In our series ‘Connections’, we looked this morning at our relationship with the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead (and probably the least understood!) Fatherhood is a concept we can relate to (even if God redefines our understanding of fatherhood) and the humanity of Jesus puts a ‘human’ face on what it means to have a relationship with God, but the invisible, spiritual life of the Holy Spirit can often seem mysterious and even a little scary. One child described the Holy Spirit as being ‘the woo-woo’ of God, and there is no doubt that the miraculous signs and gifts of the Spirit can cause us to feel we are not in control… which is an inevitable part of our connection to God!
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a ‘force’ or an impersonal ‘it’. He knows the thoughts of God (1 Cor 2:11), shares the love of God (Rom 15:30) and distributes the gifts of the Spirit as He sees fit. (1 Cor 12:11) Eph 1:11-23 shows us the Godhead working together and reminds us that the Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. He is ‘a pledge of the ultimate reception of redeemed souls into eternal fellowship with the Father in heaven’; He is the ‘first instalment’ to assure us that our full inheritance as children of God will be delivered. He is given to us to confirm that we belong to God; Paul says the Spirit testifies to us that we are children of God. (Rom 8:16)
The Holy Spirit is here, living in us, to make a difference to the here and now. God has poured out His Spirit on all people so that we can live in connection with Him, knowing our connection to God is secure for all eternity and therefore giving us confidence to live life positively and realise we can have an impact and influence on the world around us. John puts it like this: ‘the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) If God’s Spirit is the power of God, the same power which raised Christ from the dead, and if His Spirit lives in us, then we have all that we need to be overcomers. We don’t have to live the same way we used to live before we came to know Christ. All things are possible in God, Jesus reminded us. We are given access to the spiritual realm, to the very life of God Himself. He’s given to believers to enable us to live as Jesus did, in connection with the Father, and He is the means by which we are to do the ‘greater things’ Jesus spoke about to His disciples: ‘whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.’ (John 14:12) As He dwells in us, He grows His fruit in us (Gal 5:22-23) and we are conformed into the image of Christ. (Rom 8:29)