Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Monday, 27 October 2014

God the Holy Spirit

 - This short introductory piece on the Holy Spirit will be the start to a series of posts on pneumatology - the study of God the Holy Spirit, Who gives us life and comfort.



Βασιλεύ ΟυράνιεΠαράκλητε, το Πνεύμα της αληθείας...
Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth...

The Holy Spirit, is the third person of the Holy Trinity, of the same essence and equal rank as the Father and the Son. Quite often, we see the Holy Spirit as being rather mysterious and somewhat ambiguous as there are several terminologies, and metaphors that are used to describe Who the Holy and Life-Giving Spirit is, and what this third Person of the Godhead does.

The Holy Spirit as our Comforter, a Dove, Wind and Fire.
These metaphors are used in the Holy Scriptures, in order to assist us in understanding the Holy Trinity. For example, if we look at the Holy Spirit as wind - we do not physically see it, however we do see its presence in the way that it works ( through the Church and its people )

Old Testament
Even though we do not see the Holy Trinity in its fullness in the Old Testament Scriptures, we do certainly see glimpses of the Holy Spirit working through the texts and its holy people. In Genesis, when we read the Creation of the Cosmos, God gives Life to humanity through His Holy Spirit (Gen 1:2) which is a recurring theme throughout both the Old and New Testaments. In Genesis 2:7, as well as Ezekiel 37:9-10 the Life-Giving power of the Spirit is emphasised. Furthermore, we read in Psalm 104:29-30 that the Holy Spirit sustains life..'when you take away the breath, they die and return to their dust.' The Spirit empowers people of the Old Testament, such as in Judges 6:34, and 1 Samuel 16:13. In addition, we read from the Prophets vision in Ezekiel 3:12.. Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of Jehovah from his place.' Eschatological signs are given by the Holy Spirit, such as in Isaiah 11:1-8, and 42:1-4, when the Messiah is anointed with the Spirit's power. The restoration of God's people, in Ezekiel 18:31 and the pouring out of the Spirit of God in Joel 2:28-29.. 'I will pour out all my Spirit on all flesh.'

New Testament
- Through the incarnation of the Word, the nature of God becomes clear to us; that God is indeed Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Throughout the Gospels we see the acts and work of the Holy Spirit, in fullness and clarity - with the Birth of Christ, in Matthew 1:18-25.. 'the Child of the Holy Spirit,' the Lords Baptism in Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, and Luke 3:22, as well as throughout various miracles such as in Matthew 12:28 and Luke 4:18.. 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.' ‘It is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons.’

In John's Gospel, we see the promise of the Holy Spirit, as our παράκλητος (comforter) - in John 14:15-17, 15:26 and 16:15.
‘..give you another helper… forever, even the Spirit of truth , whom the world cannot receive..’

‘But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.’

Again, in a clearer and fuller way, we see in the New Testament that the Spirit is the source of Life ( John 3:5-7) , it empowers people ( 1 Corinthians 12:1-13), and provides eschatological significance ( 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14)

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