Thursday, 25 July 2013
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27
Who is it that searches the hearts and mind? In Jeremiah 17:10, we see it is the Lord, Jehovah –
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
In Revelation 2:23 we see that it is Jesus –
… I am He who searches the minds and hearts.
Elsewhere throughout the Bible, such as in the psalms, this is spoken of as being in the providence of God. In other words, something that is at the providence of God alone is something that is accomplished by all of the above; all are God. Each performs this function in a way which is appropriate to the situation and dispensation. Paul in this verse, which is tied to the Spirit in the previous verse, is speaking of us in our prayer life in relation to the Spirit. He says that it is “He who searches the hearts.”
At the same time, He “knows what the mind of the Spirit is.” The Spirit works in accord with His knowledge and becomes the one who “makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” This is the Spirit’s role, but again it is not a role unique to the Spirit. Coming up in just a few verses, Romans 8:34 says that it is Christ who also makes intercession for us (also see Hebrews 7:25).
Therefore, as the Spirit of God is searching us, He takes this information that even we can’t properly make clear in our prayers, and He brings it before the throne of God. The “right hand of God” is the position of power and authority. At this glorious place, Christ intercedes for us. The marvel of the Trinity is that there is One God who is eternal and without division and yet He within Himself performs certain roles – we call them “persons.”
This is something that is hard to grasp and theologians bandy concepts of God about, but in the end, one must look at a few facts that the Bible teaches –
1) The Bible proclaims the Father is God
2) The Bible proclaims Jesus is God
3) The Bible proclaims that the Holy Spirit is God
4) The Bible shows that all three members of the Godhead are eternal – no beginning, no end
5) Time is created and we are in time
6) Our concepts of God must be considered based on God’s eternality, not how we interact with Him in time
7) If we are wrong about the nature of the Trinity, it doesn’t change who God is. God is God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Why is this important? Because the Bible proclaims these things to us. In our limited knowledge of God, we come up with our own misguided thoughts on these matters, such as whether Christ is God or not. Regardless of whether we can conceive of Jesus as God and eternal in His being, the Bible says He is. When we deny that He is, we must then deny the evident teaching of the Bible; thus we now proclaim heresy. The importance of these matters is that they can keep others from salvation if this is what they are taught and what they believe.
Now understanding these intercessory roles a bit more, it would be good to note that on a human level, we also are given this honor, albeit in a limited way. We see the distinction mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:1 – “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…”
We also have an intercessory role, bringing these things before God in order to transmit our desires and hopes before Him. When we are limited in doing so because of our lack of intercessory skill, isn’t it comforting to know that God searches us out and does it for us? Great stuff from a wonderful Creator.
Life application: Let us first accept the premises of the Bible at face-value and then work within those parameters to develop our doctrine. If we don’t do this, then our thinking about God – His nature and activity in our lives, becomes skewed. Better we don’t understand and accept than to deny and then attempt to contemplate “why” our denial is right and acceptable.
Lord, as I sit here in Your presence, the planets are moving in their paths, the stars are putting forth light and heat, the birds are moving on the winds, and creatures are walking on this beautiful planet. These things, and so very much more are all under Your constant care and control. If this is so, and I know it is, then I can feel confident that You have me in the same care. How I love You – I am carefree because You care for me. Amen.