Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Holy Spirit: Part 1 by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Some Christ-followers believe that the Holy Spirit is not a separate person from the Father, but is merely God the Father. This teaching does not support the teaching that the Holy Spirit as a separate Person within the Trinity. The rationale for this teaching is that phrases like the ‘Spirit of the Father,’ ‘the Spirit,’ and ‘the Holy Spirit,’ are just different examples of God the Father. He has chosen to use the title of ‘Holy Spirit’ to refer to His actions while in this manifestation.

So, how would you answer someone who holds to this belief? The plain answer is that the Holy Spirit is not God the Father. He is a separate person within the Trinity, who was sent from God the Father. This is in agreement with the accepted teaching of the historical church belief. Scripture speaks of the three separate persons of the Trinity present at the same time e.g.
16 “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. 17 Then a voice from heaven said (the Father’s voice), ‘This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy’” (Matt 3:16:17; cf. also Rom 8:26-28; 2 Cor 13:14).

The Holy Spirit is understood to be completely co-equal, co-eternal, separate, and the third divine Person of the Trinity. He is more than just a manifestation or mode of the Father. He is not just the Spirit of the Father. He is God the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, the Father is never called the Holy Spirit, nor the Holy Spirit ever called the Father.

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over…

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Humility Part Three by Ps Michael Podhaczky

As we conclude our brief look into humility, I think that Andrew Murray described it well when he said:
“Christ is the humility of God embodied in human nature; the Eternal Love humbling itself, clothing itself in the garb of meekness and gentleness, to win and serve and save us.”[1]
Paul encouraged Christ-followers to live as Christ in Rom 12:9-21.
“See, be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly (humble). Do not be wise in your own estimation” (Rom 12:16 NASB).
Peter also encouraged the early Christ-followers how to live in 1 Peter 5:1-11.
5 “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Pet 5:5-6 NASB).

A great story on this matter of humility and pride is called ‘The parable of the two pockets’ and comes from the story of Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Pzhysha in Poland from the 1700s.
“The parable begins with two slips of paper. On one slip is written, ‘I am but dust and ashes.’ On the other slip is written, ‘For my sake, the world was created.’ These two slips of paper are meant to be carried around in two pockets.
Rabbi Bunim said, ‘Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he or she can reach into the one or the other, depending on the need. When feeling lowly and depressed discouraged or disconsolate, one should reach into the right pocket, and, there, find the words: “For my sake was the world created.” But when feeling high and mighty one should reach into the left pocket, and find the words: “I am but dust and ashes.”’”[2]

Are you proud to think that you are humble? That is called humble brag. So, we all may have a way to go yet, because of our pride. But
“Humility is an old remedy for what ends up being the oldest (only?) sin…pride.”[3]

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over…

[1] Murray, Andrew. Humility. (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, n.d.), 17.
[2] “Two Pockets (or, a lesson in how we see ourselves).” http://artofholiness.com/2017/01/07/two-pockets-or-a-lesson-in-how-we-see-ourselves/ (18th December 2017).
[3] “Ten 21st-Century Sins (and One Remedy).” http://artofholiness.com/2016/12/10/ten-21st-century-sins-and-one-remedy/ (18th December 2017).