Today is Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early church, 50 days after Easter. Holy Spirit is a person we talk about far too infrequently, so today I seize the opportunity to talk about him (or her) in greater detail. In this message, I answer two question: Who is Holy Spirit? and What does Holy Spirit do in our lives? I draw on three great readings about the Spirit, viz. John 15:26-16:15; Romans 8:9-11, 22-27; and Acts 2:1-21.
Regarding the first question, my answer is in three parts:
- Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (or the triune God) – as much God as Jesus and the Father are God.
- Holy Spirit is a person (not a force, or presence, or love) – as much a person as Jesus and the Father are persons.
- Holy Spirit is active in numerous ways in our present lives and in the lived-experience of our faith, thus very much to be incorporated into our faith life.
Regarding the second question, I give two answers, briefly:
- Holy Spirit dwells within us, and is thus present in the body and heart of every believer, working to align our spirit with the risen Christ, and helping us in living out our faith.
- Holy Spirit empowers and equips Christians for living and speaking out our faith in the world, through equipping us with gifts and strengths, and growing our confidence.
I hope that you will find this an accessible explanation of Holy Spirit. It was preached at our family service – half of those present were children and youth.
May you experience a rising of the Holy Spirit in your heart this Pentecost.