Signs of Satan


Spiritual passivity rules much of the Body of Christ; my local Anglican congregation hardly reacts to my preaching and charismatic gifts lie dormant in corporate worship across the churches.

Yet believers never seem to lack energy to accuse, gossip, entertain suspicions about or argue amongst one another. Christians agree that our real struggle is not “against flesh and blood, but…against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12), but in practice visible persons rather than invisible spirits are at the centre of our conflicts.

As Donna correctly reminds me at times, “I am not your enemy!” Our enemy is the devil (1 Pet 5:8).

One reason the Church as we know it is not seeing in the Spirit the works of demonic forces and responding with spiritual power is the influence of a scientific worldview on culture. When Jesus encountered a convulsing child foaming at the mouth he delivered him from an evil spirit, our instinctive analysis is that the boy suffers only from the physical disease of epilepsy (Mark 9:14-29).

Christ said of a woman who could not stand up straight that she had been “bound by Satan” (Luke 13:16).

Our reflex reaction would attribute her problem simply to scoliosis. Heavily conditioned by a scientific worldview we are not seeing things spiritually and not engaging in the intense war which rages all around us.

There is however a far deeper reason for our spiritual blindness than the influence of culture.


When Jesus burst onto the scene filled with the Spirit’s power the demons could not remain hidden but involuntarily spewed forth; “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”” (Luke 4:14; 34).

Immediately they were silenced by the Lord’s command and with their victim visibly delivered Jesus was recognised by all as a holy man with authority over the dominion of darkness (Matt 12:24; Luke 4:35-37).

Christ’s conflict with the evil powers was a central part of his kingdom ministry;
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

The mission of Christ and his disciples was framed by the ongoing cosmic conflict between God and Satan.

When his disciples reported that the demons were subject to them in his name Jesus bubbled over, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18). The Church today has failed to understand that spiritual conflict is central to Jesus’ identity as Son of God.

This is because an epic contest is raging over the imaging of fatherhood in creation. One Father is the Author of Truth and Life, the rival father has been a liar and murderer “from the beginning” (John 8:44; 14:6).

Christ discerned with absolute clarity that every person visibly bears the image of one of these fathers; ““Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”” (Matt 16:17; John 6:70; 1 John 3:10-12).

As the works of the devil manifest a satanically controlled life so the works of the Son of God infallibly reveal the presence of a loving Father

John 14:11; Eph 2:1-3

These tensions are woven into the deepest order of human reality and came to a climax at the cross.

The radically demonised character of lost humanity was unambiguously revealed in the insane slaughter of the blameless Son of God; “this is your hour and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53). The apostolic Church lived out these things.


Paul received a share in Jesus’ own commission to battle evil powers; “‘I am sending you…to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.’” (Acts 26:18).

As he went forth in Christ’s power the demonic hosts recognised Paul’s spiritual authority and were silenced by his word of command (Acts 16:16-18; 19:15).

Like Christ, Paul taught a salvation of cosmic proportions; “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col 1:13). Sharing in Jesus’ discernment of spirits Paul named the presence of the devil where he saw it; “the magician…opposed them… But…Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil…will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”, and striking the man blind people turned to the Lord (Acts 13:8-12).

The holy leaders of the Early Church understood that since the primary work of the evil one is to disfigure the image of God in humanity the purpose of the their proclamation of Christ was to restore the glorious image of the Father (2 Cor 3:17-18; Col 3:9-10).

The grand vision of sharing in the Son’s work to renew the likeness of the Father in creation by destroying the works of the devil is missing in most Christian leadership today.

The fruit of this failing is passivity in the Church and blindness to the satanic presence.


Demons instinctively knew Jesus as the Son in whom the Holy Father dwelt, and the apostles radiated a fatherly holiness that exposed the works of the false fathering of the devil (John 17:11; 1 Cor 4:15; 2 Cor 6:16-7:1).

The primary problem in spiritual warfare today is the loss of such a fatherly presence.

As Adam stood silent before Satan’s attack on his wife and projected to her an image of God as a distant father, so the lack of active holiness in many pastors strips Christ’s Bride of insight and authority to fight the works of the devil.

The Church is called to be the place where the works of the devil are identified and visibly destroyed.

Anything short of this is a negation of the revelation of God as Holy Father.

Rare is that congregation in our land today that sees in the Spirit Satan being cast out for the glory of God.

Let me put the crucial issue more pointedly. What sort of a “Father” would stand by passively and watch his children suffer in interpersonal conflict, disease, marriage meltdown and mental disorder.

Only a false and distant father would leave the Church in an unholy state unable to resist the evils of our culture.

The true and intimate Holy Father is stirred in his Spirit with acts of enlivening, cleansing and healing power. Are the battle lines between the false fathering of the devil and the true Fathering of God clearly seen in your congregation?


I am not advocating a “spooks in space” spirituality that sees Satan as the sole immediate cause of every human ill.

But he is the ultimate cause of ill and is presently ravaging the Western Church as a largely invisible Enemy (Rev 12:9).

Lacking the penetrative gaze of holy fathers into the unseen realm the Church around us is largely paralysed and losing the cosmic conflict over the presence of the divine image in the world.

Only Jesus can deliver us from a malaise this deep.

His confident prophecy of personal death and exaltation should embolden us; “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”” (John 12:31-32).

Jesus believed in the love of the Father to reverse all Satan’s power over death because he knew himself to be exactly what the demons proclaimed, “the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34; Acts 2:27; Heb 2:14-15).

In Christ we too are holy sons of the Father and through him we can have insight into the spiritual conflict that rages around us (Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 1:30; Heb 2:10ff; 3:1).

Such insight gave the leaders of the Early Church great authority and profound ministry.

But following the fight of their Lord it was for them also the way of much persecution and many cruel deaths.

Many today prefer to be safely “asleep in the light” (Keith Green) rather than bruised in the great battle for the honour of Father and Son.

I sense however that in the realm of spiritual conflict an increasingly alien culture will soon make spiritual passivity a thing of the past.

Satan will then be seen for what he is and Christ increasingly glorified.

Glory to our Father!

When the Calling becomes greater than the Call’er

by Timothy Tay

 At a prayer meeting recently where no prior agenda was set and when worship is the primary focus the sense of God’s holy presence was felt like that of the weight of His glory had been in our midst. 

It is not surprising that glory and weight go together for in Hebrew the word glory (kabod)[1] has its root meaning as weight or heaviness.

Thus Paul wrote that he would gladly exchange his afflictions for a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory 2 Cor 4:16-17.

Saul, Paul’s namesake in the OT, had on numerous occasions experienced the weight of God’s glory upon him:

» Anointed by God to be a leader 1 Sam 10:1

» Empowered by the Holy Spirit 1 Sam 11:6 

» Prophesied with the prophets 1 Sam 10:11,19:24

Saul had known the importance of:

» Honouring God 1 Sam 11:12-13

» Persistent prayer 1 Sam 14:37-41

» Corporate worship 1 Sam 15:30

Are you called to lead?

Can you identify yourself in the experiences that Saul had?

You may say he’s been there and done that. And yet Saul fell from grace not once but twice by failing to take instruction from Samuel whom God used to speak to Saul 1 Sam 13:13, 1 Sam 15:22.

Saul’s disobedience came about when he took his calling as king of Israel more seriously than the One who made the call.

When pleasing the people becomes greater than pleasing God it is not surprising that God rejected Saul and looked for the one that is truly after His own heart. (Ichabod),[2] the glory of the God of Israel had left Saul. The only glory Saul had was the golden crown weighing on his head.

Abraham received the call of God to migrate from Ur to Canaan and to be the father of many nations. And when God told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice Abraham was willing to lay down the call to father nations and obeyed his Call’er.

The greatness of a man is not on the crown he wore on his head but in knowing when to lay the crown before the throne of the King of Kings and proclaiming:

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being. Rev 4:10-11

Paul, who is also known as Saul, by his own account been the worst enemy of the early Church, received the call and went on to fight the good fight, finished the course and kept his faith (2 Tim 4:7).



The Holy Spirit as the Power of Spiritual Formation

by Dr. John Yates


Western Christianity is in the midst of a spiritual crisis with issues of sexual immorality, ignorance of scripture and prayerlessness abounding.[1]If it is true that, as Charles Spurgeon stated, the prayer meeting is the spiritual thermometer of the Church, we are in the polar regions, for even some of the largest churches in Perth have … Continue reading To seek power from the Spirit as a solution to these problems may initially seem a biblical response,[2]Mic 3:8; Zech 4:6; Luke 1:35; Luke 4:14; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8 etc. but it is almost certainly a symptom of the spiritual laziness which besets us. It’s easy to become excited about a power that can rescue us from the predictability of contemporary Christian living, but only the power of a person can free us from sin and conform us to Christ, which is the only valid goal of spiritual formation (Rom 8:29). A common stumbling block on the journey to greater Christ-likeness is a failure not only to know the Spirit of God (John 14:17; 1 John 4:2) as a total personality but to be ignorant of his dignity as an eternal Person.

It is not easy to know God’s Spirit for his personal identity is found deep inside the love between the Father and the Son. Nevertheless we can be encouraged that Paul could speak these words to the Corinthians, a Church plagued with many of the problems of today. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13 ESV). As “spiritual people” we are gifted with the ability to understand how the Spirit’s long and intimate relationship with humanity perfectly equips him to transform us into the likeness of Jesus.

The Eternal Spirit and the Shaping of Man

Since the Holy Spirit “the eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14) he was intimately involved in God’s purposes for humanity from the beginning, purposes laid bare in two very emotive Old Testament texts. Proverbs 8 speaks of God “rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. (Proverbs 8:31 ESV cf. Job 38:7). There’s something delightful about new life, our family had a new grandchild born a couple of weeks ago which was a great joy, and God was rejoicing in his Spirit’s creativity in bringing forth humanity in his own image (Ps 104:30).[3]The Spirit is characteristically a joy bringer [Luke 10:21; Acts 13:52; Rom 14:17; Gal 5:22; 1 Thess 1:6 etc]. The ground of God’s joy becomes clear in our second passage; “v6 I will…bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth,v7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isa 43:6-7). The goal of creation is the intimacy and glory which in scripture is called “sonship”.

The Spirit’s great passion in shaping humanity in the divine image (Gen 2:7) is that we might have a spiritual vision of God as he truly is.[4]Cf. “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.” [Irenaeus] Not merely sensing the glory of God as it is reflected through created things (Ps 19:1-4) but becoming the sort of persons who knows God’s heart from the inside (cf. John 1:18). To be filled with God as God is filled with himself is the ultimate goal of all spiritual formation and the special ministry of the Spirit (Eph 3:16-19 cf. Col 2:9-10).

Spiritual Deformation

A grasp of the suffering that human sin causes the Holy Spirit requires a proper appreciation of the Spirit’s original work in forming the image of God in Man. Since Luke 3:38 tells us that Adam was “the son of God” the Spirit of God must have testified to the spirit of the first man that God was his Creator-Father (cf. Acts 17:28). The LORD’s personal command to Adam to guard Eden (Gen 2:15; cf. Num 3:7-8; Num 8:26; Num 18:5-6) was a commission to a son to protect the presence of God’s glory in Eden.[5]A glory in which Adam was given a share. The prohibition, “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Gen 2:17 ESV) was a Spirit filled Word of divine fatherly discipline (Heb 12:5-11) whose purpose was to sustain the glory of God in the lives of the first people. God’s presence and power is however always contested by the powers of evil.

Satan presented himself to Eve as a different sort of father than her Creator (John 8:44). He promises her the same destiny of God-likeness (Gen 3:5; 1:26), but without the need to endure any sort of deprivation. This is a promised “short cut to glory” which in every generation has tripped up the progress of the people of God.[6]E.g. Luther spoke powerfully of a theology of glory in opposition to the theology of the cross. Sin did not bring spiritual ascent but spiritual deformation, the Fall. The Spirit of God withdrew from the heart of Man so all became “dead in trespasses and sin”(Eph 2:1). The indifference to holy things which is so characteristic of our culture, and has deeply penetrated even the Church, is a striking manifestation of how sin breeds sloth, laziness and indiscipline.[7]See Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 1V/1 paragraph 65 Where humanity is laid back about its spiritual condition the Father-Creator suffers excruciating pain; “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart….the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever…” (Genesis 6:5-6, 3 ESV).

God’s solution to human depravity is covenant, but the rebellions of Israel intensify the divine anguish, for Israel is the “firstborn son” (Exod 4:22).  In all their affliction he was afflicted… he lifted them up and carried them… But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit;” (Isaiah 63:9-11 ESV). It was never an easy but a costly thing for the Holy Spirit to dwell with sinners.  Having witnessed the terrible effects on Saul of the Spirit abandoning him (1 Sam 16:14-23), David cries out following his sin with Bathsheba, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.(Psalm 51:11 ESV). Israel’s history of grieving the Spirit comes to a climax when the nation brought their idols into the heart of the temple. When the LORD could no longer bear his people’s iniquity his glory departed from  the house of God (Ezek 11:22; Ezek 8) and never returned throughout the old covenant period. The withdrawal of the Spirit of glory created a seemingly impossible distance between God and his people. The Law remained, but without the Spirit’s power who could conform to God’s written commands? In this situation of spiritual crisis the prophets point to a future Spirit-filled saviour, the Messiah (Isa 11:1ff; Isa 42:1; Isa 61:1).

The Shaping of the Son of God

A radically new operation of the Spirit of God began when by the power of the Spirit the eternal Word through whom all things were created enters into the fallen flesh from which the Spirit had withdrawn millennia before (John 1:1-3, 14 ; 6:63; Rom 8:3 cf. Gen 6:3). The angel prophesies to Mary, ““The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35 ESV). Where the term “Holy Spirit” occurred only in two Old Testament passages (Ps 51:11; Isa 63:10-11) the expression appears dozens of times in the New. This new revelation of the personal identity of God’s Spirit is intimately tied to the identity of Jesus as the first person in the Bible ever called “the Son of God”. The human Jesus and the Spirit are uniquely related because they share a common bond of holiness; they are each set apart and exclusively dedicated to the will of the Father. Christ’s exclusive commitment to the Father in the power of the Spirit is what makes him to be the Son of God, and it is this relationship of holy sonship which is the substance of all spiritual formation. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of sonship, and his sole passion is to form Christ into the likeness of the Father. This becomes manifest at the baptism of Jesus.

when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”” (Luke 3:21-22 ESV). From this point that the Spirit “remained” on Jesus (John 1:32) marking him out as a new kind of human being, a man given the Spirit “without measure” (John 3:34). The Spirit’s powerful ministry through Jesus: teaching, healing, miracles, deliverance etc. (Matt 12:28; Luke 4:14 ff) are the outward visible signs of the Spirit’s inward spiritual union with the humanity of Christ. The in-breaking power of the kingdom of God which drew great crowds was the Spirit’s testimony to the truth of God’s word; ““You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22). The Father’s pleasure in the Son releases the power of the Spirit in the world.

The blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lame walking, the dead raised and the guilty forgiven are mutual gifts between Father and Son in the power of the Spirit (Matt 11:5; 27). This dynamic of the kingdom sharing fills the Godhead great joy (Luke 10:21; Rom 14:17). The climax of such mutual giving is how Jesus and the Father share the disciples; ““I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me….I am praying …for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.”” (John 17:6, 9-10 ESV). This prayer of Jesus in John 17 reveals that the ultimate goal of the saving plan of God is that the Father and the Son might together be glorified in us (cf.Matt 11:27). The communication of the shared life of the Father and Son to disciples is the powerful work of the Spirit and the substance of our spiritual formation.

Jesus prophesied that the Spirit would flow as living water from the heart of those who believed in him; there was however an important condition for this gift, Christ must first glorified (John 7:37-39). Until Jesus’ own humanity was made perfect the Holy Spirit was only a power “with” the apostles and not “in” them (John 14:17). The completion of the spiritual formation of the Son of God himself could only take place in the power of the Spirit through his suffering and death for the glory of the Father. The passion of Jesus brings together two seemingly incompatible operations of the Spirit of God.

Crucifixion in the Spirit

Hebrews 9:14 tells us that “by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice”. It was not at his baptism, nor at the resurrection of Lazarus, nor bathed in the glory of God on the mount of Transfiguration that Jesus was most conscious of the deity of the Spirit, but in the blood, sweat and “loud cries and tears” (Luke 22:44; Heb 5:7) of Gethsemane. Jesus always prayed “Father” but only at the very extremity of his mortality when he is “sorrowful to the point of death” (Mark 14:34) does Jesus pray in the power of the Spirit, ““Abba Father”” (Mark 14:36 cf. Rom 8:16; Gal 4:6). This is the recognisable climax of the Spirit’s work in the life of the Son of God. The Spirit[8]Who must himself be in utter anguish over the suffering condition of the Son. urges Jesus to drink the cup of the wrath of God so that we might be restored as children of God (Ps 75:8; Jer 25:15-17; Zech 12:2-3 etc.). Gethsemane reveals to us not only how much the Son loves the Father but how much the glory of the Father means to the Spirit.[9]This is God revealing God to the uttermost; that God loves God so much is the power of the Spirit.

If the cry ““Abba Father”” is the recognisable climax of the Spirit’s power in the Son, then the hidden climax of the Spirit’s operation in Jesus is his cry, ““My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Obedience at baptism meant an ecstatic experience for Jesus in the Spirit of Sonship, obedience as the Lamb of God bearing the sin of the world (John 1:29) means an experience of abandonment where “God” is no longer known as “Father”.  This is the time of the complete quenching of the Spirit’s manifest power, the final agony of the Holy Spirit, the true Spirit of sonship (Rom 8:16; Gal 4:6). Even if the Spirit fell silent about Christ’s sonship he was still active. If “the Spirit helps us in our weakness…intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”(Rom 8:26 ESV) how much more were his petitions to the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Cor 1:3) heard[10]n.b. the connection between the Spirit interceding according to the will of God [Rom 8:27] and our intercessions being heard and answered [1 John 5:14-15]  in heaven. The Spirit was searching out the heart of the Father on behalf of the crucified Christ and the answer from heaven was power from the Spirit to enable the Son to faithfully obey, even when the Father was hidden under the darkness of his wrath (Zeph 1:15; Mark 15:33; Rom 3:25; 1 John 2:2).

The Spirit of the Man

People ignorant of the power of the cross often seek to diminish Jesus’ suffering by saying things like, “Well Jesus knew he would be raised from the dead.” They fail to understand what was going on in Jesus’ heart as he carried our sins in his body on the tree (1 Pet 2:24). The absence of the Spirit’s testimony to Jesus that he was the Son of God meant that he obeyed the Father by faith alone (cf. Heb 12:2); the measure of the Father’s pleasure in such trust was the explosive power of the resurrection(Heb 11:6).[11]Resurrection by the Spirit is Jesus’ justification [Rom 4:25; 1 Tim 3:16]. The resurrection of Jesus in the power of the Spirit is the completion of the spiritual formation of Jesus as the obedient Son of God;[12]More accurately it is resurrection-and-ascension. this is why Paul declares that Jesus “was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:4 ESV) (cf. Rom 8:11; 1 Tim 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18). Through death-and-resurrection Jesus has been perfected by the Spirit (cf. Heb 2:10; 5:9; 7:28) as a newly created human being whose nature is indestructibly glorious (Phil 3:21).

This means that the Spirit is now sent to us from heaven in an entirely new way. In the recreated humanity of Christ the Holy Spirit has become so internalised and intimate with Jesus (cf. 1 Cor 6:17) that Christ is now the one who sends the Spirit of God (Matt 3:11; Luke 24:49; John 7:39; John 20:22; Acts 2:33; Acts 8:17). The “medium” the Holy Spirit passes through is the perfectly formed humanity of the man Jesus. When Jesus spoke of the coming of the Spirit as “the promise of the Father” to empower us (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 2:33) he was prophesying about the gift of One who carries the form, shape and character of his own life.

Christian Life in the Spirit

The Holy Spirit can only do in us and share with us what he has already achieved in Jesus. This means that the power of the Spirit is his sharing with us everything that Jesus learned and received from his Father during his earthly life. Any talk of “The Holy Spirit as the Power of Spiritual Formation” must be in-formed by Jesus’ own story, and particularly his death and resurrection.[13]Or, to put it a slightly different way, spiritual formation is a fruit of the power of the gospel [Rom 1:16]. The leading of the Spirit is not some vague influence but is always his conforming us to Jesus’ loving obedience for the Father (John 15:10; Rom 8:29). The work of the Spirit is simple and Christ-defined, in all the circumstances of life he is seeking to crucify our flesh and to impart to us the resurrection life of Jesus (Rom 8:13). He is sharing with us the glory of a sonship that can never be lost.[14]Hence the sequence in Rom 8:30 that begins with predestination ends with glorification. It is to this amazing process that we are called to submit in what some have called “spiritual formation” (2 Cor 3:16-18)


The Holy Spirit is an eternal Person whose love for us and intimate residence in us brings him many joys and sorrows over the course of our lives (Acts 13:52; Rom 15:13; Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 1:6). Despite any protests our crisis in discipleship today reflects the failure of the Church to be grasped by the real person-hood of the Spirit. Whilst many Christians love the Holy Spirit for what he can do, far fewer love him for who he is. We are not living as spiritual persons who discern the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

Such “deep things” are nothing other than the crucifixion and resurrection of the Son of God in the power of the Spirit; for the Spirit is one with the Son in both humiliation and exaltation.  The power of the Holy Spirit is the power of an eternal person who has loved us enough to share in the agony of the cross so that he might share with us the ecstasy of resurrection. This is why he is always at work spiritually forming us to be like Christ, killing us so that we might born to eternal life (2 Cor 4:7-12; Gal 2:20; Phil 3:8-11).

The Spirit seems the most difficult person of the Trinity to know, but it is in coming to God through Jesus that we learn his ways. The agonies and ecstasies of life are not random and meaningless events but can be experiences over which the Spirit of Christ powerfully broods  as we bring them all to the Father through the Son (cf. Gen 1:2; Deut 32:10-12). No Christian tradition commands us to “Turn to the Spirit”, but many call us to “Turn to Christ” (cf. Acts 2:36-38; 9:35; 11:21). If we by faith “Turn to Christ” the eternal Spirit will take care of our spiritual formation.


1 If it is true that, as Charles Spurgeon stated, the prayer meeting is the spiritual thermometer of the Church, we are in the polar regions, for even some of the largest churches in Perth have abandoned regular prayer because of a lack of attendance
2 Mic 3:8; Zech 4:6; Luke 1:35; Luke 4:14; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8 etc.
3 The Spirit is characteristically a joy bringer [Luke 10:21; Acts 13:52; Rom 14:17; Gal 5:22; 1 Thess 1:6 etc].
4 Cf. “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.” [Irenaeus]
5 A glory in which Adam was given a share.
6 E.g. Luther spoke powerfully of a theology of glory in opposition to the theology of the cross.
7 See Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 1V/1 paragraph 65
8 Who must himself be in utter anguish over the suffering condition of the Son.
9 This is God revealing God to the uttermost; that God loves God so much is the power of the Spirit.
10 n.b. the connection between the Spirit interceding according to the will of God [Rom 8:27] and our intercessions being heard and answered [1 John 5:14-15]
11 Resurrection by the Spirit is Jesus’ justification [Rom 4:25; 1 Tim 3:16].
12 More accurately it is resurrection-and-ascension.
13 Or, to put it a slightly different way, spiritual formation is a fruit of the power of the gospel [Rom 1:16].
14 Hence the sequence in Rom 8:30 that begins with predestination ends with glorification.