Charles Spurgeon, from “The Personality of the Holy Ghost.”
Text: John 14:16-17 — “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
The parallels between the creation of the world and the regeneration of sinners run deep, with dead and formless material taking on life as God speaks over it and breathes into it. One parallel that Spurgeon draws out in this sermon is the activity of the triune God, and specifically the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing lifeless things alive.
Spurgeon calls this the united agency of the triune God. Not only was there a team behind the work of creation, the same wonderful unity is seen in God’s work of salvation, right in step with everything he has ever done.
When God first made man, he said, “Let us make man,” not let me, but, “Let us make man in our own image.” The covenant Elohim said to each other, “Let us unitedly become the creator of man.”
So, when in ages far gone by, in eternity, they said, “Let us save man” it was not the Father who said, “Let me save man,” but the three persons conjointly said, with one consent, “Let us save man.”
This is a remarkable insight into both the gospel narrative and the intentional planning that went into every believer’s salvation. Just like the creation reflects careful, collaborative design, so does the gospel.
The united agency of God means he pours all of himself into the salvation of every believer. Spurgeon says,
It is not simply one person of the Godhead who vows that he will redeem me; but it is a glorious trio of Godlike ones, and the three declare, unitedly, “We will save man.”
Finally, Spurgeon parallels the Holy Spirit’s role in both creation and new creation:
God the Holy Ghost spread his wings over (the lifeless earth); he sowed the seeds of life in it; the germs from which all beings sprang were implanted by him; he impregnated the earth so that it became capable of life.
(Likewise) it is the Holy Ghost who quickens us. “You were dead in (your) trespasses and sins1.” It is the Holy Spirit who imparts the first germ of life, convincing us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come.
1 Ephesians 2:1