Theology of the Holy Spirit 101 (part 1)

Good afternoon class! Are you ready for today’s lesson? Just kidding everyone. I thought with a title like “Theology of the Holy Spirit 101“, I would just throw that in there.Well I hope you have been enjoying the study of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I want to point out to you that I am not an educated man in the ways of the Bible. The following post is strictly what I am taking from the Bible and Mr. Chan’s book.

Today’s post is going to cover Chapter 3 of Forgotten God. In this chapter, Mr. Chan helps us understand the Holy Spirit by looking at who He is and what He does.

I like the way Mr. Chan says the following statement.

“The Bible says we cannot fully understand God, and I am certainly not the exception to that rule. There are things about God that are mysterious and secret, things we will never know about Him. But there also are things revealed, and those belong to us (Deut. 29:29)”.

Along with what I mentioned before, Mr. Chan also helps us see some of the things that have been revealed about the Holy Spirit.

Several times in the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit enter people and change their lives. Below are a few examples. By clicking on their name, you can read more about them.

  • Stephen, the first martyr
  • Peter was changed and became a courageous man
  • Saul turned from killing Christians to Paul (one of the most famous Christian leaders)

Now that we have seen some examples on the changes the Holy Spirit can do in people’s lives, let’s focus on who the Spirit is and what He does in our lives.

The Spirit is several different things.

The Holy Spirit is a Person.

I like how Mr. Chan describes the Holy Spirit here. He is not an indistinct “power” or “thing.” Many people refer to the Spirit s an “it,” as if the Spirit is a thing or force that we can control or use. John 14:17 (The Message) states:

This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

The Spirit has a personal relationship with not only believers, but also with the Father and the Son. He works together with them (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)

The Holy Spirit is God.

Again, Mr. Chan does a brilliant job describing the Holy Spirit. He is not a lessor or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son. The Spirit is God. When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.

The Holy Spirit is Eternal and Holy.

I really love what Mr. Chan says in this section. The Spirit is not just a flighty, whimsical spirit who comes and goes like the wind. He is an eternal being. The Spirit is also holy. Obviously, we commonly call Him the “Holy Spirit,” and this is reinforced throughout the New Testament (Romans 1:4 and 5:5)

The Holy Spirit has His own mind, and He prays for us.

Romans 8:27: “He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

One word here… AWESOME!

Well readers, this has turned into a long post. Stay tuned for part 2 where we will continue with Chapter 3.

Right now I want to leave you with some questions to think about.

  1. What is the Holy Spirit doing in your life currently?
  2. Do you trust the path that the Holy Spirit is taking you on?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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I’ve Got Jesus. Why Do I Need the Spirit?

Morning readers. Sorry that there wasn’t a post yesterday. I have been busy with my Capstone class for college. the final project is CRAZY!

Anyway, this post will cover Chapter 1 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God .

To fully understand why we need the Holy Spirit, I think we need to know who the Holy Spirit is first.

There is a good description of the Holy Spirit on Wikipedia. There you will find the functions of the Holy Spirit, and even how it was active in the life of Jesus.

In this chapter, Mr. Chan challenges us to read our Bibles more, and to gain our own understanding of what we believe in. He also challenges us to listen to the Holy Spirit more and gain more knowledge and understanding on why the Holy Spirit even exists. I don’t know about you, but I am challenged.

One thing that you will learn about me, is that when I read, I like to highlight the book I am reading; well only if I own it. So here is what I highlighted for Chapter 1.

  • p. 30 The Epistles tell us of the Holy Spirit’s amazing power at work in us, our Spirit-enabled ability to put our sin to death through Him, and the supernatural gifts He gives us.
  • p. 32 Romans 8:9 says, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” According to this verse, if I am a believer, the Spirit of God dwells in me. Paul reiterates that truth in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (NIV).
  • p.32 If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?
  • p. 36 It is impossible for us as finite humans to completely understand an infinite God.

There is a story on page 36 and 37 I want to share with you as well.

Years ago, when a random thought came into my head, I decided to share it with my wife.”Have  you ever wondered what caterpillars think about?” I asked.

Not surprisingly, she said, “No.”

I then proceeded to tell her about the confusion I imagined a caterpillar must experience. For all its caterpillar life, it crawls around a small patch of dirt and up and down a few plants. Then one day it takes a nap. A long nap. And then, what in the world must go through its head when it wakes up to discover it can fly? What happened to its dirty, plump little worm body? What does it think when it sees its tiny new body and gorgeous wings?

As believers, we ought to experience this same kind of astonishment when the Holy Spirit enters our bodies. We should be stunned in disbelief over becoming a “new creation” with the Spirit living in us. As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our  Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully.

Two questions I want to leave you with today are this:

  1. When was the last time I undeniably saw the Spirit at work in or around me?
  2. Are you a caterpillar or a butterfly? The difference should be overwhelmingly clear. Can you describe the difference God’s Spirit has made in your life? What sets you apart from your non-Christian neighbors?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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A New Beginning

I will fully admit it. I have been a Christian since 1998. Since then, my Christian walk hasn’t grown that much at all. Well that is about to change! On December 13th, I decided to make a change. Several things happened that day.

1) My wife and I decided to live outside our box and tithe for the first time. That may be something that isn’t that big of a deal for you, but for us it was. I myself became unemployed on December 3rd, cutting my wife and I’s income in half. So tithing for us then was a huge leap of faith for us.

2) That night, my wife and I went to a Christmas party with some of our friends in our small group. At the Christmas party, a devotional was presented. In that devotional, the man leading it challenged us to live by a specific scripture.

Romans 8:15 (The Message)

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”

That message really sparked something in me to deepen my life with Christ.

3)Upon being challenged with that message, I decided to start doing a quiet time. Sure you say to yourself, that isn’t easy to do. Since being a Christian, I have never had a quiet time. So I have decided to read Job and also start reading Francis Chan’s Forgotten God.

4) Today I am starting a blog about my adventures with God. Yeah, I have had blogs previously, but never a Christian one. We will see what happens on this journey.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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