Christ said in John 16:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” After He left He would ask the Father to send “another Helper” and He delivered on this promise in a powerful way at Pentecost. As per the Promise in Joel 2:28, the promised Spirit was poured out on all of mankind. The Church, mankind, and all believers would be forever affected by the cataclysmic event.
Indeed, one of the greatest blessings God has imparted to His creation is the gift of His Holy Spirit. Given to comfort, to convict, to lead, to impart the will of God through His prophets. To equip the saints with gifts and empower them for service. God’s presence was placed within the believer to illumine that word…Yet this same, unparalleled blessing has been the subject of so many divisions within the body of Christ.
To be fair oftentimes the Church has relegated the Spirit to a position of lesser importance, deity, or authority than the Father or the Son, simply by His nomenclature, being the third Person of the Trinity. This is so wrong. In fact, through the years, there have been many misconceptions and poor theologies regarding the wonderful Spirit of the Almighty. These variances have caused tensions and divisions as sides are drawn between well-wishing denominations.
I believe it is safe to say that not everything taking place in the Church today is a result of the influence of the Holy Spirit. There are events and actions being assigned to God’s Spirit which in no way reflect the true God or His will. At times, chaos is masquerading as God’s new revelation. Yet, in other churches the Spirit is being stifled or “hand-cuffed” and grieved as He wishes to work among those people, and yet through their exercise of free will they impede His work. Neither, I repeat, neither of these extremes is enjoying the true, full presence of the genuine Spirit of God.
So, where do we go? What is our “Owner’s Manual” for the Holy Spirit? I believe the answer lies somewhere in the pages of Scripture, along with an accurate interpretation of those texts. To seek to glean truth from other sources such as mysticism, rationalism or experience is to open the floodgates to a deluge of subjective, and contradictory information. Actually, the Church should be a little embarrassed by the multiple and conflicting understandings of the Spirit which are exhibited in our congregations. It has to be very confusing to a world that looks upon a very fractured Church which is touting unity.
More disconcerting is the idea that we are, or may be maligning, or misrepresenting the Holy Spirit or His character. Our desire should be to have an authentic, genuine relationship with the Spirit, rather than a fabricated one based on our own desires, or experiences or mere contemplations. After all, for believers, He has taken up residence inside the temples, and the last thing we want is a compromised relational value. In addition, if we have a faulty view of the Holy Spirit, that alters our view of God the Trinity.
It should be our desire to meet this challenge of correct understanding head on. We need to be committed to “The Spirit of Truth” drawn from Scripture, orthodox truths regarding God’s Holy Spirit. Will we answer the all the questions? Absolutely not. Will we agree on the interpretations? Again, likely not. But hopefully, just hopefully, we can move a little closer to correct thinking about the Spirit.
If He is co-equal to the Father and to the Son, if He is Co-eternal, if He is Co-powerful, if He truly is the Spirit of the Lord; should we not recognize Him as such?