Friday, April 13, 2018. The biblical books - from the first book of the Old Testament to the last book of the New Testament - speaks about the holy spirit, the spirit of God. It is highly fascinating. God himself is said to be spirit, but also the spirit of God, coming to man, is a very important theme in all parts of the bible.
In the New Testament we hear Jesus promising the spirit of God to the disciples. Before we go into further discussion, let us read the passage about the coming of the spirit, as it is described in the book of Acts, chapter 2:
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested1 on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” (from Acts 2)
History and Present Time …
The spirit of God is a reality in the biblical books. It has been a reality for many people in Old Testament times. Even then, it was a question how you could be sure that it is the spirit of God who was moving a human at a given point in time, or something else, desires, thoughts, ideas … In the New Testament we hear of the pentacostal experiences above, and then much about the fruits of the spirit, about truthfulness, about love, about the freedom the spirit brings.
At the same time, we are taken into the question of discernment of the spirits right away, from the very beginning. Is it wine, or is it spirit? Is it some strange idea, your own ego, your own desires? Or is it the spirit of God, who is moving you right now? In a particular question, we need discerment, we need wisdom and insight.
I believe that the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is as active as it has always been. There is the offer that the spirit wants to come into my heart and into your heart. He wants to come every day, each hour, each minute. It is not that when it comes to a particular thought we would always be right since we have the spirit. But in each and every thought we need him, and we have freedom to follow him or to be distracted! We do not need to fear this freedom, but we should be aware: you can be a devout Christian and yet loose track in a particular point or question. This is why we need each other, to help each other, to be companions and friends. And the spirit will be there with us, full of deep wisdom, hope, love and truth. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts