We are beginning our 21 day journey in exploration of the Holy Spirit and I am anticipating good things. This is my first of twenty-one blogs. I have made the commitment to blog 21 days in a row to share with you some of my thoughts, impressions, prayers, and (maybe) some action items. These thoughts are coming right out of my own journaling. Most of my thoughts will be rudimentary–I doubt many will be profound. I will not do much proofreading, so don’t email me with typos. It’s blog…typos are allloweed.
These first verses are foundation–2 Corinthians 3:17-18: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
This passage opens and closes with an important theological point (so grab your pipe and tweed jacket all you theologians) – the Holy Spirit is God. The term “the lord” in Greek is kurios, which in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) is the word used for “LORD” all capital letters. In the Old Testament, when you see the phrase “the LORD”– with “LORD” in all capital letters – know that this is not God’s title, but his name, Yahweh. When God gave Moses this name, Moses only wrote down four Hebrew letters yod hey vav hey. When Jews see that name they say “adonai” — which means “lord.” In the Greek translation of the Old Testament the word kurios is used. So when Paul used that word, there was no question that he was saying that the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is not a part of God. The Holy Spirit is not the power or energy of God. The Holy Spirit is not the love felt between the Father and the Son. (Theologians use that metaphor, but I think that it strips the personhood from the Spirit.) No, the Holy Spirit is God equally eternal and powerful with the Father and Son. He is worthy of our prayer, praise and submission. I have always believed that you can pray to the Spirit. (See my blog on Veni Creator Spiritus.)
The Spirit’s ultimate mission is freedom. This is the goal of his work…freedom. God has allows desired that his creation live in freedom and a life lived in the kingdom of God is a life a freedom. It is when we align ourselves with the kingdom of self that we get tied down, tied up and bound. The kingdom of self—and sin itself—always leads to oppression. This grieves the heart of the Father. I was listening to Ed Young Jr. this morning talking about dealing with your anger and he talked about being angry at what angers God. I know this…God is both grieved and angered by oppression—the oppression of sin, addiction, poverty, sickness…the oppression by governments, classes, sexes…the list goes on. Even religious people can be oppressive….this will really get you on God’s list. Jesus told the teachers of the law “load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them” (Luke 11:46)…Jesus told them WHOA! In contrast to the kingdom of self, sin and the oppression of people—the Holy Spirit comes to lead us into a life of freedom. THAT is what I want….
These verses also say that we BOTH reflect God’s glory and are transformed into his likeness. This means that we belong to God twice. This was a sermon preached by Oral Roberts back in his tent revival days. I heard Oral say (and no I wasn’t there…I heard it on video) that we belong to God twice because he created us in his image and because we have been bought back to God by the blood of Jesus. I am putting a different spin on Oral Robert’s thought. We belong to God twice because we were created in his image (imagio dei) and because we are being recreated into the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit….and this recreation brings joy to our Father’s heart.
Here is my prayer today….
Father, I belong to you. You both created me in your image and are recreating me in you image so that I look like you. Holy Spirit, you are God and nothing other. I worship you and ask that you settle my anxiousness—don’t let me wiggle free from the confines of this cocoon. I know freedom waits for me.