Reformed Reflections

From the Pastor's Desk (1989 - 1993)

Doctrine of The Holy Spirit

As we look at our world we often get a sinking, helpless feeling. The news we read or watch drives one to despair. In the church at large a widespread feeling that, in the face of overwhelming needs and problems, we are singularly ill equipped to bring to the world the renewing Gospel of the Kingdom which it needs most. The Church may have lost sight of her calling, got tired of fighting spiritual battles, silenced by hunger for status, security and success; but this is not the time to let our guard down, to loose sight of our mission and God's equipment to carry it out. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the small church in Jerusalem. We are now living in the age of the Spirit. The Spirit came not just to indwell some individuals but the body of Christ. The church is the place in which the Spirit of God lives and works. The Spirit builds up the church. He adds believers to Christ's body. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit added 3000 new converts to it. And even today, through the faithful work of missionaries, evangelists and witnesses of the Gospel, many are joining the Church. The Church has life in herself. The Holy Spirit is her life. Take the Church in Ephesus as an example. Paul's letter to the Ephesians has at least 12 references to the work of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ. From the moment of conversion the Holy Spirit is everything to individual Christians and to the whole Church, God's covenant people. By the Spirit we are introduced to the Father (2:18). We are indwelt by the Spirit (2:22). We are taught by the Spirit (3:5). The Bible is described as the "Sword of the Spirit" (6:17) and prayer is offered "in the Spirit" (6:18). And since the body of Christ is manifested in the local church, the local fellowship of God's people, we may say that the Spirit dwells also in our own local Church. Within our church we have the greatest source of power available to help us minister in Christ's name. The Pentecost experience is associated with power. Job speaks of the Spirit's power at work in creation. " The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (33:4). Henry Drummond said that in the New Testament alone the Spirit is referred to nearly three hundred times. And the one word with, which He is constantly associated is Power." With full vigor we can pursue our mission- educating children, feeding the hungry, working for Pro-life, seeking justice, bringing the Gospel at home and abroad. The Holy Spirit is THE most powerful resource we have available to carry out God's mandate in His world.

Johan D. Tangelder