ. Randal Matheny, editor

The Holy Spirit, wrote H. Leo Boles in his book about the third member of the Godhead, is the “organizer and perfecter” of two realms, the natural and the spiritual.

The Spirit was present in creation. The Bible says about him: “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water” (Genesis 1.2 NET).

Modern versions published by liberal houses consistently make the Spirit into a “mighty wind.” The Hebrew word ruach can mean “breath, wind, spirit,” but all signs point to the personal Deity in Genesis 1.2. The Holy Spirit was present and active in creation.

Over the formless and empty earth, the Spirit acted and brought order.

The Spirit also brings order and peace to the empty and formless life.

The Organizing Spirit

He reveals, in Scripture, the correct conduct that brings stability and permanence. He also helps us to practice that conduct.

Because of this, he is considered the one responsible for every good thing produced in our life: “For God’s kingdom does not consist of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy produced by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14.17 ISV).

The virtues of the followers of Christ are “the fruit of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is the one who makes them appear. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5.22-23 NLT).

How Are Virtues Produced?

And how does he produce these things in us? Do they arrive and establish themselves in our hearts automatically, after we have been baptized?

On the contrary, great effort and dedication are required. We must do as Paul instructed Timothy,

“Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us” (2 Timothy 1.13-14 NET).

When Paul tells Timothy to “hold to” the standard, he uses a common word, “echo”, meaning to have, own or possess. Here in this context, it takes on a stronger meaning, “of holding fast to matters of transcendent importance” (BGAD).

Hold to and Guard

Timothy must also exercise the vigilance of a watchman so that the deposit entrusted to him is “not lost or damaged” (BGAD). He must “guard” it well. The “good thing” or “treasure” (NASB) he must protect is most certainly the gospel. This would correspond to the “standard of sound words” mentioned in the previous verse.

The good thing that must be guarded encompasses both the message and the wonderful effect it produces in us, the restoration of the image of God, the impress of the divine character.

Timothy will be able to do this through great effort on his part, but also because he can do it “through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.” The preposition “through” indicates the personal agency of divine activity. So the International Standard Version rendering is justified: “with the help of the Holy Spirit.”

He Aids When We Make the Effort

T.J. Keegan is right when he says that “Timothy and those who follow him will be aided by the holy Spirit in transmitting [and preserving] the true gospel of Jesus Christ” (“The Second Letter to Timothy,” New Collegeville Bible Commentary, 703).

But that aid comes to those who grab onto that truth with all their strength and protect what they have received.

When we do this, life will be well organized, because he who works in us has a lot of experience in bringing order to chaos.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

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