The Holy Spirit: Part 2 by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Some Christ-followers claim that there is no separate third person of the Trinity, known as God the Holy Spirit. Instead, there is only the one God who is a spirit. This teaching comes from the idea that there is no such thing as the Trinity in the Bible, only the one God. So, any use of the term ‘person’ when dealing with the Holy Spirit is unacceptable, wrong and unbiblical. The Spirit is not a separate person from God since there is only one God. Consequently, any use of the term ‘person’ just describes the mode of the Father’s work as He works in the spiritual realm.

So, how would you answer someone who holds to this belief? The plain answer is that the Bible upholds the teaching regarding the Holy Spirit as a person of the Trinity. The biblical truth is that there is a separate third person in the Trinity known as God the Holy Spirit. He is not just a manifestation of the Father as the spirit. The use of the term ‘person’ when dealing with the Holy Spirit is acceptable, right and biblical. The Holy Spirit is referred to as a person who could be lied to and also called God in the Bible,
3“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.’ 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it” (Acts 5:3-5; see also Lk 11:9-13).

Such terms as the ‘Holy Spirit,’ ‘Spirit of God,’ and ‘The Spirit,’ refers to the person of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity who is separate from the Father and the Son. So, there is, in fact, a separate third Person known as the Holy Spirit of God within the Trinity. He is not just the manifestation of the Father as the spirit. The Father and the Holy Spirit are separate persons within the Trinity. Rest assured that any use of the term ‘person’ is biblical.

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over…
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…
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).” (18th December 2017).
[3] “Ten 21st-Century Sins (and One Remedy).” (18th December 2017).
Humility Part Two by Ps Michael Podhaczky

As was mentioned last week, we need to know what we believe and why.  One tool to help in this is doctrine. Jonathan Edwards, the pastor and theologian, said:
“We must view humility as one of the most essential things that characterises true Christianity.”[1]

The word humility comes from the Greek words prausmeaning ‘meek,’ and tapeinos meaning ‘low-lying.’ This was translated into the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as ‘humble,’ but also as ‘grounded,’ or ‘from the earth,’ since it derives from humus (earth).[2]  Parker J Palmer wrote:
“I love the fact that the word humus-the decayed vegetable matter that feeds the roots of plants-comes from the same root that gives rise to the word humility. It is a blessed etymology. It helps me understand that the humiliating events of life, the events that leave ‘mud on my face’ or that ‘make my name mud,’ may create the fertile soil in which something new can grow.”[3]

Paul talks about Jesus’ humility in His obedience to the will of the Father and how we need to be of the same mindset in Phil 2:1–8.
7 “But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8 NASB).

Can you think of a child that you now explain this doctrine to and could you encourage them to follow your example of humility?

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

[1] Jonathan Edwards, Faith Beyond Feelings: Discerning the Heart of True Christianity. Charles W. Coulson & James M. Houston (eds). (Colorado Springs, CO: Victor, 2005), 153.
[2] “Humility.” (18th December 2017). “Humility.” (18th December 2017).
[3] Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. (Kindle Locations 939-941). Kindle Edition.
Humility Part One by Ps Michael Podhazky
What is the biblical doctrine of humility and how can it help us? We need to know what we believe and why. The word doctrine simply means ‘a belief or a set of beliefs.’ As Christ-followers our doctrine should affect every area of our life.

In light of this truth, we will briefly reflect on the doctrine of humility, which is part of the doctrine of sanctification. We may not have spent a lot of time reflecting on this matter, but it is important. We are all aware of the results of pride that have caused a broken creation. As C.S. Lewis said,
“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind…it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.”[1]

The opposite of pride is humility. How can studying this from Jesus’ life help us live a more humble life? Well, for one thing, this is the attitude that Jesus had when He came to earth. He was the humblest person ever to walk the earth. The more that we study this doctrine, the more we will be challenged by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Jesus’ said,
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:29 NASB).
Also in Mark 10:35-45 Jesus viewed things in an opposite way to His followers. He said that,
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45 NASB).

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

[1]C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. (New York: Simon & Schuster Touchstone ed., 1996), 109, 111.
Why bother knowing and studying about Christ? by Ps Michael Podhaczky
You may have heard it said that knowing and studying about Jesus Christ is out-dated, and irrelevant. However, we need to remember that right belief is more likely to promote correct behaviour and enable us to live as believers in Christ. An understandingof Jesus Christ provides us with an intelligent and meaningful realisation of who He is, especially in the light of many wrong teachings which have existed throughout history and are still around today.

Many cults and religions may well acknowledge that Jesus existed, but believe that He was merely a good man. Consequently, the study of Jesus Christ’s humanity and divinity is important. If we are going to help other Christ-followers to have a biblically correct view and belief regarding Him, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it. As Jesus asked His followers and now us,
“But who do you say I am?” (Matt 16:15 NLT).
To know, Him, and know about Him will only help us to love Him more fully.  It can also help in this area of growth in our personal relationship with Him and worship of Him.

C.S. Lewis once said,
“A man, who was merely a man and said the sorts of things Jesus said, would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic on the level with the man who would say he is a poached egg or else he would be the devil of hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is the Son of God or else a madman or something worse.”[1]

Therefore, those who believe Him to be God are either mad or something worse. Or are they right?  Where do you stand and why? 

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

[1] Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2001), 53