Symbols of the Holy Spirit 9:
Pledge, deposit or guarantee
I’m always a bit dubious when I see the sort of Christian advertising that guarantees a blessing. I would love to claim a free spiritual blessing if you read my blog but I cannot. Occasionally someone will say that God has blessed them through something I have said or written, but that is very rare indeed, and no one is more surprised than me. The evangelist who promises that all your problems will fade away if you come to Jesus is doing Jesus a great disservice. I sometimes feel like the message should be, ‘Come to Jesus and find out what problems really are.’
Jesus never promised his followers a problem-free life, what he did promise was to be with us forever, even until the end of the age. Jesus is present with us through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that was poured out on the Church on the day of Pentecost around 2,000 years ago, and is still being poured out on the Church today.
One with Jesus, one with the Church
The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that came down on Jesus at his baptism by John in the River Jordan. I said this in last week’s blog on Oil—being anointed with the Spirit, but there I was talking about the corporal side of things. I’m looking at the individual side of it in this blog.
The Holy Spirit, in connecting us with Jesus tells me that I am loved by God, that I am a child of God, that God will never turn his back on me. The Holy Spirit in my life tells me that I am already in heaven in Jesus Christ and that there is a place in heaven reserved for me.
That God will not turn his back on me is certain. But I have seen too many people who God was clearly using lose their faith. What happened here? I see it as being part of the old free will dilemma, God does not turn his back on me, but neither will he impose himself on me either. If I turn my back on God, God will judge me and his judgement is consistent, the same as his judgement in Eden. God says. ‘Have it your own way.’ God allows me to walk away. It is my decision for which the consequences are mine. Jesus said he would never turn away anyone who comes to him. God says he will never leave me or forsake me. All I have said about me above is true for you too.
Have you turned your back on God? God’s love for you has not diminished because you have left
This is only the beginning
That is only the start of it. The Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life is only part of what is to come. The Holy Spirit is a deposit, a down payment, a foretaste of what is to come. The best of the best that we experience of God in this world is nothing compared to what is coming in the next.