Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why the Holy Spirit?

In the Old Testament, God spoke through certain individuals here or there to convey his message to the people.  At least that's the way stories were recorded; from Abraham to Moses to various kings and prophets, God appears to have spoken only to a chosen few.  And the text indicates that God veiled himself in these encounters to ensure that His pure holiness would not instantly destroy men.

Then came Jesus, God incarnated within a human body--a fantastic veil to protect people from God's holiness.  He was audible, touchable and perceivable in every sense, yet did not destroy us while he walked amongst us.  Some did not believe Jesus was God because He was too ordinary.  Yet in Jesus, God came deeper into relationship with his broken people.

In dying for us Jesus accomplished a further step in the process.  He gave to those who rely upon Him ("believe" or have "faith" in Him) his own purity--and therefore the ability to have God's Spirit come into their lives as the Spirit is in His life.

And that's what happened: God's Spirit did come into those who believed in Jesus giving birth to the Church of Christ as described in Chapter 2 in the book of Acts--an event called Pentecost.  This was where the shift began, the Spirit descending on every follower of Jesus rather than just coming near someone special like before when dealing with His people.

Ever since Pentecost, all believers of Jesus have been given the Holy Spirit, and thus no longer have to depend on human leaders to connect with God.  For this reason, no one believer is counted above another in the Kingdom of God, because we each gain fellowship with Him through the same means--that is through Jesus' Spirit.

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