In a previous post Pastor Sharon shared some details about a fellowship we used to belong to. That fellowship used to believe that God was a family name with two separate Gods(Father and Son), and a force or power called the Holy Spirit that they used to do whatever they wanted to do. In my last post I shared what we missed about God’s love and Jesus. This one is about what we missed about God’s love and the Holy Spirit.
I’ll start with a few verses from the bible showing that the Holy Spirit is a person. The verses in John use words like He, someone and Friend, none of which apply to an “it”. The verse in Ephesians use the word grieve. A force or power cannot be grieved.
John 14:15-17 The Message (MSG)
15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!
Ephesians 4:30 The Message
30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
In our former fellowship, we also didn’t know that the Holy Spirit is God. It’s understandable that thinking that the Holy Spirit is a force or power leads to the conclusion that the Spirit is not God. Here are a few verses showing that indeed the Holy Spirit is God. When Ananias lied the the Holy Spirit he lied to God.
Acts 5:3-4 The Message
3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.”
So far I would expect what I have said to be familiar with most, if not all the readers of the blog. But have you considered what the Holy Spirit shows us about God’s love? Lets start with what Jesus said about the purpose of the law(the old covenant).
Matthew 22:37-40 The message
37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
That old covenant was a witness that without God’s power, people would not, and indeed could not love God and their neighbor the way He wanted them to. Jesus was sent to mediate a new covenant based not on what people could do, but on what only God could do. No human works can pay the death penalty for sin or change human character. But God’s grace(His love in action) can do both. For the first there are those famous scriptures in the bible.
John 3:16-18 The Message (MSG)
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
For the second, changing human character, God’s grace is not so well known. Without God, this is what we are, and no amount amount of human effort will change that.
Galatians 5:19-21 The Message (MSG)
19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
But the Holy Spirit is God’s love in action, just as much as Jesus was and is. Look at what He, and only He can do in us. If we repent of sin and give control of our life to Jesus, then our sins are forgiven. Likewise if we submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit he will change our carnal sinful character to Holy Godly character.
Galatians 5:19-21 The Message (MSG)
19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
One more example of God’s love involving the Holy Spirit. I had thought for years that Jesus went to heaven but we had the Holy Spirit with us instead of Jesus. But the scriptures add something else.
John 16:12-15 The Message (MSG)
12-15 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’
Jesus while he was on earth did the Father’s will not His. Likewise the Holy Spirit does Jesus’ and will not His own. What an act of Godly love! Jesus did not leave or abandon us. Through the Holy Spirit He’s is always with us.
In His love and service,
copyright 2020, Christ’s Disciples Ministry, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All rights reserved