Summary: The Articles of Faith of the Church of the Nazarene: IV The Holy Spirit
A young Luke Skywalker and an aging Obi-Wan Kenobi were in a Chinese restaurant having a meal. Skillfully using his chopsticks, Obi-Wan deftly dished himself a large portion of noodles into his bowl, then topped it off with some chicken and cashew nuts. All this was done with the consummate ease you’d expect from a Jedi Master. But poor young Luke was having a nightmare, using his chopsticks in both hands, dropping his food all over the table and eventually himself. Finally, Obi-Wan looked at Luke disapprovingly and said, "Use the forks, Luke."
Often, we think of the Holy Spirit as something similar to ‘the force.’ In truth, it is difficult for us to comprehend someone that is spirit rather than flesh and not think of them as a force or power. In fact, it is quite common for people to talk about ‘the Spirit’ as a thing rather than as a person. However, the Holy Spirit is a person. He is the third Person of our Triune God. This morning we continue our journey through the Articles of Faith of the Church of the Nazarene and we are going to focus our attention on the third Article, which is:
The Holy Spirit
Here is the description of this 3rd tenet of our faith:
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead, that He is ever present and efficiently active in and with the Church of Christ, convincing the world of sin, regenerating those who repent and believe, sanctifying believers, and guiding into all truth as it is in Jesus.
This morning, we will finish up with the Trinity portion of our Articles of Faith. When I think of the Trinity, I like to think of each Person of the Trinity as they relate to their personalities and functions.
When I think of God the Father, I think of the Creator of the universe. I think about His majesty and His power. I think of His holiness and His righteousness and His mercy and love.
When I think of Jesus Christ, I think of my Redeemer. I think of my Savior and my Advocate. I think of my Friend who was willing to give everything He had for me and for you. He is the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah.
And when I think of the Holy Spirit, I think of the Word of God in my own heart and mind. He is my Conscience and my Guide. Without Him, I could not hope to walk this Christian life. He is the Messenger. He is my constant Companion who reminds me that I belong to Christ and am a child of the Most High. Romans 8:16-17 says it quite eloquently:
it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…
Jesus spoke several times of the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17):
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
Jesus Christ said that the Father would give us another Advocate. An ‘advocate’ is one who publicly supports or recommends someone or something. But what did He mean by ‘another?’ Jesus is your Advocate before God because it is only because of His righteousness and His blood that we can stand before God. The Holy Spirit is God’s Advocate to you, enabling you to understand His Word when you study it and guiding you in your daily walk as you allow Him to work in and through you. In fact, Jesus goes on to tell His disciples in verse 26:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
Christians do not walk the road of holiness alone. Our Advocate, the Holy Spirit, was sent to instruct us and remind us. In fact, God foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit to the people of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:33):
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The way that God has written His law within us is through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. One of the biggest mistakes that we can make is to try to live a holy life without nurturing the relationship that we have with God through the Holy Spirit.