Today is Pentecost and we give thought to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity.
We read in the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Wow! There is a statement. Can you honestly say that? Martin Luther says of this statement, “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith…”
So, what a magnificent role the Spirit plays in our lives. Many outside the Church cannot fathom the truths that we proclaim. Many think our beliefs beyond comprehension, and they are to a degree, but for the work and ministry of the
Holy Spirit. So, thank you Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t have to be a puzzle for us. Our reading today from Romans help us out.
The Holy Spirit Points to Christ
When Paul speaks of the power of the Spirit in these verses he points to our inclusion in God’s family. The Spirit makes us “children of God” (8:14) and so intertwines our lives with Jesus that we now understand God as a Father or even a “Daddy” (as Abba might be translated - see 8:15). In addition, Paul suggests we are now “heirs” with Christ (8:17). In other words, all that the Son shares with the Father (peace, life, righteousness) has now been bequeathed to us as well.
The Holy Spirit is a Gift
The Holy Spirit (not to be confused with the human spirit) is not something that resides in us or is under our control. We are speaking of God and a force beyond
human manipulation. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is not something we can manage or direct (Acts 2:2).
But the Holy Spirit does have an agenda: he wants to bring us into a relationship with Jesus. As Romans 8:15-17 says, God seeks to make us his children by adoption.
The talk of heirship and suffering
Suffering for Christ does not cast doubt on our heirship. If, indeed, we suffer, we will also be glorified with Him. You are going to share his glory and be a member of his family.
Maybe you're not sure that you're in the family. Some people have that confused. Some people think they're born into the family, and others are afraid they'll never get into the family. We're not born into it. "Children of God" is something we become.
Maybe you've never become a child of God because you've never acknowledged your sinfulness and your need of a Saviour. You've never put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who died for you and paid the penalty of your sin. Read over Romans 8.14-17 carefully and ask yourself whether you are included or not.
All Souls Sandringham