Last Sunday at Crosswalk one of the minor lessons attracted my attention, and it is something we can explore more fully in the future. I’m referring to the description of the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17). This should not be surprising because the Lord Jesus said, “I am the… truth,” (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit is also called “the Spirit of Jesus” (Acts 16:7). The truth is our friend. All truth is God’s truth!
Recently, a poll conducted by the BBC surveyed the 100 most prominent physicists. They were asked to name the greatest physicists of all time. Isaac Newton ranked first, Albert Einstein ranked second, and James Clerk Maxwell was voted the third greatest physicist of all time. Two of the top three were committed Christians.
Alexander Pope wrote a well-known epitaph for #1 in the BBC poll, Sir Isaac Newton:
Nature, and Nature’s Laws, lay hid in Night.
God said, Let Newton be! and All was Light.
In our time, mathematical physicist Stephen Hawking wrote that “Newton is a colossus without parallel in the history of science.” What you rarely hear about is Newton’s faith. He was a member of the Anglican Church, he faithfully attended services and participated in special projects, such as paying for the distribution of Bibles among the poor, and serving on a commission to build fifty new churches in the London area. Newton wrote:
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.”
Interestingly, Newton He spent more time on theology than on science. In fact, he wrote about 1.3 million words on biblical subjects.
“I don’t know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
Checking in at #2 is Albert Einstein, who believed in an impersonal god, but not the God of the Bible. However, #3 on the BBC list was a giant of both faith and science. James Clerk Maxwell’s work was described by the aforementioned Einstein as the “most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.” Maxwell, among other things, demonstrated that there were waves that traveled at the speed of light, showing that visible light, radio waves, microwaves, and X-rays, were also all part of the same phenomenon. He also postulated a single description for electricity and magnetism, an outstanding feat.
As a devout Christian, Maxwell wrote frequently about his faith. In one letter, he wrote, “I think Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable.”
These are only two of so many to whom the Holy Spirit was “the Spirit of Truth,” who led them “into all truth” (John 16:13). Not merely spiritual truth, but all truth. Most people would be surprised at how people of faith have blessed the world because the Spirit within them was “the Spirit of Jesus.”
It is my hope and prayer that you will always regard the truth as your friend, not something to be feared; and that however you are employed, and however you are serving the Lord, He will guide you into all truth.
Yours in His Name,
Pastor John Christie