We Are Not Alone Part 2: Names Of The Spirit
On Sunday 29th May at our morning services, we continued our series We Are Not Alone with the topic 'Names Of The Spirit'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.
Names are significant and describe something and tells us a bit about the purpose of something.
For example this church is Easthampstead Baptist Church and the name tells us that this is a church located in Easthampstead and that the denomination is Baptist which might help your understanding of some of our core beliefs.
Metaphors also give us a clue as to what someone or something is about.
If you are just exploring Christianity then hopefully this blog will help you understand a little more of what we believe.
If you would call yourself a follower of Jesus then you need to understand this.
We believe that there are 3 persons of the Trinity, that make up God.
We call them the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Most people have a concept of what the father is.
Similarly, the son. The stories of Jesus help us understand that Jesus is God in human form.
But for the Holy Spirit; the third person of the trinity, we only have names and metaphors. In Acts Chapter 2 we read about the manifestation of the Spirit and it gives us two metaphors for the Holy Spirit:You can read this by clicking here.
Acts 2 1-3 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The picture here is of Wind and Fire.
Wind is Invisible... you just see the effect of it; present everywhere, not confined or restricted. It guides and gives direction like the wind in the sails of a boat.
Fire: can refine us like a fire burns up rubbish.
The Holy Spirits fire can burn away our imperfections if we let Him.
“Fire changes everything it encounters, nothing it contacts is unchanged
It is consumed, converted or purified, warmed, mollified or steeled.
Fire is also used to describe passion. The Holy Spirit is able to stir us up to be passionate about God, and the things God is passionate about.
There are other names in God’s story for the Spirit:
Breath: which is necessary for life, bringing life and sustaining it.
So the Spirit is a life force.
It is Holy. This means different. It is like nothing else we can experience except God. He is God’s holy presence with us and in us.
We can only experience this Holy Spirit of God in our lives because Jesus has made us Holy by paying the price for our sin with his own life.
Gift: it is a gift. Like all gifts you can choose whether to accept it or not.
It is also called the Paraclete – this word that Jesus used and is often translated counsellor, comforter, advocate. It means: the one who is called to someone’s aid – mediator, intercessor, and helper.
It is also called the Spirit of…glory, life, grace, love, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The Spirit helps us to receive and know God’s love and grace and helps our understanding and bring wisdom.
He is the Spirit of might, & power: courage and power for living.
There are other metaphors:
Hand or Finger of God, Dove and River of living water.
Water is another of those life giving things. We cannot live without water.
It is essential for life.
The Holy Spirit is essential for our spiritual life.
It is also referred to as oil, which in those times was related to healing and anointing, when someone is set aside for a purpose. It is also referred to as a seal and deposit: the guarantee of things to come.
These names and metaphors for the Spirit show us how important He is and just how valuable and useful it can be in our lives.
This is a gift for you and me and is precious. It brings life, passion and purpose. It fills us with love, understanding and direction.
It is a gift that we are encouraged to seek and receive and it is a gift that helps us to give.
Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
1. What stands out for you in the Bible passage?
2. Which of the names of the Spirit is most significant to you at this time and why?
3. Do you think that we value the Spirit as we should? Are we as dependant on Him as we should be? Is He like water and breath to us? What are the reasons for your answer?
4. What do you think it is, if anything, it is that prevents our dependency on the Spirit and what can we do about it?
5 The coming of the Spirit had a tremendous effect on the followers of Jesus. What difference do you think it would make for you as an individual and us as a church if we were as affected.
6. What is your response to this gift?
7. Think of one thing that you are going to do as a result of this session on the Holy Spirit