Saturday, November 29, 2008

Article VIII

I believe in the Holy Ghost

The Nicene Creed reads:

I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets

Okay, I lied. For those paying close attention, the above is actually from the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

Okay, you caught me again. "And the Son" was added later by the Western church but rejected in the East.

So, who is the Holy Spirit? The word Spirit also means Breath. The Holy Spirit is the Holy Breath breathed back and forth in the bond of love between the Father and the Son. All life has its existance because the Breath has been breathed forth.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Working through the sacrament of baptism, the Holy Breath also gives life to the spiritually dead.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I don't think that the West should have added to the Creed but the statement that the Holy Breath proceeds from the Father and the Son is Biblically true.

Acts 2:33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a clean river of living water, bright as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,

The living water or water of life is the Holy Spirit. It took much longer for the East to accept the book of Revelation and that may have contributed to their refusal to accept "and the Son." The Eastern and Western churches have also approached the Trinity in very different ways. The West generally starts with the oneness of God and works its way out to the way in which God is three which is why modalism plagues the Western church. The Eastern church starts with the Threeness of God and works its way back to explain how God is one. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. The addition of "and the Son" was an attempt to combat a heresy that was troubling the West. Because of the approach in the East, the addition itself appeared to be heresy. For a more complete and better explanation of this controversy I recommend The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham.

The Holy Breath is not inferior to the Father or the Son. The Holy Breath should be worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son.

The Holy Breath spoke by the prophets.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All Scripture is breathed into by God. The Holy Breath is breathed into man.

What are the Scriptures all about? They are about the Lamb. The Holy Breath always testifies about the Lamb.

John 15:26 But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

This is the problem with the so-called "Holy Spirit-filled" churches. If they were really filled with the Holy Spirit they would be testifying about the Lamb. They would not think tongues or healings or miracles are the central point of all Christianity. The Holy Spirit can't stop talking about the Lamb.

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