Newsletter Article for 6-21-20
Why have we always been so afraid of talking about the Holy Spirit? It was never studied or discussed when I was going through my teens. When I got to Harding College as a freshman, one of the first in-house doctrinal battles I ever found myself in was whether the Holy Spirit literally dwells within us or is it only active through scripture. It was called the “Word Only” view of the Holy Spirit. Many of the discussions and debates got quite heated. I had friends who labeled all of us who believed in the actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit as liberals and heretics. Why was it so threatening to so many people?
Like many things in life, we are threatened by things we do not understand. Add to that the wild things some religious groups did in the name of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and it’s not difficult to see why some would fear the infamous “slippery slope” of believing the Holy Spirit was actually active in our life separate and apart from what it did in the Bible. It never bothered me that I did not have all the answers about the Holy Spirit. It still doesn’t. One of the principles of biblical study that has helped me learn and interpret the Word of God is recognizing God’s challenge of sharing eternally spiritual things to a creation that is limited by physical understanding. That is why we have a metaphorical description of heaven, a limited explanation for how angels work, and only a glimpse of how, where, and why the Holy Spirit works in our life. God said we receive the Holy Spirit at the same time we receive forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and He gives us a good list of things it does for in Romans 8. He tells us that the Holy Spirit is working in our life when we start displaying its fruit (Gal.5:22). By faith I accept that it is real and that it is part of the providential work of God. As I grow spiritually, I am more and more fascinated and blessed to discover it’s work and presence in my life.
If you are still with me and have not been frightened away with all this talk about the Holy Spirit, think about this. What does it mean to “grieve the Holy Spirit”? As we look at The Seven Practices of a Transformed Life, we come to #5 and are challenged to not grieve the Holy Spirit. Do what? Or rather, don’t do what? Join us this Sunday for Father’s Day, our church family day, and a day to see what it means to cause grief for the Spirit that dwells within us.
Remember, a Bible Study Discussion sheet that is connected to my Sunday lesson is available on our church website as part of the lesson outline at florissantchurchofchrist.org, and it is also on my website mikerootbooks.com.
Join Donna and me Wednesday evening as we look at the My Phavorite Psalm! The Facebook live cast is on my site, but it is Public so you don’t have to be a FB friend of mine to see it.