Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Apostle's Creed (5)

 (Continuation of study of the Apostle's Creed.)

THE APOSTLE'S CREED (updated language)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  AMEN

The Holy Spirit
Section #1 - "I believe in God the Father Almighty Creator of heaven and earth"
Section #2 - "I believe in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son... our Lord"
Today: Section #3 - "I believe in the Holy Spirit"

The word "Credo" (I believe) only occurs three times in the creed - "I believe in the Father/Son, Holy Spirit"

 I) who/what is this Holy Spirit?
II) What is His role in relation to us?

I. Who or what is this Holy Spirit?
Answer:  He is the Spirit of God/3rd. person of the Godhead  'Ortho' means God is 3 persons/one being/all God/all equal
Yet with distinct roles, offices, personal attributes

 Matt. 28:19 - "in the name(s) of"  - some groups dunk three times - one each for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - referred to as "dunkards"  or:  2 Cor. 13:14

A.  The Holy Spirit is God
B.  the Holy Spirit is 'God with us" today  (contrast Jesus then and now.  Then He was with them in the flesh, now He's not)
So, if you experience God today, it most likely will be the Holy Spirit, vs. the risen Christ.

II.  What is His Role in Relation to us?
Focus on three things:  to counsel us, to comfort us, and to convict (convince) us.
John 14:15-20, 25-27, 16:5-16
The text Jesus teaching about the Holy Spirit *before His departure into heaven.  *last words!  brief/relevant/important!  Said He would send a counselor like Himself.

I.  The Holy Spirit is the active Presence of God to Counsel us.
John 14:16 - Paraklete.  Broad application - He's here to advise/instruct
Jesus' words - "teach, remind, guide, tell, make known"

Recognizing the counsel of the Holy Spirit requires A)  exposure to the Word, and B) submission to the Spirit.  God has revealed Himself and His will extensively in His Word.
1 Cor. 2:9-12   Nobody can know the mind of God, but we have the Holy Spirit to reveal what's in His Word to us.

II.  The Holy Spirit is the Active Presence of God to Comfort us.
John 14:16, 18 - In the King James Version, the word is translated "comforter".
A.  The word paraklete can also be translated "helper, encourager, standby"
B.  "comforter" fits the context - same word in the Greek

So, how does He comfort?
A.  with His presence  John 14:16-17
B.  with His counsel!  Comfort w/o feeling His Presence.  IF you know His word(s), care, faithfulness, you can find great comfort the promises found in God's Word.  Phil. 4:10-13

III.  The Holy Spirit is the Active Presence of God to Convict us.
ie:  convince, persuade, bring us around, .... to many things!!!
Example:  John 16:8 - (personal) guilt, (availability of righteousness), (coming) judgment

1.  Counsel, Comfort, Conviction will be directly related to your knowledge of the Word.  Rom. 10:17
- what the Holy Spirit works through primarily.
2.  Counsel, Comfort, Conviction are functional in proportion to your submission to (openness to) the Holy Spirit.  You can know and not submit!!  Unless you submit, you will not be counseled, comforted, convicted.

There is a BIG difference between factual belief and practical belief.

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