Exploratory theology or theological recklessness? I again stick my neck out in various ways.
EXHILARATION may be the word to describe the initial effect of the Spirit.
What is the spirit? Jesus described it as “He” the Spirit of truth. It is also called the promised Holy Spirit. Conventional doctrinal belief would have it that the Spirit is a person, part of a trinity.
The most natural inference is that the Spirit is Jesus himself. “The Lord is the Spirit”. “I am with you, and will be in you”. “Unless I go away, the Spirit cannot come, but if I go, I will send Him to you” or similar.
[What of the Spirit (Holy) in the old testament? ? ? ? For later further investigation ]
Jesus spoke of the Spirit as an unknown, in that it came just like the wind, indeterminable as to how and why.
It may be that the Spirit is that which connects the dots of truth as they are scattered through the mind. When these dots of truth are connected together, they become a “spirit”, and that spirit is swept up with the Holy Spirit who is the presence of Jesus.
“Until Christ be again formed in you”. [Galatians]
As the person believes, the dots are connected. These dots (the pattern of the dots) can then be easily reconnected and accessed by the Spirit at any time. “Be filled [and refilled] with the Spirit…” [The Holy Ghost would in that sense remain a “ghost” [pattern] within the person?].
It may be that the initial Pentecost outpouring was a sign and proof of Christ’s resurrection.
That it (He) had to establish the church in power (signs and wonders), but that this was not meant to be how it was to continue. “It is by faith from first to last” said Paul. Faith is the main ingredient in connecting a person to God. People were healed because of this faith. Without this faith, healing was shown to not happen.
So the natural way of connection to God, is by faith, not by supernatural manifestation. Pentecostals major on the gifts of the Spirit. Their faith is manifested in that direction. But the normality of it, and if it is any indication, then the “normal” churches seem to agree that the gifts are not necessary for salvation. One could argue against this by saying that the “normal” churches lacked life?
The laying on of hands as in the initial transference examples of receiving the “gift of the Spirit” may very well instill in the expectant receiver, an experience and/or manifestation of some kind. But it is expected that it is by faith in the hearing of the gospel message that people “receive the Spirit”. This should be accompanied by exhilaration BECAUSE it is believing that you are set free, that sets you free*, as would be expected. The “connection of the dots” as a response to faith, results in an increase in the reality of that faith, and an “avalanche” of thought may flood the mind, and it may be consumed by the reality of God.
* “As they went, they were healed”. Believe that you have it, and it will be so. Believe the truth, and that truth will fill you. BELIEVE.
Submission to God will result in “receiving like a little child” with peace and release into possible joy and happiness. Whether or not it results in “gifts” is controversial. Whether or not it results in “fruit” is not. The fruit of the Spirit is the natural result of being a Christian, and, “let your gentleness be seen by all”.
The Spirit is the normal way Christians connect with God, through Jesus. He is the door, the gate, and is the normality by which people are “sanctified” or changed as they grow into his fullness. His initial work is in saving the person, and transferring them into “the Kingdom of God”. His ongoing work is in further purification.
“Be filled with the Spirit, singing…”
Reference could be made to another article about “polarisation”, which indicates how thinking is concentrated in one way or another. (Heaven and Earth are polar opposites) “Let thine eye be single”. The Spirit (Jesus) bridges that “great gulf” between heaven and earth.
Truth will set you free.
In relation to faith, it is of interest that faith is that which is required of us, and then we are subjected to all kinds of testings and trials and tribulations of/in that faith. 1 Peter 1-7 “…that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ;…”
So rather than be too encouraged, we might very well expect the opposite, so that our reliance is by faith in God and His love, rather than by signs. 1 Peter 4-12 “beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of his glory, you may rejoice with exultation. [1 Peter 1-8 “…and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory;…” ].
[This is not intended to contradict 1 Corinth.2-5 “… that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.” because Paul is in that stage of establishing the church][if healing had been the “order of the day” then Paul would not have left behind Trophimus sick][*if believing heals you, then it requires that because doubt is an instrument of unbelief, it must be removed from the equation, it is why Peter sank][and do not doubt in your heart, then it will be done for you]
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