The Spirit’s “Second Outpouring”

A reprise today…

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:6-8

Beautiful flowers at the Gartenschau in Kaiserslautern

One of the many beautiful flowers at the Gartenschau in Kaiserslautern, Germany | August 2017

In yesterday’s blogpost, after expressing appreciation for Martin Luther’s explanation to the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, I said that perhaps some day someone would write a paragraph that expresses the role and work of the Holy Spirit in the mission of God. Based on this passage and others, among them Acts 13:2: While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” We so often and focus on the essential work of the Holy Spirit to bring us to faith (Luther: “I believe I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel…”).

I would never place myself on the same theological or intellectual level as Martin Luther. Nor would I offer the following as any sort of final word on the work of the Holy Spirit in the Mission of God. I would love to begin a conversation and offer a paragraph that captures some of the workings of the Holy Spirit beyond conversion itself. To that end…

The Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – desires that all people be saved, acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord, and living under his gracious rule and reign. Having reconciled the world to himself through the death of Jesus Christ, he sent the Holy Spirit upon his people, called and gathered them into the church, the fellowship of the redeemed. In and through that church the Holy Spirit also calls people into God’s mission, engaging them in his work and redemptive mission. To that end, the Holy Spirit moves God’s people to acts of kindness, gentleness, love, and goodness. He emboldens God’s people to speak the truth in love. He enables God’s people to recall Jesus’ words (cf. John 14:26). He moves the church to set aside certain men and women to move into places and spaces by which the rule and reign of Jesus is established in people’s hearts unto the ends of the earth, propelling and advancing the mission of God through them.

This paragraph needs some work, but it is my start at the conversation. Perhaps someone  will know that this idea has already been expressed. If that is the case, I would love to read what others have already said. In the mean time, I am eager to hear from anyone who can offer any correction, addition, or suggested edits to this statement. This is not ready for a Lutheresque “This is most certainly true.” But it may be a start.

  1. martha warnasch said:

    Well done. Looking forward to the completed version!

  2. Thank you for this side journey of momentary resting and reflection!
    And so I ask or rather wonder if to add any note regarding the Holy Spirit calling us to correction and/or personal reflection would be appropriate? NO scholar here – maybe I missed valuable inference! This REALLY is a question … not a suggestion for addition by any means …
    … I’m thinking here of Acts 18:24-26 when the eloquent and competent Apollos “being fervent in spirit” who “spoke and taught accurately” was corrected or made more accurate by Priscilla and Aquila …
    … and then the”Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me …” verses in Psalm 51:10
    I just know HE has and does call me to consider many things as well as to give accounting for missteps , but he even blesses me in pointing out an occasional right thing on my part (inasmuch as my humanness can be seen as right)
    … just thoughts on a WONDERFUL topic!

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