The Forgotten​ God

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The Holy Spirit has been considered to depict a Cinderella story in association with the Father and Son that has a particular anonymity to its person and works. The forgotten God has been deprecated since the early church councils but has come to see a resurgence within the past century, especially in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Catholic church. The Pneumatological understanding must maintain a trinitarian distinction as the Spirit is not identical with Jesus but rather the Spirit is the divinity of Jesus, so Jesus is the personality of the Spirit. This mutuality of partners in a dance within Spirit and Logos Christology draws from its personhood filled with biblical imagery teaching us about the work of the Holy Spirit.

“Without the Spirit we can neither love God nor keep His commandments.”

Augustine

The eternal spirit is the essence of God himself, active in the chaos of the cosmos and establishes righteousness and justice and should be considered more than a mere bond of love between Father and Son. Karl Barth describes God the Holy Spirit as: “The one God reveals Himself according to Scripture as the Redeemer, i.e., as the Lord who sets us free. As such He is the Holy Spirit, by receiving whom we become the children of God, because, as the Spirit of the love of God the Father and the Son, He is so antecedently in Himself.” The inner-trinitarian relationship as viewed from the procession of the spirit can be concluded that the Spirit proceeds from the Father in the eternal presence of the Son and that therefore the Son is not uninvolved in it. The inclusion of the filioque in the text of Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed of 381 led to the great schism in the church in 1054 and reminds us of the dangers of adoptionism. As the spirit binds us in Christ together and connects us to each other, let us not eclipse the mission of the spirit from functioning as the second person in the Trinity.

The term, spirituality, has taken a new age meaning in its role in the millennium. The spirit in the book of Acts and early Christian communities witnessed a visible manifestation as emphasized in the Lukan story. Such signs were seen as essential that when they were found missing, believers began to doubt the presence of the Spirit, as among the Samaritans (Acts 8:12) and disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:11). The transformative power of the spirit is evident through the parakletos as the one called alongside to help us in our time of need. To experience the Spirit is to experience Christ and to experience Christ is to experience the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit shows us the face of the Father in the face of the Son.

The Holy Spirit is the authorisation to speak about Christ; He is the equipment of the prophet and apostle; He is the summons to the Church to minister the Word. 

 Karl Barth

As a charismatic power, the Hebrew term, ruach, came upon certain Old Testament individuals that empowered and enabled them to perform supernatural deeds (Judges 14:6; 1 Sam.16:13). This same power has not lost its luster today and comes in many forms as Jesus saw his ministry in the Spirit in terms of eschatological blessing, good news, freedom and healing. The spirit is “God in action” pouring out on us as the all-encompassing power who animates new life in Christ. No one is beyond the reach of the grace of God and a rediscovery of the person and work of the spirit is essential in our ecclesiology for building Gospel-centered communities and demonstrating the flame of love to everyone.

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