April 30, 2016

Holy Spirit “Will Teach You All Things ” (Easter 6)

The Readings remind us that the first followers of Jesus were taught, led and directed by the Holy Spirit. Paul goes to Philippi in response to a dream and then is “...carried away in the Spirit to a mountain top...” (Rev. 21.10) where he sees a vision of the New Jerusalem coming down to Earth. Many Christians are afraid of the Holy Spirit because it has led to divisions in the church between those who have and have not experienced the divine in supernatural form. This fear may appear wise to some but it is very unwise because this cuts people off from having an ongoing relationship with Jesus and limits our faith to moral rules and rituals – like the Pharisees of Jesus time. We must not give in to the ‘avoid religious conflict at all costs’ mantra of the current generation. We must, as Captain Kirk world say, “boldly go where no one has gone before” - and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. This is a clear promise from Jesus. (John 14.26)

1. The Holy Spirit teaches us truth (go from error into truth in BAS Prayer 3)
Our time is dramatically different from previous generations because a vague new liberal philosophy has now replaced the old values of Christendom, and specifically the idea of absolute truth.
This is the misguided consequence of centuries of bloody conflict over religion. A false peace in achieved by everyone accepting what everyone else believes to be true as truth. This is completely illogical – but it enables people who have lost their faith – or never had a faith, to feel “comfortable”. This is tragic as these lost souls may never develop a spiritual life of joy and right relationship with God.
·         No ‘true truth’ makes it much harder for us to “Proclaim the Faith” as we promise to do in our Baptism and Confirmation
·         Denies the unique truths of the Bible, and specifically the experiences many people had of the Holy Spirit, healing and freedom from demonic spiritual oppression
·         Experiences of the Holy Spirit authenticate the truths of the Bible scientifically – they saw heallings – we see heallings
·         Experiences of the Holy Spirit open our spiritual eyes so we can understand the meaning of Biblical teachings – the parables, healing miracles and encounters with demons
·         Experience makes the Bible real for us and helps us understand how things work in the supernatural dimension
·         Arm ourselves in prayer with the sword of the Spirit of Truth and Belt of truth to hold us together in this confusing time
2. How to go “from sin to righteousness” / right relationship
Many people do not get it that Christianity is much more than a set of rules of good behaviour. The rules are there to teach us how to avoid the spiritual pollution of sin and be in a right relationship with Jesus.
  • Holy Spirit opens our minds so we can understand the Bible and get to know Jesus as a real person – sometimes even experience Him in dreams and visions
  • Relationship is an emotional experience – cannot love a stone
  • Forgiveness of sin depends on our faith or personal trust in Jesus as the one who can take away our guilt and shame
  • Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes so we can overcome our self-deception and blindness and see our hidden sin
  • Holy Spirit is our conscience that pushes us to repent and go to Jesus for forgiveness – and restored relationship
 3. Holy Spirit teaches us “to go from death into life” (BAS p.198)                                    The Good News of Christianity is that there is something more than what we see. Jesus promised eternal spiritual life to those who love Him, believe in Him – and show this by living in right relationship. But this eternal spiritual life is in a holy place which “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful ... (Rev. 21.27)

  • Good News is that the Holy Spirit teaches us how to identify, repent, confess and receive forgiveness from Jesus for the sin that pollutes our spiritual life
  • This process helps us develop a spiritual life of joy in this life that will continue to live on in the spiritual dimension after our body dies
  • Good News is that just as the Apostles had Jesus in human form to teach them; those who love Jesus and obey Him now will have Jesus in spiritual form “...come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14.23)
  • Alleluia!

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