Thursday, June 6, 2019. We are moving toward Pentacost. It is the celebration of the Holy Spirit, one of the main and important celebrations of Christianity. Let us talk about one particular point today, one of the points about the holy spirit. It is about the power of the spirit, but one particular effect of his power.
As a background and framework, let us recall first. God, the creator and eternal God, is spirit. He is father, son and holy spirit. We talk about the one God, but three persons, three ways to experience him and to learn about him. He is the eternal father. He is the son, Christ Jesus, who became human and lived among us. And he is the holy spirit, sent by Jesus, coming to those who believe in him. That is the biblical story about God.
Power of the Spirit: Insight …
In his letter to the church in Korinth the apostle Paul writes about the power and effect of the holy spirit:
6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1. Kor 2, 6ff)
Look to the end of these lines first. God has revealed these things to the apostles through the Spirit! It is the spirit of God who help to understand. Without the spirit it is very hard to understand who God is and how he works!
Age of Science …
We live in an age where insight plays a prominent role. We have science as our main method to explore the world. Science is our tool to know nature. And it is a good tool. You ask questions. You try to create theories which formulate natural laws and relationships between physical or chemical variables. You formulate and carry out experiments. These show you how nature works, when you interpret them together with your theories.
But how do you know about God? He is not part of nature. He has created nature, but you cannot find God directly by looking at nature. You can find him by the way it is created, as you learn about an artist from his paintings or statues or buildings.
To learn about God, the holy spirit is very important. He is an indispensible part of this learning process. Without the active help of the spirit the mere human mind will find the core Christian statements rather strange and unclear and reject them as being a strange set of fancy things. But with the active presence of the Spirit of God, a deep and thorough clarity comes into our life. There is a lot to say here about this. Life and death, purity, love, truth, humility, goals and desire … all this clarifies itself in the light of the eternal God through his spirit. There is a lot to gain and to explore …
What does it mean concretely? It means that you need to start to talk to God if you encounter problems with understanding him. You need to ask him to help you through the holy spirit. You can call it prayer, and it is prayer, but the core point is that you address him and ask him. “God, please help me to understand. Please send your spirit into my life. I am open for you, I want to know!” If you continue to search, you will find and he will open everything to you! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts