Matters of Creed – The Gift of The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a gift for the followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus promises his disciples they will receive the Holy Spirit. In Luke 24 and John 14, Jesus tells his followers his Father will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. They are to wait to be clothed from on high with the Spirit’s power. The Spirit will empower their mission and ministry and enable them to be witnesses for Jesus to the ends of the earth. In Acts, Jesus tells his followers in Jerusalem to wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
That baptism of the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost. From that time forward, all who belong to Jesus Christ have been given the Holy Spirit. It is a gift.
Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
Years ago, a gift was delivered to the church for me and my family and was left in the office mailroom. I placed the gift in a sack with several other items and put them in the back of my SUV. We then left for vacation in a different car and I consequently forgot about the gift.
When we returned, I came across the sack and finally opened the gift, removing the wrapping paper. Inside was a marvelous set of delicious items (which thankfully were not perishable) but would have been wonderful to enjoy while we were with our family. I had overlooked and forgotten about this lovely gift for more than two weeks.
This was a gift that was given – but was not received. The gift was given - but not opened. The gift was given - but not utilized or enjoyed. It is the same as the gift of the Holy Spirit. This gift is given to each of us but is often not received. Not because it is lost in the mail or forgotten in the back of our automobile but because we are busy, distracted, careless, forgetful, and we don’t know what we are missing.
Many Christian believers have no idea about the Holy Spirit. Many faith traditions don’t talk about the third member of the Trinity and for many of us, God’s gift of the Spirit goes unopened and unrealized for much of our lives. We just don’t experience what the Spirit-filled life is like.
Rev. Carolyn Moore, the pastor of Mosaic Church and author of Encounter the Spirit, describes the Spirit-filled life like this. Imagine going to an amazing restaurant and you are starving. All the food smells wonderful, but when you look at the menu, you realize you cannot afford the prices, so you order a lettuce wedge and a glass of water. The person next to you orders also. The waiter brings him a beautiful plate of mouth-watering filet mignon, lobster, baked potato with all the toppings, beautiful fresh vegetables of every color. It smells wonderful. It looks amazing. You are missing out.
The Spirit-filled life is supposed to be like that – a sumptuous spiritual feast every day. God wants to lavish us spiritually, to pour out joy and blessings upon us through the community with the Holy Spirit and fuel and empower us for vital service in the world. We are to be Spirit-filled people! Ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be realized in your life.
Encounter the Spirit by Rev. Carolyn Moore