Holy Spirit's Presence
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
and Jesus
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4. Holy Spirit's Presence

Martin Luther

Martin LutherMartin Luther (1483-1546 AD), the great German Professor of Theology and Reformer, writes "the Holy Spirit, who is one God with the Father and the Son." The Holy Spirit wants to "make us holy." We can understand what the word "Spirit" means for there is a human spirit, an evil spirit, and the Holy Spirit. "Why is God called the 'Holy Spirit' here? Because he sanctifies or makes sacred or holy." Martin Luther adds in his "Sermons on the Catechism," "Therefore I believe in the Holy Spirit because he has sanctified me and still sanctifies me."

Omnipresence

OmnipresenceThe third person of the Trinity demands the same reverence as the Father and Jesus. The Holy Spirit embodies holiness. Like the Father and the resurrected Jesus, he is also omnipresent. The Trinity is everywhere or anywhere at any time. The Holy Spirit may choose to be in any place at any time. Omnipresence is one of the marks of his deity. The Psalmist is fully aware of this characteristic of God, the Holy Spirit. He writes in Psalm 139.7-10, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." The Holy Spirit may be everywhere or anywhere at any time!

Holy Spirit Person

MistThe Holy Spirit leads and directs as Jesus instructs. Dr. Donald Coggan (1909-2000) writes, "The Spirit leaks things from God and makes Jesus our contemporary." The Holy Spirit is a person amongst us just as Jesus and the Father are. Wikipedia defines personality, "a person is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility." The defining features of personhood and, consequently, what makes a person count differ widely among cultures and contexts. Somebody that performs these personal things in a relationship — like God, angels, and human beings — is a person. Almost every pronoun used of the Spirit, even though the Greek is the neuter word "pneuma" is usually the male "he." Occasionally the feminine "she" is used but never "it." Jesus says in John 15.26, "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father — he will testify about me." Also, in John 16.13-14, we read, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you." There is equality in the Godhead, and all three members of the Trinity are persons. Just as something flashes in the corner of our eye and we automatically glance over thinking someone is there, so the Holy Spirit's presence flashes in our lives. We sense his presence even though he is invisible.

Makes Jesus Contemporary

Archbishop Donald CogganLord Donald Coggan (1909-2000), the late Archbishop of Canterbury, commissioned me as an evangelist in the Church of England in 1975. He writes in his little book, "The Christian Faith," that "The Holy Spirit has a way of annihilating the barriers of time and distance and making Jesus our great contemporary." The Holy Spirit's attributes shine a light on a person's personality. He empowers God's people as in Zechariah 4.6, "So he said to me, 'This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." He also endues people with life according to Romans 8.2, "because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." Note that in the phrase "has set you free," the singular "you" is translated as "me" in some manuscripts. The Holy Spirit is omniscient or all-knowing, and he, therefore, knows all our thoughts and reveals the truth to Christians. In 1 Corinthians 2.10-11, we read, "these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except for their spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."

The Advocate

Jesus instructs his disciples, describing the Holy Spirit as the "Advocate" or "one who stands alongside." In John 14.26, we read, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." The Holy Spirit's presence also instructs us about the mind of God. "The Holy Spirit leaks things from the mind of God." In the same vein, we read in Hebrews 9.14 about the role of the Holy Spirit in the crucifixion. "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" "Acts that lead to death" may also be translated as "acts from useless rituals."✞

Spirit Guide

PhilipThe Holy Spirit's presence gives us instructions from Jesus himself as he did during Saint Paul's missionary journeys in New Testament times. In the Early Church, the Holy Spirit speaks to the Apostles just as Jesus speaks to them. Saint Philip is guided by the Holy Spirit to look for an Ethiopian official in a chariot. Luke records that the Spirit tells Philip in Acts 8.29, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." The Holy Spirit tells the disciple what to do and what not to do. Today, the Holy Spirit still guides and directs Christians who listen to him speak through the Word of God, the Bible. In John 16.7, Jesus tells his disciples, "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." Jesus saving work on the cross is necessary before the Holy Spirit in his fulness could come.

Mind of God

There are four things the Holy Spirit presence causes in Christian's lives. First, he guides us into all truth. During Saint Paul's missionary journeys, the Holy Spirit is also always there, directing him. Saint Luke records in Acts 16.6-7, "Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to." Second, the Holy Spirit guides us away from sin. The Holy Spirit, also called "the Spirit of Jesus," does not permit certain things if he does not wish it in Christians today. Galatians 5.16 says, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." Third, the Holy Spirit sends us out. In Luke 4.18, Jesus says, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free," Finally, the Holy Spirit guides us in the will of God. King David writes in Psalm 143.10, "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. May this be our prayer today, "may your good Spirit lead me on level ground."

Spirit Oversees

CardinalThe Holy Spirit's presence oversees, guides God's people, and gives his directions for future growth. The Holy Spirit superintends the appointment of the leaders in the church who are called bishops, overseers, or elders in the New Testament. Someone once said, "A leader may fancy the idea that their church is a democratic institution, but it is not!" The Holy Spirit's presence guides the church and is responsible for the appointing of qualified persons for this task. The church is not a democracy but a theocracy. God rules!

Holy Spirit Appoints

Flock of SheepSaint Luke writes in Acts 20.28 to the elders who had come from Ephesus, "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God." "Be shepherds of the church of God" is translated in many manuscripts as "shepherds of the Lord." The phrase, "which he bought with his own blood," means "with the blood of his own Son." The "elders" or "bishops" were called "overseers" and told to "pastor" or "shepherd" the flock. The Holy Spirit continues to oversee and appoint those with the necessary qualities and characteristics to lead God's people. He does not select those who are not Biblically qualified. Many hold office in the Anglican Church but are unqualified! There is a trend in the church to appoint politically correct persons to leadership, but they may not be Biblically qualified for a position. The church's job is to be guided by that unseen yet mighty hand and not to do things of their choosing even if they may fit into society's norm! The phrase, "which he bought with his own blood," may be translated as "with the blood of his own Son." This phrase "his own blood" may be a term of affection such as "the blood of his own one," referring to God's son. Christ buys us at a very high price!

"Holy Spirit's Presence"
©1990-2019
by Ron Meacock

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