Updated: Nov 9
Archaeology: Experience this for yourself
Last together, we took a brief look at how the science of ever-expanding archaeology digs from the earth the people, places, events and even cultural wares is tangible proof of the veracity of the Scriptures, which tell us of our Almighty God and his story.
In the last week, I have had great conversations--on the airplane, in a California restaurant, at a women's retreat reconnecting with the lives of people I love, and in a Lyft with a muslim man from Pakistan...all so interesting, so telling and descriptive of our various human conditions. These conversations came at a time I have been writing about evidence for the existence of God: from creation, the origin and design of the universe, prophecy, Jesus Christ who became one of us . . . but evidence of another aspect of God is critically important right now.
While God is one person, he is also triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While we kinda 'get' the Son, Jesus - his magnanimous love and saving purpose, the Father and his sovereignty over all, the Holy Spirit is mysterious to most of us. "The Holy Spirit is God's agent on earth, yet he is the least understood, least preached about, and the least discussed member of the Trinity."1 And yet, we are greatly in need of his presence and work in our lives.
So who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is a person, the Holy Spirit is God.
Some people want to reduce him down to a thing, which is terribly unfortunate and erroneous as well. The old gentleman, A.W.Tozer, had a great grasp and awe of him--he brilliantly explained that
->the Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm,
or energy or the
personification of all good qualities.
No, the Holy Spirit has all the qualities of a person,
has substance but not material substance.
He has individuality; he is one being and not another.
He has will,
and ability to love
and rejoice. [might read that again]2
Spirit is another mode of being, rather than matter; the difference is that matter possesses dimension and form. The Holy Spirit is not material, is not defined by dimension or physical substance. He has memory and can communicate with you. The Holy Spirit is an unseen presence, a knowing, feeling personality.
I love what Jesus told the disciples, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."3
The Holy Spirit resembles Jesus. The Holy Spirit is intelligent, cultured, gracious, loving, kind - just like Jesus himself. Jesus was winsome, loving, kindly, the tenderest, the most beautiful character that lived in all the world-and he was demonstrating the Spirit!
The Holy Spirit is friendly. Because he is friendly, as stated earlier, he can also be grieved - when we refuse to obey him, ignore him or turn our backs on him by sinning against him. The Holy Spirit can only be grieved because he loves. Think of a parent who loves her teen-aged son or daughter deeply . . . for that is the heart of the Holy Spirit, who is of God, and is God.
A person can live without the Holy Spirit, but he will not be fully alive. For anyone lacking the Holy Spirit's power really has nothing at all, but his own wit and determination--good, but not adequate and certainly not great. And the Christian woman going about without the Holy Spirit is trying to do all in her own strength, which is human and will surely fail.
Archaeology . . . digging up the Holy Spirit, seeking to understand him and give him space in our lives--to lead, comfort and guide us. Let's seek to know him and all that he is meant to be in our lives.
As I recall the faces, voices, tears and facial expressions in the various conversations I have had over the past number of days, comes the realization: there is one source of hope: God. There is only one way to know and feel his presence and the hope he gives: the Holy Spirit of God. Come, Holy Spirit, we need you. Come in your own gentle way. Come in thy strength and your power. . .
Evidence, check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lDvD-O9xhg
1 - Spirit Rising, Jim Cymbala. Terrific read.
2 - A. W. Tozer clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va_BrSislsE
3 - John 14.16-17, ESV