Monday, January 5, 2009

The Role of the Holy Spirit - The Power to be a Son or Daughter of God

As Christians, we may not have ever been taught about, or experienced a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. We all have been encouraged to have a personal relationship with Jesus by praying, reading the Word and going to church. He is our savior, friend, forgiver and strength. We are often taught of the role of the Father as Creator, Judge, the One who is slow to anger, and the One that knows the date for the end of the age. What is puzzling to me is this, for some reason the church global, often excludes the role of the Holy Spirit and rarely teaches us to have a relationship with Him. Experiencing the Holy Spirit as the manifest presence of Jesus here on earth, should be part of our daily activities and spiritual life.

So what is the difference between having a personal relationship with Jesus, and one with the Holy Spirit? There is not a difference per se. However; understanding the relationship between the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are essential to a full and intimate relationship with a living and supernatural God.

Understanding the relationship of the godhead (trinity) is simple, and complex at the same time. God is not three separate entities, but He definitely has three distinct persons (roles). Just as your earthly father functioned in the role of father. Assuming that your parents were married, he also had the role of husband. Most men also have a title at their job; thus a third role, The trinity is similar. His role as father was to provide and protect His children. His role as husband would have been as a mate to his wife and he may have been a general manager or carpenter at work. It is the same person, with three very distinct roles, distinct responsibilities and distinct relational "qualities."

We might think of these roles in a more simplified fashion. The Father is law and judgement, Jesus is love and grace (by faith) and the Holy Spirit is power and wisdom. Without power, no matter how much we participate in religious activities, and obey the law, we are as helpless as a car with out gasoline. Without wisdom, we are directionless as a sailboat without a centerboard.

If you are over 17, you have probably noticed the difference between the actions of men and woman. The difference between God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is analogous. The Holy Spirit, for the purpose of understanding His role, is a bit like the wife. The Holy Spirit is submissive to the will of the Father and subject to the rule of Jesus-- and coequal at the same time. The Holy Spirit is not the head, but the one that carries out that mandates of Heaven on earth. The role of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus and be a witness to His work on the cross now and throughout eternity.

As we meet, and get to know that person of the Holy Spirit, our passion and love for Jesus will grow. That is His purpose; to point to Jesus. This is why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, as a sign that He had been glorified (John 7:39).

Here are 9 important roles the Holy Spirit plays in the part of our sanctification and walk with the Lord.

1 Helper (John 14:16) - The Holy Spirit is a helper; literally "called along side." This is the same Greek word that is sometimes translated comforter in other contexts.

2 Comforter (Acts 9:31) - Literally, "one who pleads another' case" It is the job of the Holy Spirit to express our pain, and bring peace as a judgement of Heaven.

3 Counselor (John 14:16) - The Holy Spirit is the one that brings peace in our relationships.

4 Convicts Us (John 16:8) - The Holy Spirit is the one that guides in what is right and wrong as God sees it. This is not our moral or ethical compass, which is subject to emotion, rationalization and human logic, but a powerful prodding by God Himself.

5 Peace (Romans 14:17) - The Spirit of peace and relationship maker. The Spirit reminds you of Him (John 14:26).

6 Teacher (Luke 12:12) - Literally "speak for us" with God's voice. The Holy Spirit is the one that recognizes the "rehema," the living word of God. The Holy Spirit is alive and He will challenge our beliefs, our traditions and our religious acts. Preparing our works to be judged with fire. The Holy Spirit will prompt us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.

7 Witness to Jesus (John 8:18) - He will witness to Jesus, not to Himself. His work will cause all men to give glory to Jesus. It was the work of the Holy Spirit that caused John to say, "we write of what we have seen."

8 Seal of Salvation (Ephesians 1:13) - The Holy Spirit in us. is the assurance of our salvation. Only the Holy Spirit can bring us the assurance of our faith in the eternal Kingdom. The coming of the age of the Holy Spirit is was Thomas was lacking. He had seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead and participated in the feeding of the 5,000 men and their families. He knew what Jesus could do, but until that day of Pentecost, He did not have the assurance of the power to do it by faith.

9 Power to participate in Kingdom Activities (Luke 1:17, Luke 1:35, Luke 4:14, Acts 10:38, 1 Cor 2:4, Gal 4:29)


Carol Adams said...

Good article overall. I see one of the ways you tried to explain the trinity differently though. By saying that the Father is the law and judgement can confuse people by putting Him in a negative light.
I prefer the comparison of water-being able to be liquid, ice and vapor and still be the same thing. I'm sure you have heard that analogy before.
I would have thought that when you listed the 'Counselor' role for the Holy Spirit it would entail as 'one who gives counsel or guidance'.
But then I looked in Strongs and could not find the word Counselor used in John 14:16 and realized the NIV uses Counselor and the King James says Comforter.
I mostly read the NIV, but use other versions to compare at times.
I did check my NIV exhaustive concordance for John 14:16 and it has three listings: paralketos, counselor and one who speaks in defense.
So, anyway some food for thought. And yes you are right many churches don't teach enough about the Holy Spirit.
There are those who say in their doctrine of faith that they believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for today, but don't seem to have that evident in the life of the church. I experienced
that in a church in Pa.
Be blessed.

David said...

Thanks for the comment, Carol.

I agree that looking at the Father as only law and judgement might seem negative, but I did list other attributes earlier on.

We have had "mother" church for so long that we have pretty much received only nurturing. The church also is to play the role of Father and provide a little backbone to balance grace. This is evidenced by the the immaturity that we see in the church when divorce and addiction rates are now the same as the world.

There are two significant definitions for "paralketos" and I listed both of them.

The bottom line is that the Holy Spirit is part of the relationship. Without it we do not have the power, direction or passion to be fruitful mature Christians.

BTW - I have written a lot on the gifts and their functioning in the church, and the world.

Here is a link:

Tevet said...

I agree, we as believers do not focus enough on our relationship with Holy Spirit. Which I have never understood, because Jesus ascended to Heaven in order for us to receive Holy Spirit.
I like your approach in how you are addressing issues that have been areas of conflict within the Body and unfortunately still are.

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