Sunday, March 7, 2021

Spirit of the Living God (Sermon 9 on the Apostles' Creed)

And here we are, rounding the corner into the final stretch! Over the past eight weeks, as we've been learning our faith through the lens of the Apostles' Creed together, we've confess that we “believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.” But now the Creed invites us to rewind – back to the beginning – as we confess the next line: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”

So let's rewind. Rewind until we hit Genesis 1:1. Then rewind some more, until we're off the tape. There is no universe. There is no creation. There is neither space nor time. There is only God, alone in eternity. God is all there is, and there is only one. But within the life of this one and only God, there is relationality. We've already met the Father. And we've also met the Son, who is eternally begotten from the Father, sharing the same essence as him – the Son is the Word eternally meditated, God's perfect reflection. But there is a third in this Blessed Trinity. This third is the Holy Spirit. He is the bond of love whom the Father and the Son share, pouring forth eternally from them, passing from each to the other within the inner life of God – when God is by himself, God is Father relating to both his Son and his Spirit, and them to him, and them to each other. For that reason, we're told that the Holy Spirit “comprehends the thoughts of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11), which is something no creature can ever do. The Holy Spirit is worth as much as the Father or the Son – and that is infinite. The Holy Spirit knows as much as the Father or the Son – which is infinite. The Holy Spirit can do as much as the Father or the Son – which is infinite. And the Holy Spirit is every bit as beautiful and every bit as glorious – which is also infinite. The Holy Spirit is the same divine nature as the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is God – as fully God as either of them. And therefore the Holy Spirit is worthy of being worshipped and glorified with Father and Son as the one and only God of all.

And then, God creates – he is, after all, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things that exist that are not God. It's the Holy Spirit who creates, just as much as the Father or the Son do. A 'spirit,' in Hebrew, is the same as a 'breath' or a 'wind,' and so as God speaks creation into being with his Word, he breathes forth his Spirit at the same time. The Spirit is the Sacred Breath of God, the Divine Wind that blows over the unformed world. “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” from the start (Genesis 1:2), but as the psalmist says to God, “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground” (Psalm 104:30) – and just like in the era of creation, each of us, when we are formed and brought to light, can declare with Elihu in the Book of Job, “The Spirit of God has made me” (Job 33:4). And this Creator Spirit will never be limited. “Where shall I go from your Spirit?” (Psalm 139:7), we ask, and the answer is nowhere.

Down through the pages of history, we find that when God liberates the Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt, a divine wind blows upon the sea to clear a path for them. And from then on, God “put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit” (Isaiah 63:11). Particularly, this Spirit was “upon Moses” (Numbers 11:17) and later in his protege Joshua (Numbers 27:18), while the tabernacle architect Bezalel was “filled” with “the Spirit of God” (Exodus 31:3). While the Spirit blew into or onto a few particular people for special tasks, God “gave [his] good Spirit to instruct them,” the whole nation, in the desert, we're told (Nehemiah 9:20). But the problem is that, time and again, the Israelites in the desert “rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit” (Isaiah 63:10).

God brought the later generation into the land of promise, and they were governed for a while by pop-up leaders called judges, whom the Spirit chose to work through. So we read about the Spirit being upon Othniel (Judges 3:10), clothing Gideon (Judges 6:34), being upon Jephthah (Judges 11:29), and stirring and them rushing upon Samson (Judges 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14). In time, the people insist on having a mortal king instead of God's rule through the judges. So the final judge Samuel anoints a tall man named Saul, and the Spirit was with him (cf. 1 Samuel 16:14). But because Saul was unfaithful, Samuel anoints his successor in advance, a teenager named David; and “the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13). When David, like Saul, badly abuses his power, in his prayer of repentance he begs God, “Take not your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). And God hears this prayer.

After his time and his son's time, the nation splits, but even within this divided monarchy, God chooses prophets whom his Word visits and his Spirit fills. For God “sent” Israel messages “by his Spirit through the former prophets” (Zechariah 7:12). “No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). And so we read of the Holy Spirit coming upon prophets like Azariah and Jahaziel (2 Chronicles 15:1; 20:14), clothing Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:20), entering into and falling on Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2; 11:5), and so on. Nehemiah summarizes their history by saying that “many years [God] bore with them and warned them by [his] Spirit through the prophets” (Nehemiah 9:30). Their problem is how frequently the Israelites “carry out a plan, but not [God's], and make an alliance, but not of [God's] Spirit” (Isaiah 30:1). So God drives the upper crust of the people into exile for seventy years. But after their return, the prophet Haggai assures them that God's “Spirit remains in your midst” (Haggai 2:5).

Throughout all this time, God's Spirit, the Holy Spirit, has to be distinguished from other spirits – real spirits, real conscious personalities – that are at work in the world. Some of them are called “lying spirits” (1 Kings 22:23), “harmful spirits” (1 Samuel 16:14), “unclean spirits” (Matthew 10:1), “evil spirits” (Acts 19:15). These days, we've come to adopt a Greek word for them: “demons.” On the other hand, there are also good spirits at work in the world. They are on the side of the Holy Spirit, but are not his equal. For God breathes out the Holy Spirit as Lord, but these others are “ministering spirits sent out to serve” (Hebrews 1:14). And for them, we've come to adopt a different Greek word: “angels.” Angels and demons are real. They lurk behind the scenes of the world. But God's Holy Spirit is infinitely greater than the mightiest angel or nastiest demon.

The prophets through whom the Holy Spirit spoke taught Israel to look forward for the day when the Spirit would be poured out onto their land: “I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground” (Isaiah 44:3); “the Spirit is poured... and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field and the fruitful field is deemed a forest” (Isaiah 32:15). The prophets taught them to look forward to the Spirit being poured out on the people as a whole: “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring and my blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3), “the Spirit is poured upon us from on high” (Isaiah 32:15), “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28). And once this happened, Israel would be renewed. “I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live” (Ezekiel 37:14); “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:27). This would be in the time of the final king, known as the Messiah or 'Anointed One' because the Holy Spirit would anoint him (Isaiah 61:1) and rest upon him (Isaiah 11:2; cf. Isaiah 42:1). But by the time the Hebrew Scriptures we call the Old Testament come to a close, these things haven't yet happened.

But then we flip the page. And we meet the Divine Son being made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, but only because “the Holy Spirit will come upon” Mary (Luke 1:35), so she is “found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). When Jesus is born, he is already announced to be the promised Messiah (Luke 2:11). But three decades later, Jesus goes to the river to be baptized by his cousin John the Baptist, a prophet who also was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:15). And when Jesus rises from those waters, the Holy Spirit flies down from heaven and descends on him, “coming to rest on him” (Matthew 3:16), so that Jesus can also be described as “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1), for “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38). From the waters, the Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the desert to confront the Tempter there (Matthew 4:1), after which he “returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee” to begin his ministry (Luke 4:14). And the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus' ministry, including his miracles and exorcisms – he himself said, “By the Spirit of God..., I cast out demons,” overcoming these unclean spirits with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28). In the years of his ministry, he announces that the time is coming when he will bring what Israel had been taught to hope for. Jesus is promised as the One who will “baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8), and he declares that God “gives the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34), so his “heavenly Father” will gladly “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13). But first, he has work to do.

We know that Jesus dies on the cross, rises from the dead, ascends into heaven, and takes his seat at the Father's right hand. But only there, as we've learned, can he “receive from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33). It was the Feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover. It's reckoned by first-century Jews as the anniversary of the day when God gave the Law on Mount Sinai. And that's important to remember, because the way Luke tells this story actually builds off of Jewish interpretations we later find of the Mount Sinai event. So let's take a quick trip back to the desert. On a very special day, when the people were consecrated and gathered for God's presence, the LORD approached in a thick cloud and came down on the mountain with thunder, lightning, sound, and smoke, and “the LORD descended on [the mountain] in fire” (Exodus 19:18). And then God spoke the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), but we're told that the Israelites saw the thunder,” “saw... the sound” (Exodus 20:18). That's an odd choice of words – seeing what should be a purely auditory phenomenon – so later Jews imagined that when God spoke the words of the Law, each word actually came forth “like flames of fire: a fiery torch on its right and a fiery torch on its left, flying and floating in the air of the heavens; it returned and was seen over the camps of Israel; it circled round and was engraved on the tables of the covenant that had been given into the palm of Moses' hands.”1

The rabbis also imagined that, for the sake of the entire world to hear, “each and every utterance that emerged from the mouth of the Almighty divided into seventy languages,” or seventy tongues.2 These are the seventy languages of humanity in Jewish thought, and the rabbis said that the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin, was ideally supposed to be able to speak each of the seventy traditional human languages, the rabbis said, so that they'd never need to hear testimony through an outside translator; and they held that the best and wisest Sanhedrin was one that had four members who could speak all seventy languages.3 Going back to Sinai, some rabbis also suggested that each man in Israel was, at that time, crowned by angels as they heard the Law, but later forfeited those crowns because of their sin with the golden calf.4

Now, with all of that in mind, what does Luke say happens when the apostles gather with others in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost that commemorates all those things? Suddenly, something happens. God gives a new gift. The Divine Wind blows hard from heaven, let loose by Jesus from the throne. The wind catches flame. Just as the words of the Law were originally torches of fire that divided into all the languages of the known world, so now the Holy Spirit descends as fire that divides into a variety of 'tongues,' or languages, and enables the apostles to speak and be understood in all the languages of the world (Acts 2:1-4). Not only is this appropriate because they're called to be witnesses to the very ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), and not only is it quite appropriate because it's God's answer to the ancient curse on Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), but it makes the apostles a much more qualified Sanhedrin, or Jewish ruling council, because they already have triple the number of all-language speakers as the wisest there ever was. And the fire hangs over the apostles' heads in a way suggestive of the lost crowns being restored – the radiant face of Moses is now replicated among the apostles, for they have encountered the Spirit face-to-face and are crowned with joy upon their heads in Zion (cf. Isaiah 35:10).

In the old tale, God's Law was fire that hovered over the camp of Israel, but did not descend to them; instead, it left the camp to be inscribed on the tablets of stone. But the prophets were led by the Spirit to look forward to a day when God would “put my Law within them, and I will write it on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33). I want to suggest that that's what Pentecost was all about: the fire, divided into all the languages, writes the New Law, the Law of Christ, not on tablets of stone but enters the apostles to inscribe it directly on their hearts, the very promise God had given to Israel. And this is what allows them to receive back the crowns Israel had lost. Not only that, but although not all who received the Spirit received language gifts, all who received the Spirit were crowned in Christ and had the Law written, in some measure, on their hearts – hearts not of stone but of flesh, pliable and responsive to God, “that they may walk in [God's] statutes and keep [God's] rules and obey them” through this “new Spirit” placed within them – and within us who have received the same (Ezekiel 11:19-20). Thus began the promised outpouring, as the apostles were that day “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5) and “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Is that not beautiful?

From that moment on, we read about how Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:8), how the apostles were “all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:31). The Holy Spirit's outpouring gives power especially to the commissioned apostles – and attempting to trick them, as Ananias and Sapphira learn the hard way, is tantamount to “lying to the Holy Spirit” and “testing the Spirit of the Lord” (Acts 5:3,9). Alongside the apostles, the Holy Spirit will act as another witness to the truth of the gospel (Acts 5:32). It's only after this that they're suddenly ready to embark on their mission. As they go, their movement begins to take a more definite shape. In picking the first seven deacons to take care of practical work while they commit to prayer and preaching, even these deacons are required to be “full of the Spirit” (Acts 6:3). The Holy Spirit will continue to speak to and through the leaders of the church (Acts 13:2; 16:6; 21:11). As the apostles went forth, they “preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven” (1 Peter 1:12). As they preach, sometimes, for significant breakthroughs, the Holy Spirit abruptly “fell on” their receptive hearers without any action on their part (Acts 10:44). But much more commonly, “the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands” (Acts 8:18; cf. Acts 19:6).

And as the apostles completed their ministries, they – like the prophets before them – left behind writings. And these writings of the prophets and apostles and those associated with them were revered by the church. For the mysteries of God had been “revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:15), and the prophets and apostles all wrote what they wrote because they were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The consequence of that was that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). And so, as said those the apostles handed these things off to, “the Holy Scriptures... are true and inspired by the Holy Spirit” (1 Clement 45.2). In time, it was the Spirit who guided and shepherded the church to recognize these Holy Scriptures clearly and to collect them as one standard by which to measure faith and life: the canon of books we call the Bible. For that reason, the church has historically held its confession of the Holy Spirit to include a confession that we believe that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is true in everything God means to teach us by it. What we read in our Old Testament – the Holy Spirit carried those authors as they wrote. What we read in our New Testament – the Holy Spirit proclaimed that to us through the apostles. To confess the Holy Spirit is to trust Scripture as “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

But aside from giving us the Bible, what does the Holy Spirit do in our lives? Why does it practically matter that there is a Holy Spirit, or that he's been poured out onto the world, or that he can be received? We know that “the world,” society in general, “cannot receive” the Holy Spirit “because it neither sees him nor knows him” (John 14:17). But “when [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). And that's vitally important. What it means is that the Spirit prosecutes a legal case against those who oppose the gospel, those who resist the gospel, those who side with the gospel-obscuring and gospel-ignoring powers of the world. The Spirit prosecutes this case against the world; but when we sin, we're siding (even if for a moment) with that world, and so the Spirit's prosecution against the world also reminds us. And from this we know that when we sin, the Spirit drives home that felt sense of conviction, the awareness that we've flirted with the wrong side and have done wrong. On the other hand, for those who turn toward Jesus and away from sin, those who relish in the good news and pursue righteousness in faith, the Holy Spirit is not our prosecutor. Jesus calls him our Advocate, our defender – in prosecuting sin, he's defending us (John 14:16).

But how do we get to be on that side – the side of faith, the side of love, the side of life? It comes down, first, to regeneration. Jesus tells us that “it is the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63) – which is why one of the ancient statements the church makes about the Holy Spirit is to title him “the Giver of Life.” And before we can taste true life, we must be reborn. “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). “The Spirit blows where he wishes” (John 3:8). “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). We'll come back to that water in a couple weeks, but at least part of Jesus' point is clear: to come to real life, a person must be “born again” (John 3:3), and the Holy Spirit is the One who makes that happen. To be born again is to be born of the Spirit. And so “God's love” is “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

In pouring God's love into our hearts, the Holy Spirit sets us right. The Bible uses the word 'justify' for that, and while usually we talk about justification as something God does for us through Jesus on the basis of faith, and that's very true, the Bible also connects the Spirit to justification. Paul says that we're “justified... by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). When the Spirit blows through our life, he reconnects us to God and moves us back toward where we need to be. One early Christian pictured Jesus as something like a crane operator, and the crane is the cross; but cranes in those days had a rope, and that rope is the Holy Spirit, who links us to the cross from which all rightness comes (Ignatius of Antioch, Ephesians 9.1). For Jesus and his cross to move us where we need to be, it takes that connection to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit justifies us, setting us right; and that's why, if we later turn our backs on God and choose to set ourselves wrong, we would “outrage the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29).

When the Holy Spirit makes us “born of the Spirit” (John 3:6), he accomplishes also our adoption into God's family. We “have received the Spirit of adoption as sons” (Romans 8:15). Because we receive the Holy Spirit – and all believers do – we are adopted into Jesus' own relationship with his Father. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus' Sonship, and “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'” (Galatians 4:6). And so God chooses to call us family. Every time we pray and address God as our Father, that's a gift that the Holy Spirit gives us. No Holy Spirit, no right to call God Father. No Holy Spirit, no right to embrace Jesus as both parent and brother. But because we do receive the Holy Spirit, we enjoy all the benefits of true family, and the Holy Spirit makes us one.

In binding us to God as his children, the Holy Spirit also unbinds us from the world. Adoption spells liberation. “The law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2), and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). When the Spirit is here, we are free from all those former forms of bondage. Sin has no authority over one in whom the Spirit of the Lord dwells. Death has no right to terrorize one who reaches out to the Spirit of life. Lies need never entrap one who reveres the Spirit of truth. And unclean spirits flee from their utmost opposite, the Holy Spirit. We can be afflicted by all these things, yes. We can be tempted by sin, we are vulnerable to death, we can believe lies, and we can be pestered by unclean spirits. But we are unbound from them. Sadly, we sometimes choose to live out the image of that old bondage, but we are free people, free for God, because the Holy Spirit has been our Liberator.

And to protect us from those things, we were “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13), “sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). And that language, which Paul uses for the Ephesians who lived in a famously magic-obsessed city, is language of spiritual protection. To mark or seal something was to shield it from nefarious threats. And so we read in Revelation about spiritual forces “that were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4; cf. Revelation 7:3). In some way, we have protection. Additional graces have been given to us so that we will not be overtaken by the darkness – not unless we willingly surrender.

And to seal us, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us so that our very body and soul become “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). And that sets us apart – or, as the Bible would say, it makes us holy, that is, it sanctifies us. A temple is a special place, a place set apart from other kinds of places. A temple deserves to be treated and regarded with reverence. A temple should never be treated as if it's an ordinary house, because that isn't what it is and that isn't what it's for. A temple is special, unique, reserved for the deity who dwells there. And the Holy Spirit claims us, body and soul, as a temple. We are set apart by the Spirit. From this angle, the Christian life is all about cooperating with the Holy Spirit's intention to furnish his temple suitably for himself. And so Paul talks also about “sanctification by the Spirit” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). The Spirit sets us apart as clean and holy, and then begins working to bring all aspects of our reality into conformity with that declaration.

So the Holy Spirit writes God's new law onto our hearts, as if it were a letter from Jesus Christ himself, written there in the depths of who we are (2 Corinthians 3:3). And from the believer's heart, the Holy Spirit is like living rivers that flow out and irrigate the whole life (John 7:38-39), like the river that “flowed out of Eden to water the garden and... became four rivers” to irrigate the whole earth (Genesis 2:10; cf. Revelation 22:1-2). So the question is, what grows in our life when the Spirit irrigates the field? A crop of virtues, the specific crop that the Spirit wishes to grow. For “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). And so the Holy Spirit, flowing out from the heart to irrigate our souls, grows this crop, this fruit, in the life and character of the believer. And that is a continuation of sanctification.

The Holy Spirit is also the “Spirit of Truth,” as Jesus says (John 14:17), and testifies to the truth, especially the truth about Jesus. “When the [Spirit of Truth comes..., he will bear witness about me,” Jesus says (John 15:26). “The Spirit himself bears witness” (Romans 8:16). “The Spirit is the one who testifies because the Spirit is the Truth” (1 John 5:6). In that capacity, the Spirit is given to lead Christ's people into a fuller and fuller awareness of the truth that's found in him. The Spirit is the teacher of the church, to guide it “into all truth” (John 16:13), because the Spirit's “anointing teaches you about everything and is true and is no lie” (1 John 2:27).

And as he grows fruit and teaches, so the Holy Spirit also gives gifts – and not all the same gifts. “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4). Paul talks about the different gifts or services or tasks that we're all given – and everyone has some. But these are not for our own private use, nor to lord it over each other. They are ways of contributing to one another's lives in helpful ways. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). They may all be different – and Paul just lists a few of them – but “all these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11), because we as believers “all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Spirit's gifts are not as important as the Spirit's fruit, but they are helpful to others, when used rightly and properly.

And the Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit, also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a down-payment or a deposit, an advance by God on something that's coming. God has “given the down-payment of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). The Holy Spirit is “the down-payment of our inheritance to the redemption of the full possession” (Ephesians 1:14). The Holy Spirit is God's advance deposit on what he has in store when our redemption is at last complete, when we come into our inheritance, when we are fully God's possession and all things are fully ours. And if the Holy Spirit is literally a divine person dwelling inside us, his presence and fruit and gifts given to us, how great must the inheritance be if that is the size of the down-payment? When the deposit is infinite, we cannot begin to dream of the full inheritance!

In response, God calls us to focus not on ourselves but on the Holy Spirit and his ways, because “to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). To cooperate with his sanctifying work in us, we are to walk as “led by the Spirit” (Romans 8:14), and to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25) – Paul calls us to match our steps through life to the footprints of the Holy Spirit, to time our steps to his tune. It's about being guided, not by our impressions or our self-will, but by the imitation of Christ. And so we “pray in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20), and as we do, we have help: “the Spirit himself intercedes for us” and “helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26). And we bring things full circle as we “worship by the Spirit of God” (Philippians 3:3), as we “worship in Spirit and Truth” (John 4:24). So believe in the Holy Spirit. Trust in the Holy Spirit. Hang your everything on the Holy Spirit. Let him lead you by what he's said in his Scriptures, and by the portrait of Christ he sets before you, and by the work he's doing in you, and by the voice he speaks to and through the Church – but more on that, perhaps, next week. Glory to the Holy Spirit, now and forever! Amen.

1 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 20:2; compare Targum Neofiti 1 on Exodus 20:2

2 b. Shabbat 88b

3 b. Sanhedrin 17a; b. Menachot 65a; y. Shekalim 5:1

4 b. Shabbat 88a; cf. Pesikta de-Rab Kahana 16.3

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