Sunday, June 21, 2009

6/22- Outward and Inward Ministers

(Rembrandt- Supper at Emnmaus)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

6/22- The Outward and Inward Minister

26 "When the Advocate 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. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26,27);

Calvin: When we say the Holy Spirit uses an external minister as instrument, we mean this: both in the preaching of the Word and in the use of the sacraments , here are two ministers, who have distinct offices. The a) external minister administers the vocal word, and the sacred signs which are external, earthly and fallible. But the b) internal minister , who is the Holy Spirit, freely works internally…he effects in the hearts of whomsoever he will their union with Christ through one faith. This union is a thing internal, heavenly, and indestructible… In the preaching of the Word, the external minister preaches the vocal word, and it is received by the ears. The internal minister, the Holy Spirit, truly communicates the thing proclaimed…In Baptism, the external minister baptizes with external water, the internal minister, the Holy Spirit baptizes by the blood of the spotless Lamb…In the Supper of the Lord, the external minister holds forth the external symbols, the bread fo the Lord and the qine of the Lord…but the internal minister, the Holy Spirit, feeds the souls of the faithful.

There are two great tools of ministry- the Word and Sacrament. Human ministers are the external ministers of these elements. The Holy Spirit is the internal minister who makes the Word, Baptism, and Supper real. The external, visible act works parallel to the internal invisible grace of the Spirit. So God gives us several gifts- His Word, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, ministers, and the best gift of all- the Holy Spirit. The Spirit inspired the Word, washes us with baptism, and conveys God’s presence through the supper, and calls ministers. So the Spirit is at work in the past, present and future in all of these things. Let us value these gifts

Prayer: Father, thank you for your great gifts that you give us- the Bible, baptism, and the Holy Spirit. Speak through Word and Sacrament to our heart.

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