June 2, 2012

I Believe In the Holy Spirit: The Trinity in 15 Minutes

This is a Creedal statement we make every Sunday. It is part of our affirmation of Faith in the Trinity. The difference is that unlike the Creedal statements about God the Father and Jesus the Son in the Apostles Creed; nothing is said about what it is we are supposed to believe about the Holy Spirit. This is deliberate. The point is we are to believe in the Holy Spirit so we can be led by the Holy Spirit into a deeper and eternal relationship with God. This process of developing a deeper spiritual life is called being born again.

1.    The Holy Spirit is the part of a God who is with us in our lives
a.    Trinity Sunday is a good time to learn how God works in our daily lives as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
b.    The Holiness of God is something we sometimes forget
c.    God the Father is the creator who creates a holy world
d.    God includes freedom of choice in His creation
e.    Rebellion -à Sin à Guilt à un-holiness à separation
f.      Like Isaiah we have unclean lips and need healing
g.    Cannot be in the divine presence until we are clean
h.    Fire burns up un-holiness, old self dies, new self born
i.      God intervenes as Jesus, Redeemer to pay the price
j.      Again freedom of choice on Jesus part and ours
k.     God also intervenes by coming as the Holy Spirit
l.      Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier who makes us holy
m.   Helps us see our sin and decide to repent to Jesus
n.    Holy Spirit is the Comforter who teaches and heals us

2.    Belief In is more than acknowledgement

a.    Belief in means trust in, dependence on, involvement
b.    Story of tightrope walker going across Niagara falls – asks man if he believes he can do this - walks, takes wheelbarrow then invites man to sit in wheelbarrow
c.    We tend to get caught up on knowledge about the HS
d.    We intellectualize what should be a relationship of love

3.    Religious people have trouble understanding the Holy Spirit
a.    Nicodemus is the ultimate religious person – read all the books, taken all the classes, held all the offices, risen to the highest place as a “Teacher of Israel”
b.    But Nicodemus ‘does not get it’ – believe in Holy Spirit
c.    Nicodemus is trying to figure out how to control Jesus – as a Member of the Sanhedrin – there could be trouble
d.    Nicodemus is drawn to Jesus by the miracles
e.    He is right there with Jesus – and he misses the point
f.      Why? – Because he is not really open to new ideas
g.    Story teaches us that can never know very much about what God is doing in the world – are dependent
h.    Holy Spirits like the wind – can’t see or predict what - but something will happen as She blows on us

4.    Believers are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8.14)
a.    Like Isaiah(6.4) we are led into truth – lips not clean
b.    “...testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (v. 18)
c.    Born again when we see who we are – our identity
d.    Breaks Satan’s lies that we are no good / unloved by God / not wanted
e.    This is the Good News – have been redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus – but have to claim it
f.      Die to self-dependence and Given a new spiritual life
g.    Holy Spirit leads us into a deeper relationship with God
h.    Holy Spirit Shows us our faults ins self examination
i.      Encourages us, strengthens us and comforts us
j.      Holy Spirit teaches and heals us – opens our eyes

5.   I believe in the Holy Spirit means we not only acknowledge the existence of the Holy Spirit, but that we invite Him into our lives by making a holy place for Him in our hearts and listening to Him – we believe in Him.

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