Happy Spring everyone!
…at least it feels like Spring today…or maybe I’m just ready for it to be! Yes, we’ve had a pretty mild winter so I can’t really complain. However, these rays of sunshine that have been peeking out the past couple of days have been getting me so excited! There’s just something about a new Spring: a newness of life that brings promise, hope, and joy. As we’re entering into this Spring at the Institute, there is definitely a newness about it, but it’s also a little sad. As a community, we’re starting to feel that the end of our time together is coming to an end. Next week, we are off on Spring Break, and then before you know it, it will be time for graduation! I really want to make the most of the rest of my time here. I want to soak up what we are learning in class, savor the great relationships that I’ve made here, and put what I am learning into practice as I begin to walk into the next stage of my life.
This week, we are wrapping up a study on the Holy Spirit. Pete Deison from Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas came to share with us his wisdom on the subject. Early in the week, he took the time to present some different traits of the Holy Spirit in a very simple way. He simply researched places in the Scripture where the Holy Spirit is mentioned and organized the information that he learned from the text. It was amazing to me how many times the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Bible, yet how little I knew of it growing up in the church!
The Holy Spirit has a personality. This is proven by his characteristics, such as intelligence (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), feelings (Ephesians 4:30), and will (1 Corinthians 12:11). Throughout the Scripture, we see many actions of the Holy Spirit as well. John 14:26 states, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you”. In this passage, we see that the Holy Spirit teaches. The Holy Spirit also leads and guides. This can be seen in Romans 8:14: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” He also commissions (Acts 13:14), commands (Acts 8:25), restrains (Genesis 6:3), intercedes (Romans 8:26), and speaks (John 15:26, 2 Peter 1:21).
Although about 80% of what we know about the Holy Spirit is found in the New Testament, there is evidence of the Him in the Old Testament as well. In Psalm 104:30 and Job 33:4, we see that the Holy Spirit brings forth life. In Isaiah 40:12-14, we see that He brings order to the world. He is also the One who empowered God’s servants to do His works. This can be seen in Numbers 11:25, Judges 3:10, and 1 Samuel 10:6. In the New Testament, we can see the interactions of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. For example, in Luke 1:25, we see that the Spirit brings about the conception of Jesus. He also baptizes Christ in Luke 4:18 and launched the public ministry of Jesus in Luke 4:1-11.
The Holy Spirit plays a huge role in the life of a believer. According to Acts 2:38, we receive the Holy Spirit at the point of our salvation. He abides with us forever! He fills us, reveals things to us, directs our paths, speaks through us, and bears forth fruit in our lives. As believers, we have the whole of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have all of these things all of these things, all of the time. Jesus called us to bear fruit as believers and to use what we have been blessed with to bless others. The Spirit also gives us spiritual gifts. Unlike the fruit of the Spirit, we are not given all of the gifts as believers. There are many gifts described in Scripture, such as evangelism, prophecy, teaching, exhortation, administration, showing mercy, and the sign gifts (tongues, miracles, healings).
Over this year, I have realized how crucial and important the Holy Spirit is. He is a part of Trinity, equal with the Father and the Son. It is just as important to study Him and His role in this great Story as it is to study other things. I’m excited to learn more and grow in my understanding of Him!