Friday, January 23, 2009

come, Holy Spirit!

"I believe in the Holy Spirit." Part of the Apostles' Creed. God is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, as I understand it from Scripture is God's active Presence, Power and voice in the world. The Spirit bears witness through God's people to Jesus, as the Messiah and Lord of all, Savior of the world.

All who receive Christ, receive the Spirit, who indwells each believer individually and all believers together corporately. There is a sense in which the Spirit's greatest habitation is through God's people together. The Spirit makes us one in Jesus, part of our witness to the world.

The Spirit enables us to live a holy life. This is a reference to walking in the Spirit. We depend on the Spirit for our spiritual life breath, and for every holy desire from God through his word, Scripture. As we walk in the Spirit we live the life God has for us, the fruit of the Spirit becoming evident in our lives, especially in community. Of course that is interactive, we are not passive (not to say there are no times for passivity as in waiting on God). We depend on the Spirit, but we must walk or live out God's revealed will for us.

The Spirit "comes on" us to empower us for witness, filling us. We witness regardless, especially by our lives, but also by words, not waiting on any special feeling, while in much prayer. But there are those times when we have that sense of the Spirit on us to speak. We must speak, and we must listen to others so speaking. This is for the world of sinners, and also for God's people. The gifts of the Spirit are for each one in Jesus. The Spirit is on us to give us something quite special to do. So that it ends up being Jesus in us, and we in Jesus- doing a work. From a most humble, supposedly menial task that no one may see, to speaking before others, and many other works.

We in Jesus can grieve the Spirit and put out the Spirit's fire. And we need fresh fillings of the Spirit. I know I am empty. I need the Spirit. And we need the Spirit in our midst, as those in Jesus. The world needs the Spirit through seeing Jesus by the Spirit in us- in word and deed.

There is much to be said about the Holy Spirit. We need more of the Spirit. And we worship him, who is God. As the Spirit leads us to the Father through the Son. We worship the One Triune God forever and ever, beginning here and now.

Come, Holy Spirit!


Lanny said...

Don't you find it interesting that we hardly speak to the one Person in the Godhead that is here with us as our Counselor, Jesus returned to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father and sent the Holy Spirit to us (John 14 and 16) Can you imagine being a guest in someone's home but they hardly ever spoke of you or to you?

word varification - smogruck - that is what is covering the PNW for the last week - smogruck. Luckily we are just far enough from the city to be outside the rim of the smogruck most days!

Just thinking.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I think Christians don't often speak to the Spirit because we don't find that done in Scripture. But if the Spirit is a person, and the Spirit is God, then we have good theological reason to speak to the Spirit. For when doing so, we really are speaking to God. Why as Christian orthodoxy was being formed in the early centuries, some of the early church fathers, as I recall somewhere I think, spoke of praying to the Spirit.

Smog ruck? I Googled it. Glad it's missing you, but too bad. Is the occurring smog from the city being held down by strange weather, or atmospheric conditions -like heavy air, I wonder.

Kurt said...

Thanks for your reminder that we do indeed need more of the spirit of God filling us!

L.L. Barkat said...

Always liked the image of Spirit in Genesis... hovering over the waters, like a bird brooding, waiting, warming.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen! We do indeed.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, that's such a powerful, provocative image in all its simplicity. One to dwell on, which really I haven't thought much about.

yipeng said...


Tremonti said...

I like these quotes:
"We depend on the Spirit, but we must walk or live out God's revealed will for us."

"We witness regardless, especially by our lives, but also by words, not waiting on any special feeling, while in much prayer."

Life in the Spirit is not passive, just awaiting for the Spirit to nudge us to the right situation is irresponsible to say the least.

Living in the Spirit is living on the discipline of following his way everyday in the mundane ('not waiting for a special feeling') as with some of those moments where his direction is specific and clear.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your comment, Yipeng.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen. Thanks.

Yes, sometimes I think we find our walk in the Spirit is most profound through the daily grind, as we endeavor to follow and be faithful to our Lord, even when the doing of it is by a faith which senses nothing.

But "walk" is a good term. Nothing spectacular in so much of our lives in the Spirit, maybe for many of us nothing spectacular at all. But real, and right down to where we live. Incarnational, in Jesus.