A Basic Christian Theology by A.J. ConyersThere are so many things we take for granted as Christians. We talk about the comfort we have in knowing that God is near us through Christ and the Spirit. Yet we have a tendency to overemphasize God’s nearness to the detriment of his transcendence. In the process we lose sight of the bigness and mightiness of God. We see God reveal himself in Scripture as three-in-one. The early church fathers fought over the particulars of trinitarian doctrine because they knew that it was extremely important to our view of God. Yet we can assume the reality of the Trinity without even thinking it through. How can something or someone be three things and one thing at the same time? Naturally speaking, it is a paradox. Yet God is beyond time and finite existence. He is not bound by natural law. The early church fathers described the Trinity as three persons of one substance.

The Holy Spirit falls into this category. Try to wrap your mind around the reality that God exists within you. He has given us the Spirit so that it might lead us into all truth (John 16:13). The majestic and holy God of the universe has come down and taken up residence within us. I believe this is the most mind blowing aspect of our relationship with the Spirit. Here’s a great section from A Basic Christian Theology on our experience with the Holy Spirit.

What is distinctive, then, about the Christian experience of the Spirit? The clearest statement of what is new in the New Testament experience of the Spirit is found in the Gospel of John: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you” (John 14:15-16, 17b).

The new in the New Testament experience of the Spirit is the fact that believers will be given the power to “keep my commandments” because of the abiding presence of the Spirit. It is not the occasional manifestation of the Spirit in ecstatic visitation (however valid and important these may be) that distinguishes the church’s experience of God. It is the fact that now God is known as a constant presence who operates in us to do the works he wants us to do. The church will know of God’s Spirit because, now, “he abides with you, and he will be in you” (v. 17). (134)

Too often we take for granted the presence of the Spirit within us. The Father has given to us the Spirit through Christ to guide us into truth, redeem us from sin and death, unite us to God and each other, and preserve us to the end. “In the Spirit we are enabled to be faithful, for the Spirit assures us that the victory is at hand.” (132)

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