In Touch – May 25, 2012
Posted on May 25, 2012 by under Touché,

Fire From on High

“I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Jesus)

I have spent the last two days with Warren Jee, an elder, and a dozen confirmands listening to credos and talking about faith.  I’ve realized that we need to teach more about the Holy Spirit.  Our kids love Jesus and believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, but the Holy Spirit is the silent person of the trinity.  The work of the Spirit that confirms to us that Jesus is Lord and that speaks of the wonder of creation is not often named or identified in the credos or in the thoughts of the confirmands.  Our kids have had powerful experiences of God, especially in connecting with FUGE, and in those moments where they sense God’s presence through worship, service, and other people, but that is rarely identified with the Holy Spirit.

As I think about this, it seems we could all use a lesson on the Holy Spirit.  This Sunday is Pentecost and it is also the close of our series on Faith and Doubt.  The movement to faith is through the gift of God’s Spirit speaking to our spirit. the truth that Jesus is Lord.  Paul states:   “no one can say that Jesus is Lord except through the power of the Spirit.”  John Calvin says:

“The testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of Himself in His Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit therefore who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded…because until He illumines their minds, they ever waver among many doubts!” (God is the Gospel p. 78)

It is interesting to me that the disciples still doubted in Matthew 28, after the resurrection.  In John they were locked behind closed doors and afraid after they had the word that Jesus was alive.  It was on Pentecost, as they received the Holy Spirit, that they went from scared, doubting disciples to people that turned the world upside down. That was through the gift of the Spirit.  Jesus says that it is better for him to go, so the Spirit could lead the disciples in all truth.

Assurance of the life that God has for us is spoken through the witness of the Spirit.  We downplay that at the expense of living into the fully vibrant faith that changes the world.  I know that is what our kids experienced at FUGE and in those times when they felt the powerful presence of God.  I think it is a lesson for all of us to pay attention to the Spirit and to live by the Spirit.

Yours in Pentecostal Power,