May 29, 2015

“I Believe In the Holy Spirit”: The Trinity in 15 Minutes (Trinity Sunday Readings)

This is a Creedal statement we make every Sunday. It is part of our affirmation of Faith in the Apostles Creed. God the Father is defined as the creator who gives us life. Jesus is defined as the Son who is God with us in human form on Earth and gives up his physical life to pay the price for all human sin. Nothing is said about what it is we are supposed to believe about the Holy Spirit. The point is we are to believe in the Holy Spirit as the continuing presence of God in the world so we can be led into a deeper and eternal relationship with God. This process of being led by the Spirit in developing a new spiritual life is called being born again – we get new identity.

 1.    The Holy Spirit is the part of a God who is with us in our lives

May 22, 2015

Who Is The Holy Spirit? (Pentecost Sunday)

Anglicans sometimes have trouble understanding who the Holy Spirit is and what the Holy Spirit does. Older English translations of the Bible seriously miss-translated the Greek word “rouah” which means spirit, wind or breath (of God) as “The Holy Ghost”. This image turned the Holy Spirit into a vague and unfortunate caricature – something to be avoided in sermons. This is the exact opposite of what the Readings for Pentecost teach us. Jesus promised to send The Holy Spirit to all believers as the link to God or continuing presence of God working in the world. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who, exactly like Jesus, teaches us the truth in all things:

  • Convicting us of the reality of our own sin
  • Convincing us of the righteousness (authenticity) of Jesus
  • Convincing us of the certainty of final judgement by God

May 9, 2015

You Are Witnesses of These Things (Ascension Readings)

The Ascension of Jesus marks the end of Jesus visible ministry on Earth, until His coming again in the End Times. In between these times, Jesus tells us our ministry is to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name to all nations. (Luke 24.47). The Good News is that Jesus did not abandon His followers in this mission. Jesus promised that they would receive “power from on high”, the gift of the Holy Spirit, that he would “open their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24.45) If we are to be effective witnesses to the life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus we need to understand:

  • Why we are witnesses
  • What we can witness too
  • How the Holy Spirit helps us
  • Our responsibilities as witnesses
1. A witness is a person who has seen or experienced something
Jesus was speaking to His followers who had personally heard His teaching, seen his healing miracles and personally seen His Resurrection body.