Wineskins Archive

December 19, 2013

I Believe in the Holy Spirit (Mar-Jun 2010)

Filed under: — @ 9:12 pm and

by Edward Fudge
April 11, 2010

A brother in South America writes, “I noticed that you said: I ‘believe in’ the Lord Jesus Christ, and I ‘believe in’ the Father. Would it be correct also to say, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit?'”

* * *

Indeed, the answer to your question must be “Yes,” for the Holy Spirit is none other than the Spirit of God and the Spirit of the risen Jesus Christ. Throughout Scripture, the Spirit is the personal, powerful presence of the one and only God (Gen. 1:2; Ezek. 36:27; Lk. 1:35). But before God came to dwell invisibly in the Spirit, he came and dwelled in visible form, enfleshed in the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14, 18; Col. 1:19; 2:9). The Holy Spirit carries out the salvation that God planned in eternity past, the salvation actually accomplished through Jesus Christ. The Spirit points to Jesus and glorifies him, even as Jesus points to the Father and glorifies him (John 16:14-15; 12:49; 17:3-4).

Jesus is the human face of God. To see Jesus is to see the Father (John 14:9-11). If we love the light, we need not be frightened by God, for we know Jesus and he is not frightening. We need not fear the Holy Spirit, either, for the Spirit is the invisible presence of God-in-Christ, the personal, powerful presence of the resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ. “I will come to you,” said Jesus as he was about to depart this world, and “you will behold me” — but he was speaking of the Spirit (John 14:18-19). “We will come” to those who love God and keep Jesus’ word, said Jesus of himself and the Father, “and make our abode” with each such person (John 14:23). This referred to the Spirit’s coming.

Jesus’ parting words in Matthew are, “I am with you always” – speaking, of course, of his presence in the Spirit (Matt. 28:20). Luke’s Gospel records what Jesus “began to do and to teach” in the flesh, and Acts reports what Jesus continued to do through the Spirit after his ascension (Acts 1:1-2). We may welcome the Spirit as we would welcome Jesus in the flesh (Rom. 8:9-11; 2 Cor. 3:17). We may joyfully receive the Spirit as God’s present, and every fruit and gift of the Spirit – for the Father of Jesus Christ gives to his dear children only what is good (Lk. 11:9-13; 1 Cor. 14:1; 1 Thes. 5:19-22). It is no surprise that from earliest times, Christians using the Apostles Creed have affirmed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty . . . . I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord . . . . I believe in the Holy Spirit.”

Copyright 2010 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby given to reproduce, reprint or forward this gracEmail, but only in its entirety, without change and without financial profit.

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