Monthly Archives: May 2024

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

Codicote 9.30 service

Pentecost 

Texts

Acts 2. 1-21

Jn 15:26-27 +16: 4-15

Intro. 

Our readings today focus on the great stories of the disciples receiving the HS So let us today think about the Person and the Work of the HS

In he Old Testament  the “Spirit of God” that hovers over creation and is the “breath” the source of life of all . The Spirit also comes to individuals to give them power to act in God’s name.

With Jesus coming and after Him, with discussions of Him and having a divine nature the emerging church also thought about the nature of Spirit of God and how that was related to Jesus. So the church in its councils eventually agreed on the general formula we have today written into the creeds.

In Eternity before all else came to exist the original unknown and eternal God produced The Word, who speaks into creation and the Spirit. They were not simply powers of God they are like distinct persons who share all the divine and eternal nature of God and love in everlasting communion. 

The Word has always spoken to creation and humanity in our minds became joined to the human nature of Jesus in a special way and so became in Him the greatest expression of the nature and character of God. The Spirt has also come to be understood as being more than a power, but also having a real sense of distinctiveness as an equal person, who carries on the special role of acting in the world in people’s lives. 

Because of this special new understanding the Church changed the name of the Spirt to The Holy Spirit to represent the uniqueness and special status of the HS has in the life of God and the world. Its difficult to keep a balance between knowing God infinite and eternal but being expressed in these very personal types of ways. But that is what we should do

So what does the Holy Spirit do?

First the HS witnesses to us about Jesus and leads us into the truths about Jesus and the Father. The HS helps make connections between what we read about them and helps inwardly to instruct us to interpret God’s purpose and what we should do. 

Secondly, the HS helps us to cultivate goodness and virtues in our lives.

The work of Jesus as our saviour was to reconcile us back to God, to remake friendship and communion, through forgiveness of our sins and failures to love and serve. The work of the HS continues that journey of communion and puts in to our minds those things we should do and become if we are really loving and serving God and our neighbours. 

Thirdly – The HS is our aid in ministry and witness to Christ

St Paul in his letters to the churches mentions ways in which the early church found new power to speak for Christ.: Speaking in unknown languages in prayer, power to heal in Jesus name and powers to speak and act for Jesus.Some may still experience these and other abilities and even our normal abilities to do things may be enhanced. 

Speaking personally I can only preach because I find the inspiration that I do through the HS. 

People may have other gifts of personal witness and counsel for those that need it. The HS can lift and use all our normal abilities and turn them to good service and witness. 

Finally the HS leading society change 

I was long ago influenced by writings of Jurgen Moltman.  German born Lutheran who has written a lot about Christian involvement in politics. 

The Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit is witness to the world not just about faith in Jesus as personal saviour but also involved in changing society towards the Kingdom of God and the fullness of His goal and futile for the world. Moltmann wrote about care of the environment and movements towards trying to make society more good, just and equal. To combat poverty and forms of slavery and abuse. 

I mention that because this week is Christian Aid week. We are encouraged to support that charity that includes connections to our brothers and sisters around the world and attempts to alleviate their poverty and destress.