Posted on 11/07/2011 by Charles
This is the third post of a review on the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan (see post one and post two).
What does the Holy Spirit do? Chan starts off by reminding us that what we believe (doctrine) may not change what God will do, but it matters as it will shape what 'we' will do. He also adds that we should hold fast to solid doctrines and be careful about ambiguous doctrines. Here's a short quote from page 65, "The point is not to completely understand God, but to worship Him. Let the very fact that you cannot know Him fully lead you to praise Him for His infiniteness and grandeur." Also, any analogy of God will never encapsulate God's nature (e.g. God is like the three parts of an egg, like a flame, etc), but the trinity is obvious and implied (Isaiah 9:6). Listed below are a few bullet points he makes about the Holy Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit is a person.
- The Holy Spirit is God.
- The Holy Spirit is eternal and holy - and he dwells in us...wow!
- The Holy Spirit has His own mind and prays for us.
- The Holy Spirit has emotions - we are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit has his own desires and will.
- The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.
He ends the chapter with a list of 'fruit' that the Holy Spirit can have in our lives. I admit that I feel like I've ignored the Spirit a lot when I read through the list. Like I've been trying to do it all on my own. Sure, I believe in Jesus with all of my heart, but I have ignored Jesus' thoughts about the Holy Spirit as I kept an unhealthy focus on the physical world hoping to bow down to Jesus in person. Wasn't that the focus of the song 'I Can Only Imagine' by Casting Crown? Why else did this song resonate with so many of us so powerfully? We are so excited to see Jesus, but sadly I think we are not worshiping the Holy Spirit that he has given to us today when we only think of the physical present world.
There are two verses I want to end with; John 16:7 and Acts 2:38-39. In John, Jesus reminds us of why the Holy Spirit is such a big deal and Acts has Peter reminding us how to respond to God:
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you" - John 16:7 (ESV)
"And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." - Acts 2:38-39 (ESV)