Ascension is the final direct teaching moment in Jesus ministry. He is comforting the disciples with the news they will be commissioned, guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This is good news for us as we too live in a hostile and dangerous place. Like the disciples we cannot continue Jesus ministry on our own. Like them we need both a community for emotional support and the Holy Spirit to commission us, guide us and empower us for ministry. We live in the spiritual wreckage of failed politicized churches that did not depend on the Holy Spirit to commission, guide and empower them.
Bible Teachings For Spiritual Life
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May 20, 2023
Commissioned, Empowered & Guided by the Holy Spirit (Ascension, Year A)
May 13, 2023
Holy Spirit is the continuing presence of Jesus (Easter 6A)
Jesus is preparing His Disciples for His Death, Resurrection, Ascension and the Coming of Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They are frightened and are going to feel abandoned in a world that is very hostile and dangerous. He comforts them by saying He is going away to prepare a place for them where they can all be together. He will send “another advocate” to continue His work of guiding them and helping them prepare for their own death, resurrection into eternal spiritual life of joy. The advocate will be like a modern lawyer who prepares people for a trial and judgement. The advocate will come to those who love Jesus and keep His Command to love one another.
1. Holy Spirit Comes to Those Who Love Jesus
Jesus, like Father God[ must respect human free will. He cannot force people to love Him. That would not be real love.
· Jesus defines this love of Jesus as those who Keep my Commandments.
· This is a continuation of the Covenant of Moses where the 10 Commandments were tests of our love of God (1-5); and our love of neighbour (6-10)
· Continuation of Moses telling the Hebrews that God would send another prophet like him.
· Covenant of Jesus clarified the Command to love God and our neighbour with self-sacrificial love – as Jesus modelled on the Cross
· Covenant of Jesus added the forgiveness of sins(that had been taken to the Cross by repentant believers)
· Covenant of Jesus added eternal spiritual life for believers
· Holy Spirit would help believers examine their lives, repent sins, become healed and holy enough to be in God’s presence
2. Holy Spirit Will Live in Us
April 8, 2023
The Resurrection Validated the Covenant of Jesus (Easter)
Easter is the celebration of one of the most important events in human history. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was God’s cosmic yes to all the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught that God was making a new Covenant of forgiveness that fulfilled and expanded the Covenant of Moses to all believers. This Covenant offered believers forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith in Jesus sacrificial death. Believers connect themselves spiritually to Jesus and die with Him on the Cross before being raised to a new Holy-Spirit filed life of joy.
1. How Can We Believe This?
April 1, 2023
Self-Sacrificial Love is Humble (Palm Sunday)
1. Humility is an attitude people can choose
It is an attitude people often confuse with fearfulness, weakness and indecision.
March 18, 2023
Called Out of Darkness into the Light (Lent 4)
The Readings continue the Lenten challenge to self-examination and being born again. We see the contrast between the Pharisees who were supposed to be understand spiritual things spiritual – but remained in spiritual darkness; and man born blind, a presumed sinner – who comes out of darkness into the light of Christ. The Pharisees were stuck in the darkness of the world and the blind man become the light of Christ and a sign of God’s Glory in the world.
1. We are all born Spiritually Blind
February 18, 2023
Experiences of God's Glory Give Us Hope (Transfiguration)
The supernatural worldview of the Bible has been lost to many in the Church. The power of God and the glory of God has been lost and forgotten. For many people Christianity has been reduced from a revealed religion to a philosophy of life. This has made us weak and ineffective. We all need experiences of the power and glory of God to give us hope in this dark time. The good news is that the Bible is full of examples and teachings that help us grow spiritually from knowing about Jesus to experiencing Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our ministry is to share this good news and give those around us hope.
1. The Hebrews Experienced God’s Glory
February 10, 2023
Holy Spirit of Truth Gives Light and Salt (Epiphany 5a)