What If There Were No Holy Spirit?

“It is an extraordinary thing that those who profess to care so much about Christ should know and care so little about the Holy Spirit. Christians are aware of the difference it would make if, after all, it transpired that there had never been an incarnation or an atonement. They know that then they would be lost, for they would have no Saviour. But many Christians have really no idea what difference it would make if there were no Holy Spirit in the world. Whether in that case they, or the Church, would suffer in any way they just do not know. Surely something is amiss here. How can we justify neglecting the ministry of Christ’s appointed agent in this way? Is it not a hollow fraud to say that we honour Christ when we ignore, and by ignoring dishonour, the one whom Christ has sent to us as His deputy, to take His place, and care for us on His behalf? Ought we not to concern ourselves more about the Holy Spirit than we do?

“But is the work of the Holy Spirit really important?

“Important! Why, were not for the work of the Holy Spirit there would be no gospel, no faith, no Church, no Christianity in the world at all.”

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.60-61

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The Incarnation: A Wonder of Grace

“The crucial significance of the cradle at Bethlehem lies in its place in the sequence of steps down that led the Son of God to the cross of Calvary, and we do not understand till we see it in this context. The key text in the New Testament for interpreting the incarnation is not, therefore, the bare statement in John 1:14, ‘the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us’, but rather the more comprehensive statement of 2 Corinthians 8:9, ‘ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich’. Here is stated, the fact of the incarnation only, but also its meaning; the taking of manhood by the Son is set before us in a way which shows us how we should set it before ourselves and ever view it–not simply as a marvel of nature, but rather as a wonder of grace.”

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.51