Tonight, we will be discussing the Creed’s explanation of who the Holy Spirit is. Please read chapter 7 of Luke Timothy Johnson’s book: The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why It Matters.
Johnson defines the Holy Spirit as that which gave the early Church the conviction, through their immediate transformative experience, that Jesus had been resurrected and exalted. p.220. The Spirit is the very present and active power of God that transforms a believer into something new. Whereas Creation and the Incarnation can be considered past events, it is the Spirit that is at work today. Johnson posits that this presently active work of the Spirit is emphasized in the statement that the Spirit first spoke through the prophets. If you have read through the Prophets, or remember our discussion of Amos, the prophets worked outside of the established religious sacrificial and legal system. They called Israel back from rote obedience to the law and particularly the sacrificial system, into the foundational demands of justice and righteousness. As the prophet tells us, the Lord simply requires us “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8. And just as the Spirit aided the prophets in translating the weightier matters of justice, mercy, and faith into their age, so does the Spirit guide us to do the same. As Johnson points out, we are not called to perform the specific deeds and works of Jesus rather we are called to translate the “mind of Christ” into our own circumstances and society. Or as Paul put it, we are ministers of the new covenant, not of a written law but of the Spirit, for the written law of Moses brings death, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor. 3:6. Therefore, for tonight, think through what the Spirit is actively doing today within the Church and in the lives of believers. Is the Spirit bound by anything?
Dinner is at 6. The menu is black beans and smoked sausage. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.Galatians 5:22-26