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Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Holy Spirit In Your Life

           I am hesitant to expound too much upon this topic because of a lack of understanding or perhaps a conflict of understanding between what I have tended to believe and what I am reading in some of the sources of my current Bible study.  This is where I look to some of you who are more adequately studied in this than I.   I hope I can get some answers from my readers or that I will be further enlightened as I go through my lesson.

Today's verses are from Galatians 5:16-25:

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-25 (New International Version)

        The meaning of these verses seems pretty clear to me.  Human nature is inclined toward sinfulness. If we are going it alone our tendency will be to defy God's commandments and be subject to God's judgment of our actions.  However, Jesus Christ died to provide salvation from the punishment of the exacting of the law.  Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we belong to Him and He absolves us of our sin.  To give us strength to resist sin and temptation God has given us the Holy Spirit to live within us.  The "acts of the sinful nature" must be resisted for this Spirit to do its work in us.  If we resist temptation and sin, then the Spirit will produce "fruits" that are listed in verses 22 and 23.

         Here's where I need some clarification.  I know there are different schools of thought on this so my confusion is not unique.  My sense is that the Holy Spirit is a power from God and of God, a distinct personage with attributes that can be defined in human terms.  Whereas, the source upon which my Bible study has been based seems to indicate that the Holy Spirit is an actual person.  This does not sound logical to me unless I'm just misunderstanding the semantics in what is being presented.  If my source is saying that the Holy Spirit is a personage metaphorically speaking, then maybe they and I are on the same page.  But if they are saying that the Holy Spirit is a distinctly one tangible person like Jesus Christ I am not getting it. 

         If the Holy Spirit is a corporeal entity, that is a tangible object that exists in the physical world then how can the Holy Spirit live in all of us? I do believe that the Holy Spirit can manifest itself in a physical form just as evil spirits can. If evil spirits are said to be able to do this, then certainly the Holy Spirit could do the same. Spirit comes from the Latin word for breath which is typically thought of as invisible. Where exactly is the Holy Spirit? 

       Next week I'll have some additional verses on this topic.  For now though I want to see how much more insight I can gain on this topic.  In my Sunday morning study group I will see what ideas come up there.  Then I'll put that knowledge with whatever I can learn from you, any additional points of view I gain in the upcoming week's research, and whatever is revealed to me by the Holy Spirit. 

         God bless you all.

       

10 comments:

  1. I was brought up to believe in the
    Ten Commandants, but surely if one abides by ALL of them it would make oneself perfect, No one is perfect as you may agree . In simple words that is where Jesus camen into the world, it was his fate to be crucified , did he not forgive the two people who were crucified alongside him? Giving them eternal life. They say God works in mysterious ways, to me that is very true, I lost my faith
    a while back through personal reasons but on reflection I have returned to the fold a wiser (I hope) and a better person.

    Thanks for your support Lee I now reached 100.here's to the next.
    Have a peaceful Sundaay.
    Yvonne.

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  2. I don't have the answers, but when we get to Heaven, we'll al know for sure.

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  3. Don't try and wrap your brain around this one to tight or your head will explode.

    The Trinity is very complex yet seemingly very simple.

    God is one in unity that manifests Himself in three distinct personalities. How? Yea, right, let me explain that one.

    You are right, the Holy Spirit is both Spirit, therefore non-corporeal, yet has all the "attributes" of personage.

    God is a non-corporeal spirit that is omnipresent in every corner of the universe whom we will never be able to see due to being a Spirit.

    Jesus Christ God the Son, is the visible manifestation of God while on earth from incarnation to ascension, whom is returning in the same bodily form that He ascended into heaven.

    The Holy Spirit is a non-corporeal being that dwells in belivers by viture of being a Spirit being, yet has personality and is a person according to scripture.

    How all that works the bible is silent and we should be very careful when we venture into where the bible is silent.

    The Scripture is clear that there is one God, not three Gods, yet that one God manifests Himself in three distinct persons while He remains one and in unity.

    Be careful what you read, especially today, especially all the "junk" that is out there in the HOly Hardware stores. Most is just humanistic speculation that is acutally blasphemous.

    Get Wayne Grudens Systematic Theology, or Berkhoff's Theology, even Millard Erickson's Systematic Theology would be helpful.

    Commentaries by MacArthur, Barnes, Calvin, Hendriksen, The Expositors Bible Commentaary can be helpful and shed some additonal light for you.

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  4. I'm in the camp that believes the Holy Spirit is a distinctly one tangible person like Jesus Christ and whose presence is capable to be present everywhere in our physical world.

    Stephen Tremp

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  5. Good morning Brother Lee

    Thanks for the Palm Sunday morning Bible study. You have raised some interesting questions for me to think about. Thank you.

    God bless you and have a
    Great Palm Sunday

    Ron

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  6. God is God. He has always been and will be. He spoke to man through the prophets by inspiring them on what to say and what to do. Man did not always listen to them.

    God decided to come to earth in person. If they could see Him in human form, speak to Him and listen to Him, touch Him and live with Him then they would listen. So He came in a physical human shape. He was born a baby and lived amongst us. Thankfully, many believed in God, (Jesus), and still do now.

    When it was time for God, (Jesus), to leave His disciples and rise to Heaven, they were afraid. They'd lost all confidence, even though they witnesssed the Resurrection and saw the victory.

    Their leader, their God was leaving now. What are they to do without Him? How can they carry on without His guidance? How can they build His church and preach about Him? What a responsibility without His loving, guiding hand!

    So God (Jesus) promised to return. And He did, as the Holy Spirit. He returned in Spirit form, not in physical form. He lived within them and they were enlightened. They spoke in different languages and taught throughout all lands.

    God, (Jesus, the Holy Spirit), never left. He is still here now. He lives within some people as He did within the disciples. It doesn't mean that EVERY Christian has the Holy Spirit within him. But some do. I have seen it.

    These days it is so much easier for people to believe that the devil can possess people and live within them, (as in the movies), but they cannot believe or even understand that God can, and does, live within us - BUT ONLY IF WE ASK HIM AND INVITE HIM.

    So when we say people have the Holy Spirit, (in Spirit form) within them, we mean they have God, Jesus, guiding their very soul in every aspect of their lives; in what they do, in what they say, and when to do or say it. They serve as an example to the rest of us; and they help and lead us towards our Heavenly home.

    Sorry to have taken so long. I hope to cover this in one of my Blogs after Easter. If I don't - please give me a nudge.

    God bless you.

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  7. This is a subject that's hard to understand because of our limited human minds. There is only one God but manifested in different ways. Victor gave a good explanation above. Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the apostles before he ascended back into heaven, so I think of the Holy Spirit as the breath of God, breathing into our beings, filling us with God's holiness and whispering guidance to us.

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  8. What great questions.

    God is so immense, so limitless... and our brains are so limited.

    I'm sure that we won't ever be able to fully explain the Holy Spirit. I do know these things about Him from Scripture:
    *God is Spirit
    *God is 3-in-1:Father, Son, Holy Spirit
    *Jesus is God and that Jesus came to earth and took on a human body
    *Before Jesus left this earth He promised that the Holy Spirit come and live within each of His followers to comfort us, teach us, convict us of sin, and to give us His power.

    You make an interesting point about the fact that the Holy Spirit can manifest Himself in a tangible form similarly to how evil spirits manifest themselves.

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  9. Interesting topic!

    I believe the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead but did not take on a body like Jesus Christ. Instead he became the Comforter and forwent the body so that he could be with all of us in our hearts and minds. Yet he still is a perfect being.

    But that's just me, I'm no theologian.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm so glad to "meet" you!

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  10. I love questions like this. In human rationale 1+1+1=3. And the fact that Christianity is saying that 1+1+1=1 doesn't make rational sense!
    Thankfully God isn't a God who is bound by the finite dimensions of human rationale. I don't think I'd want a 'God' that I could rationalize and figure out and Who could fit into my intellect.
    I don't like to depend on what I 'feel' to explain Biblical Truths. So one great instance where all Three are together (but separate) is found in Matthew 3. When Jesus (God in flesh) was baptized and heaven opened and the Holy Spirit of God descended like a dove, and a voice from heaven (God the Father) said "This is my Son...." (Matt. 3:16-17).
    Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are all distinct and separate Persons, while being the same one "God" (1 John 5:7-8).
    God so loved. God wanted humanity to experience the fullness of His love. Man had no clue what true 'Love' was and chose to follow other ways - even when it meant death. God grieved and still loved. To the point where God Himself became flesh and revealed true "Love" to us. He still allowed us the choice. We could choose NOT to receive His love. But He made a way for any who would choose, to enter into a 'love' relationship with Him. After "Love's" work was finished here, God in the flesh (Jesus) left this earth to sit at the right hand of His Father and intercede for us. But "Love" promised to never leave us or even forsake us. So when Jesus left this earth, "Love" didn't leave us alone. He sent His Holy Spirit - not to just visit us and walk with us as God walked with Adam and Eve - not to just teach us His ways and empower us to do the things Jesus did and greater, as Jesus did with the Disciples, but to dwell inside of each believer. To literally take up residence in us and 'spiritually' guide us in God's ways, to enlighten to us His Word, to prompt us in God's work, and to instruct us to become more like Jesus (1 Cor. 6:19 & 2 Tim. 1:14 & John 16:13).
    How does this Divine Spiritual Personage of God come to dwell within humanity and humanity become 'one' with God? Not by rationalizing it all and making it fit any of our rational 'formulas' - because if we had it figured out, it wouldn't require 'faith' - and we wouldn't need God. Instead, the Spirit of God 'breathes' spiritual life into us and the old relationship we had with the 'god' of the flesh dies and we are made alive and new with Christ. God's Word comes alive - we feel conviction where we may never have before - we're enlightened to the hurts and benevolence of others - we 'know' things we had no way of knowing - we recognize the 'voice' of God as He leads and instructs us. The 'Breath' of God has come into our lives and made His home there.
    So... "Where exactly is the Holy Spirit." Well.... He's in ME! Is He in you too? **wink**

    Blessings!
    Deb

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