June 23, Sunday

Todays’ Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend is written by Pastor Ryun Chang.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Hey, the Holy Spirit is not a Thing—He is a Person.”

John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he [ekeinos, not ekeino] will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

America has given birth to two fast-growing religious groups: One is the Mormon Church and the other, the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  And it is the latter group that has clearly shown the intricate relationship between the Trinity and the Holy Spirit; that is to say, if the Holy Spirit is not upheld as a person, then, there goes the Trinity.

Admittedly, even some evangelicals (if they are honest) doubt the validity of the Trinity because they have a problem with the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Once, as mentioned in yesterday’s blog, a believer said to me, “If the concept of the Trinity is THAT important to our salvation, how come we rarely talk about it? We talk a lot about the Gospel, the Bible, Deity of Jesus, and living a holy life, but we rarely talk about the importance of the Trinity.” One reason is because many evangelicals don’t think much of the Spirit–part of the Triune God–that is, his work and constitution.  Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly don’t; in fact, they view the Holy Spirit as a force or energy (referred to as “it” in their own translation), particularly considering that the Greek word for spirit, pneuma, is in the neuter (referring to genderless things).  Subsequently, neither do they believe in the Trinity.

However, since several neuter Greek nouns refer to people (e.g., teknon means child; paidion means infant), such objection merely shows the Jehovah Witnesses’ ignorance of the New Testament Greek.  Moreover, in John 14:26, when John uses a pronoun to refer to the Holy Spirit, the masculine pronoun ekeinos (meaning “he”) is used instead of the neuter pronoun ekeino (“it”).  (I hope that explanation didn’t put you to sleep!)  

The alleged Christian groups that do not uphold essential doctrines of the historic Christian faith, such as the Trinity, are called cults and Jehovah’s Witnesses would fall under that category.  In speaking to them in love, sharing this insight from Greek can help them to see what they are missing out on by not inviting the person of the Holy Spirit to help them in times of trouble!

As for us, although we may not believe like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in a functional sense, we may not be too different from them since we neither seek nor incorporate the presence of the Spirit in our lives, including in our worship, prayer and when we study Scripture.  And we rarely ask the Spirit to fill us before leaving home for work or school or taking kids to school. Do it today. Don’t leave home without being filled by him!

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, fill me today! May I live a life that is empowered by you and your power so that I may glorify the Triune God through what I say and do everyday! Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 17.

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