You know God and Jesus. But what about the Holy Spirit?

Spirit-matters-also_Packer

The song list was made: All to Him; God Is Able; When You Walk into the Room.
We’d practiced with the band on Thursday night.
We’d shown up early to practice again at 8 a.m. Sunday morning.

But here’s one thing (of many) I’ve learned about my (relatively) new church: Nothing man-made is set in stone.

If the Spirit wants to move, let him.

As the believers gathered last Sunday morning, the worship grew stronger. The songs were reminding us that God was in the room, in us. You could feel it the atmosphere.

So our worship leader had us linger on a chorus. Then led us into a totally different song that fit perfectly with the spirit of our praise and the Spirit of God’s presence.

We know God. We know Jesus.

But what do we know about the Holy Spirit?

Do we position ourselves to be nudged by his movement too?

In this week’s chapters of Knowing God (“God Incarnate” and “He Shall Testify”), author J. I. Packer says,

“The person and work of Christ have been, and remain, subjects of constant debate within the Church; yet the person and work of the Holy Spirit are consistently ignored. The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is the Cinderella of Christian doctrines. Very few seem to be interested in it.”

Perhaps that’s changed a little since Knowing God was originally published (1973). But the point remains relevant. Because the Holy Spirit has a more mysterious reputation, we often leave him out of things.

Packer pushes us to confrontation:

“But is the work of the Holy Spirit really important?”

By our thoughts and actions, our answer may be, “No, not very important.”

Here’s how Packer responds,

“Important! Why, were it not for the work of the Holy Spirit there would be no gospel, no faith, no Church, no Christianity in the world at all.

He goes on to explain that after Christ left the disciples, it was the Spirit who led them onto into all the world, reminding them of the things Christ had taught, emboldening them to preach the good news, empowering them to do miracles.

It is the Spirit even now who illuminates our way, convicts us of our wrongs, and demonstrates the power of God in and around us.

Whether it’s to change our attitude in a relationship, or to guide us into a new ministry, or even to sing an unplanned song, may we continue to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 2:29

* * *

How aware are you of the Holy Spirit compared to God the Father and Jesus the Son? Please share in the comments.

Previous weeks:

Knowing-God-Packer-summary

22 thoughts on “You know God and Jesus. But what about the Holy Spirit?

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Jann. We often seem to shortchange the Holy Spirit, when yes, he is so important in our everyday lives as much as Father God and Jesus the Son. Just visited your link-up.

  1. blankBarbara H.

    I think in my circles, people were so afraid of going overboard, as they felt some groups did, emphasizing the Holy Spirit above Jesus, that they went to the other side of the pendulum and hardly talked and taught about Him at all. What a tragic loss for churches and individuals! I appreciate Packer’s sound teaching about Him.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I know what you’re saying. It’s true in the denomination I grew up in also. There was definitely a huge backlash against anything remotely “mystical” and unfortunately the Holy Spirit got lumped into that category and was avoided in a BIG way. I think that has changed some, thankfully, but there’s still a lot to make up for to close the gap back to where it might need to be.

  2. blankBeverley

    As I believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are three separate beings with one purpose, i accept the Holy Spirit in my life a guide and a comforter and i have felt it very powerfully at times.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I just love that the Holy Spirit is our “comforter” as well as other things. Thanks for bringing that word into play here, Beverley. I appreciate your testimony of his work in your life.

  3. blankCeil

    Hi Lisa! I am used to thinking of the Spirit as the ‘love of God’, and also the driving power of His Word and works in the world. I think it’s hard to encapsulate what the Spirit is, because it’s represented as a Dove. That’s not as user-friendly as a Father and a Son.

    But without the Spirit, there wouldn’t be any power in what Jesus said. Or as you pointed out, with Mr. Packer, the Spirit is what moved the disciples after Jesus went back to heaven. We need the Spirit today! We all need to be moved and shaken and empowered.
    Blessings to you!
    Ceil

  4. blankDolly@Soulstops

    Lisa,
    Thanks for writing this …and in the past several years, I’ve become more and more convinced of the importance of the Holy Spirit in my own life, and noticing how He is mentioned in Scripture…He was there in Genesis as God said let us create mankind in “Our Image.” Jesus mentions the Holy Spirit as the “Helper,” and a guide to help lead us to truth and to remind his disciples of Jesus’ words.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it’s been a journey for me, too, Dolly, to figure out more who and what the Holy Spirit is and does. Such wonderful discoveries! And to think He was there all along, we just weren’t as aware.

  5. Pingback: Saturday Share Sept 5, 2015 - Reflect

  6. blankJennifer Dougan

    Hi Lisa Notes,

    Thanks for stopping by my post “The Call on Line Two.” We’re all better now, thanks. 🙂 Phew.

    This post about the Holy Spirit is true that he seems to be an often-overlooked or stepped-past part of the Trinity when we pray even. I’ve been working on that since reading “The Forgotten God” by Francis Chan. Have you read that?

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Glad you’re all better now, Jennifer!
      Yes, I have read The Forgotten God in the past, and really benefited from it. Lots of good info and thoughts on the Holy Spirit there. I got hooked on reading Francis Chan with Crazy Love. 🙂

  7. blankSharon

    I think of God as my heavenly Father. And I think of Jesus as my beloved Friend. It’s been harder to wrap my mind around the person of the Holy Spirit. Not the truth of His existence, but more the way I can relate to Him. In the end, I think He reminds me of a mother. Gently spurring me on with encouragement, quietly reminding me of truth, insightfully leading me into new revelations, infusing me with strength, calmly speaking peace to my troubles, and never, ever giving up on me. When I think about the role my own mother has played in my life, this is what makes the Holy Spirit more *real* to me.

    A quiet Counselor and precious Comforter, who ever leads me to be someone better, someone more like Jesus.

    And oh, how I want Him to move in my life!!

    GOD BLESS!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Oh, that is a beautiful analogy, Sharon. Thinking of the Holy Spirit as “mother” can be very beneficial. It reminds me of The Shack, and how the author fictionalized each member of the Trinity as a different personage. Thanks for sharing this personal thought here; it will help me too.

  8. blankLaura Thomas

    Great post. Great reminder. I, for one, am guilty of unintentionally neglecting the power of the Holy Spirit most of the time. I’m not sure why… possibly my upbringing, possibly my ignorance, but it’s certainly an area I have to work on. Which is somewhat ironic, as it is the Holy Spirit within me whom I will be calling on for that growth and illumination… 🙂 On Sunday I led worship and one of the songs was Holy Spirit Rain Down—an oldie but a goodie, and it struck me afresh on the importance of the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives— His power, His voice, His leading. So this post is very timely, and I thank you for sharing! Blessings to you!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      “Unintentional neglect” – I think that is an apt description for what many of us do, Laura. I heard so very little about the Holy Spirit in my earlier years that I hardly knew he existed, and I certainly wasn’t aware that he was still moving today. Holy Spirit Rain Down—definitely a great one! Wish I could hear you lead that! Thanks for sharing.

  9. blankWayne Davies

    Great article here. I love the way you summarize the chapters in Knowing God.
    One of my favorite verses about the Spirit is John 16:8 – “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” This verse substantiates Packer’s statement, “without the Holy Spirit there would be no faith and no new birth — in short, no Christians.” i.e. without the Spirit, you would not have written your article and I would not be writing this comment!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I like how you drew the conclusion out to its fullest–without the Holy Spirit, we wouldn’t be here having this conversation. 😉

      Reading your summary post of the first 8 chapters, I so appreciate the two concepts you uncovered beneath them all–repentance and worship. Yes. Concise and right on target! Thanks, Wayne.

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