Jesus taught the Holy Spirit is a good gift from God, who God gives to those who ask. (Luke 11.13) He taught this gift would be given once he had ascended to heaven saying this would be advantageous for the disciples. “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7) The first, the greatest, the most important outworking of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension – is that God comes to dwell in us in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Apostle Paul said (and repeated several times) that the Holy Spirit is like a deposit, a promise of something to come. God … anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21–22, 5.5 & Ephesians 1.13-14) The presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian is a deposit, guaranteeing something special that is yet to come. The Holy Spirit is pledge and promise of this future event.
That event is the historic moment when God again makes his dwelling with humanity. We shall hear … a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3) The culmination of God’s activity, through his people, the prophets, the church and especially through Jesus and the Holy Spirit is a moment in time when God will come to dwell among his people and be with them. At the beginning of creation God was with Adam and Eve, but that relationship was lost and broken through sin. God’s aim is for that relationship to be fully restored and to once again be with humanity. We see a big clue in the name given to Jesus – Emmanuel, which means God with us (Matthew 1.23) The coming of the Holy Spirit is in part a foretaste and an experience of God with us, which points towards the day when God will make all things new and again dwell with humanity.
The Holy Spirit works in us to shape and align our lives towards the time when God will dwell with us. The Holy Spirit is the Gift who keeps on giving. This happens as the Holy Spirit empowers us with spiritual gifts and fosters the growth of the fruit of Christian character within us (1 Corinthians 12.7-11 & Galatians 5.22-23).
We should be amazed and in awe of this - that the Holy Spirit brings God’s presence to our lives as a deposit of things to come, while at the same time giving us the fruit and gifts of the Spirit, being an advocate for us and leading us into the truth of God’s word. Pentecost is a time to remember, celebrate and embrace the great gift that is ours in the Holy Spirit.
Take time this Pentecost to reflect on your relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Do you believe the Holy Spirit is a good gift given by God?
Is this a gift for you to desire and a gift you to treasure?
Since the Holy Spirit is given to those who ask, have you asked God for the Holy Spirit?
What spiritual gift/s has the Holy Spirit given to you?
Have you been using this gift or neglecting it?
How is the fruit of the Spirit growing in your life and what difference is it making to how you live?
Rev John Malcolm