Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Where Did the Holy Spirit Come From?


Per the Nicene Creed:

[The Holy Spirit] proceeds from the Father and the Son.

Per the Holy Bible:

But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.

John 15:26

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Truth is...It seems reasonable to me to believe that humans have not invented the Holy Spirit and that He is a real aspect of the Triune God. I mean, why would anyone make up something as hard to understand as this?

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

A Body Without a Spirit Is a Corpse


Per the Nicene Creed:

[One name for the Holy Spirit is] the Giver of Life

Shedding Graveclothes

Per the Holy Bible:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

John 14:16-17 (NLT)

And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Romans 8:2

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Romans 8:11

Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Galatians 6:8

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Truth is...Without the Holy Spirit, we couldn't experience any kind of "Christian life" whatsoever. Moral, upstanding citizens? Sure. But what made Jesus exceptional and unique was his unswerving dependence on the leading of the Spirit and entrusting himself to that leading...even to the point of death. Our efforts at being little Christs (Christians) will only be exceptional and unique if we do the same.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Lord Holy Spirit


Per the Nicene Creed:

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord

Per the Holy Bible

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Genesis 1:2 (NLT)

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.

Matthew 3:16

On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Acts 2:1-4

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Truth is...There is much more to be said about the Holy Spirit, and it will be said in the next several phrases in the creed. For now, let's just begin one step ahead of some believers in Ephesus that Paul encountered in Acts 19:

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.

“No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Never-ending Kingdom


Per the Nicene Creed:

And his kingdom will have no end

Per the Holy Bible

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.

Psalm 145:13 (NLT)

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.

John 6:47

What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

1 Corinthians 15:50

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.”

Revelation 11:15

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Truth is...as I've said before, eternity is a concept that my human brain can't quite get a grip on. But if God's rule is a perfect rule, and his kingdom is literally heaven on earth, then it makes sense that it would never come to an end.

Lead on, oh King eternal...

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Why Jesus Is Returning


Per the Nicene Creed:

To judge the living and the dead

Per the Holy Bible

And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 (NLT)

We apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all — the living and the dead.

Acts 10:39-42

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Truth is...people nowadays don't much like the word "judge". "Judge not lest you be judged" (Matthew 7:1) is a far-more-quoted verse than even John 3:16. We don't like the idea of being held accountable for our actions. But the really good news is that when Jesus judges, the action of submitting ourselves to His Lordship, no matter how imperfectly we may live it out, trumps all the sins and mistakes we ever make. He won't pretend that we've never done anything wrong, but he will apply HIS payment of OUR penalty to our ledger.

"He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west."

Psalm 103:12