Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

You’ve Seen One

“If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”, is a phrase usually used  to mean they’re all the same, there’s nothing special about them, nothing to distinguish them from any other of the genre.  For example if you’ve seen one rom-com film, you’ve seen them all*.  (*this may or may not be a belief I subscribe to!)

Here that is given a slightly different spin.  Again, jumping ahead slightly to next week and Trinity Sunday, Philip asks Jesus to show them The Father:

John 14:8-17

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”

Jesus replied:

Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10 Don’t you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

11 Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12 I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13 Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father. 14 I will do whatever you ask me to do.

The Holy Spirit Is Promised

15 Jesus said to his disciples:

If you love me, you will do as I command. 16 Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17 The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.

Jesus replies that seeing him is the same as seeing the Father.  They are not poor imitations of one another, or just totally predictable copies of each another – they are as seeing each other because they are as one.  When they see Jesus and what he does, it is what God would do and is doing because he is God – here amongst them.  There is absolutely no difference between them, apart from Jesus being the physical personification of God.

Yet Jesus goes on to promise more than that,

if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing

Those who follow Jesus are invited to join in the work.  Wow!  Now that is quite some task.  How can we even contemplate doing what Jesus did?  What God does?  We are mere fallible human beings with all our failings, misunderstandings, half-cocked ideas and foibles.  How can we share in doing God’s work?

Jesus tells us how – by he and the Father sending the Holy Spirit to be with us always and help us.

Jesus is God living as a human being in the world, the Holy Spirit is God living in us, equipping us for all that we are asked to do.  I don’t know about you, but I need that…

Being God’s Children

Pentecost.  The Coming of the Spirit.  What difference does the Spirit make in our lives?

Through the Spirit, we become God’s own children.  Not good friends, not colleagues or associates, not people to run around after him, but his own children.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

  1. Romans 8:15 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture; also in verse 23.

I love this version of this passage from The Message

God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Life with God’s Spirit is adventurously expectant!  Some days I feel like life is adventurous enough, but it is true.  Life lived with God is never boring.  There is always something to do.  With an ear to the voice of the Holy Spirit, he is always calling us, nudging us on.  How can we do what he is asking of us?  Because we know.  One of the aspects of the Spirit’s life is confirming.  Confirming who we are – God’s precious children.  Known and loved by him, given all he promises to us.

Being an heir is a privilege – but it is also a responsibility.  And so as well as enjoying being the child of the loving God, we should also be asking

What’s next?

Holy Spirit,
fill this place,
fill this life.

May I know that I am a treasured child of God,
wanted and welcome.

As I know I am your child
may I learn to know your voice
ever more clearly,
to ask
‘What next’
to hear your reply
and to walk in confidence with you

God’s Renewing Spirit

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number –
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works –
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.