(see John Gishler Youtube channel for the video service)
It is often a challenge for people living in a modern “science-based” culture to believe in and understand how things work in the supernatural dimension. This is why many people have trouble with the virgin birth, the Resurrection and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The readings for Pentecost describe that confusion – even for people who lived in a culture that believed in angels and the demonic. The point is we all need to personally experience the Holy Spirit before we can really understand and believe in the Holy Spirit. This is the great gift of Pentecost. An experience of the Holy Spirit was poured out on all people – as long prophesied. The readings help us understand:
· Who the Holy Spirit is, and
· The work of the Holy Spirit in developing our spiritual life by uniting us to God and other believers.
1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
It is helpful to think of the Holy Spirit as the continuing presence of Jesus in the world who guides, encourages and heals us. The Nicene Creed teaches us the Holy Spirit is:
· The power of God by which Jesus “became incarnate from the virgin Mary”,
· “the Lord and giver of life”,
· “has spoken through the prophets.
The Holy Spirit is all through the Bible – the second verse of the Bible reminds us “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters of darkness”. In simple language the Holy Spirit is, like Jesus, God with us. Holy Spirit, like God the Father and Jesus, is continuing the work of reaching out and inviting individuals to come into a holy relationship. The work of the Holy Spirit is to unite us to the perfect divine unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. Holy Spirit Develops and Protects Our Unity With God
God the Father desires to have a love relationship with all of His creation. God had to give us free will so we can chose to love God - or not:
· If we accept Jesus as Saviour we are made holy and Holy Spirit can live in our personal spirit and guide us
· Rebellion / sin pollutes our spirit so Holy Spirit can not live in us and separates us from God
· Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes so we can understand the Bible and develop a deeper and richer spiritual life
· Holy Spirit gives us gifts of wisdom, knowledge, healing and discernment of spirits that unite us to God
· Gift of Discernment of Spirits protects us from evil spirits that try to deceive us and break our unity with God
3. Holy Spirit Unites Us To Others
Our personal spirit connects us intuitively to other people. As we develop a daily routine of Bible study and prayer we go deeper into our spiritual life in Christ. Our worldview changes dramatically to include the supernatural dimension:
· We become different or born again people with different values and priorities from our old friends
· We need a new community / church, where we can share our experiences of Holy Spirit and not be ridiculed
· New community encourages and guides us with Bible study, teaching, healing and worship experiences
· Holy Spirit develops unity by giving different gifts to different people so we depend on each other:
o Wisdom – what to do
o Knowledge – how to do
o Healing – forgiveness, reconciliation and freedom from sickness and spiritual bondage
Good News of Pentecost is that Holy Spirit is poured out on all believers to unite us to God and each other.
Thanks be to God!
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