The Holy Spirit 5-Its work in us
- In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
One God, Amen
The promise God made in the Old Testament by Joel the prophet was fulfilled in the Petecost. In the old, God spoke through Joel the prophet and said: “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my spirit in those days.”
The Holy Spirit is God. Scripture clearly ascribes divine names, both in the Old and the New Testament, to the Spirit. The history of the Holy Spirit’s work with this earth is the real, but hidden, story of history--All three divine Persons (Hypostatis) are present from the beginning.
All life is the Spirit’s special province, for the very word in Hebrew means both breath of life and spirit
o All divine inspiration is the Spirit’s work.
o Christ comes only because the Spirit prepares the way.
o Before the outpouring of the Spirit, the apostles are still frightened and hiding in the upper room, but this totally changed after Penetecost.
o All human history is a three-act play: creation, fall, and redemption. The third act has three scenes: the Old Testament (the revelation of the Father), the New Testament (the revelation of the Son), and the age of the Church (the revelation of the Spirit).
· The Spirit is the third part of God’s package deal for us. “The water of Life” is the Holy Spirit. Our qualification for receiving this water is simply our desire, our thirst. All we need to do is ask.
· Our holy fathers the saints and the fathers of the church were filled with the Holy Spirit. Throughout their lives and actions, we can see the workings of the Holy Spirit. The interesting observation is that most of those saints were simple, uneducated people, others were initially sinners and evil-doers, but once they obeyed and followed the Holy Spirit, their lives were totally changed.
· If you are to read the messages that St. Antony the Great used to send to his disciples, you will find the Saint often referring to “the Divine Fire” or the Holy Spirit who dwells in the soul, and lifts it up to heaven. According to St. Antony, it is useless for us to try to defeat our evil thoughts and desires by our own efforts, without the grace of the Holy Spirit. This is also stressed by St. Macarius the Great. The sinful nature of our souls can only be changed by the Holy Spirit.
· This is also evident in the writings of St. Isaac the Syrian who says that it is impossible to pray a prayer acceptable to God without the Holy Spirit. At the same time, the Holy Spirit works in us through prayer. Acquiring the divine love is only possible through the working of the Holy Spirit.
· The Holy Spirit, through His workings in the lives of the saints, presents us with excellent examples of how Christ rose from the dead conquering the world and the putting the devil under His feet. We therefore need to ask ourselves as to whether the Holy Spirit is working in us or not?
· There are three ways to measure the extent to which the Holy Spirit is working in us. These are:
o Our love toward God and our neighbor
o Our willingness to carry the cross with Christ
o The extent to which we follow Christ’s commandments
· Let us all pray from all our hearts, beseeching God to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.