Life in the Spirit
“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
How incredible it is to think that God, the creator, who spoke the world into being, would come to us in a manger, to show us how to love as God loves us. Even more incredible is the genius of the Creator who raised Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, from the dead. Jesus returned to his disciples and opened their eyes to so they could witness the power of God over death, and to the truth of God’s word in the scriptures. The creative genius of God was not finished though, as Jesus promised his disciples that through the Holy Spirit he would come to them and live inside them. They would receive power, and in that power, they were to be witnesses to the very real presence of God in their lives and in the world.
Through our baptism we are also recipients of that same awesome power. God pours his Holy Spirit into each one of us, and from the beginning, our lives are meant to be lived so that our words, our actions, our entire being is a witness to the power of God’s love, mercy and grace. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives is made evident in a variety of ways. The spirit of wisdom and truth opens our eyes to the word of God in scripture and to the word that God continues to speak to our hearts. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, we are able to confess the reality of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
In the Greek language, ‘sozo’, is the same word for both ‘salvation’ and ‘healing’. Throughout Jesus’ life he demonstrated the power of God’s spirit to heal, to cast out demons, to restore sight to blind eyes, to cleanse the leper and restore him to God and to his family, and to bring new life to those the world thought dead. By that same spirit of healing and salvation God promises to heal us and make us whole. The Holy Spirit abiding in us opens our blind eyes; it cleanses us and restores us to God and to family, and it restores us to new life in Christ.
God comes to us when the wind and waves of the world threaten to overwhelm us. When the demons of depression and loneliness, sorrow and grief, doubt and fear surround us, God promises us a spirit of hope and peace. To have God’s spirit reside in us gives us courage to face the doubts and fears the world sends our way. The Holy Spirit strengthens us so we can we live lives that boldly proclaim to the world, the love, mercy and grace of God.
The apostle Paul reminds us though that the spirit we receive is not a spirit of selfishness, given to us for our own benefit. “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.” (1 Cor. 12:7) To live our lives in the fullness of God’s spirit is to live in community with one another. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we become living witnesses to the reality of God’s love in our lives and in the world. God’s presence in our lives will change us, and it will change the world! Do we dare allow the Holy Spirit to live in us? Do we dare live ‘life in the spirit’?
Blessings … Pastor Mike