Monday, October 3, 2011

The Presence of the Holy Spirit

          This is my October Newspaper Column....

 Did you know that it is impossible to live the Christian Life without the Holy Spirit?  Did you know that the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) cannot manifest in your life without the Holy Spirit?   Did you know that you cannot “forgive as you have been forgiven” without the Holy Spirit?  Did you know that you cannot “love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength” without the Holy Spirit?
            The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God.  Jesus spoke much about Him in his teachings to his followers.  He said that the Spirit would come as a “counselor” to those who know Him (John 14:15).  Jesus said that when he left the earth that He and the Father would come to the believer and make their home within the believer (John 14:23).   He says the Spirit will come to the believer and convict of sin, lead her or him to truth, speak the Father’s word, and bring glory to Jesus (John 16:7f).
            The Apostle Paul elaborates even further on the role of the Spirit saying that He adopts believers as actual children of God (Romans 8:15), and that He even helps us when we don’t know how to pray (Romans 8:26).  He teaches that believers receive spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit to help them minister and serve God (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:11).  Paul adds that the believer should manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
            With so much teaching about the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testament, it is amazing that so many followers of Jesus lack the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  Jesus taught Nicodemus that one must be “born of the Spirit” to see the Kingdom of God” (John 3), and that his followers would receive “power” from the Holy Spirit to tell the world about Him (Acts 1:8). 
Yet…. Why do so many modern day followers of Jesus not have the Holy Spirit in their lives?  Maybe, it could be as simple as they have never asked God for the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ words:  “If you then, even though it is in your very nature to practice evil,  know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP).

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