“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14-15)
Scripture Reading – Revelation 5:1-14
All heaven glorifies Christ. Before the throne of God, the angels, the elders, and the nations sing praises to His glory. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12)! Heaven is filled with songs to the Lamb that was slain, Jesus Christ. Through His obedient suffering, He fulfilled the Father’s plan of salvation and paid the debt of sin for all who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. When Jesus hung on the cross, He was humiliated as one who was accursed, but Jesus committed Himself into the Father’s hands and the Father lifted Him up to glory—worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
The plan of salvation didn’t end with the Ascension of Jesus to heaven. This was only another step in God’s master plan to glorify His Name. Now that the payment of our debt of sin was completed, the plan shifted to a new phase. News of Jesus’ resurrection was to be spread throughout the world so that all would have the chance to hear and respond. One of the Apostle Paul’s travelling companions understood this well. Luke wrote, in the beginning of his book, the Acts of the Apostles, that: “In the first book …, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up” (Acts 1:1-2a). The first book, the Gospel According to Luke, recounted the life of Christ from His birth until His Ascension. Luke describes this as all that “Jesus began to do and teach.” The Book of Acts was the story of what Jesus continued to do and teach after He left this earth. It describes the exploits of the disciples and the early church as they did the greater works of proclaiming the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The works that Jesus continued to do came through the work of the Holy Spirit as believers brought the news of the Resurrection to the nations.
This was not a new plan, but the continuation of what Jesus did. Jesus was given full knowledge and possession of what the Father has. Now Jesus has taken all of that and has entrusted it to the stewardship of the Spirit. The Spirit reveals the historical fulfillment of the plan of salvation by Jesus. He helps us to understand it, leads us in the proclamation of it, and applies it to the hearts of sinners. The closeness of the Father, Son, and Spirit is revealed in the plan of salvation. Jesus revealed the Father, and the Spirit revealed the Son to the disciples. In so doing, the Spirit revealed the Father as well to Jesus’ followers. The Father, Son, and Spirit are inter-connected in a level of intimacy that can only be described as oneness.
There is great humility in the inter-connectedness of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The Holy Spirit is humble; He doesn’t draw attention to Himself but instead glorifies Christ. The Son is also humble. He went to the Cross in order to glorify the Father. The humility of God is seen in the plan of salvation. As we go out into the world to testify to the Death and Resurrection of Christ, we are to reflect this humility. The Spirit also declares the truth of Christ to us. What happens? We believe the truth and humble ourselves before it by proclaiming that we are not God. We glorify Christ, because He did for us what nobody on earth could do for themselves. As the Spirit reveals the things of God to us, we grow to appreciate even more greatly the work of Christ on our behalf, and commit ourselves anew to making His great salvation known to the ends of the earth. Are you committed to continuing the things that Jesus began by bringing the gospel others?