Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Apostles' Creed- I Believe in the Holy Spirit

I believe in the Holy Spirit. Theologians have said that the Holy Spirit is the least known member of the trinity. God the father is a familiar image- maker of heaven and earth. Jesus Christ is the savior, God’s only Son, send to save us. In the fullness of time, God sent forth Jesus into the world, born of a woman, born under the law, a full and complete human being. He was human. He was redeemer. He was King of Kings who comes to judge the living and the dead.

Now, I believe in the Holy Spirit. Of course, the Apostles’ Creed is organized around the church’s understanding of the trinity.

In John chapter 14, Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples. You can almost sense the deep emotion as you read through the words. Jesus says: “I am going away. I will prepare a place for you so that where I am there you may be also. I will come back for you.” He says: “I will not leave you orphaned.”

The Holy Spirit is the presence of the living God with us. Jesus says: “In the meantime, I will send you the paraclete, the advocate, to be with you forever…” After resurrection, Jesus breathes on his disciples and says: “Receive the Holy Spirit…”

I believe that every Christian, every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, is filled with the Holy Spirit. When you receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within. Now, that’s not to say that the Spirit has not been present with you from the beginning. We believe that God’s grace is with you from your first breath. But, now when you accept Christ for yourself, the Holy Spirit, God’s own presence fills you. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

No matter where you go, or where you find yourself, God is with you. On his death bed, John Wesley said: “the best of all is God is with us…”

The Holy Spirit is the presence of God as close to you as your breath. You’ve all said: “when I pray my prayers don’t get through the ceiling.” But your prayers only have to get as far as your mouth. God is with you.

The Holy Spirit is also about community. In the power of the Spirit, we are given the church. We are given each other so that we won’t get picked off. Watch how people gather. A group is over here. On the other side of the room is another group. Over there is one person alone. Who’s more likely to be picked off? The one who is alone.

God gives us by the Holy Spirit’s power the church so that we have someone always watching out backs. The devil is always looking for ways to pick us off, to isolate us from the groups, to take advantage of the fact that we are alone.

Third, the Holy Spirit is about ministry. Every Christian is given a ministry by the Holy Spirit. We are given gifts to be used for the church and the world. Many and varied gifts are a part of the community of faith. No gift is more important than the others. All gifts give glory to God.

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel which means: “One who wrestles with God.” If we do anything that is less than wrestling with God we are misusing God’s great gifts.

All this is to say that by the Holy Spirit God/Jesus is alive and well and living on planet earth, working and willing his way among us. In addition to being filled by the Holy Spirit we may in fact experience new life and hope when the Spirit comes upon us anew. May we all pray for the further gift of the Holy Spirit giving us all that God has in store for us.

I believe in the Holy Spirit.

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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