Spirit

 
The Holy Spirit is God – the unseen but active presence of God at work in the world.

Holy Spirit and Flame

Jesus told his followers that God would send the Holy Spirit to help them in their mission of spreading the good news of the kingdom of God.

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God.  (John 14:16-17)

 The coming of the Holy Spirit had been prophesied in the Old Testament.

 
Seven weeks following the resurrection of Jesus, at the time of the Jewish Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost, the promise was fulfilled:
 
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
 

What Does the Holy Spirit Do?

The Holy Spirit makes the presence of God felt on earth – sometimes dramatically and miraculously, often gently and quietly.
 
Firstly, the Spirit works in the hearts of people to awaken them to the truth of Jesus. 
 
Secondly, the Spirit helps people to grow to be like Jesus.  The Apostle Paul writes:
 
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.”
(Galatians 5:22-23)
 
These are qualities found in the character of Jesus that the Holy Spirit wishes to form in our lives.
 
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit empowers the Church to fulfil its life and mission through spiritual gifts.  These gifts include boldness in preaching, strength for service, and even healing and other miracles.
 

Means of Grace

Very often the Bible compares the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit to the wind. We cannot control or manipulate the Holy Spirit any more than we can control the wind. 
 
Nevertheless, we can open our lives to the work of Holy Spirit, through various practices often called ‘sacraments’ or ‘means of grace’.
 
They include:
  • Baptism
  • The Lord’s Super or Holy Communion
  • Participation in Christian Community
  • Silence and Solitude
  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Praise and Thanksgiving
  • Confession
  • Studying the Bible
  • Prayer with the Laying on of Hands

 

Filled with the Spirit

In the Book of Acts, we read that people were filled with the Holy Spirit when the church leaders prayed for them with the laying on of hands.

 

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)

We can experience God’s presence and power in a tangible way.  
 

Be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:17)