PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Sunday, July 15, 2012

 

Talk 3: New Life in the Holy Spirit/Power and Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Talk 3: New Life in the Holy Spirit/Power and Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Introduction. Our first talk was about God’s unconditional love, and the second talk was about Jesus, our Lord and Savior. The third talk is about the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Holy Trinity, “the sanctifier and giver of life to the Church.” God the Father loves us so much that He wants us to have a new life, through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-15).
• Because He knows we can’t live life through human willpower alone, He gives us His grace through the Holy Spirit.
• Since all of us have been baptized and confirmed as Christians, all of us already have the Holy Spirit in us. What we need to learn is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. This empowered life means opening the gift we have already received.
• This way, we experience God in a more personal way. We will feel that He is alive and more actively involved in our lives, that He wants to have a personal relationship with Him.
• There’s nothing new with this. It’s Biblical/historical. Read the Pentecost story in Acts 2:1-18; 37-47. During the Pentecost, the disciples were told to wait for the Holy Spirit, so they waited and received it through an exciting experience – through wind, fire, speaking in tongues – transforming them from being scared and cowardly apostles to being persuasive, leading to 3,000 instant conversions! This is how Christianity spread beyond Jerusalem. The power of the Holy Spirit converts souls!
• In the same way, we invite you to wait for the Holy Spirit and anticipate excitement in this encounter. We can have the same experience if we want it. What we read in the Bible comes alive!
What are the promises of the Holy Spirit? 1. Knowing God by experience. 2. Praying in a new way. 3. Word of God and sacraments come alive. 4. Fruit of the Holy Spirit develops in us (the virtues we have discussed). 5. Power of serve God and others through the spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, wisdom, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, etc.
How do we receive the Holy Spirit? In faith, ask Jesus to fulfill His promise (Lk. 11:9-13), not because we have earned it but because He loves us and that’s what He wants us to have.
What are the things to expect? Personal experience of God’s presence, peace, joy, gifts, etc.
What are the obstacles to receiving the Holy Spirit? Feeling unworthy, doubt, pride, and fear of what others will think. Therefore we should believe and just be open.
Speaker’s testimony of his/her experience with the Holy Spirit.
Questions on the Holy Spirit welcomed.

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