John’s exile on the isle of Patmos was nevertheless transformed by his being “in the Spirit,” suggesting that the spiritual dimension in worship was infinitely more important than the physical surroundings.
—Donald Guthrie, “Aspects of Worship in the Book of Revelation,” Western Theology and Ministry in the Early Church
The Holy Spirit cannot be divided from the Father and Son in worship. If you remain outside the Spirit, you cannot worship, and if you are in Him you cannot separate Him from God. Light cannot be separated from what it makes visible, and it is impossible for you to recognize Christ, the Image of the invisible God, unless the Spirit enlightens you. Once you see the Image, you cannot ignore the light; you see the Light and Image simultaneously. It is fitting that when we see Christ, the Brightness of God’s glory, it is always through the illumination of the Spirit.
—Dennis Ngien, Gifted Response: The Triune God as the Causative Agency of our Responsive Worship, 30
Although worship is our response to love, it is actually better thought of as the Spirit’s gift to us of a response to God or, in Matt Redman’s words, ‘a gifted response’. We can only respond to God in praise because the Holy Spirit causes love for God to arise in our hearts (Rom. 5:5), enabling us to cry ‘Abba, Father!’ (Gal. 4:6). Without the Spirit we could not even sincerely say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ (I Cor. 12:3). And, as we have seen, even that is not the full story, because the response the Spirit enables us to make to the Father is actually simply a sharing in Christ’s own response to the Father. The Spirit, in other words, is the one who baptizes us into Christ (I Cor. 12:13) and enables us to share with Christ in His worship of the Father.
—Robin Parry, Worshiping Trinity, 97
If we ask the New Testament authors, “What is the nature of the Spirit’s work?” we receive a plethora of information. It is the Holy Spirit, for example, who is the one who makes God’s love real for us—”God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5). In a sense, it is He who stands at the threshold of the Christian life, for only He can enable us to embrace Christ as Savior and Lord—”no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). Then, it is the Spirit who gives us the boldness to come into the presence of the awesome and almighty Maker of heaven and earth and call him “Dear Father”—”God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:6). It is the Spirit who enables believers, from various racial, social and religious backgrounds, to find true unity in Christ and together worship God (Eph. 2:18). In fact, without the Spirit, worship and the glorification of Jesus Christ cannot take place (Phil. 3:3). And it is the Spirit who is the true Guarantor of orthodoxy (2 Tim. 1:14).
An excellent summary statement of the range of the Spirit’s work is Galatians 5:25, which speaks so plainly about the Spirit as the Source from which we are to live our lives: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” The Spirit thus undergirds and empowers the entirety of our lives as Christians.
—Michael A. G. Haykin, The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction To Biblical Spirituality, xix-xx
Think of it this way. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder, on Jesus, who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message is never, “Look at Me; listen to Me; come to Me; get to know Me,” but always, “Look at Him, and see His glory; listen to Him, and hear His word; go to Him, and have life; get to know Him, and taste His gift of joy and peace.” The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together.
—J. I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit, 66
Ascension doesn’t mean absence; it means sovereignty, exercised through the Spirit.
—N. T. Wright
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.